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Can men and women ever be just friends?

young friends_in_cafe_31_08_12Countless films and TV dramas base their entire premise on the sexual tension surrounding this infamous question. The Guardian Soulmates dating website answers the query once and for all

Different groups of friends are likely to have conflicting views on this age-old question. Females with a large circle of male friends will undoubtedly say yes. But almost everyone will have a tale to tell of the consumption of one too many beverages and the subsequent crossing of the line between friendship and the tumultuous ground beyond. Whether that drunken night leads to anything more is likely to raise even further speculation and the making or breaking of a relationship between ‘mates’.

While the assumption might be that the jury will lie firmly on the ‘no’ side, claiming men and women as mutually exclusive or fully inclusive, new research has suggested otherwise. Indeed, according to a new survey conducted by Guardian Soulmates men and women can be the best of friends without stepping a toe over the line.

When asked the question:  can men and women have a platonic relationship? 83% answered yes. And, unlike many surveys that include small print at the bottom siting a grand total of 20 people as the respondents quizzed, Guardian Soulmates asked the famed question to 700 people.

So, what swayed the 700? Age, apparently, is a key factor in the relationship equation. The older a person is the more likely they are to agree that men and women can just be friends. 86% of the over 55s surveyed gave the query a resounding thumbs up, in comparison to the marginally lesser figure of 82% for the 18-34 age group. So, with age comes wisdom and a non-sexual empathy for the opposite sex, according to The Guardian.

And the Soulmates’ survey didn’t end there. The online dating website also probed into the notion of love at first sight. And, just like the affirmative report on male and female friendship, a third of the Guardian’s respondents answered yes. 34% said they did believe in love at first sight. But, more interestingly, 8% more men than women confirmed their stalwart belief in it.

If only Valentine’s Day was sooner so we could put the notion of romantic males to the test.

Picture credit: Shutterstock 

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