Kucing Gatal Speaks

Monday, July 04, 2005

Can A Man & Woman Be Just Friends?

As promised, here is my response to an anonymous reader's query, posted in the comments section of this post.

Dear Kucing Gatal, ur blog is truly whiff of fresh air. I have a question for u. can u please tell me whether there is actaully such thing as "platonic friendship" between men & women (as in heterosexual males and females). it's been bugging me. help.


Kucing Gatal says:
Dear Anonymous,

Thank you for your kind compliment. I hope the air doesn't start becoming stale and smelly soon, like it does in so many blogs that start out promisingly.

Now for your question. The short answer is yes. Of course men and women can be just friends. HOWEVER, there are conditions attached.

For instance, you can never be just friends with someone who is gorgeous. Think about it: you're out with him/her, you're bound to notice all the stares & catcalls he/she is getting. Then your brain shuts off, pheromones kick in, and before you can say Booyah, you start lusting after this person you've, up until now, never really considered as a member of the opposite sex. Heaven help you if you've been out drinking with him/her, for the next thing you know, you would have spilled your guts (hopefully not literally), sobbed out some pathetic statement like "I've always loved you", received a disdainful stare or worse, a slap, and then the dreaded line is delivered: "I only see you as a friend, nothing more". Your ears are ringing, you're standing there wishing the ground would open up and swallow you, and you wonder if you can ever have things back the way they were before you opened your big mouth. In situations like this, best to cut and run. You're always going to have that hanging over your heads, and that's going to make for some mighty awkward moments in the future.

Also, you must be fully prepared that this platonic friend of yours is eventually going to find a life partner. Now if you're a social butterfly, that's fine and dandy, no big loss if he/she can no longer spend all their shopping/eating/movie-watching moments with you. But if he/she is your one true friend, and no one else wants to get close to you because you smell funny or you spit when you talk or boogers are always hanging out of your nose, then this is a major loss in your life. Would you be able to handle it when he/she says, "Listen (insert name here), I've really enjoyed having you as my personal leech all this time. But now I've met (insert bastard/bitch's name here) and I want to spend as much time with (bastard/bitch) as possible. I hope you understand. We'll still meet up, just not as regularly. Oh, and of course, (bastard/bitch) will be there as well." If this brings tears to your eyes, and you have visions of impaling said bastard/bitch to the spikes of the fence outside the Agong's Palace, then you need to get counselling or better still, leave the country. Malaysia is a small place, and you're bound to one day bump into him/her with bitch/bastard clinging on to him/her and you may not be able to stop yourself from launching into a verbal attack or hurling yourself into them.

You may not have any sexual/romantic feelings for this friend of yours, but a true platonic friendship means you will be able to see them happy with someone else, without feeling any jealousy, and genuinely be happy for them. You don't mind that they have no time for you, and you don't mind that they do not name their firstborn after you. And you'll be there when bastard/bitch dumps your friend, allowing him/her to sob on your shoulder while you're plotting how to burn down bastard/bitch's house with them in it. That's true friendship.

Some people insist that they're in a platonic friendship but in reality, they secretly desire the other person. They maintain the friendship, hoping that over time, the other person will desire them too. Sometimes this happens, and everything works out, but sometimes it doesn't, and you're left heartbroken without ever having revealed your feelings. Things that he/she says, such as, "Hey so-and-so asked me out, what should I wear?" stab your heart over and over again, and you stand there with a fixed smile on your face, making wardrobe suggestions. If you can deal with this kind of emotional torture, then by all means, stick around and continue hoping. Kucing Gatal wouldn't, mental health is far more important. Besides, plenty of fish in the sea. And for those who say "No, you don't understand, he/she is the most special person on earth!", let me tell you, there are PLENTY of special people around. The only reason you haven't discovered this is because you are pining for this friend of yours and won't give others a chance.

Now, there is another kind of friendship: the best friend with benefits. By this I mean you two are the best of friends and do everything together. And then one day you both get drunk/high, and end up making out and then the next day find yourselves in the same bed, butt naked. Now, how you deal with this situation will affect your friendship forever. You can either laugh about it and shrug it off and swear it won't happen again, or you can scream in horror, get dressed, dash out and never see your friend again. Or you can just say, "Well that was good, call me the next time you get horny" and continue the friendship as before. The last option means you're both best friends with benefits. You're both mature enough to realise that you don't want a relationship with each other, you just want a quickie every now and then when no one else is available. This is a sort-of platonic friendship, the kind that most guys dream of.

To summarise, if you can maintain a friendship with a member of the opposite sex, and not have any emotional involvement that results in jealousy/one-sided desire, then you've got yourself a platonic friendship.

Hope this helps,
Kucing Gatal

Till next time, this is Kucing Gatal signing out with a platonic Meow.


  • Platonic relationship can also turn out to be play for one and tonic for the other.

    By Blogger Bustaman, at July 04, 2005 10:01 AM  

  • i dont know about others out there, but it's just plain impossible (in the long run). it is always meant to be that guys are attracted to women... the fact that the platonic relationship started initially was because of some attractions... yes, maybe it will last for some time, but it just doesnt work in the long run. though you look at him / her as just friends...but once you often hang around with him / her, you'll start to realize his quality, ad tolerate his ugliness which eventually trns out to be... either good or bad... i ve seen enough platonic relationships turned ugly where eventually one side will start to blow things up! but there is a good ones too...they were married now! i mean... i just dont believe it, but hey! that's just me...

    By Blogger Panjang, at July 04, 2005 12:49 PM  

  • hmmm...

    imho, i think platonic relationships do exists. i mean, i've got several very good male friends - a few are even married, and i'm on pretty good terms with their wives! sometimes, friends of the opposite sex just understands you better...

    By Blogger zyrin, at July 04, 2005 3:21 PM  

  • I think it depends on how you look at it. My best friend of 28 years is a guy and we have still remained good buddies. I have lots of guy friends and had remained very good friends with no conditions attached etc.....just basically hang out and catch up with each other kind of thing

    By Blogger mystic, at July 04, 2005 3:56 PM  

  • it doesnt matter as long as u want to be a friend of his or her.

    By Blogger asyraf, at July 04, 2005 4:11 PM  

  • Hi Kucing Gatal, me again. I've a few (platonic) friendships until one of it turned sexual and as time goes by, the friendship part changed on both sides. No words of confirmation were uttered but the manners the friendship developed thereafter turned into something *more* but it's complicated because there's 3rd party involved. It's messing both sides now. how to tackle this prob?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 04, 2005 10:17 PM  

  • Bustaman: That's hilarious! I shall plagiarise that, can?

    Truth Seeker: I respectfully disagree, I think there are plenty of real platonic friendships out there, I myself have formed a few.

    Zyrin & Mystic: Totally agree with you.

    Anonymous: Hmmm, I'm assuming that the sexual bit was consensual ... read the bit about 'best friends with benefits', your relationship sounds like that. I need to know more though, especially about this third party, in order to dish out even more advice ;)

    By Blogger Kucing Gatal, at July 05, 2005 8:25 AM  

  • yes mr bustamann, as I said it was just me. looking from the other comments, maybe i am still leaving in a community with different norms and perceptions...

    By Blogger Panjang, at July 06, 2005 11:18 AM  

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