Can men and women ever be just good friends

The only long term male friends I have are either married, gay or related to me.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had plenty of boys who are friends over the years. But while my closest female friendships have thrived, I’ve never been able to hold on to a best Straight Bloke Mate (SBM). Something always gets in the way. And, like in Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman in their new movie, No Strings Attached, that ‘something’ is usually a snog…and a fumble.

Take Mark. We had the perfect boy/girl friendship. I swapped tales of work life and dating strife…until we got drunk and accidentally brushed lips as we hugged goodbye. Before I could say, ‘When Harry Met Sally,’ we were full-on snogging.

For a moment, I wondered if I’d missed a trick. After all, we were both single and got on brilliantly. Maybe he was The One.

But 10 seconds into it, I had to admit the truth…he just wasn’t right for me. So I pulled away and grimaced. Mark, thankfully did the same.

We never spoke of it again but we soiled our friendship. I felt like I’d just discovered Justin Bieber had a secret crack habit (by the way, he probably will have in a few years time). What had once been pure was now tainted, and there was no going back.

Especially when Mark got a girlfriend. And who could blame him? She provided the added extras, minus the shame.

You’d think Mark would’ve taught me a lesson. Did he? No.

Next came Liam. He had a girlfriend and I had a boyfriend. What could go wrong? Everything.

When I split with my fella, Liam blurted out he had feelings for me. I told him I’d never see him as anything more as a mate. He reasoned that if ‘we’d met five years ago’, when he ‘had more hair’, we would ‘probably got off with each other’.

And that was that for us. Though not me and SBM’s.

Next I became friends with Adam, a guy at work. When I was dumped by the bloke I’d been seeing, Adam was my first port of call. For the next few weeks, he became the distraction I needed…until we ended up in bed.

What started as a rebound snog turned into a three and a half year relationship. When we broke up amically, we agreed we wouldn’t let the fact we’d seen each other naked ruin everything. So one morning, when I found out Steve Irwin had died (we shared a mutual obsession with him), I immediately called Adam.

It was only when he comforted me that I realised how sleepy he sounded. Basically, I’d rang him at 07:30 am…and he was in bed with his girlfriend Molly. I mean, what sort of psycho calls at that time in the morning crying over a man she’s never met?

It then occurred to me that Adam and I could never just be ‘friends’. We would always be exes.

While some mates disagree with my theory, the ones who do have SBM’s admit it’s not easy. New partners are often suspicious of the relationship…although they can’t see why.

I got together with my new boyfriend on our third night out, roughly 30 minutes after we’d had the ‘we’re just going to be mates’ chat.

I rest my case.

by Susan Floyd

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