Dating and same sex friendships
A few theories have been developed to explain the existence of such friendships.
Research has been done on why men and women initiate these relationships, how they are perceived by others, implications for children with cross-sex friendships, among others.
In a “mutual romance” cross-sex friendship, one of the participants wants a romantic relationship with the other individual and believes that the other individual wants the same.
In “strictly platonic” relationships, the individual believes that the other simply wants to be just platonic friends with no thought of romance.
Current mating strategies unconsciously motivate individuals to enter into cross-sex friendships because it gives them more opportunities to mate.
As a result, individuals within these cross-sex friendships often develop attraction to the other individual, even when that attraction is completely unintended.
Cross-sex friendships can also create problems for those involved if either or both have or ever had any romantic feelings for the other.
Cross-sex relationships can often be a cause of complications because of the potential for romance or sexual interactions.This is especially true for younger adults who are attracted to a cross-sex friend, because these people report less satisfaction in their current romantic relationship.In addition, social learning theory predicts that if cross-sex friendships are a result of the desire for sexual access and protection, this is because they are imitating other cross-sex friendships.This demonstrates one way in which cross-sex friendships serve, in part, as a long term mating acquisition strategy.Having more opportunities to mate is an evolutionary advantage, however, being attracted to a cross-sex friend creates negative social consequences.