Platonic relationships—i.e. close, non-sexual friendships—between men and women can be real and viable and pretty great. Its a relief, not a stressor, to know someone of the opposite sex in a context that isnt mediated by sexual attraction, according to a number of people I spoke to.
What if a guy has a lot of female friends?
When a man is involved with a lot of female friends it can also be a warning sign that he is not a man who is ready for a relationship. I know many men who have a ton of female friends who havent been in a committed relationship in years or ever.
Can attraction between friends grow over time?
Studies have shown that attraction can build over time, but it needs to be exercised like a muscle. Spend time thinking about the things you like and desire about this person, both physically and emotionally. Fantasies and feelings will grow and develop the more you focus your thoughts on these things.