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CULTURE

Everyone's Favorite F-Word: You've Just Been 'Friend Zoned'

Can you be 'just friends'?

We all know this talk. It can start a variety of ways.

1. "Hey, can we talk?"

2. "I really like you, but…"

3. "I think we should see other people."

4. "How do you feel about just being friends?"

Here's what happened. It was going so great. There was chemistry, passion, and even a shot at something greater. But one party is ready to move on. Is it possible?

Back in the day, the answer was clearly, "No." Psychologist Linda Sapadin poses an example. Take heterosexual men and heterosexual women. In the olden times, when men largely occupied the workspace and women stayed at home, their interactions were more often than not, for romantic purposes. But now, with a cultural shift bringing men and women into the same workplaces, the social contract demands that they socialize for not just romantic purposes.

The stereotype is also perpetuated by the media. (Cue, "Friends with Benefits".) With movies, TV shows, and books showing the repeated (and often hilarious) impossibilities of cross-sex friendships, it kind of knocks it into our brains.

But it could be a matter of what side you're on. According to a study, researchers found women to be stronger believers in the fact that cross-sex relationships could be platonic. Men, on the other hand, believed in romantic possibilities, and also (sometimes false) mutual attraction.

And anecdotal evidence might be the strongest stuff out there. The possibility of successful cross-sex friendships is not for everyone. Sometimes one party will always be harboring stronger feelings, but pretend everything's fine and dandy. But staying in a relationship just for the sake of a relationship is never the right move. Honesty can hurt, but it saves everyone extra heartbreak in the end.


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