Can Men and Women Be Just Friends? with Pamela Naidoo

In This Episode…

  • Having a successful relationship while also having a best friend of the opposite sex (2:48)

  • For females, why it often seems easier to be friends with males than other females (4:02)

  • Delving into the psychology of “the friend zone” (6:58)

  • Letting someone down gently when the attraction is not mutual (10:55)

  • The right way to make friends with a guy, in general (13:34)

  • Making friends with a guy who has a girlfriend (17:56)

  • FWB: what it is, and what it is not (25:55)

  • Whether a woman can be in a FWB situation without emotions (30:13)

  • Why a woman might decide to start a FWB arrangement, and setting realistic expectations (33:06)

Ways to Listen to this Episode:

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Key Points

It’s your responsibility to make sure that your partner knows that you value your relationship with him or her above your relationship with your friend.

Don’t fool yourself into thinking its harmless if you spend more time talking to an opposite sex friend than your own partner. 

Emotional affairs are just as damaging as physical cheating, and can lead to it eventually.

A "friends with benefits” (FWB) arrangement is not a casual hookup. The presence of sex in a friendship will not move it into a committed, romantic relationship. However, women often make the assumption, or have the secret hope/expectation that it will, even if its discussed beforehand.

A woman’s body creates the bonding hormone oxytocin during sex a much greater rate than men, which makes it very difficult NOT to have feelings develop in a FWB situation.  It can lead to feelings of uncertainty, insecurity and rejection.  But some women are looking for pleasure, intimacy after a break-up, or just to feel desired.

What You Can Do

When you decide to start a friendship with someone of the opposite sex, keep it superficial in the beginning– nothing deep or emotional too soon, or you will seem needy and offputting, because men already find it uncomfortable to be vulnerable with other male friends. Keep it to group activities at first–don’t give off the wrong signals by flirting, dressing provacatively, or inviting them for “couply” activities.

When making friends with a man who is in a relationship, make sure you are not doing anything that would threaten his relationship.  And if YOU are in a relationship, talk with your partner about the rules and boundaries of making new friends of the opposite sex, and how to conduct yourself with opposite-sex friendships that were established before your relationship began.

Stay out of emails and direct messages on social media with inappropriate communication! If you wouldn’t say it to their face, don’t put it in the DM either.

If you are having romantic feelings for a friend, it’s only fair that after you have decided whether or not its a passing phase, to tell your friend how you are feeling about them.  Understand your needs and theirs.

Connect with My Guest

Pamela Naidoo, Platonic Friendship Coach, Speaker, Author





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