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There are thousands of kinds of friendships in the world, the most complicated is the friendship between the opposite sex. Many people may have experienced this tangled feeling: your man/girlfriend has a so-called “confidant”, like a shadow, shrouded in your relationship. 

“Relationship riddles—-Friendship between the opposite sex”

What kind of friendship of the opposite sex Looks back on the history of human civilization, heterosexual friendship is actually a new thing. For most of history, there was no soil for the birth of heterosexual friendships due to the curing of gender roles and the inequality of the status of men and women. It is only in recent decades that equal friendship between men and women becomes a possibility. Some scholars summarize four main patterns of friendship between the opposite sex based on their own and each other’s attitudes in the relationship: – mutual attraction;

both they and each other have an interest in further development;

– desire (desire romance);

I want to further develop, but the other side is not interested;

– Rejection( reject romance);

I’m not interested in further development, but the other side is interested.

“Relationship riddles—-Friendship between the opposite sex”


Strictly Platonic: Neither side has any intention of further development; in these four modes, mutual attraction is more like an outpost of a romantic relationship, and the interaction between the two parties is more frequent; and cravings and rejections are like what we usually call “friend zone”, with one side intentionally and the other ruthless and forced to take a step back. Second, make friends first; probably only the last one can count as a “pure” friendship between the opposite sex.

So what is the reality? What is the proportion of “motivational insisting” in real-life heterosexual friendships? Some studies have found significant gender differences in this area. As you may have guessed, in a heterosexual friendship, men are usually the ones with the same motivation and less pure motives. A study surveyed 88 heterosexual friends to report how attractive they were to each other and to estimate how attractive they were (9 points rating). The results showed that in men’s eyes, the average score for each other’s attractiveness was 4.94, close to the mid-point of the scale (“moderate suction”), while for women it was only 3.94. Also, men overestimate their attractiveness in the other person’s eyes (self-rated 4.54), while women underestimate their attractiveness in the other person’s eyes (4.24 points). More interestingly, women’s thoughts are influenced by their relationship: whether they have a boyfriend or a girlfriend, women’s interest in heterosexual friends drops significantly. On the contrary, men, whether they have a girlfriend or a boyfriend, do not reduce their interest in friends of the opposite sex. This result is very much in line with the theory of evolutionary psychology on mate selection strategies. Due to physiological differences, men and women have developed different mate selection strategies over the course of tens of millions of years of evolution. Men’s strategy is to “spread the net” and mate as much as possible with different opposite sexes to increase the probability that their genes will spread. A woman’s strategy is to find a reliable partner and raise her offspring together, so she is more selective in choosing a mate and less willing to accept a short-term relationship. This gender difference may explain why the two sexes behave differently in heterosexual friendships.

“Relationship riddles—-Friendship between the opposite sex”

The challenge of maintaining heterosexual friendships No matter what reason people enter into a heterosexual friendship, it can be a difficult road. If you want to sustain this relationship for a long time, you need to address both internal and external challenges. The first is how to define such a relationship within a relationship between two people. As mentioned above, the attraction is an unstoppable topic in heterosexual friendships. Even if this relationship is not the cause of love interest, meet a people who make us appreciate, worth making friends, just right is the opposite sex, in repeated contacts, there will inevitably be secret feelings. This interest can be both physical and emotional, and more often than not. Once this happens, the relationship enters a state of uncertainty, and it does not collapse into one of many possibilities until a showdown between one direction and the other: perhaps escalating into a relationship, perhaps maintaining the status quo, perhaps adding sexuality to the existing relationship, perhaps split up. Where the relationship will go depends on several factors that cannot be generally agreed upon.

All in all, heterosexual friendships are in a delicate balance, and it may be futile to ask whether a heterosexual friendship is “pure”; In any case, heterosexual friendships do bring some benefits in themselves, such as helping us understand the idea of another gender, providing special emotional support, and so on. As to whether these benefits are worth paying for, to endure the difficulties and obstacles on the road, it is a problem of people, different views. 

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