The Chase Theory

Can guys and girls be friends?

Short answer:

No.

Long answer:

I believe that men and women can’t be friends, regardless of attraction. I learned the two laws of men and women way back in preschool:

  1. Guys chase women.
  2. Women like to be chased.

Thus is the paradox of an attempted friendship. The guy’s instinct is to chase and the girl likes to be chased, so if the guy isn’t chasing, the girl isn’t going to be friends with him. If the guy is chasing but the girl refuses to indulge him, the guy isn’t going to be friends with her. And if somehow both parties fight their impulses and don’t chase and don’t want to be chase, then the friendship will die because there’s no spark to it.

Guys and girls quite simply can’t be friends.

You can find it, of course. You can fight your instincts. A temporary friendship can form while either or both parties fight those instincts. Here are some things that help prolong a temporary guy/girl friendship:

  1. Distance. I would say I’m something akin to a “friend” with an ex-girlfriend who is married and lives many states away. But we’re not really friends. We don’t hang out. We don’t have beers or play on the same kickball team or shower together. (What?)
  2. Indifference. Sometimes one person is so completely indifferent to the other that a temporary friendship can form. The problem is, even that dissolves when that person realizes that they get along with this other person who they normally would not have considered as a friend, and meanwhile the other person is trying to convince the first person not to be so indifferent to them.
  3. Taken. If one or both people are dating or married to other people, a temporary friendship can form. Especially if you know and respect the person’s significant other. Oddly enough, I think this scenario is helped if both people are equally attractive. I’ve tried to be friends with less attractive women who have boyfriends, and it doesn’t work. They have, on occasion, gotten the wrong idea and wanted to “upgrade.” I know that sounds arrogant. But it’s definitely my perception. I actually think that equal (or close to it) levels of attraction help in any relationship, whether it’s friendship or a romance.

Given all that, I still think it’s temporary. After a certain point, the guy is going to lose interest if he can’t chase, and the girl will lose interest if she isn’t being chased. The sad thing is, I think men and women can benefit from opposite-sex friendships. I guess it makes all those temporary friendships all the more worthwhile.

I’ll also say this: Be open and honest about your intentions with your temporary opposite gender friends. If you want to flirt and pursue them, do it, and be up front about what you’re doing. Don’t toy with women–they deserve better than that. And ladies, don’t toy with us men. If you truly want to be friends, so be it. But if you want to be the type of friends that end up in the shower someday after kickball practice, just say that. Or if you’re pretending to be friends for a while so you can convince the guy that he should date you, just tell him. Maybe you won’t be friends afterward, but at least you’ll safe both parties a lot of time and heartache.

Last, there is one good thing that can come of a guy and a girl who attempt to be friends: They can fall in love, stop being friends, and become a couple. Guy chases girl, girl likes being chased, they catch each other’s hearts and make a go of it. Everybody’s satisfied and happy.

What do you think: Can guys and girls be friends? I’ll be honest–I’m probably not going to believe you. So prove me wrong.

Fellow blogger Penelope and I both approached this question from our respective male vs. female perspectives.  Head over to Penelope’s blog to read the female point of view!