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Dating and same sex friendships

Most popular television shows and movies suggest that the goal of forming cross-sex friendships is a romantic relationship.People learn from the friendships they see in popular culture and model their behavior after them.

Popular media romanticizes and sexualizes interactions between people of opposite sexes, leading to a cultural expectation of sexual attraction in cross-sex friendships.

This common conception leads a small percentage of the population to believe that men and women cannot exist in solely platonic friendships.

During adolescence, a distinction starts to form between romantic relationships and platonic friendships, which is influenced by personal experience as well as exposure to media and popular culture.

Teenagers learn from portrayals of romance on television and base their own relationships on these representations.

Current mating strategies unconsciously motivate individuals to enter into cross-sex friendships because it gives them more opportunities to mate.

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As a result, individuals within these cross-sex friendships often develop attraction to the other individual, even when that attraction is completely unintended.

In a “mutual romance” cross-sex friendship, one of the participants wants a romantic relationship with the other individual and believes that the other individual wants the same.

In “strictly platonic” relationships, the individual believes that the other simply wants to be just platonic friends with no thought of romance.

Each of these friendship styles are based on the goals and viewpoint of the individual.

Other theories and research discuss the causes and benefits of cross-sex friendships. (2012) theorize that cross-sex friendships are a part of humans’ evolved mating strategies.

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