Can a Man and Woman be “Just Friends”?

You know, you may be the first attractive woman I’ve not wanted to sleep with in my entire life.

That’s wonderful, Harry.–When Harry Met Sally

I’ve often contemplated this question and I can honestly say, yes. I’ve had the good fortune of having “Harry” in my life for the last 13 or 14 years. We have a lot of the same interests, senses of humor, ADHD, Anxiety Disorders, love for music and quotes. We try to be philosophers but we’re way too dorky for that. We LOVE to talk. WAY TOO MUCH! We also share an emotional bond. I’m not sure why, but we do. We care very deeply about many things. Each other, our loved ones, good causes, and well, just life in general…. I’m truly blessed to have him in my life.

When “Harry” and I were first getting to know each other we went to lunch at this cute little Chinese restaurant just off of North Campus. I being a constant over-sharer decided to tell him about this incredible program that I went to called the Anxiety and Panic Disorder Program at UM. I explained my fears of death and dying. How I couldn’t even leave my house because I was so afraid that I was going to die on my way to, at, or on my way home from work. My fears were irrational, but for me they were very real. I had terrible agoraphobia. As soon as I walked out of the house, I would become physically ill.  It was horrible. Anyway to make a long story (see, I talk way too much!) short, I ended up in this great program and found my way out of the endless spiral of daily anxiety and panic attacks. I was able to enjoy my life again.

After I was finally done talking about myself, I let “Harry” talk. He then shared his story with me. He suffered from the same thing! Had for years and years. I knew right then that I’d found a kindred spirit. I had also found a broken birdie that I could help fix (one of my specialties). He called the hospital and got into the program. It changed his life; made him better. He leaned on me for support and I gladly gave it. Our friendship blossomed and we looked to each other more and more for support, not just for anxiety but other things too.

I admire “Harry” because he is always trying to become a better person. What he doesn’t realize, or maybe he does (hell I don’t know, he’s a dude so he doesn’t share everything), is that he is one of the most thoughtful men I have ever known. He proves it to me time and time again. I would trust him with my life, I really would. He has this gift to calm and soothe you, even at your most agitated. It really is a gift…..

He has  never let me get away with kicking myself in the ass. He will build me up, but he will be the first to tell me I’m being a dumb ass. There’s only 4 people in my life that I will let call me a crazy bitch, and he’s one of them. If he tells me I’m acting like a nutty stupid head I’m going to listen and straighten up. His opinion and words are something I truly take to heart.

There have been times in our relationship when I’ve looked at him and thought I was in love with him. But he would just tell me to lighten up, because it would be like kissing his sister. Plus I’m married to a really groovy guy that has put up with me for 22 years. And he is married to a sweetheart that for some reason puts up with him. I think just his love of punny jokes would send me screaming for the hills….. And we are WAY too much alike in some respects. ADHD and Anxiety Disorder sufferers should not be in relationships with one another! The freaking out and lack of focus is just a recipe for disaster!

We have a symbiotic relationship, he and I. He’s a clownfish and I’m an anemone. We benefit from each other somehow. I also honestly believe that God brought us together for a reason. I’m a huge believer in fate, not just chance and timing. I love this friendship we have, this connection. We get it, and our spouses are cool with it. Some people don’t understand it, think that your best friend is supposed to be your spouse. I’ve got the good fortune of having many best friends, and “Harry” is one of my dear ones. In my heart of hearts, I know he always will be…..

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4 thoughts on “Can a Man and Woman be “Just Friends”?

  1. You’re lucky that you and harry just happen to be married to wonderful persons. Otherwise, I don’t think a man and a woman can ever be eternally friends. But that’s just my opinion.

    Cheers from California.

  2. ok, first off, I had no idea you had that problem and I’m so glad you got help for it….wow…what a dibilitation…
    I also have a male friend that i’m very close to. I was actually friends with his wife for years, we went to school together…but now, i very seldom talk to her….(she’s a bit of a hot mess) but him and I email DAILY!!!!!! I adore him. he has a huge heart!!! And we have the same sick-ass humor.
    My husband loves him also, but is not nearly as close to him as I am.
    I forget he’s a man…I really do….so I do think you can have friendships that arent sexual with the opposite sex…..in fact, I encourage it!!!!!!

    • Thanks my dear for the wonderful comment. Everyone should have a friend that is of the opposite sex. My husband has many, many female friends. I’m not threatened by it in the least. He’s a good, good man and I know that he loves the hell out of me. I have no fears of him leaving me for someone else and my husband feels the same way about me. We nurture these relationships because it makes us better to each other. There’s no jealousy. It just makes sense! Keep reading me gentle reader. I so appreciate it!

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