Can Men And Women Just Be Friends?

Two filmmakers at Utah State University seek to answer the question:

Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. michael reynolds says:

    Women, bless ’em, continue to believe that we’re better than we are. And we’re so not.

  2. Michael,

    Of course those are college girls. Give `em another 10 years (or less) and they’ll figure it out. Then the guys will be as screwed as the rest of us.

  3. Ben Wolf says:

    They can be friends if there’s no sexual attraction. Otherwise, no.

  4. michael reynolds says:

    @Doug Mataconis:
    True. They haven’t yet experienced the full disappointment that the male half of the human race can deliver.

  5. Chefmarty says:

    Film maker & meathead Rob Reiner already answered that one: In a word, No.

    From When Harry met Sally:

    Harry: You realize of course that we could never be friends.
    Sally: Why not?
    Harry: What I’m saying is — and this is not a come-on in any way, shape or form — is that men and women can’t be friends because the sex part always gets in the way.
    Sally: That’s not true. I have a number of men friends and there is no sex involved.
    Harry: No you don’t.
    Sally: Yes I do.
    Harry: No you don’t.
    Sally: Yes I do.
    Harry: You only think you do.
    Sally: You say I’m having sex with these men without my knowledge?
    Harry: No, what I’m saying is they all want to have sex with you.
    Sally: They do not.
    Harry: Do too.
    Sally: They do not.
    Harry: Do too.
    Sally: How do you know?
    Harry: Because no man can be friends with a woman that he finds attractive. He always wants to have sex with her.
    Sally: So you’re saying that a man can be friends with a woman he finds unattractive?
    Harry: No, you pretty much want to nail ’em too.
    Sally: What if they don’t want to have sex with you?
    Harry: Doesn’t matter because the sex thing is already out there so the friendship is ultimately doomed and that is the end of the story.
    Sally: Well, I guess we’re not going to be friends then.
    Harry: Guess not.

  6. Rachael says:

    @michael reynolds: no we don’t, we make you think that to boost your ego, then put ideas in your head and make you think they are yours. 🙂

  7. Rachael says:

    @Ben Wolf: unless the woman used to be a man, or resembles rosie o’donell, there is always a sexual attraction. unless, of course, they are gay.