Nation e-Edition

I CONFESS: Men and women can be friends

I CONFESS: Men and women can be friends

Sat, December 01, 2012 - 12:00 AM

I believe a man and a woman can be best friends without being lovers. The key thing is for both of them to recognize and respect the nature of their relationship and for each to never cross the invisible moral line that separates close friendship from intimacy.

I have such a relationship today and it is great. Though my friend is married, he and I can talk about anything. I can share my feelings with him, knowing that what is said between us, stays between us. And he can do the same.

Most important, we know how far to go. There is never a suggestion, hint or any overture about us becoming intimate. It is mutual respect. He is happy with his life, I am happy with mine; and together, we are happy just being pals.

I would be the first to admit though that such friendships are not as easy to keep on an even keel, especially if both individuals are going through problems in their personal relationships and so turn to each other for solace.

I know this well because years ago my male best friend at that time and I briefly became lovers. That occurred because he was not honest in his intentions with me, and I was too naïve or immature to realize it.

Notwithstanding that unfortunate mistake, I still insist a man and a woman can be buddies without becoming intimate if they behave responsibly and respect each other.

In my case, my good sense prevailed and I broke off that relationship because I realized that the deceit which had crept into our friendship was not what I wanted; it was not who I was and what I stood for.

I despise men who cheat on their wives and girlfriends and I always swore that I would never become involved with a married man. So I could not continue doing that and live with myself. It was wrong!

Though I disappointed myself by my actions then, the one lesson I learnt from it was that as an individual you have to know who you are and stand up for what you believe in, no matter the circumstances. If you stand for nothing, as sure as there is a God in heaven, you will fall for anything.

My only consolation too was that I wised up before that situation got really out of hand.

Looking back at those days I can see clearly now that the two of us were destined to be lovers, given what was going on in our personal lives, and our penchant for confiding in each other.

He and his wife were having real difficulties and everyday he would talk with me about them to relieve the burden of it, as well as to seek advice on how best to manage the situation. He felt that as a woman I would better understand how another woman thinks and behaves.

In my case, I was still trying to overcome the break-up of my marriage. My husband and I had separated and it was a bad break. Our children were very traumatized by it, thinking they would never see their father again as he no longer loved them. So my daily struggle was to keep listening to their fears and reassuring them. As such, I just needed an adult whom I trusted to unwind emotionally to, but not intimately.

As that guy and I had been close professional and personal friends for years, and were accustomed sharing each other’s secrets, we naturally turned to each other in our personal crises.

It was not something that I certainly planned. In tears over my situation, I hugged him tight. We then held each other and began kissing each other; things got out of hand after that. I was too weak to resist, and he was being a man.

As I said, to this day I regret that incident and the couple other times it happened. But what hurts most about that affair was not realizing how, in assisting him to get in tune with his wife and bring them closer together, I attracted him to me instead. It was not intentional but it made him want to be with me and not his wife.

The other disturbing thing was how his dishonesty and deceit took over our relationship. He swore he was not sexually involved with his wife and I would encourage him not to be like that because when such a void occurs, depending on the morals of the woman, another man could be invited to fill that breach.

So when his wife became pregnant he wanted to leave her, saying she had stepped out on him. He used that to show me why we were so right for each other and to seek to intensify our relationship. And, because I trusted him, I believed him.

But when the baby was born it was the spitting image of him. Seeing that child wised me up immediately. I knew then that I had been fooled and immediately severed ties with that man. I have never made that mistake again.

Since then, I have established close friendships with other men and maintain these through honest dialogue and mutual respect. That’s why I will always insist that men and women can be best friends.

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Posted by mac _ ham 1 year, 11 months ago
While this may be true, it all has to do with respect for each other, one should never see the other person other than a friend, once cross that barrier to become intimate it will destroy that friendship once shared. Best friends should be able to trust each other without the taught of getting intimate.

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Posted by daneale o'neale 1 year, 11 months ago
this is y men and women can't be just best friends.u defeat ur story.

  • 6
Posted by Carl Harper 1 year, 11 months ago
"We then held each other and began kissing each other; things got out of hand after that. I was too weak to resist, and he was being a man."

Both of you voluntarily engaged in the act but he (the devil) made you (the angel) do it. When will adults take full responsibility for their actions? And what do you mean by "he was being a man?"

  • 3
Posted by Cheese On 1 year, 11 months ago
Open Communication draws people together, that is why it is risky when drawing close to a married man or a man that is unavailable to you. Still can't believe you thought he was not making love to his wife! Outside women just don't get it! Close your legs ladies, send them back to their wives for the comfort they seek!

  • 0
Posted by dirty okra 1 year, 11 months ago
The author of this piece is obviously dillusional if she really beleives what she wrote. She needs to find her own man. I always laugh at these women who say men make better friends than women. I'll tell you one thing from a man's perspective. No matter how good friends we are with a woman the thought has crossed our minds about taking it to the next level.

  • 4
Posted by Chris Wright 1 year, 11 months ago
As this story unfolds I see the situation in which two people in a platonic relationship should not find themselves. Too emotionally deep in times of vulnerability, this as we see is looking for trouble. A true platonic relationship is one in which there is an understanding that at the end of the day they can look each other in the face without any feelings of guilt or betrayal of the relationship. Moral support, the understanding that there is mutual respect for each other and sex is completely out of the question makes the relationship work as it was set out to be.

  • 0
Posted by Pan Wallie 1 year, 11 months ago
All this man did was to trick you. It is called psychology. Yes, his wife might have been throwing a few sissy fits when he was not stepping up to the plate, but he used that to prey on you and you (in your vulnerable state) swallowed the bait. Did you really believe things there was something in his household worthy of complaint EVERYDAY? He had a game plan and his eye on the prize, and he won. With good friends like that man, you don't want an enemy!!!

  • 0
Posted by Rod mann 1 year, 11 months ago
well said @dirty okra that is so true .

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Posted by Lucky Hall 1 year, 10 months ago
This lady kind of contradicted herself with the two stories. However, I have a friend I met since age 11 and he is one of my best friends for the last 20 yrs. I am married too, but he was my friend before I got married, so there was not a need to not still be his friend. I feel that the only reason why we are friends, was because we became friends very young and we developed that high respect for each other. Also when I was about 21 and married, I met another guy and we became good friends. I have been his friend for over 11 yrs. Men and women can be friends, but here is the rule;Both parties have to just want to be friends. It can not be one secretly lusting or wanting the other, because sooner or later that so-called friendship will go sour. It is very rare that men and women can innocently be friends, as we are naturally attracted to each other. That is why those 2 guys are the only "friends" I will ever have because they have proved their respect for me and my family and their loyalty.....anybody else looking to be friends can keep walking, as I know when a man is hissing at me or coming up to me in public, it is because of what they see, not because they think I am smart or would make a good friend.

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