Purely platonic dating

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He can be reached at garethideas AT or Twitter @garethideas. Ward is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University.His doctoral research is focused on the relationships between technology, cognition, social relationships, and self-esteem, and he worked briefly as a scientific consultant for a dating website.

He can be reached at garethideas AT or Twitter @garethideas. Ward is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University.His doctoral research is focused on the relationships between technology, cognition, social relationships, and self-esteem, and he worked briefly as a scientific consultant for a dating website.

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To the outside observer, it seems clear that these vastly different views about the potential for romance in opposite-sex friendships could cause serious complications—and people within opposite-sex relationships agree.

In a follow-up study, 249 adults (many of whom were married) were asked to list the positive and negative aspects of being friends with a specific member of the opposite sex.

Men were also more willing to act on this mistakenly perceived mutual attraction.

Both men and women were equally attracted to romantically involved opposite-sex friends and those who were single; “hot” friends were hot and “not” friends were not, regardless of their relationship status.

Males were significantly more likely than females to list romantic attraction as a benefit of opposite-sex friendships, and this discrepancy increased as men aged—males on the younger end of the spectrum were four times more likely than females to report romantic attraction as a benefit of opposite-sex friendships, whereas those on the older end of the spectrum were ten times more likely to do the same.

Taken together, these studies suggest that men and women have vastly different views of what it means to be “just friends”—and that these differing views have the potential to lead to trouble.In order to investigate the viability of truly platonic opposite-sex friendships—a topic that has been explored more on the silver screen than in the science lab—researchers brought 88 pairs of undergraduate opposite-sex friends into…a science lab.Privacy was paramount—for example, imagine the fallout if two friends learned that one—and only one—had unspoken romantic feelings for the other throughout their relationship.However, the possibility remains that this apparently platonic coexistence is merely a façade, an elaborate dance covering up countless sexual impulses bubbling just beneath the surface.New research suggests that there may be some truth to this possibility—that we may think we’re capable of being “just friends” with members of the opposite sex, but the opportunity (or perceived opportunity) for “romance” is often lurking just around the corner, waiting to pounce at the most inopportune moment.Variables related to romantic attraction (e.g., “our relationship could lead to romantic feelings”) were five times more likely to be listed as negative aspects of the friendship than as positive ones.However, the differences between men and women appeared here as well.THE AMERICAN HERITAGE® DICTIONARY OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE, FIFTH EDITION by the Editors of the American Heritage Dictionaries.Copyright © 2016, 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.Women, too, were blind to the mindset of their opposite-sex friends; because females generally were not attracted to their male friends, they assumed that this lack of attraction was mutual.As a result, men consistently the level of attraction felt by their male friends.

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