Men and women are very capable of other options, in terms of our relations with people of the opposite sex. It is often said that when building communities of support, it’s just as essential to have healthy opposite-sex friendships in your life.

However, the older we get, the difficult it becomes to have healthy friendships with the opposite sex because feelings can get involved. Before you know what is going on, you are involved in your best friend’s relationship life and dating activities or wanting to be more than just friends with your best friend of the opposite sex.

However, some friendships can be far more valuable to us over the long term of our life, as opposed to dating them for a temporary time as a romantic partner. As It is important to know that before defining what a healthy opposite-sex friendship is, you have to note what makes a healthy same-sex friendship.

Most of the people who find themselves in this situation, get attracted to each other and from there, they start catching feelings.

There are differences between male and female friendships you should know, but to think that it is impossible to have opposite-sex friendships is just a ridiculous notion. Some say Sex does not determine the quality of friendship a person may offer, Instead, this is indicated by their character, values, and who they are as a person.

Why people Prefer To Have Friends Of The Opposite Sex Over Same-Sex

So many times, there have been arguments as to why people may pick being close friends with the opposite sex, rather than the same sex. Here are a couple of reasons why people may prefer such relationships.

You Can Truly Be Yourself Around Them

When you are friends with someone of the opposite sex, be rest assured that you can always be yourself around them without the fear of being too close for comfort. Even in real relationships, there are times when you have doubts or feel like revealing all of yourself to your partner reduces your value in their sight. However, with your Bestie of the opposite sex, you can be, as well as, talk about anything and everything without the fear of giving off too much information.

Availability For Emergency Hangouts

There are times when you need to be at a particular place and you just need back up. This could be a result of not trusting whoever you are hanging out with or that you just do not want to be alone with this person. This certainly is not something you would want to ask your partner for, else, you just may have some serious explaining to do.
Putting all these aside, a bestie of the opposite sex helps you boost your confidence a lot more than anyone else will.

Cheat code To Understanding The Opposite Sex

Human beings are complex in nature, and in this light, it is only logical to have a guide to understanding how the mind of the opposite sex works.

You can never really understand them on your own but having a best friend who is of the opposite sex is your ultimate key, which could be of great advantage.
They will stand as your shield and protect you from emotional meltdown which you might not envisage on your own.

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Less Drama

To be very honest, everyone knows that same-sex friendships are the hardest and tend to be drama-filled. You get each other riled up over the littlest things and before you know it, you both begin to throw unnecessary tantrums here and there.

However, In opposite-sex friendships, it is easier to see things the same way and understand each other better. There is hardly any drama as things are straightforward and simple. In the case of any drama, it is easy for the other sex to help disentangle and get some guidance about how to handle situations with little judgment or fuss.

They Are Real With You

No one will give it to you as you need to hear it like your friend of the opposite sex. They are usually as real as anyone can be when it comes to real talks.

They sometimes know how to handle situations much better than your friend of the same sex and they are often easy to talk to. Also, they are hardly judgmental. It is much easier for them to help you get out of messy emotional situations, without making a fuss

Why Some People Do Not Believe In Opposite-Sex Friendship

Some people don’t agree that opposite-sex friendships should not exist within a serious relationship. Some say that it is old-fashioned and that men and women are perfectly capable of having platonic friendships with a person of the opposite sex even when they’re in a serious relationship.

In cases where the friendship involves two people who have absolutely no sexual attraction to each other and who are not sexually compatible whatsoever, that is true. But in reality, many opposite-sex friendships involve people who, if circumstances were different, might be a potential sexual partner.

Indeed, many opposite-sex friendships are maintained because of a simmering attraction. One or both people are keeping their “friend” on the back-burner as a potential mate in the event their current relationship ends. This is especially true of men. It may be 2021 but, let’s face it, many men still only befriend women they have at least some degree of physical attraction to.

Some people will say that they’ve always had opposite-sex friendships and that shouldn’t change just because they get into a serious relationship. They will say that only insecure people or weak relationships would shy away from opposite-sex friendships.

But I think this is a self-focused and naïve way of thinking, as it ignores the reality that every relationship goes through ups and downs. When you’re “up,” things are great and the opposite-sex friendship may be mostly harmless (although it still may be an irritation to the other spouse).

But it becomes a very different story when you’re going through a temporary “down” or rough patch in your relationship. This might be some kind of conflict, sexual dry spell, life circumstance or even pure boredom. When this happens, many people turn to their opposite-sex friend as a shoulder to cry on.

Before you know it, one party and his or her friend are comforting each other, turning to each other for advice, sharing details of their intimate life and relationships, and texting each other with increasing frequency and intimacy. As the excitement of their forbidden friendship grows, the dynamics in the relationship deteriorate. After all, three is a crowd.

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The spouse begins to leave the room to text his or her opposite-sex friend, leaving the other spouse in a state of anger, anxiety, and profound hurt. When asked to end the friendship, the spouse often becomes indignant or outright belligerent and may try to turn the entire situation around so that his or her spouse must go on the defensive, desperately trying to explain, but to no avail, why the opposite-sex friendship is wrong and how it is affecting the relationship.

A sizeable proportion of failed relationships and marriages start with an opposite-sex friendship that quickly becomes intense and emotional due to the false sense of intimacy involved with text messaging. Then they escalate into a full-blown emotional or sexual affair.

Real-Life Scenarios

Going further into this study, it became quite needed, to not keep writing and mash-up interesting words but to gather real experiences that could better shed light on the many possibilities there could be to this issue.

Rosy, 18

I have had two best friends, both males. One back in secondary school and the other, now in university. I was pretty close to my secondary friend and regardless of how inseparable we appeared to be, it entailed no sexual relations at all. The friendship is still going strong.

The newest is a friend on campus, with whom I have become pretty attached but mind you, still without any emotional entanglement. You know, my friends are children of big people and I’m not about to get into bed with any of them because it’s not good for business. I hope for longevity with these ones.

Valorie, 26

So, coincidentally, we became flat-mates, all three of us. Me, amid two guys. We were still in school but off-campus. And more interestingly, we were all course-mates but along the line, I got closer to one than the other. He literally looked out for me in every way.

Actually, both of them did and I must confess, I enjoyed every bit of it. Every time I was forced to sleep in my room because they brought home a girl, I was bitter.
The other guy and I were more alike, so it was easier making him my bestie. He was quite soft and tender, you know those kinds of guys. I was just coming out of a relationship.

He cared for me so much and was always available to talk to and at the time, was chasing a girlfriend of mine. Could you imagine that I started getting jealous of my female friend and mad at him every time she came around? Eventually. he got to know how I felt. Well, he felt the same way and alas! he had to forgo the other girl and we started dating.

Charles, 29

We literally grew up together. Family friends. I was her guardian angel and she, my advisor. Maybe because we too see ourselves finish, it never crossed my mind that way. Every one of her boyfriends knew me. She is now happily married and the relationship isn’t as strong. What do you expect? She’s married!

James, 29

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I liked her from the onset. But getting to know her (without divulging my intentions), she made it quite clear she was in a serious relationship. I shelved the idea of a relationship and haven’t looked back since. We are still cool, very cool, actually.

Mercy, 25

Truth is….it’s never easy having a guy as a best friend especially if he is very handsome. Right now, I’m wearing iron pants to keep me in check with this current bestie of mine…lol

Conclusion

Having a best friend of the opposite sex is relative, as some people might find solace in making best friends of the opposite sex rather than of same-sex.

Different strokes for different folks, as the saying goes. Being gender-specific doesn’t exactly justify or guarantee excellence or the best of friendship experience, but rather, it is with character, good morals, and flowing in the same wave and energy.

It is important to note that, as much as we try to dismiss the act of catching feelings with our supposed “Best friends”, it is not dismissible that before a relationship can startup, there must first be friendship. It can now be of the individual to use his/her emotional intelligence to know whom to place in a romantic relationship and who is supposed to be a platonic friend.

Either way, there’s a need for boundaries. Of Which, some people openly discuss this, while some other people just act like it doesn’t exist, whereas it exists.

Notwithstanding, there is a school of thought that believes that it is best to get married to your best friend, someone who, aside from a romantic relationship, has an actual friendship with you. One who knows you back and forth and can put up with whatever character you portray.

However, most people use this school of thought as a backbone to pursuing a relationship with their supposed best friend, and in most cases, can lead to an outright end to the relationship. Simply because there has been a breach from platonic friendship to a romantic one.

Also, in some cases where there’s a growing friendship between two people of the opposite sex, Expectations have mostly been a stern killer of such friendship, as there might be mix-ups along the way.

In a situation where the male, in most cases female, begins to get too comfortable with the preferential treatment she gets from her Male friend, and from there, there’s just about a lot of expectations from the male friend and therefore leading to some misunderstandings and as a result, an early break up in the said relationship/friendship.

Lastly, to answer the main question of “If you can be best friends with the opposite sex without catching feelings?”, I’ll say it solely depends on the individual in question. If both parties can understand exactly what they are from the get-go, and if by chance, feelings get in the way later, then they both should also be on the same page for that to work out fine.

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