When you spot a man and woman together at a restaurant, café, a club or even the movies, what is the first thing that goes through your mind? You may actually think they are in a relationship. It is not uncommon for them to be mistaken for a couple. Many hold the belief that men and women cannot be platonic friends.
The truth of the matter is two people of different sexes can be friends with benefits. Contrary to the popular belief, the benefits in question have nothing to do with a sexual fling between the two. Consider having a friend of the opposite sex to realize the advantages of such an arrangement. The advantages are discussed below:
- Better understanding of your own partner: Lack of understanding and proper communication leads to the demise of many relationships. If you are among those who feel somewhat misunderstood in the relationship, you definitely need a friend of the opposite sex. Such a friend will give you a view based on what members of his or her gender value. Consequently, you will be more in touch with what your partner needs so as to salvage your relationship.
- Elimination of sexism views: Before you get to know someone of the opposite sex, you may be a perpetrator of gender stereotyping. For instance, if you are a man you may be of the opinion that women are weak. This belief will change when you get to know a woman for who she really is; her dreams, fears, hopes and desires. You will come to a realization that that specific woman you befriend is the strongest person you have ever met. The same applies to women; as a lady you may think men are heartless and without feelings. Upon befriending a man, you will realize that men too have feelings and compassion.
- Acquisition of new skills: A man and woman can definitely teach other new skills. Activities commonly associated with a specific gender can actually be shared with people of the opposite gender. A man is normally seen as strong and able to carry out mechanical asks such as fixing the lights, so can a woman if she is taught how to do it. A man can be taught how to cook, an activity commonly associated with women. The bottom line is to eliminate the apparent classification of skills into “man skills” and “woman skills” and make humanity to be more unified.
- Increased awareness on gender based violence: Modern times have come with problems and developments in equal measures. In as much as society continues to advance, vices such as gender based violence against women are on the rise. A man who befriends a lady gets a deeper understanding on the impact of such a vice. He gets to listen to a woman`s view on the issue and if the woman is directly affected, gets to empathize and assist in the healing process.
- Exchange of ideas: Men and women can exchange ideas on different platforms whether professional, academic or social. It is advisable to seek ideas from people of the opposite sex on such platforms so as to get a more objective view on issues. With people of our own gender, we tend to be quite subjective when confronted with an issue. On the other hand, if we seek the opinion of someone of the opposite gender, we are able to get a wider base for basing our conclusions.
This calls for a new mindset. For instance, you are at a party and meet attractive person, you do not picture a one night stand with them. Instead, you view the meeting as a shot at true friendship. This is not to say that you rule out the possibility of dating; as a matter of fact, you could end up in a long fulfilling relationship. It is simply an affirmation that platonic friendship is possible between a man and a woman.