Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

Can men and women be friends?


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



Is five the magic number of friends?


Twenty things men are asking about Fifty Shades of Grey


10 worst foods to eat on a first date



Anxious? Stylist explores the paralysing effects of anxiety

Stylist explores this modern affliction ahead of World Mental Health Day

06 Oct 2015

The five most liked photos on Instagram are all by women

If our Instagram news feed were an art gallery, these would be the showstoppers by Sejal Kapadia

06 Oct 2015

Grooms share what they're thinking of when their bride walks the aisle

"My god, she's beautiful. Don't cry, don't cry... F***. I'm crying." by Sejal Kapadia

06 Oct 2015

Disney Princess hot dogs poke fun at re-imagined characters

“It was incredible to imagine these hot dogs doing all of the great passive things that the original princesses did” by Sejal Kapadia

06 Oct 2015

The new cupcake? Three mouthwatering marshmallow recipes

From pistachio praline to spiced gingerbread: by Amy Lewis

06 Oct 2015

What is 'phubbing' and how is it ruining our romantic relationships?

“Cellphone use can undermine the bedrock of our happiness – our relationships with our romantic partners.” by Harriet Hall

06 Oct 2015

The UK’s best new restaurants of October

From meatballs in Covent Garden to a new branch of Dishoom by Victoria Gray

06 Oct 2015

This is the biggest turn-off for online daters...

Would you date someone with this (rather frustrating) quality? by Penelope Travers

05 Oct 2015

The best female-led films at the BFI London Film Festival

From tales of friendship to inspiring documentaries by Harriet Hall

05 Oct 2015

Are you a shopaholic? Take the seven question test to find out

Find out if you can’t get enough of spending by Penelope Travers

05 Oct 2015