Serious in relationship and friendship dating 2016
So when they do get together, inspired by puberty, they see each other as dating partners because they've never really known each other as friends." A surprisingly major factor in this phenomenon is the kids' own innate interest in children who act like they do.
Called "voluntary gender segregation," it continues into adulthood. "Men go off to one corner, and women go to another." These obstacles may seem numerous and formidable, but male-female friendship is becoming not only a possibility but also a necessity.
Blame the sexual tension that almost inevitably exists between any red-blooded, heterosexual man and woman. "The belief that men and women can't be friends comes from another era in which women were at home and men were in the workplace, and the only way they could get together was for romance," explained Linda Sapadin, a psychologist in Valley Stream, New York.
But there are so few platonic male-female friendships on display that we're at a loss to even define these relationships. A certain classic film starring Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal convinced a nation of moviegoers that sex always comes between men and women, making true friendship impossible. It's no wonder we expect that men and women are always on the road to romance. "I started my research because one of my best friends is a woman," said O'Meara.
More generally, a 2012 international Gallup poll found that people who feel they have friends and family to count on are generally more satisfied with their personal health than people who feel isolated.
Moreover, hanging out with healthy people increases your own likelihood of health—in their book Connected, Christakis and Fowler show that non-obese people are more likely to have non-obese friends because healthy habits spread through our social networks.
"You know you love someone and enjoy them as a person, but not enough to date or marry them. " The reality that sexual attraction could suddenly enter the equation of a cross-sex friendship uninvited is always lurking in the background.
A simple, platonic hug could instantaneously take on a more amorous meaning.
Either way, 62 percent of all subjects reported that sexual tension was present in their cross-sex friendships. But, O'Meara said, "in a culture where men have always been more equal than women, male dominance, prestige and power is baggage that both men and women are likely to bring to a relationship." Women are at risk of subconsciously adopting a more submissive role in cross-sex friendships, he said, although that is slowly changing as society begins to treat both genders more equally.