Happy 30th anniversary to the iconic movie "When Harry Met Sally!" For those of you who haven't seen the movie yet, what are you doing?! It's been out for 30 years; go watch it! The main point of the movie is to answer the age old question "can men and women ever truly just be friends?"
In my experience, the answer is not always black and white. Sometimes you originally think that you and a friend of the opposite sex think of each other as strictly platonic. However, it's later revealed that one of you had feelings the entire time. In other instances, you can go into a friendship and not be physically attracted to the other person whatsoever. Then a glow up happens and boom! Someone catches feelings. Both instances can be extremely frustrating and tamper with an already existing friendship. Regardless of these possibilities, sometimes it's easier to be friends with guys even if there is a possibility of something more in the future. Let's face it ladies: they often say what we want to hear when they're pursuing us which makes it difficult to discern whether or not they're being real. Thus, being friends first gives you a different view into who they truly are.
In essence, overall, I can't definitively say that "yes; men and women can be just friends" because we're forever changing. Just like in the movie "When Harry Met Sally," their feelings changed over time. They initially were friends and then they became more. However, let me clarify something before my guy friends who read this start making fun of me. I am NOT saying that if two straight people of the opposite sex become friends, they'll fall for each other every time. Instead, I'm saying that right now, you or your friend of the opposite sex might not be physically attracted to one another, could possess a quality the other doesn't like, might lack maturity, or something else. But, that doesn't mean that those traits will last forever. As we grow, we evolve, and I think we should keep that in mind when we're trying to answer this question because, in the end, you really don't know what the future holds.