I have done a post in the past based on the importance of managing and nurturing healthy fruitful friendships. There's always the give and take within the relationship that creates a balance. It sounds simple enough: you do your part you maintain the friendships you most value. But as of late I've encountered various scenarios within a timeless conundrum that males and females have faced far beyond a time period that I could think to mention. The paradox of male and female platonic relationships seem to be facing great scrutiny within my dogmatic group of friends and acquaintances. I have personally always been a fan of labels. I believe that clearly stating what something is or isn't is very important to the growth and health of all types of relationships whether it be family related, friend related, or a more intimate relationship. The major problem that lies within labeling something is the misuse or mislabeling of that relationship. This is what gives male/ female friendships a bad name, because honesty is not at the forefront of communication, but instead reality is blinded by false identification.
As always honest communication is the key to any successful type of relationship. You can not move forward without stating exactly what it is that you want, what you want to accomplish, or where you hope to end up. That is the downfall for men and women who claim to be friends when they know there is more to the both of them. This lack of clear communication should not be a mental shackle that prevents us as a society from realizing that men and women can carry on a fruitful lengthy friendship without intimate or sexual tension. We have realized that after years of evidence that yes slavery is bad, racism still exists, prejudice and stereotypes are dangerous, yet we still can't accept in 2012 that a man and a woman can have conversations with out innuendoes or ulterior motives. Believing that a man will try and sleep with every female friend that he has, or that a female will allow all of her male friends into her pants is not only insulting but also quite preposterous.
Everyone has had their own experiences and will think in a certain manner about certain things because of those experiences. The reality that is often too difficult for us to accept is: being wronged by one person, or having a particular situation occur once maybe even twice in your life does not guarantee that it is true for everyone else. I have heard many arguments that claim once a sexual encounter has occurred it is impossible to continue any form of friendship beyond that, or it will always be at the back of both parties minds. I have also heard that once emotions have reached a certain level or have the potential to reach that particular level that friendship is impossible. Personally I do not know any one to own a monopoly on the truth, or for all feelings to remain infinite therefore I can only go by what I personally see and what I specifically hear. I take the word of the person that I am communicating with as they are fifty percent of this friendship, and I take my friendships seriously. If it is a friendship that I want, that is made clear at the forefront, and this communication has been key in all of the male friendships that I have been able to maintain for 10+ years. I am not saying it is an easy feat, or easy for other people especially significant others to understand once they have a particular mindset in place. I do however feel that it is the duty of both parties in this situation to make it clear what is going on between them. There is no need to constantly defend the friendship, but clarification must be made for those living with a slanted mind frame. I've seen women and men get lost in intimate relationships causing them to digress from all human contact because of a lack of trust and communication on their part. The unhealthiness of this situation is not only crystal clear it should also be saddening to think that your friendships do not contain the strength to make it through the discrepancies and negative on look from societies judgmental eye.
In my short twenty four years on this planet I have seen and heard plenty of conflicting stories, experienced heartbreak, and lived to tell the story. This does not make me an expert on anything, nor does it give me the right to pass judgement on anyone's situation whether it be similar to anything I've experienced or not. I believe nothing is impossible therefore I believe a man and a woman can be friends and just that, because it is a life that I am living. And even if I wasn't, it doesn't matter what has happened in the past, doesn't matter who's liked whom, who's slept with whom, because the past is not where I choose to live. The only advice I can give is to be honest and label things accurately. If someone is your friend then that is what you call them. I do not suggest running around calling everyone a friend, or claiming a friendship when you know that it is more than just that. Be mindful of the energy that you put out there because it just so happens to have a way of sneaking back around to the source.