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InWhen Harry Met Sally posed a question that other pop-cultural entities have been trying to answer ever since: Can straight men and women really be close friends without their partnership turning into something else? According to The Officeno.
According to Lost in Translationyes. According to Friends … well, sometimes no and sometimes yes. Screenwriters have been preoccupied with this question for a long time, and according to a new study published in the Journal of Relationships Researchthe question is also likely to be on the minds of people whose romantic partners have best friends of the opposite sex. For the study, Eletra Gilchrist-Petty, an associate professor of communication arts at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, and Lance Kyle Bennett, a doctoral-degree student at the University of Iowa, recruited people, ranging in age from 18 to 64, who were or had been in a heterosexual relationship with someone who had a different-sex best Sex friends Huntsville.
The possibility of romance between friends of the opposite sex has not just fascinated writers and directors for decades; it has also been a frequent topic of study for psychologists and sociologists. According to prior studies, sexual attraction between cross-sex friends tends to decrease the overall quality of the friendship —and is also extremely common.
True platonic friendships between men and women of compatible sexualities have, of course, been common for what researchers believe to be a few generations now. Pop-culture narratives like these tend to reinforce the idea that the boyfriends or girlfriends of people with a different-sex best friend should always be on their guard, too—which is perhaps why, as Gilchrist-Petty wrote to me in anshe and Bennett found most of the participants in the study to be surprisingly lukewarm on cross-sex best friendship as a concept.
This assumption appears to be pretty widespread. Gilchrist-Petty wrote to me in an that of all their findings, she was most surprised that engaged couples were the most skeptical.
Read: Why women so rarely propose to men. Stress can certainly be a risk factor for feelings of jealousy, Solomon noted. So to get controlling of a partner would would just seem like a way of coping. To consider the feeling of jealousy as something that may not necessarily have a corresponding action, she said, can help destigmatize it and clarify why people might be particularly vulnerable to it. But if people instead consider the feeling of jealousy as an opportunity to reflect on their own emotional state and what might be affecting it, it can be fruitful and enlightening.
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The Widespread Suspicion of Opposite-Sex Friendships