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Can men and women be friends?

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It's the age-old relationship question - can men and women truly be ‘just good friends’? According to a new survey conducted by Guardian Soulmates, they can.

While Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal's characters may have spent the whole of When Harry Met Sally debating it (only to fall in love with each other in the end, we might add), respondents to the Guardian Soulmates survey have put the ‘can men and women have a platonic relationship’ question to bed once and for all. Of the 700 respondents quizzed, 83% gave a resounding thumbs up to the idea.

Age apparently has an impact on the issue. According to the results, the older you are the more likely you are to agree that men and women can be friends, with 86% of over 55s in assent, in comparison to the marginally lesser figure of 82% for the 18-34 age group. So it seems that as well as gaining wisdom as you get older, you also gain a new-found platonic empathy for the opposite sex.

The online dating site also looked at the notion of love at first sight. Far from being a Hollywood-constructed fantasy, just over a third of Soulmates subscribers (34%) said that they did indeed believe in the idea, and even more interestingly, 8% more men than women agreed with the concept of it. Perhaps Mills & Boon has been targeting the wrong audience...

Sign up to Guardian Soulmates and receive 20% discount on subscription fees - exclusive to Stylist readers. If you're already a member you can claim the discount too. Click here to find out more

What do you think? Can men and women really be just good friends? Do you have a best friend of the opposite sex? And what do you think about the idea of love at first sight - do you agree with the 34% who said they believed in it? Tell us your thoughts on Twitter @StylistMagazine or in the comments section below

Image credit: Rex Features

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