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Privacy was paramount—for example, imagine the fallout if two friends learned that one—and only one—had unspoken romantic feelings for the other throughout their relationship.In order to ensure honest responses, the researchers not only followed standard protocols regarding anonymity and confidentiality, but also required both friends to agree—verbally, and in front of each other—to refrain from discussing the study, even after they had left the testing facility.The first is that having cross-sex friendships becomes progressively harder from middle school through college and finally into adulthood. And of course another benefit of opposite-sex friendships is that they sometimes lead to fulfilling romantic relationships. But keep in mind what the research says about the likelihood of your cross-sex friendship taking this course: it’s far more likely that you’ll develop feelings for her that she doesn’t reciprocate.
Every person’s situation is different, and the number of opinions on this subject are numerous (and often heatedly held! But I will nonetheless humbly submit that the best way to gauge the viability of cross-sex friendships is by using a sliding scale, girded by two general guidelines. As mentioned above, opposite-sex friendships give you insight into how the female mind works, which can help you successfully navigate the dating scene and just make you an all-around more perceptive guy.
Not only were the guys more attracted to their supposedly platonic female buds, they also mistakenly believed that the feelings were reciprocal, and they were more willing to act on their erroneously perceived mutual attraction.
Thus, the study suggests that women generally think that guys and gals can “just be friends,” while men are secretly hoping there’s a chance their relationships with their female friends can be something more.
Sadly, Kate and I know a few people — both men and women — who ended up cheating on their spouse with a close opposite-sex friend when the above scenario played out.
They were ardent proponents of the idea that men and women can just be friends, even while married…right up until those friendships contributed to the break up of their union.
These friendship pairs were then separated, and each member of each pair was asked a series of questions related to his or her romantic feelings (or lack thereof) toward the friend with whom they were taking the study.