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We're Just Good Friends


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Table of Contents

Introduction. Comparisons with Paradigmatic Social Relationships. Friendship Features and the Influence of Gender. Opportunities for Development and Continuance. Managing Romance and Sexuality. Managing Third-Party Relationships. Conclusion. Appendix A: Methods of Research. Appendix B: Interview Protocols and Survey Questionnaires.

About the Author

Kathy Werking, Ph.D., teaches adult learners in New Hampshire and Maine and is continuing her research into the dynamics of friendship and marriage. She received her doctorate in communication from Purdue University in 1992.


"If you have ever wondered how to be 'just friends' with a member of the opposite sex, or have become jealous of your lover's cross-sex friendship, this book is for you. Werking has produced a much needed scholarly, but accessible, treatise of a topic which fascinates us all but which has been neglected by investigators of relationships. Weking masterfully entwines the research literature on male-female relationships with vivid examples of the conduct of actual friendships. The nature of cross-sex friendship is revealed through rich descriptions and conversations from the many true-life friends she interviewed and surveyed. Werking is careful to explicate society's assumptions about this unique form of friendship, as well as her own assumptions and those of the friends themselves. In so doing, she provides the proper context for reviewing what is known about cross-sex friendship and generating a framework for future discussions. This is an excellent manual on cross-sex friendships, both for those who wish to research them and those who wish to have them. We're Just Good Friends is not to be missed by cross-sex friends, whether they be scholars or laypersons who want to better understand and derive meaning from their relationships." --Perri B. Druen, Ph.D., York College; Close Relationship Researcher

"What a great read! Werking's book will appeal to multiple audiences. The detailed, multi-disciplinary literature reviews will benefit academics conducting friendship or other relational research. However, the book's approachable style will illuminate the experiences of most anyone ever in a cross-sex friendship.

Admirably, Werking manages to quite successfully pull off that delicate balance between reporting research and capturing life experiences. Numerous quotations from interviewees make the chapters come to life and provide glimpses into the wealth of data she's analyzed. Furthermore, Werking situates the research in context and with an awareness of social norms. The reader will see the workings of friendship across the backdrop of social and relational context -- a very integrative approach.

As an additional plus, Werking provides detailed methodological information, poses significant questions for further inquiry, and includes her own instruments in the appendices -- a great benefit to her colleagues.

In short, a compelling text -- a must read!" --Joy L. Hart, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Department of Communication, University of Louisville

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