Can men and women be friends?

I’ve always been a great believer that men and women can be friends, whether they fancy one another or not. I have plenty of male friends I either find attractive or have found attractive at some point. We can spend time together, talk about anything and even flirt harmlessly. I’ve always thought I’d found the balance with this perfect platonic chemistry, and this was why I have mostly male friends. Men are easy to understand, low maintenance for the most part, straightforward and logical. Which makes the current situation so bewildering.

I’ve always assumed that when I’m over someone, that’s it finished. I don’t mean within the straightforward parameters of any formal arrangement, but something as vague and indistinct as a fling. We had some fun, no one wanted anything complicated, and because no dramatic ending happened I just thought things could go back to the way they were. Simple, uncomplicated friendship. I sometimes find lovely people I have common ground with, and I try to keep them around me because talking to them makes me happy. No ulterior motives. So it frustrates me when other people think I have them, or when I realise maybe they had them themselves.

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