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Can A Guy and Girl Just Be Friends?

Can male and female friendships be purely platonic ? This topic is nothing new. I’ve seen and heard people debate this for as long as I can remember. I’ll admit, it is a sensitive topic with a lot of factors to consider because there are so many ways to go when it comes to friendships.
You can have a friendship where you don’t see the person for months, maybe even years at a time but you keep in contact. Or you don’t keep in contact but when you finally meet up, it’s just like old times. Then there are friendships where you drift away because of distance and time, continue to live your lives separately but someway somehow, your paths cross and you rekindle the friendship. Or you could intentionally cut off a friend for numerous reasons that no longer make you feel as happy as you once did. Then there’s friends with benefits and that’s a whole other can of worms.
To me, there are four types of friends with benefits. One is when it’s a mutual agreement that it’s just sex and only sex. Two is when it starts as one but someone starts to grow feelings for the other. Three, a person uses the excuse of being friends with benefits with someone they like because they 1) think that will make them like them back or 2) they just settle with that if the person expresses that they don’t want anything serious at the moment. Then there’s a fourth type and it’s rare but possible- both people grow feelings, tell each other and end up in a happy, committed, long term relationship.

I also think that us females are quick to overanalyze a lot of things or think too far ahead too soon. Especially since guys aren’t as direct or care/think as deeply as us, it might make us feel like we have no other choice but to.

As you can see it can get messy. I’ve been on both sides. I’ve been the person who catches the feelings and I’ve been the person who is oblivious to the situation and looks at the person as a friend. However, do I believe that male and female friendships can be purely platonic ? Yes and no. It’s all about knowing your worth and having good communication.
Like I often discuss in She 3.0, most females settle when it comes to relationships with guys and it can steam from a lot. I’ve done it myself when I convinced myself to settle because I didn’t want to feel like I was forcing the person into something I want. However, though it may feel selfish, it’s really not. You should be confident to go after what you want and be able to walk away if it isn’t for you but I know it’s easier said than done. I do believe that some women are easier to fall into this than others because like I discussed in “Why You Should Act Single If It Ain’t Official,” they like to give and give to convince themselves that giving will result in an equal reciprocation of compromise and commitment. Women, when it comes to relationships, platonic or not, never wait around for someone to get it or give you the chance you deserve. Always know your value. I also think that us females are quick to overanalyze a lot of things or think too far ahead too soon. Especially since guys aren’t as direct or care/think as deeply as us, it might make us feel like we have no other choice but to. That’s just another route that leads to disappointment because you’re fabricating this idea with someone while they aren’t looking at the situation the same.

Convinced that I could talk to him and help him finally get over her, we hit it off and days turned into weeks. Weeks turned into months but the joke was on me because as we started to get close, we became besties and the inevitable happened- I started to catch feelings for him.

Personally, I’ve only had two guy best friends. The first one I met through a mutual friend that was his ex. At the time me and the friend were pretty close. We spent a lot of time together and spent even more time on Myspace and AIM gossiping, venting and helping each other with homework so it was no surprise when we started to open up to each other about dating. Long story short, she dated this guy when they were much younger and to her it wasn’t anything serious while on the other hand, to him, it was everything. He got attached and couldn’t let go. Enter me. Convinced that I could talk to him and help him finally get over her, we hit it off and days turned into weeks. Weeks turned into months but the joke was on me because as we started to get close, we became besties and the inevitable happened- I started to catch feelings for him. He was attractive, smart, and tall with a great heart which is probably why he ended up in the predicament he was in the first place but before I realized, I was in my own pickle. My intentions were to help. Never did I think this would happen and I wrestled with myself for months debating if I should tell him. I even spoke to my friend about it and she was so happy (and relieved) that she finally convinced me to tell him. What a mistake that was ! I poured out my heart to him and as predicted, he didn’t feel the same because he was still hung up on her. So there I was left with regret and hurt. I couldn’t help him and I couldn’t help myself. I swore to myself to never put myself in that situation again and I haven’t since.
My second guy best friendship happened more gradually. We met in high school after I transferred there my sophomore year. We were in the same classes and had the same circle of friends so we were around each other a lot. I don’t even remember when we officially became best friends because it was so natural but we did and I am so glad. It’ll be about ten years since we’ve known each other. Wow ! We became inseparable and a lot of people assumed that it was more than friendship because of how close we were. Our friends would joke about how we always walked home together every single day or wander off alone to talk or had inside jokes that had us in tears but I never saw it that way. I just knew I could always count on him and he felt the same about me. It felt more than natural if that makes sense. He put me onto Drake during his mixtape So Far Gone days in 2009 while we listened to his iPod sharing earphones walking home from school. I opened up to him about everything and never felt vulnerable. He always listens and gives me feedback and I do the same to him. Now that we’re older, we don’t spend as much time together but every time we hang out, it’s like old times. I can let my guard down completely with him and he never judges me. Till this day, he’s one of the handful of people who really know me and I appreciate and love him so much.

You have to be a good friend to have a good friend! I believe that any friendship can recover from anything if both people genuinely want it to but it is trickier if you’re in a situation where you do cross boundaries because once you do, there’s no turning back.

When it comes to building any friendship, it has to be mutual give and take. It takes time to really get to know someone and in the process you will experience lots together that can either strengthen or break the friendship. In my opinion, being a girl and having guy friends is much less stressful than being a girl with girl friends. Guys naturally have an easy going personality and you don’t have to worry about drama or jealousy or even them being fashionably late. However, if you have a guy best friend, it is very important to know boundaries so that both people are on the same page. That saves you time and prevents you from getting hurt or doing the hurting. Yes there are hiccups in any friendship because like I said, it takes a while to really get to know someone and true colors are only shown when things are tough but that’s when it’s helpful to be aware and also be a good friend. You have to be a good friend to have a good friend! I believe that any friendship can recover from anything if both people genuinely want it to but it is trickier if you’re in a situation where you do cross boundaries because once you do, there’s no turning back. However, if the foundation is solid, you will feel comfortable enough to hash it out and move on.
In conclusion, yes male and female friendships can prosper without sex ever being involved when boundaries are set, the foundation is solid and communication is great. It all comes down to maturity and knowing what to expect from each other. It is easy to fall into the trap of catching feelings but it’s up to you if you want to risk the friendship by letting those feelings be known. I’m a hopeless romantic and despite my past experience, I say go for it. You never know unless you try but when it comes to friends with benefits, be extra careful. Have a real conversation with yourself to figure out if it’s what you really want or you’re just settling before you take the next step. You deserve to have a friendship that makes you happy, gives support and helps you grow. If your friendship isn’t like that, it’s best to have a conversation with the person or if things are really bad, just cut it off and put yourself first. No matter what, always put yourself first and most importantly be your own best friend.

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About Me

About Me

Hi Empress! I show women the endless opportunities to be themselves by empowering them to embrace and grow from their shared experiences through vulnerability and community. I help you accept that you'll always be a work in progress and complete at the same time so you can take back power over your life and reach your full potential!

Shantel

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