The Friendship

Is it possible that mixed- sex- friendships are restricted to being made during our school or university days? Post-education, it seems to me that it has become increasingly hard to meet someone with a view to pursue a friendship, rather than a love affair. And I’ve learnt recently (the hard way) that male/female friendships made in your twenties are actually rather few and far between-something I’ve grown to resent.

I understand that when socialising, most are on the hunt for a sexual partner. I get it, balls and boobs are heading south and you’re panicking. But shouldn’t we just slow down when we meet someone and get to know whether they prefer jam or marmalade on their toast first? After all, some of the best sexual relationships are based upon friendship. And some of the best relationships are simply just friendship. I’m always up for meeting new people but I’m also very aware that when my company for the night is a member of the male variety, sex is always on someone’s mind.

Maybe I’m too presumptuous and assume that guys are always after one thing? But as of late, it has been proved that, in fact, the majority of the time, they are: and my assumptions have been confirmed. When asking my guy mates about this issue, I’ve been labelled “naive” to think that an invitation to have coffee could be strictly platonic. They themselves also suggested that men don’t tend to read signals; instead they read your chest. So when it comes to finding friends of the opposite sex, I must hold my hands up and admit that I’m hopeless at it. Maybe I’ll just leave it and stick to the guy mates I already have who pick their noses and tell me I look like shit, when I really do, look like shit. But even with my male mates from way-back-when, there’s normally a point in our friendship where we’ve asked ourselves whether we fancy one another, or whether something could potentially happen… and have even enjoyed the odd vodka-induced-snog. It seems as though it’s quite difficult to remain platonic rather than playmates.

Personally I’m not shy and don’t mind letting someone know that the most they’re getting is a pint bought for them but why is it that “I only like you as a friend” is such an insult? It seems as though spitting in one’s face is likely to be far more pleasant-being fancied is apparently more important than being funny, charismatic or interesting these days. People search for ‘the one’ for years, by-passing potential friendships and pushing them to one side because they don’t pass the marriage test. Think about how many people you’ve got along with and disposed of because you didn’t fancy them-you’ve missed out on having both a wingman, another insight into the male/female mind and someone new to quite simply have a laugh with.

I’m starting to think that maybe it’s impossible to be friends with the opposite sex. Take the world’s favourite TV show. It might be entitled ‘Friends’, but how many of them actually are just friends? It might be fiction but take a look at your own “friendship group” and count how many people around you have dated, fumbled or dabbled.

I rest my case.