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His doctoral research is focused on the relationships between technology, cognition, social relationships, and self-esteem, and he worked briefly as a scientific consultant for a dating website.

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These friendship pairs were then separated, and each member of each pair was asked a series of questions related to his or her romantic feelings (or lack thereof) toward the friend with whom they were taking the study.

The results suggest large gender differences in how men and women experience opposite-sex friendships.

Few other questions have provoked debates as intense, family dinners as awkward, literature as lurid, or movies as memorable. Daily experience suggests that non-romantic friendships between males and females are not only possible, but common—men and women live, work, and play side-by-side, and generally seem to be able to avoid spontaneously sleeping together.

However, the possibility remains that this apparently platonic coexistence is merely a façade, an elaborate dance covering up countless sexual impulses bubbling just beneath the surface.

In a follow-up study, 249 adults (many of whom were married) were asked to list the positive and negative aspects of being friends with a specific member of the opposite sex.

Variables related to romantic attraction (e.g., “our relationship could lead to romantic feelings”) were five times more likely to be listed as negative aspects of the friendship than as positive ones.

As a result, men consistently the level of attraction felt by their male friends.

Men were also more willing to act on this mistakenly perceived mutual attraction.

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However, the differences between men and women appeared here as well.

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