Friendship between a man and a woman is the cause of many jokes and stereotypes. It is commonly believed that one of the "friends" necessarily wants to turn the relationship into a romantic one. And even if in reality both parties prefer to simply be friends, such relations do not inspire confidence in others. What does such friendship entail? And how to treat the presence of the second half of his friend of the opposite sex? Says psychologist Anna Nine.
As a rule, intersex friendship is romanticized and sexualized, even in the movies. "The Switch" "Seeking a Friend for the End of the World" "My Best Friend's Girlfriend" - all of these comedy melodramas hint at a romantic story with just the title. This approach increases ticket sales because any sexualization of a relationship draws attention and shows how to satisfy the need for love," the psychologist says. She also cites an example from the life of a 37-year-old woman who has a longtime close friend. The two are really just friends and supportive of each other, but there is flirting in the relationship.
The Boundaries of Friendship
Sociologically speaking, 50 hours of uninterrupted communication becomes a reason for a buddy relationship. After spending 200 hours together, we can already talk about friendship. Friendship is defined as a strong emotional connection, devoid of self-interest and implying mutual warmth, common interests. Each person is important to be surrounded by someone who can be called a friend. Is the gender of the friend so important? A person chooses his or her friends based on the experience gained in the family. Traditionally, sons are considered to be emotionally closer to their fathers and daughters to their mothers. But life has other scenarios. A boy may hate his father. A girl may be in a competitive or toxic relationship with her mother. In such cases, the child is more attached to the parent of the opposite sex. When he grows up, he also chooses to be friends with those who are opposite to him in terms of gender - because it is easier to interact with them.
This is one of the reasons why the friendship of a man and a woman is possible. But there are others, the main one is the ability to keep the boundaries in the relationship. That is, it is more important for a person to have a long and strong spiritual connection than a short (albeit bright) period of physical intimacy/romantic relations.
Not to be jealous
Partners may be wary of having a friend of their chosen one(s). This wariness is justified - the friend/girlfriend is perceived as a competitor, as someone who can destroy the love union. To avoid such a reaction, psychologist recommends introducing the chosen ones to their friends.
But it also happens that both partners do not accept the presence of the second half of the opposite sex friends - a phenomenon not uncommon among couples and spouses in love. This is justified by the fact that "intimacy" and "warmth" for such people are words suitable for defining a relationship with a lover(s), while they have other definitions for friendship.