It’s long been established that men and women can be friends. But a new study suggests the more compelling question is: Should they?
Researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire plumbed the opposite-sex relationships of more than 400 adults, ranging in age from 18 to 52, and found attraction was both common and potentially costly. Across all but one demographic, in fact, the more attracted a person was to their friend, the less satisfied they were with their current romantic relationship.
“Attraction in friendship is happening, and it’s persistent,” says lead author April Bleske-Rechek, associate professor of psychology.
“I’d venture to say, based on all our data, that in the majority of [opposite-sex] friendships there’s at least a low level of attraction. And if it’s coming more from one friend than the other, it’s probably the guy.”
Because opposite-sex friendships are a novel concept, evolutionarily speaking, Bleske-Rechek believes people’s…
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