Malaysians open up on their close friendships with the opposite sex

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Administrative govt Jenn Y, 37, and salesperson KC Wee, 36, grew to become good pals after they had been working collectively at an organization in Kuala Lumpur eight years in the past. Subsequently, Wee left the firm and moved to Penang, however his friendship with Jenn continued.

“Yes, of course men and women can be friends. Why not?” they concur.

“We saw a rerun of the movie When Harry Met Sally many years ago, and it was on this topic of friendships between men and women. The main characters in the movie seemed to come to the conclusion that it was difficult for men and women to be just friends without expecting something more, but I think it depends on the situation,” says Jenn.

“If both parties are mature enough to handle a platonic friendship, then I believe it’s possible,” provides Wee.

Whether they’re males or girls, it’s pure for folks to change into pals after they’re on the similar wavelength and really feel comfy speaking with one another, says Family Therapy Association Malaysia vice-president Bawany Chinapan.

“People become friends because they are intellectually compatible, have the same interests and hobbies, and compatible personalities, and worthy character traits.

“For example, if you’re stuck and need help and your partner isn’t available, or you don’t have a partner, it’s natural that you call your friend who is ‘dependable’ because they’re always there for you,” says Bawany.

“It’s not whether they’re male or female, it’s about how you feel with this person, whether you feel safe with them. It’s someone that you can depend on and trust – that’s what a good friend means,” she says.

Lots in widespread

People become friends because they are intellectually compatible, have the same interests and hobbies, and compatible personalities, and worthy character traits. Photo: FreepikPeople change into pals as a result of they’re intellectually appropriate, have the similar pursuits and hobbies, and appropriate personalities, and worthy character traits. Photo: Freepik

Jenn and Wee used to hang around for sports activities membership actions whereas they had been working at the similar firm. They actually hit it off as a result of that they had loads in widespread and obtained alongside properly.

“Being friends with a guy gives you a wider perspective on life, says Jenn who is married and has a young child.

“I would sometimes ask his opinion about certain ‘guy’ stuff,” she says. “He’s more than a friend, he’s like family.”

When Wee is again to KL the place his mom lives, he’ll often contact Jenn. He additionally brings snacks from up north for Jenn and her household.

“I think that Jenn is one of sweetest persons I’ve ever known. She’s helpful, kind, gives good advice and always looks on the bright side.

“When my dad passed away several years ago, she was there for me. And during the MCO when I couldn’t return from Penang, she helped check in on my mum who lives in KL too. That’s what a friend means to me,” says Wee, who’s at present single however was in a long-term relationship when he was in his 20s.

“I’ve both male and female friends. But it’s different being friends with a woman, compared to being friends with another man,” he says, including that girls are usually “more nurturing” and it’s by means of his interactions with Jenn which have helped him change into a “better man”.

“I’ve learnt a lot about women and life because of her. Things like how to behave around a woman – how to be respectful and a gentleman, what women like and don’t like, understanding what women go through,” he provides.

What about jealous spouses?

It’s not whether they’re male or female, it’s about how you feel with this person, whether you feel safe with them. It’s someone that you can depend on and trust – that’s what a good friend means. Photo: FreepikIt’s not whether or not they’re male or feminine, it’s about how you’re feeling with this particular person, whether or not you’re feeling protected with them. It’s somebody that you could rely on and belief – that’s what an excellent buddy means. Photo: Freepik

“I think my future girlfriend or wife should be grateful because it (having a close female friend) kind of ‘prepares’ me to have a healthy relationship (with them) in the future,” says Wee. “So there shouldn’t be any reason for her to be jealous.”

“It’s good to have friends of the opposite sex because it makes you more open-minded,” he says.

Having pals of a special gender additionally broadens one’s perspective.

“If men are only friends with other men then how would you even know how to behave around someone of the opposite sex, and especially, when you get into a relationship – how would you know how to treat your partner?” he asks rhetorically.

When requested if her husband was involved about her friendship with Wee, she replies that she and her husband have a robust marriage and so they talk brazenly with one another.

“Although he was initially concerned that I was friends with ‘another man’, he was alright with it after meeting him,” she says. “We also don’t hang out that often, and usually, there are other people around too.”

Whether your partner feels uncomfortable about your friendship with somebody of the opposite sex, boils down as to if you belief your partner and your partner trusts you, says Bawany.

“It’s about trust and respect – if you have respect for your spouse, you’ll tell them about your life, what you’re doing, who you’re hanging out with – there’s that communication,” she says.

“This also helps prevent misunderstandings in case others tell your spouse they saw you with your friend because your spouse already knows who you went out with,” she provides.

Having stated all that, Bawany emphasises that if one is married, then to safeguard a romantic relationship, pals want to verify they don’t cross the line.

“If you’re tempted to blur the lines of friendship, then you have to ask yourself if there is anything in your marriage that’s missing that is making you seek fulfillment from outside,” she provides.

Bawany says that friendships would possibly flip into romances when wants aren’t met in a single’s (marriage) relationship, so it’s vital to deal with that.

“Firstly, think about what it is about your spouse that you cherish that you can’t find in any other friend of the opposite sex.

“Consider the experiences and journey you’ve had with your spouse that are precious, and the values that you have.

“Then ask yourself why you would want to jeopardise what you have,” she advises.

But, if each events are single, then there’s nothing mistaken if it progresses from friendship to a romantic relationship, she says.

“In fact, that’s the best combination – to be in a relationship with your best friend,” she says.

Friends are those with whom you share common interests, and whom you can depend on and trust – regardless of their gender. Photo: FreepikFriends are these with whom you share widespread pursuits, and whom you’ll be able to rely on and belief – no matter their gender. Photo: Freepik

Is there attraction?

“He’s like the brother I never had,” says Jenn. “But he treats me with more respect… because siblings usually would annoy each other,” she says and laughs.

“I don’t deny that she’s attractive, but I didn’t really think about it because she was already married when we first met,” says Wee.

“In order for a man and woman to have a friendship that’s platonic then they need to be mature enough to know where the boundaries are and not to overstep it,” they conclude.



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