A study published recently in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships found that — and get ready to have your minds blown — close (heterosexual) friends of the opposite sex can only in the rarest of Aladdin ruby circumstances maintain their platonic friendship without any weirdness, i.e. without one friend composing an at-long-last declaration of love by candlelight. Researchers surveyed more than 80 ostensibly platonic male-female friendships, and found that the men were often more attracted to their female friends than vice versa. This romantic ardor didn't dissipate if, say, either friend was already dating someone else, which finding Scientific American characterizes as "surprising," but which we might qualify as "indecisive." Men also thought (incorrectly) that their female friends were also secretly harboring major crushes.
Women, conversely, often exhibited less desire to become romantically enmeshed with their dude friends because they were already friends and life isn't a romantic comedy. This already flickering attraction was entirely snuffed out if dude-friend was dating someone else. Everyone has probably had a friend-crush before, and so knows that awkwardness can follow in the wake of repressed romantic feelings. That said, the moment a friend makes a very serious, adjective-riddled romantic appeal is usually the same moment that a friendship validates itself and simultaneously acquires a hilarious anecdote, or implodes like an outdated baseball stadium infested with rats and asbestos.
Attraction Between Friends of Opposite Sexes [Scientific American]
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