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By Lynda Gorov
There's no denying it, there are definite advantages for blokes in having a female offsider.
The night Leo climbed on top of me and pleaded, “Come on, baby, please”, I didn’t know whether to be amused or offended. Granted, we’d been drinking. And I was in his bed, wearing a T-shirt and tiny undies. But we’d been friends for a decade. I was in town to catch up, not hook up.
“Get off me, you idiot,” I ordered.
In the morning, a contrite Leo was bedside, breakfast tray in hand.
“I am such a pig,” he said in his adorable Peruvian accent. “Forgive me. But I am a man.” Man. Pig. Whichever – Leo overcame what he swears was a one-time urge.
He never touched me inappropriately again. Fortunately, Leo and I moved past – way past – the awkward part of a male/female friendship. We’re still mates to this day.
That’s right. Men should be friends with women even without the benefits. You just need to expand the notion of what those benefits are. After all, inside information from your female friend can be put to good use. And that’s hardly the only perk of remaining platonic.
Sure, there are obstacles. Turning a woman from casual co-worker into after-hours confidante can take time and effort – and often involves another sort of urge altogether.
As Jeff, a close friend since high school, says: “You like her. She likes you. You get along great. You’re both unattached. So why not take the next step?” How about because you can’t take it back? Or because platonic love doesn’t always work in the bedroom? And anyway – why the hell didn’t Jeff kiss me back in school?
“Men have a difficult time separating friendship from romance,” reveals Dr Kathy Werking, author of We’re Just Good Friends: Women and Men in Non-romantic Relationships. “They don’t get the subtleties of relationships. I hope this is changing.”
(Werking’s research shows that sex-free male/female friendships are more common among present-day 20-year-olds than in previous generations.)
Here’s what to do to keep things out of the bedroom – and a few perks to stop you wavering.
Jan 18, 2013