Matchmaker Says: Does Attraction Trump Friendship?

Original Art by Malika Favre

Original Art by Malika Favre

When readers submit good questions through our Heartalytics ask page, we send them directly to our team of matchmakers.

These tidbits of insight usually end up being funny and informative- and everyone can benefit from a little extra matchmaker expertise! You can find this series tagged as “Matchmaker Says,” if you would like to read more.

This week’s question: Can men and women be purely platonic friends, even though there’s the possibility of sex involved?

Michele Presley, Tawkify Marketing & Sales VP + Certified Matchmaker Says:

Who says you can’t be friends with someone you’re attracted to – you can. And who says you have to have sex with everyone you’re attracted to – you shouldn’t.

The “possibility” of sexual connection in some form is always there, all around us, every day as human, sexual beings and is probably at least a microscopically small element of our “attractions” to various people – including our friends of either gender. But, that undercurrent of attraction is just one facet of the interpersonal dynamic unique to any friendship.

The “possibility” of sex need not preclude true friendship between attracted buddies, therefore. In a perfectly Zen way, it’s good to look at it, acknowledge that it’s there – that it’s part of the experience of the friendship – and then let it go. You can either “go there” and change the nature of the friendship, or not. Perseverating on the attraction, on the other hand, is to let it overshadow everything else connecting two people who both choose to remain friends.

Matchmaker Sabrina Says:

As with all romance-related issues, it all comes down to communication.  Are you and your platonic friend willing to be honest with each other — and yourselves — about where your heart lies?  If feelings develop on one side or the other, are you willing to have a blunt conversation about where your relationship is headed?   If there is mutual sexual attraction, and the friendship is already strong, then it’s probably time to have that conversation.

This happened to me a couple months ago, so I speak from firsthand experience lol.  We remained friends, but definitely talk about the intricacies of our dating lives less than before.

Matchmaker Melody Says:

It seems to me people tend to put those we feel sexual attraction for in a different category than friendship, as if we couldn’t be sexually attracted to someone and like them as people enough to hang out, but not want a relationship with them.

I agree with Sabrina that it has to do with communication. You can be attracted and choose to act on it or not, and still be friends. It just takes emotional management and making those conscious decisions.

I have plenty of friends with which there’s acknowledged attraction, but we chose not to play in that field due to different reasons.

The weird thing is when the attraction is there but it’s not in the open, especially if one of the people isn’t feeling it. It can get really uncomfortable then.


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