Can men and women be 'just friends'. Of course they can. Can they be friends, be physically attracted to each other and not give into temptation? Depends on the individuals. I honestly can't say I'm one of those women that can be 'gamed'. A strong man/woman can't be talked into doing anything that they weren't already interested in doing in the first place. Maybe you've convinced them to shorten their timeline on when they'd planned on giving in. But coming from a woman, we know what want, how far we will and won't go with you sometimes at first sight. Now can I be talked out of something? Most definitely. For instance, I could really be feeling you, secretly planning our kids names, their appearance, and hearing wedding bells, then something comes out of your mouth that completely turns me off.
The issue with friends of the opposite sex are the motives of the individuals involved. Sometimes one or both people are what I call 'waiting in the wings'. They're waiting for him/her to realize they're a good catch and they've been in front of them the whole time. Or they're waiting on a vulnerable moment in their friends current relationship to slide in, providing a listening ear, paying attention to their pet peeves, likes and dislikes and being sure to offer up just the opposite. Those are the sneaky mofo's I don't like. Don't plot and plan on someone else's man/woman because as soon as you find your one true love, stand back and prepare for it to happen you to. Oh don't act shocked; don't act as if you can dish it but don't have to take it. That's not how this life works.
Now let me tell you who makes some of the best lovers. A man and woman who started as genuine friends and fell for each other with no manipulation. No motives, no plans. Friends who find the true meaning of love when they opened themselves up to someone who understands them, knows their flaws, who's shared secrets, experienced embarrassing moments and loves them in spite of... The key to these unions made in heaven is no one is waiting in the wings. No one has a secret burning torch for the other which has not been voiced. If you are carrying a torch for your friend please know that if you have yet to tell them you are waiting in the wings, if they are already in the relationship it is best for you to distance yourself from the friendship if you cannot curb your feelings and respect their relationship.
Last but not least 'should' men and women be friends. Again I say of course, but be mindful of the motives of your friends. When in a relationship, friends of the opposite sex should be handled with care. And by that I mean, if you have friends that you're mate is unaware of or not allowed to know, the friendship is inappropriate. New friends of the opposite sex are often an issue. Homegirls or homeboys that you grew up most secure men/women do not take issue with maintaining friendships with individuals that you knew prior to them, unless they pose an issue to your current relationship. For instance calling too much, at inappropriate times, asking for favors that one would typically ask a relative or mate to do, etc. Does this mean I need to be friends with your female friends, no. Trust me I'm not that interested however there should be no phone calls that require you to leave the room, meet ups that I'm unaware of, or anything that makes me feel insecure. Relationships with the opposite sex should be kept as an open book in order to maintain a healthy relationship