Episode 51: Can men and women be friends

The basic question is this: Can men and women be friends?

That’s what this episode is all about.

Show topics:

  • Importance of boundaries
  • Differences between men and women


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  1. says

    Yes we can but need to know ourselves first and watch the signals. To feel attracted is natural for the opposite gender but everything is in our mind and how we take control over our thoughts. It feels not good if a business contact should think I was more interested of them than the business. I have also seen some people who are using their gender for getting business and it goes both ways.

  2. Who Ami says

    I think men and woman can be friends, if both are cautious and their spouses are aware.

    Maybe I got distracted during the show, but Corey’s answer that no men and women couldn’t be friends came through pretty strongly, but I didn’t here a real strong answer one way or the other from Gina although it was mentioned that you disagree. Would have loved to hear more of her thoughts.

    A man named Dan Brennan has done a lot of thinking and blogging on this whole topic-and wrote a book “Sacred Unions, Sacred Passions”. I have followed his blog alot at times but haven’t read his book.

    Here is a link to a portion of his blog that relates to this subject. I think there are more tags that go even deeper. http://danbrennan.typepad.com/the_sacred_friendships_pr/

    I think one of you mentioned that it partly depends what the definition of friend is- and that it can have many definitions- so that may play a role in how you answer the question.

  3. Don says

    Gina and Corey both make good points. IMO, Men MAY only be friends with women who have less inner and outer beauty than their wives. Women who are overweight, selfish and or rude are not a temptation for most men. They are safe friends. Like wise the same concept MAY apply for women.

  4. says

    Honestly, this was sort of a tougher topic for me. The men that are in my life are so much like family to me that the idea of kissing them or making out or getting naked and having sex with them is as revolting as the idea of doing that with my own son!
    But then again, like Don just said, none of these guys have physical or inner qualities that make me find them sexually attractive either.
    When I feel that kind of energy with someone I RUN the other way. I’m still thinking about this show….
    The definition of “friend” is indeed a big piece of this conversation.
    Thanks so much for listening and sharing your thoughts.

    • Gary says

      I have to strongly disagree with the assertion that one has to RUN away from friends one feels attracted to. Are you a sex addict? Like an alcoholic who has to run away from a drink? It seems like reverse looks discrimination. I’d find it really disappointing if a married woman felt she had to RUN away because she felt some attraction for me. It’s normal and natural, and if you recognize that it’s a sign of good health on your own part, you can put it in context. I can’t imagine a life where I felt fear of meeting attractive people I had to RUN away from!

      Just to make the point, one woman who was on the same project with me at work became a good friend. And then we introduced our spouses to each other. Still, my wife and her husband didn’t mind one bit if we two sometimes had a business friendship lunch. In fact, we got along so well over that we once admitted to each other with a laugh that if we hadn’t met our spouses, we two would probably get married. Well, it was kind of obvious, but the transparency and comfort of being able to admit that, WHILE NOT acting on it in any way, let us both feel like great friends who udnerstood each other and supported each other’s marriage. In fact, we even shared tips on how to improve each of our marriages, given from the point-of-view of the other gender, which we both found to be more “reliable” than the kind of biased advice you often get from people of your own gender.

      I feel sorry for people who feel so constricted that they can never have this kind of cross-gender close and deep friendship without fear that it’s going to ruin their lives and marriages. I think they’re missing a lot!

      In fact, I would go so far as to say that because I’ve had so many good cross-gender friendships, I’ve perhaps adopted an attitude about women that is much healthier than that of many other men, who I often find spend way too much time complaining about women as if they’re some kind of alien species.

  5. Gary says

    Perhaps it’s my European background, but I couldn’t disagree more with many of the comments in this broadcast. I’m a straight married man. To say that one can’t have friends of the opposite sex sounds almost like a silly “rule” made for teenagers by overly strict parents. We’re adults, for heavens sake. I can’t imagine a constricted life where I have only male friends, and the only woman I can really “talk to” is my wife. As if sex is everything and always on the table, up front, and that’s all that matters. Good god, it’s possible to think about other things than just sex. And I’m a high-libido man.

    I think your attitudes are part of a culture where the opposite sex is over-sexualized and objectified, as if they have no other value than sex. Or that sex is this untamed beast over which we have no control and which can suddenly jump out of nowhere. Well, I think there are such people, and they’re called sexual addicts, no? Well, I’m not one of those and I have self-control.

    I had approximately equal numbers of male and female friends all the way through school, 1-12. And at the R&D organization where I work, I’ve gone out to lunch with equal numbers of males and females, often just one-on-one as friends. And in my personal life, I have about the same number of male and female good friends, maybe slightly more women than men. In most cases, my wife and their husbands have also become friends, and we sometimes go out to dinner as a foursome.

    Not that I haven’t faced temptation, or felt that others have been tempted. But we’re not out-of-control animals. I had a very attractive young female intern who, for some reason I never fully understood, had a huge crush on me. She seemed to be willing to do anything I wanted, and even wanted to share details of her sex life with me and asked me questions about what she should do. I gave her the best advice I could, but I never crossed the line, and we had a lot of good conversations otherwise and got a lot of work done.

    And what advice would you have for someone who has a high libido and is bisexual? By your advice, such a person could have NO friends at all. That’s ridiculous.

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