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Can’t boys and girls be just friends?

Gender norms apply to friendships as well. In a friendship, if there is between boy and a girl, boy best friends always take up a role of a brotherly or bodyguard type of a role and girl best friend will take up a role as primary wingman.

let’s start with the definition of a friend: the Oxford dictionary defines it as A person with whom one has a bond of mutual affection, typically one exclusive of sexual or family relations. The word ‘person’ itself is universally unbiased of gender, according to the English Language.

Dr. Damanjit Kaur (MD Psychiatry)

A study published in a Journal of ‘Social and Personal Relationships’ was printed in the Indian Express. It stated that men can never be just friends with women as the law of attraction always gets in the way. Men, whether attached or single, were more likely to be attracted to their female friends and expected more than a platonic relationship from them at some point, unlike women who were unaware of this.

Friendship is a range on a spectrum. Some people move on from friendship and explore a relationship. And some people choose to stay within that spectrum. But what is important to note that, it is possible for a man and a woman to not only remain friends but also the best of friends without affecting their respective friendships.

What is more important in a friendship is the bond of mutual affection with set boundaries by both the partners in a friendship. Many movies in our Bollywood had portrayed the fact that opposite gender friendship in the initial times turned into a relationship later on, for e.g. in “Kuch kuch hota hai”, Dil toh pagal hai”.in the recent time also a movie named “dr.G” also portrayed a sense of attraction in an opposite gender friendship.

Does that mean every boy and girl attract each other? the answer is NO! and the reason is that in every relationship we have set a defined boundary, for example, father and mother, brother and sister, between employees, or colleagues, between employee and employer and so on and so forth. But when we cross the defined boundaries, problems happen. Similarly, in a friendship if one of the persons fall out for emotions things gets converted to another form and awkwardness can also sets into that bond of friendship.

Lastly, we don’t get to choose our family, but we do get to choose our friends. Often, our friends echo us in terms of personality, morals, values, socioeconomics and goals.

Dr. Damanjit Kaur (MD Psychiatry)

Faith Hospital, Chandigarh

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