boys & girls

I was answering some interview questions recently about Waiting for You and wanted to share my response to this one:

In When Harry Met Sally, the big question is whether men and women can really be friends with each other. This is also addressed in Waiting for You. What do you think – can boys and girls be friends? Why or why not?

It all depends on whether the girl and boy are attracted to each other. If there’s attraction on both sides, they will always want the friendship to be more than it is. That’s no fun. Eventually, their friendship will become an intimate relationship. If the attraction is one-sided, that’s a painful, lonely road to travel, ultimately resulting in the destruction of the relationship. Unless the person attracted to the other person never tells them. But then the friendship is a lie.

If there’s absolutely no attraction between a girl and a boy, then yes, they can be friends. Except this can also get complicated. Boys usually know right away if they’re physically attracted to a girl and that initial feeling probably won’t change. It doesn’t work this way for girls. A girl can think that a boy is totally unattractive, but then gradually find him cuter over time, as she gets closer to him. Girls’ emotional connections enhance their feelings of attraction.

In the case of a girl and a boy being friends while also each having a boyfriend or girlfriend, this friendship can last. As long as they’re not attracted to each other. Because then their respective relationships can unravel as their boyfriend and girlfriend realize that the friends like each other as more than just friends.

So I guess my conclusion is this. Boys and girls can be friends as long as no physical attraction is involved. It would also help if one or both of them were in an intimate relationship with someone else.

I’d love to know your thoughts about this. What do you think? Can boys and girls ever be just friends?

9 thoughts on “boys & girls

  1. My typical response to this would be a snarky, sarcastic comment about how you totally missed the boat on guys’ feelings, and that we’d hit on anything. But, in this case, I’ll plead the fifth as I have totally incriminated myself too many times to count.
    I will say that being the male half of a friendship where I was totally into her, and she was longing for “someone just like you, but not you”. Is definitely a “painful, lonely road to travel”, as you so eloquently put it. The fact that she didn’t want to “ruin our friendship”, eventually ruined our friendship.
    I am scouring my female friends/acquaintances and trying to find one that I do not have physical feelings for, and I am realizing that I am a sad, sad, yet unendingly horny, individual. And I think that is your answer.

    • Oh Matt, you are not sad! You are quite honest, and that is always a good thing 🙂
      That whole wanting someone like you but not you sitch is one we can all relate to. I find it to be an extremely interesting plot point and even used it in my third book.

  2. Ohhh, Boys and Girls… The title of a fabulous album by Ingrid Michaelson. Check it out if you haven’t already.
    “A girl can think that a boy is totally unattractive, but then gradually find him cuter over time, as she gets closer to him…”
    So true! What a great way to put it, Susane.

  3. wow, intense q and discussion here!
    i have a different take. i’m on some level physically attracted to ALL my friends, girls and boys. and some are with me. some may argue that physical attraction co-exists on some level with all deep friendships, conscious or subconscious.
    i don’t believe intimacy can only be obtained with sex. but instead, sex is the ‘easiest’ most concrete way to do that. which is why it’s sought out with such great force and avidity.
    who knows why with some people we have greater or lesser ‘connection’, ‘energy/attraction’, ‘chemistry’. do we really know? can we really know? is it our destiny, even pre-written?
    i do believe that suffering and pain comes from separation: from any idea of ‘you’ and ‘me’ as separate entities. so, i feel that all of our creative movement is derivative of the greater force which moves us to connect. this can happen on many different planes: intimacy can happen without touch/sex, and similarly, lack of intimacy/painful disconnect can also happen with touch, sex, etc…
    but, i deeply believe that true and deep friendship and connection requires unconditional love, which can only exist without envy and jealousy.
    loved reading your response!!
    wow: what an exciting discussion question! i cannot wait to read the other responses.

    • Yeah, I hope a lot more neighbors will share their thoughts about this!
      I love your question about connection, why we are kindred spirits with certain people and if that truth is pre-determined destiny or our own orchestration. I’ve definitely felt like I connected with some people in a very sudden, obvious way. I think that’s the energy of the universe, bringing us together. Karma plays an important role in determining the type of people we connect with, too.

  4. all my closest friends are girls.
    i am a boy, yet i am a very sentitive, touchy-feely boy who likes to talk about his feelings.
    most boys don’t,
    and most girls do.
    i have guy friends,
    but the ones i REALLY talk to are all girls.
    if you’re committed and they’re committed and there’s chemistry, it’s so easy to be friends.


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