Male-female friendship is often a difficult subject with many emotions. After all, everyone knows a story where one side wanted something more. But we also know couples from the front pages of newspapers who prove that it is possible. Kinga Rusin and Piotr Kraśko, Joanna Krupa and Dawid Woliński or Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet are just some of them. If so, does male-female friendship really exist? Our expert, psychologist Karolina Tuchalska-Sierminska answers.
Table of Contents:
- Childhood friend
- Why do I need a friend?
- When one side wants more
- From love to hate one step
- Friendship between a man and a woman
- Sexual tension
- How to deal with sexual tension?
- Is friendly sex possible?
- When my friend has a girlfriend, when my friend has a boyfriend
- Friends with benefits
- Friendship from the front pages of newspapers
- Is male-female friendship possible?
It is very common that male-female friendships are established as early as childhood. You know each other from the backyard, were neighbors, went to elementary school together, or maybe your parents were just friends. By force, you spent a lot of time together, understood each other without words. After all, no one said a friend had to be of the same sex.
According to studies, childhood friendships often shape all of our later life and relationships, and the childhood friend himself remains in our hearts forever. Why is this happening? It is a friendship that is completely innocent, without unnecessary resentment, jealousy or rivalry, as is the case in adult life. This friend becomes one of the most important people in our lives.
Why do I need a friend?
No matter what, you found a common language. It could have been a love of sports, exploring unfamiliar places or reading comic books together. Years passed, and you were still friends. Although you chose two different fields of study, often in different cities, you still stayed in touch.
It was a friend who supported you when you failed your driving test, had a fight with your mother, went to your first job interview… and comforted you when you were heartbroken. You were free to cry into his shoulder, because he was always there. No matter what time it was, you could call and hear his voice. After all, you promised each other as children that you would be together forever.
When one side wants more
However, thinking about all this still raises the question: is male-female friendship even possible? We asked what a psychologist thinks about it, Karolina Tuchalska-Siermińska , who has just become one of the experts of the 7. Edition of the “Wedding at First Sight” program . “In this sphere, opinions are divided, although in my opinion male-female friendship is possible. Certainly, every male-female relationship cannot be measured by one yardstick. It happens that calling a relationship with someone we like, who is close to us, but with whom we do not allow ourselves to do anything else, a friendship, becomes a smokescreen for what we really feel. It also happens that one of the people in a male-female friendship is in love with the other, but being aware of the one-sidedness of the feeling, decides to play the role of friend (…)”
In practice, this means that one party may have a quiet crush on a “friend” and hope that over time the friendship will develop into something more. Of course, this is risky, especially for our own mental health. Persisting in such a relationship can be aggravating and negatively affect our self-esteem. Such a person closes off to others and often fails to see that true love may lurk around the corner, where the feeling will be reciprocated. That’s why sometimes it’s a good idea to break free from the friendzone and move on. For a platonic relationship never does any good.
From love to hate one step
It is also not uncommon to persist in a “friendship” where one person wants more can lead us to the point where a visit to a psychologist may be necessary to heal a broken heart. Psychologist and therapist, Karolina Tuchalska-Siermińska Asked about how often in her work she encounters patients who were just caught up in male-female friendships, she told us that “in connection with the The line between friendship and love is very thin – in fact, it can be said that the only certain difference is erotic fascination, and this can occur precisely under the influence of emotional proximity. It can’t be prevented or suppressed, which is why it is one of the more common themes raised during the sessions.”
Friendship between a man and a woman
What then can be done in such a situation? Talk to the other person. Honesty should be the basis of human relations. This will give us clear information and a message about what our friend thinks about all this. If the other party is convinced that nothing but friendship will happen, it is then worth thinking… about yourself! Wondering why you are actually still “friends” and whether it really makes sense to continue in this relationship can give not only a view of the whole situation, but most importantly the answer to the question of whether it’s time to go in a completely different direction.
Perhaps freeing yourself from this toxic “friendship” will allow you to gain distance from the whole thing and find happiness in a completely different place and with a different person. Persisting at all costs in a relationship where one person still wants more can be fatal and ultimately do more harm than good.
Sexual tension is also an important issue in male-female friendship that is not talked about out loud. According to the survey, as many as 62% of those surveyed confirmed that they feel sexually attracted to their friend. Does this mean that you have to go to bed right away, and is male-female friendship possible in such a situation? We asked psychologist Karolina Tuchalska-Sieminska, who actively runs the psychological and development blog OdNova, about all this. “I’m not going to charm anyone and claim that sexual tension between friends doesn’t exist (…) Feeling sexual tension is a natural reaction, and relieving it is important for health, well-being and should not be an embarrassing taboo.”
How to deal with sexual tension?
If so, is it even possible to deal with this tension? Our expert has no doubt about this: “The set of activities aimed at relieving sexual tension, apart from sex understood as intercourse between two people, is very wide and can include all sorts of activities from physical contact to masturbation to chatting or watching erotic content. If you treat the sexual tension you feel as a problem or a reason to be ashamed, a good solution is to talk to a sexologist, who will dispel your doubts and help you look at the sphere of your own sexuality in the right way.”
Is friendly sex possible?
Close friends often allow each other to make various gestures such as hugging or holding hands. This not only intensifies the already existing sexual tension, but can also lead to sex. Numerous studies have been conducted on this topic as well, with as many as 20% of friends found to have opted for friendly sex. What’s more, the vast majority of them confirmed that this further strengthened their friendship and often even turned into permanent relationships. However, it sometimes happens that friendship is more important than satisfying sexual needs.
After all, it has not been known for a long time that the most lasting relationships are those where partners talk about everything, trust each other and have a friend in each other. So why not give it a try? “How a relationship runs, its dynamics and the rules that prevail are determined by both parties to it. In any friendship, including male-female, sincerity of intent, respect, trust and a sense of security are important. There are as many ways of such a relationship as there are friends. The most important thing is how they feel about it and whether they both agree to the established rules,” says psychologist and expert in the program “Wedding at first sight” Karolina Tuchalska-Siermińska.
When my friend has a girlfriend, when my friend has a boyfriend
Another important issue in male-female friendship is when one of the friends starts a relationship with someone else. Then it not only raises the question of how the friend can stand it, but also how the partner will react to our friendship. In such a situation, jealousy often arises from both one side and the other. The partner may expect us to end the friendship or at least weaken it. A friend, on the other hand, especially one who expects more can do everything to discourage us from lasting in a new relationship. Instead of being supportive, it can incite and stigmatize our partner, as well as point out and exaggerate his flaws.
However, not everything is visible only in black colors. It also happens that a new partner accepts our friend without the slightest resistance, and vice versa. As a result, a woman does not have to choose between love and friendship, which also has a significant impact on her self-esteem. Psychology openly says that friends are important in our lives, so it’s worth listening to the needs of a partner sometimes, even if that friend is of the opposite sex.
Friends with benefits
Then there’s the relationship known as “friends with benefits,” or in simplest terms, friends with benefits. It often has little to do with friendship. Those who opt for it often set clear rules by which they plan to meet and spend time with each other. They may go out together to the movies, dance, eat out, or just date for sex. As the name implies, the relationship is supposed to bring benefits alone, and both parties are supposed to be happy with it.
To make it easier for such people to get to know each other a few years ago , a well-known app, Tinder, was just created. It provided a quick way for unknown people to arrange casual sex or just establish a friendly relationship based on sex and pleasure. Can it develop into something more? Of course! Yes, as our expert mentioned earlier, it all depends on the two people and what they want. Often the feeling can come later. After all, we know cases when friendship turns into something more. You never know where you will meet a potential partner.
Friendship from the front pages of newspapers
Also, many familiar names from the front pages of newspapers every day make us realize that friendship between a man and a woman really exists. Among the most famous couple of friends we can undoubtedly mention Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio. They met in 1996 during the filming of one of the most famous romances of all time, “Titanic”. Although they played a pair of lovers in the film, in real life they have always been and will always be just friends. In one of the interviews given, the actress herself mentioned “Leo never treated me like a girl, I’m not his type. And all the luck!” Today the actress is happily married, and Leo Dicaprio is her devoted friend.
In Poland, among the most famous couples of friends we can mention Joanna Krupa and Dawid Wolinski or Kinga Rusin and Piotr Kraśko. Kinga Rusin’s story is interesting because she and Peter know each other from childhood. The journalist himself has repeatedly admitted that she is like a sister to him, with whom he not only always has to agree. There are also tensions and sharper exchanges between them. However, they know that they can always count on each other. In the case of Kinga Rusin , friendship with men turned out to be much happier than friendship with another woman. After all, everyone knows the story of how her best friend, Hanna Smoktunovich, bounced her husband. More interestingly, she was even a witness at Kinga’s wedding to Tomasz Lis. So she was able to personally experience that friendship between a man and a woman not only exists, but in many cases is simply easier.
Is male-female friendship possible?
To sum it all up, it seems that friendship between a man and a woman is really possible. Just remember to keep the relationship clear and, above all, talk. It might seem simple, especially when we are just talking in the context of friendship. After all, friends are there to share their desires, dreams, joys or fears. In practice, however, it varies. That’s why sometimes it’s worth considering what we really want ourselves and why we have chosen this person as a friend? Perhaps love is waiting just around the corner.