It is not uncommon to hear the question posed: “Can a man and woman ever really just be friends?”
Those on Wilkes University’s campus are split on whether or not a male and female can be friends without ulterior motives, including sexual endeavors. Many males are of the opinion that a male-female relationship is difficult to maintain and not as bonding as a friendship with the member of the same sex.
Kendric Minnich, a senior undergraduate student within the Department of Environmental Engineering, agrees that males and females can have healthy friendships, but contests that these friendships are generally different in nature to friendships with members of the same sex.
“It seems common that a lot of guys become friends with girls because of an attraction to them, at least in the beginning,” said Minnich. “Regardless of how the friendship starts or whether ulterior motives exist, the bonds don’t seem as strong as the bonds built with your pals (of the same sex).”
Minnich finds that a friendship with a female can be as equally beneficial as any friendship, but said that there may be difficulty in finding comfortable common ground to relate to one another.
“Conversations and planning hang-outs can seem less organic with a member of the opposite sex,” Minnich said. “It may take some work in developing common ground.”
Despite the hesitation by some to form friendships with the opposite sex, there is another group of males who find friendships with females just as healthy as those with other guys. Evan Ensley, a junior undergraduate student within the Sidhu School of Business at Wilkes, is of this opinion.
“Even as a young kid, some of my best friends have been girls,” Ensley said. “Topics of conversation may be a little different but, as you do in any friendship, you tailor the conversations based on mutual interests and experiences.”
Ensley noted that issues may arise surrounding the way others view friendships of opposite sexes.
“A lot of people bring up dating when opposite sex friendships are seen,” Ensley said. “It’s usually not the intention and people suggesting that it seems romantic can really mess up the friendship.”
While Minnich and Ensley both agreed that healthy friendships with females are possible and can be of great value, the two both find that differences can exist making the friendship something that needs to be developed.
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