Can men and women be just friends?

Your Life
Dr. Gelasia Marquez
December, 2013

Can men and women just be friends? Or was Billy Crystal right in When Harry met Sally when he says that it’s not possible without romantic feelings getting in the way?

Psychologist Linda Sapadin wrote about this topic: “The belief that men and women can’t be friends comes from another era in which women were at home and men were in the workplace, and the only way they could get together was for romance. Now they work together and share sports interests and socialize together.”

A valued friendship can be summarized in these terms: the tendency to desire what is best for the other; being honest even in situations where it may be difficult for others to speak the truth; the ability to go to each other for emotional support; and, more important, the ability to be yourself, express your feelings and make mistakes without fear of judgment. “A friend loves at all times ...” (Proverbs 17:17a).

What is the difference between a romantic relationship and a friendship? While a valued friendship must be an important component of a loving relationship, a loving relationship also consists of a profoundly tender, passionate affection between two persons.


Dr. Gelasia Marquez is a psychologist and family counselor.