Men and women can be friends: but only when there’s mutual intent

If you fancy her, or him, you should probably not go there

Madelaine Lucy Hanson
5 min readJun 17, 2024

I have some really good male friends. I know some men who can’t see women as anything other than potential dates might scoff at that, but I really do. Men I’ve known for eight, ten, fifteen years who have never tried to have sex with me. Never touched my waist a bit too long in a hug. Never flirted with me or got upset when I dated someone else. Nope: these men ask me for career advice, share weird articles with me about folklore, grab lunch with me at the park, listen to my bad jokes, and discuss the upcoming election with me. Super platonic, normal, average friend stuff I’d do with any of my women friends. I’m absolutely confident these men don’t want to sleep with me, aren’t secretly pining after me, and see me as a sister. That’s why it works.

You can matter a lot to me without being a sexual part of my life

When it doesn’t work, and I’ve had this, as I’m sure many, many other people have: is when one party has romantic or sexual aspirations. I could go into men who pretend to be friends with women to try to sleep with them, but I could just as easily talk about my female friends who are convinced they can ‘make’ a man love them if they hang around long enough. I think this is more of a human thing than a gender thing: sometimes, you fall in love, or lust, with the wrong…

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Madelaine Lucy Hanson

27 year old with an awful lot to say about everything. Opinions entirely my own. Usually.