You Say He's Just a Friend? A New Study May Make You Think Twice

   By drodriguez  May 18, 2012

Maybe you’ve been friends since childhood or maybe you met in the workplace, either way just because you’re married doesn’t always mean you no longer stay close with friends of the opposite gender. But for those who are going through a rocky patch in their relationship, a new study reveals how easy it can be to suddenly find a platonic friend attractive.

The Globe and Mail reports about the study, published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, that found people who begin to find platonic friends of the opposite sex attractive are usually feeling unhappy with their partners at home. Of the 400 participants, most of the younger women and middle-aged participants of both sexes reported that their attraction to platonic friends coincides with their feeling of being less satisfied with their spouse.

It is unclear whether the attraction to the friend comes first or the feeling of not being satisfied at home. But either way, the new study may make some feel a little uneasy about those platonic friends.

The age old question of whether men and women can just be friends definitely rears its head here. Lead author, April Bleske-Rechek, explains the relatively new phenomenon of men and women trying to keep it platonic. Bleske-Rechek says, “Attraction in friendship is happening, and it’s persistent. Notably, this seems to occur even when both parties claim genuinely platonic intentions. Because cross-sex friendships are a historically recent phenomenon, men’s and women’s evolved mating strategies impinge on their friendship experiences.”

What do you think of the latest study that finds men and women find their platonic friends more attractive when they are less satisfied with their spouse?

Have you ever been in a relationship that was compromised by a platonic friend?

Make a Comment

JennysNook by JennysNook | BURLINGTON, KY
Jul 26, 2012

I think that it's accurate to say that first comes the dissatisfaction with one's spouse, and then the attraction to a "platonic" friend. I've been there. The best response to this is to protect your marriage and resist acting upon those feelings for someone who is not your spouse... because that's what you vowed to do when you got married, right?

mallikarjuna by mallikarjuna | EDISON, NJ
May 21, 2012

It is mainly how you feel about others

zenfulwoman by zenfulwoman | West Babylon, NY
May 20, 2012

My thoughts is that the platonic who is there when you need someone the most and become attracted to. It is like they see inside and find the vulnerabilty faster. I think I am stopping

GrayWale by GrayWale | Puyallup, WA
May 20, 2012

It's the difference between right and wrong. Yes it is possible to have a friend of the opposite sex and be friends (ONLY)..I've had a male friend for years and he knows that we are ONLY friends, because I'm married. He understands and it works. I agree with SimplyDavia, my female friends are always trying the same thing, sabotage my friendships with males as well. Maybe this is why I have more male friends thatn female....I get along with males better than females.....

mimim98 by mimim98 | Meade, KS
May 19, 2012

I really dont think it works. At the end one of the two usually falls for the other one.

SimplyDavia by SimplyDavia | HUNTSVILLE, AL
May 19, 2012

I can say that I have had and still maintain several Platonic Relationship With The Opposite Sex my whole life! I am very CLEAR about the Boundaries and the lines that you do not cross with me. The saddest part about it,,My female friends tend to be the ones who try to sabotage my relationships with males (Never Works) But I guess maybe I am different that way!

candicecrain by candicecrain | BETHPAGE, TN
May 18, 2012

Doesnt work. Just like I've ALWAYS said.