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Just friends…

By Daniel Francis

I dedicate time weekly to spend with my close friends, male and female. I never thought it was strange to have ‘friend dates’ with my female friends from time to time to catch up. It could be a simple meet-up at a cafe or going out to get drinks. Maybe it is very normal for me because I have three younger sisters, so I never batted an eye at that act.

One day, I had an interesting conversation with a close male friend of mine who stated that he has no female friends. He insinuated that he could not have female friends. The statement confused me, so I had to query his reasoning.

His synopsis was that he did not believe that heterosexual men and women could truly be platonic friends. There would always be a hidden agenda. For him at least even if he tried to be friends, he would eventually want to pursue the woman either romantically or as a quick sexual conquest, the sexual conquest being of greater appeal.

From that conversation and many others, I noticed I was in the minority in my thinking that most men want platonic relationships with women. However, I found his way of thinking a bit concerning.

I believe as a man you would be robbing yourself of differing points of view but worst of all you are objectifying women as means to sexual satisfaction.

I did a bit of digging and much of the literature online speaks to the idea that even in male-female friendships the male counterparts tend to overestimate the level of attraction felt by their female counterpart and women tend to underestimate the level of attraction felt by their male counterparts.

So even within male-female friendships, you find that men are secretly yearning for something to happen or waiting for an opportunity to make a move while more often women are okay with the friendship as is.

It tracks that as a man we may tend to want to spend time with someone we find attractive even if it is a friendship, but the inability to view a relationship as truly platonic highlights a deeper problem.

Now do not get me wrong, of course I have had female friends whom I have wanted to pursue even though we started as friends. It has also long been observed that starting as friends and transitioning to a relationship can lead to a healthy and thriving relationship due to the rapport built through friendship.

But what is the problem with having no female friends or being opportunistic to your ‘female friends’? To me, it shows a conditioned view within many men that women are sexual objects or can only be romantic partners. If you cannot see women as anything else that is truly what it comes down to.

When my friend told me that he could not have female friends I was saddened. His socialisation and environment have taught him that a platonic relationship with a woman cannot exist. You either wife them or derive pleasure from them. What a narrow viewpoint!

It is a testament to the behaviour that he observed all around him as he developed. It also shows a mindset that he innately cannot control his desires. When I meet up with my female friends, I experience a non-sexual form of intimacy and affection which I believe is normal. If I were to imagine myself devoid of this experience towards women, it means any woman I come across I would only imagine them as sexual objects or potential partners.

That is a very limiting and superficial way to experience the opposite sex. It is also a lustful way to move through life.

Matthew 5:28–29: “But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

Sex is everywhere. It is so ingrained in us that we are desensitised to it. In this constant lustful state, it is a wonder that there is this expectation that men will cheat in our culture.

We must train our minds to see women not as sexual objects and not only as romantic partners but as friends as well. A healthy platonic relationship can be the key to dismantling this unhealthy, lustful way of being.

If you have no female friends or have female friends but it is all an act, really think about your mindset and desires behind your actions. Ask yourself if this is truly how God wants you to behave.


Daniel Francis is a millennial helping other millennials. He is a two-time author of the books The Millennial Mind and The Millennial Experience, and an entrepreneur. Over the past four years, he has served as a Personal Development Coach whose work targets Millennials and helps them tap into their full potential. He is also a Self-publishing coach and has guided hundreds on self-publishing their book successfully.

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