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Can Men And Women Really Be Friends


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in america almost every single one of my good friends is male. i can call them up to chat, drop by their place, go hang out together in public, talk to them about their girls and vice versa- never crosses the line into a relationship. i just happen to connect really well with men whereas i find most women (in the US anyway) to be catty and competitive. so coming to thailand i find it really hard to deal with this mentality that "if i can't <deleted> you, then talk to you for what?" (i have actually had thai guys say that to me!) i find that relationships with men here become really confusing because even when my intentions are platonic, the guys think i am after more, and if they find out i am not, they just drop me like a hot potato. do other women in thailand manage to have good friendships with thai men? do thai women? just wondering if it is the guys i am meeting or if it really is a thai thing.

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I think that close friendships between adult male and female Thai people is not common. Most people assume a close relationship is an intimate one so I don't find it unusual that Thai men would assume that was the intent. Every local social event I have been to I have seen the men in one area socializing and the women in another. Occasionally there will be mixing (it certainly isn't rigid) but it is most certainly the norm.

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SBK, agree that in Thailand, or most of Asia for that matter, any close relationship between an adult male and female will be considered to be more than just platonic. As girlx prefers to have platonic relationships with men, so also I prefer to have platonic relationships with women and had many such relationships when I was younger living in the States. Here in Asia, I do have a few platonic relationships with women, but not many, and if I'm ever to meet them I must do so with my wife in toe or fear of rumors being started about me having a mia noi. Regardless of how much I emphasize to my Asian friends and colleagues that a relationship with a female is strictly platonic, they'll always insist on referring to her as my "girl friend".

I think the problem with girlx finding suitable males for a platonic relationship is two-fold. First, there are unfortunately a lot of guys in Asia with only one thing on their mind, and if you can't satisfy that one desire of theirs, you're just wasting their time. For guys that don't fall into that category, many of them are in a serious relationship with an Asian female and may not want to risk their partner getting suspicious over a platonic relationship.

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I'm sure that it's a common thing in Thailand , but do you realize just how jealous Thai girls are ?

Unless I knew the girl from before and she was completely unnattractive , I would not contemplate having a plutonic or any other relationship with another girl .

I fancy keeping my vitals too much .

Cheers ,

Jim .

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I'm sure that it's a common thing in Thailand , but do you realize just how jealous Thai girls are ?

Unless I knew the girl from before and she was completely unnattractive , I would not contemplate having a plutonic or any other relationship with another girl .

I fancy keeping my vitals too much .

Cheers ,

Jim .

"Plutonic" must mean "does not exist" since Pluto has been struck off the planetary register!

Jim, what you are describing is abuse. If your wife is so jealous that you fear talking with other women, then you are not allowed to be a whole person. No one person has the right to treat another in this way, since they are controlling that person's right to be themselves. I hope that you will find a non-confrontational way of addressing this issue with your wife so that you can both enjoy a social life without fear on both sides.

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I'm sure that it's a common thing in Thailand , but do you realize just how jealous Thai girls are ?

Unless I knew the girl from before and she was completely unnattractive , I would not contemplate having a plutonic or any other relationship with another girl .

I fancy keeping my vitals too much .

Cheers ,

Jim .

"Plutonic" must mean "does not exist" since Pluto has been struck off the planetary register!

Jim, what you are describing is abuse. If your wife is so jealous that you fear talking with other women, then you are not allowed to be a whole person. No one person has the right to treat another in this way, since they are controlling that person's right to be themselves. I hope that you will find a non-confrontational way of addressing this issue with your wife so that you can both enjoy a social life without fear on both sides.

No, a Plutonic relationship is one that has Plutonium (the stuff nuclear bombs are made out of) as their primary ingredient. The Plutonic friend gets nearby to your Thai gf/wife and the wife explodes like a nuclear bomb. :o

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I'm sure that it's a common thing in Thailand , but do you realize just how jealous Thai girls are ?

Unless I knew the girl from before and she was completely unnattractive , I would not contemplate having a plutonic or any other relationship with another girl .

I fancy keeping my vitals too much .

Cheers ,

Jim .

"Plutonic" must mean "does not exist" since Pluto has been struck off the planetary register!

Jim, what you are describing is abuse. If your wife is so jealous that you fear talking with other women, then you are not allowed to be a whole person. No one person has the right to treat another in this way, since they are controlling that person's right to be themselves. I hope that you will find a non-confrontational way of addressing this issue with your wife so that you can both enjoy a social life without fear on both sides.

It cuts both ways I am afraid . I don't fancy her engaging in conversation with guys either . If we are at a meeting or something together we can converse with opposite sexes , just that we don't go talking about relationships etc. as per the OP . But I could clearly see a problem with some girl showing up while she was away to discuss relationship problems , and her finding out from the neighbor or friend that called her even though it may be an innocent meeting between friends . I would also feel the same way if the shoe was on the other foot . I wouldn't go as far to call it abuse , just the fear of losing the one that you love .

Cheers ,

Jim .

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You can have platonic friendships with Thai men but only as part of a group, not one-on-one like we do in the west. Actually, Thai culture is very group oriented and tends more towards a group or "batch" of people that hang out together rather than multiple one-on-one relationships. Male-female especially are one-on-one only when romantic. But it is quite common for Thai men and women (at least among the younger generation) to be just friends as part of the same group, and you will often see groups of Thais out socializing that include both sexes without any romantic connection.

So in short, if you want friendships with Thai men, you are going to need to get into a group of Thais. Which is not that hard to do, Thais are quite inclusive by nature. But don't expect or try to socialize with the men friends you make privately, that immedicately takes on a different connotation. There will always need to be at least one other person present, preferrably more.

I empathize with you in that many of my closest friends in the west are men (although I do have close female friends as well) and I cherish the ability to be able to have close friendships with men on an equakl fiooting without any sexual or romantic connotation -- my life would be a lot poorer without it. But it is different in Asia.

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hmm i thought you guys were going to jump all over me but i see it's not just my experience. i find it somewhat shallow and sad, but it is their culture and tradition to separate the sexes, & thais are very jealous and possessive....it does explain why certain things have happened between some thai males and i since i have been coming here. i guess i will start chatting up farang tourists :o and stop bemoaning the lack of personal contact instead of fatalistically bothering with guys who can't conceive of being friends.

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Being male and married (and faithful) can only agree with what has been said already.

I have lots of single male Thai and western male friends and single western female friends here in Thailand that my wife knows but the only Thai female friends that could be classified as platonic are married to good friends of mine.

At home same situation as girlx have many single platonic girl friends and have no jealousy issues at all with my wife but platonic single Thai girl friends like at home doesnt exist for me here.

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I was very forunate to have made several platonic relationsips with thai men when were were all in our early 20's. I agree though that this inititally was part of a larger group but over the years our individual friendships have taken on different levels of closeness too.

We are all still very good friends now & they have now become friends with my husband too. The closeness of some of these relationships is such that one of their farang girlfriends actually left one with me in London for several days whilst she went to visit a friend in Dubai during his first visit to the UK. We had a great time getting pissed & taking him around soho was a funny expereince, when we see each other now we hug hello, joke around, get drunk & do what normal platonic frined do.

His family even have a framed picture of me in their house as i took care of him when he was alone in London!

I've not been aware of any of their gf's getting jealous but if they do then my mates must put them straight as it never has been raised as an issue with me & I have always got on well witht hem too.

You have to be quite intolerant of the pisstaker though & even though they (we) lived on a tourist island they have never had bad attitudes towards western women. There have been some who have tried to join our click who did have bad attitudes but they were quickly excluded by the thais in the group. If some guy said to me what they did to girlx, they wouldn't even warrant a nod hello next time I saw them but I can see that living in a much smaller place limits the amount of potential friends there would be.

So really, platonic relationships are possible but as others have said, they are usually started as part of a groups & IMO, you have to be very selective about who you allow in that group.

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Hi GirlX,

When I lived in Thailand, my bext mate was a irish lady, a few years older than I. We hung out all the time, and we'd help eachother pull. She'd get thai men, and I'd get tourist girls.

It was fun!

The friendship we had endures (I'll be visiting her in England in a few months) and there was never a moment in four years (in Los, now coming on to seven years) of friendship that either of us contemplated crossing any boundaries.

My "party" gang, for the nights I was not sitting in an expat bar talking fun <deleted>, would be all the waitresses and cooks of my fav restaurant, and we'd all go out clubbing and all as a group, or sit by the River drinking, eating picnic style... Ah fond memories. They were all girls too, and we'd go out as a group usually. Often a night out would come about because one of those girls wanted the illusion of going on a date with some tourist guy. I'd always be the one to invite the guy(s) to come along with us all.

Again, myself and the girls never crossed the line, (some of these tourist guys did go a bit far though with my "sisters" :o and some deep and very loving friendships ensued.

Friendships galore.

So yes! would be the short answer. It's all down to perspectives.

there are some interesting and apt description of plutonic above.

And mention of Group social friendships.

I recall one time when one of the restaurant girls came to visit me and bring me some food when I was recovering from an accident. She literally was using her fifteen minute work break to do this, but she came alone solely for the purpose of making sure I was okay and to drop off the food.

Her husband heard about it, and the next day the girl was at work wearing heavy coverup powder over her face. :D:D Though the Lady was adorable and I loved her very much, The husband knows me well, and knew full well that i wouldn't ever have laid a finger nor a kiss on her or any local lady in the town where I live (safety precaution of mine).

Nonetheless, it was ill viewed for her to do what she did. :D

So friendships, in public - 0kay.

PS:it was not a big city, where things may or may not be different.

Edited by kayo
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hmm, interesting.

there was never a moment in four years (in Los, now coming on to seven years) of friendship that either of us contemplated crossing any boundaries.

so let me ask you this, was she ugly? or to be less blunt, was there any physical attraction at all? granted, friendships between men and women are difficult anywhere if one side is attracted to the other and it's unrequited.

Edited by girlx
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A few posters have confirmed what I suspected from experience: that some Thais are very jealous of their farang partners talking and laughing with farangs of the opposite sex.

I usually try to defuse situations where I perceive fear and jealousy by talking equally with the Thai partner (usually a woman). However, my basic Thai and some women's lack of English is a real barrier in establishing communication and trust.

I also feel some resentment when I see good natured farang male partners being given sour meaningful looks because they have dared to acknowledge the presence of a western woman in an elevator, doorway, or wherever.

It is a curly question to know how to react in these situations. I will not give up my western values about human rights and freedom to talk to whoever I want, yet I do not wish to generate bad feelings or strife between Thai-farang couples.

I am sure that improving my Thai langauge skills and being fair in these situations will help, but wonder if others also experience these barriers to friendship and how they deal with it?

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