Skipping the bedroom for a more “friendly” bond

(WEAU) – It’s a question many of you at home might have likely asked yourselves; can men and women be friends?

Many of us know the famous movie of when Harry Met Sally and Billy Crystal say men and women can't be friends.

An associate professor with UW -Eau Claire wanted to know more and published her research project called: Benefit or Burden? Attraction in cross sex friendships.”

"I think men and woman can be friends if they both share personality," said Mekuria Zemede, UWEC Freshman.

Men and women, women and men, friends or hidden agenda?

"Men report more attraction to their female friends than females do to their male friends, this is consistent regardless of men’s relationship status, whether they're single or involved," said April Bleske-Rechek, Psychology Associate Professor.

Bleske-Rechek says she determined this in her first study, which surveyed young adults 18-24.

"We brought in pairs of friends, people who thought of each other as a cross sex friend, then making sure that sex difference in attraction is still going on," said Bleske-Rechek.

Some say it’s true.

"They can be friends with girls, but I think most of the time they'll eventually become attracted to that girl in some way," said Mattie Douglas, UWEC Sophomore.

April says one of the most interesting things she found in both of these studies is that men are often times more jealous than women when it comes to having a significant other that has friends of the opposite sex.

"Somewhere around 40% of women reported that jealousy from their partner was one of the key costs of having cross sex friendships,” said Bleske-Rechek.

"The beginning of freshman year I started out having some guy friends then as we got to know each other, realizing I had a boyfriend we've slowly become less close," said Douglas.

The second study reflected those who were about 30-55 and showed attraction comes up more as a cost than a benefit.

"Middle age adult experience less attraction to their friends than young adults do," said Bleske-Rechek.

But when it comes to being friends with exes that can be a game changer, because being friends can be hard.

"That can be a little bit different because then there's a little more emotion into and there tends to be arguments and fights between that," said Zemede.


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