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HindustanTimes Wed,30 Jul 2014

Just good friends?
Hindustan Times
July 26, 2012
First Published: 21:06 IST(26/7/2012)
Last Updated: 21:10 IST(26/7/2012)

Tell us something we didn't know. Men can't be just friends with women, say researchers. The sex thing gets in the way. But women can have platonic relationships with men, unless their own relationships are in trouble. So why are the researchers trying to tell us the obvious? For those of us who have seen When Harry Met Sally and Maine Pyar Kiya, no further validations are needed. Men tend to mistake affection from women as a little more than that. If the study had been done in India, we would have found somewhat different findings. A quick swing around on the roads will show that even when women just happen to be walking past, men mistake their indifference for interest. A few catcalls and whistles suggest that men have indeed misunderstood that the women would welcome their advances. This is strengthened by our movies in which the hero will pursue the uninterested woman with suggestive songs and looks.

Let us look further. Today, there is the theory of friends with benefits, men and women who can be physically intimate but still remain friends. We wonder if anyone has researched what emotions go into such relationships. But as some Hollywood movies on this subject show, such clinical intimacies are not always possible. But why must we discuss these things threadbare? It really takes all the fun out of life. Who wants to get into a relationship in the sure knowledge that the outcome is predictable?

Why don't we just go with the flow, you win some, you lose some. There is no pattern to the way men or women act. We all need a friend to natter to or on whose shoulder to weep on. But burdened by the research results, it is likely that none of us will ever make friends with the opposite sex. How boring the world would be. We suggest that we conduct a study on the lives of researchers. Now that would make for interesting reading.


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