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?