We already know that science thinks that men and women can’t be friends, but now it seems they shouldn’t be — if attraction is involved. A new study found that attraction between people in opposite-sex friendships is more of a burden than a joy. 32% of participants claimed the attraction was a problem, while only 6% said it was a plus.
This might seem obvious, but some of us have spent time in opposite-sex friendships, thinking it was a good thing. Maybe we were hopeful the friendship would turn into more. Maybe we were so blind to the butterflies that fluttered in our stomachs when our buddy-pal was around, that we didn’t realize that friendship was detrimental.
I can imagine this would be a huge problem for people like Uncle Jesse, who are just so wildly attractive that he can’t be friends with anyone because everyone is attracted to him. What are those people supposed to do, science? Sit in a cave? I’m waiting.
It’s not only detrimental to the buddy-roos involved, mind you. This sort of attraction-fueled friendship hurts romantic relationships, too. Just imagine if Uncle Jesse had become close with Aunt Becky’s attractive female co-worker — Aunt Becky would have gone bananas, surely.
It’s not Uncle Jesse’s fault, though. The researchers hypothesized that interacting with a member of the opposite sex instinctually triggers mating strategies that evolved tens of thousands of years ago. THERE IS NOTHING YOU CAN DO.
Science seems to be reminding us that yes, friendship is awesome. But it also has a huge impact on who we are, how we treat others, and our romantic relationships. It’s big. Be friends with people who make you the best version of yourself. And if they don’t, (as much as I hate to say this) their friendship might not be worth it.