It is an age old question that continues to be as relevant today as it has been at any other point in history. Many people contend that men and women cannot just be friends because eventually there will be an emotional connection that will not be healthy or conducive to outside relationships.
Other people contend that men and women most certainly can be just friends; it is all a state of mind and learning to take sexuality out of relationships. While there is a lot of debate over whether men and women can be friends there are some things that you can do and/or consider if you are friends with someone of the opposite sex.
The first thing you need to ask yourself is if you are interested in them in any way, shape, or form. The reason for this is that if you are interested in them, you will have a hard time disconnecting yourself from your feelings and this will complicate the friendship. If you really do not have any feelings for the person, you might be able to make a friendship work, but you have to be sure that they do not have any more than friendship type feelings for you, as well.
If you are friends with someone from the opposite sex you need to consider whether or not your relationship is keeping one or both of you from meeting new people. Many times we are involved in these friendships that we are so tied to emotionally that we do not try to meet new people to form romantic relationships with. This is not indicative of a normal, healthy friendship and usually signifies that there are more romantic feelings there than we initially realized. If you are truly just friends with someone, one or both of you will feel comfortable meeting and dating other people.
If you are friends with someone of the opposite sex you need to make sure that the relationship is healthy for both of you. In many of these relationships one person is using the friendship as a crutch or has found that a friendship is the only way to have contact with a person that they secretly love. You need to really evaluate your opposite sex friendships from time to time and make sure that it is healthy for both of you. Many times these friendships are more complicated than they are worth.
If you are friends with someone of the opposite sex, you need to take care. It is really easy for your heart to become involved and for things to get messy. If you are in too deep, you need to go through the process of untangling yourself from the relationship. It can be difficult, and this is why the age old debate continues, because few men and women have been able to find the balance that is a true friendship.