and as everyone knows, the movie that best asked that question answered it with a resounding no.
but what if there is no attraction on the part of either party... can they be just friends then? or if they're both in relationships?
being the girl that has always had guys for friends (my three best friends from high school, one of my best friends from college, and several current great friends are all guys), I do truly believe that guys and girls can be just friends...
there may have been some non-platonic attraction at some point during the friendship on the part of one or both of the parties... for instance I thought my good friend M (who is now married to an amazing woman with two beautiful daughters) was the absolute cutest boy in the world when I was in about 3rd grade.
I also was originally interested in dating another good friend... but he had a girlfriend at the time. later I found out he, too, was interested in dating me... but the timing gods were probably just looking out for us. we were definitely meant to be only great friends.
and what of those attractions that do go beyond "just friends" at some point?
I've been through a few of those... and some of those guys are still my best friends. one was a few amazing non-dates with a very good friend, that luckily is still my very good friend. another was a random college make-out session with a guy I only knew through a friend who turned into a great friend. but, maybe I just got lucky in those cases, I think once a friendship crosses the strictly platonic line, things can get weird...
I've been there, done that, too.
in fact a couple of those were recently... for whatever inexplicable reason, a couple of my friends have become not-so-platonic this year. one was definitely an aided-by-too-much-vodka evening. after a night out with a group of friends, my friend OhThoseEyes ended up crashing on my couch... after we kissed for a long time in the kitchen.
OhThoseEyes was someone I would have considered dating (if you couldn't tell by the nickname), and I'd heard through mutual friends that he had been interested while I was with my ex (the guy behind the little reminder).
but after the drunken event, OhThoseEyes acted very junior high. a little while after the "incident" I talked to him and gave him what I imagined to be a very non-scary opening if he was interested in seeing where things could go. but after that we didn't talk much for a few months. when we did hang out with mutual friends, he'd either be obnoxious towards me or not say anything.
lately things have been a little more normal. luckily my friendship with him seems to be close to getting back to the way it was. I (in my mind) think I was totally laid back about the entire thing, and knew it was his problem if one drunken night would completely ruin our friendship. so either OhThoseEyes realized the situation had become ridiculous or he realized I wasn't sitting home pining for him, and things appear to be getting closer to the way they were. I guess time will tell on that one...
the other one (AdorableSmile) is the best friend of my guy friend FrighteninglyBrilliant (just remembered there's a story there, too... hmmm...)
anyway, the situation with AdorableSmile is still rather complicated... one problem is that there was definitely an attraction when we first met. despite that, and because he lives in another state, is one of the biggest players I know, and because of a few other reasons, we'd become fairly good friends over the past few years.
well, FrighteninglyBrilliant got married a little while ago... and although the ex was originally going to go with me, by the time the wedding rolled around, he'd been gone awhile, so I headed for the destination wedding solo. when AdorableSmile got into town, it was apparent he was flying solo for the wedding, also.
AdorableSmile and I hung out, shamelessly flirting with one another (which was no different from before, except, for once, we were both single) and we ended up going beyond the platonic line... with a little help from another couple who is one of those happily-coupled-think-everyone-else-should-be-coupled* couples.
to give you a little idea... this is along the lines of a conversation I had with my friend AssertiveWoman (of course, after drinking excessive amounts of vodka):
AW: AdorableSmile is really cute, and he seems to be into you!um, yeah, it could... but... wait, was she only pushing this since I was so obviously the 3rd wheel in their condo, or did she really think I needed to have some fun... well, either way, she kept inviting AdorableSmile to join us in just about everything we did for the rest of the week.
me: yes, but he's, well, the biggest player I've ever met.
AW: well, you could be the one to change him, FrighteninglyBrilliant did say that AdorableSmile wanted to find what FB had found in his soon-to-be wife.
me: right, I have NO delusions there.
AW: well, at least it could be a little fun vacation fling?!
and one night on the way to the beach, AdorableSmile says to me... why do you have to think so much, why can't you just have fun?
and so I did... for the remainder of the trip...
but now things are very weird... and I know, what could that really matter given he doesn't even live in the same state, I knew he was a player, etc. and yes he's acting weird about it, and honestly the whole thing doesn't bother me, except that it appears my friend FB is upset with me, or disappointed in me... or something. and that's what breaks my heart. sure, I hope AdorableSmile and I remain friends, but if my friendship with FB is tarnished by having a little fun at his wedding, it definitely wasn't worth it...
and maybe that's really the key question. is it worth it to possibly permanently alter a friendship for the sake of a potential fling or relationship?
I think in some cases it is, to see if there's something amazing there, beyond the friendship. (the most amazing relationships I've ever had have been with friends, whether we started the non-platonic part as friends, or ended it as friends, or both.)
but in other cases it's best to let the brief moment (or week) of vodka-induced bad judgement pass, keeping the friendship intact. I don't regret anything I've written about above, well, unless my friendship with FB is forever altered, then I will definitely regret not thinking through to the outcome and just having fun.
I suppose I need to find out if FB is uncomfortable or disapproving or whatever, and make sure everything is ok with our friendship, but I'm not good at bringing up those things with guy friends... guess it's time to get better about it!
after reading this over, I realized that I may sound a bit, um,
* if you want to read a story about some other happily-coupled attempts at similar couplings... read this.