I remember a time when a girl could have as many guy friends as possible without being judged: elementary school. Yet, as soon as we got a little bit older, it looks bad if a girl has too many guy friends. What looks even worse is when a girl who already has a boyfriend hangs out with other guys or tries to make more guy friends.
But I didn't intend for this piece to be about the different standards men and women are held to. I just think this topic is worth writing about because it's something I can relate to; it's so hard to be a girl in a relationship with a desire to make new guy friends and maintain those friendships.
The majority of my guy friends are my boyfriend's close friends. I spend so much time with them and each one of them has a special place in my heart even though their guy talk can be a little offputting and they don't know how to clean their apartment. They also think beer cans make good decorations.
Coming into my sophomore year, one of my goals was to venture out of my immediate friend group and to make more friends. I don't think its unreasonable that I wanted to expand and make guy friends out of my boyfriend's friend group.
However, whenever I try to meet new guy friends, it seems as if they always think I'm interested in something more than being just friends. Most single guys don't understand that a coupled-up girl may want to become their friend and nothing more. Some of them are so quick to assume that if she's not Snapchatting her boyfriend or a guy she's already close friends with, she's unhappy in her relationship and wants to hook up.
The only time I Snapchat a guy I'm not already friends with is when I'm replying to a Snapchat they sent me first; I'm too afraid to Snapchat a guy I'm not already close with because I know he'll think I want to be more than casual acquaintances or friends. It doesn't matter what I'm wearing in the selfie I reply back or what I write as my caption because they're going to think I'm flirting regardless.
Why do guys jump to these conclusions? I have no idea. Perhaps it's because a few flirty girls got bored and cheated on their boyfriends, ruining it for the rest of us, loyal ladies. There's some rational part inside me that knows that not all guys are like this. Yet, it's still so upsetting when a guy you thought was going to be your friend starts to make you feel bad for keeping things platonic.
It's even worse when people, such as his group of friends, start to judge you for "being a tease" and "leading him on" when this wasn't your intention. Women receive so much judgment on a regular basis, so it's disappointing that something as simple as trying to make a new friend of the opposite sex adds to this scrutiny.
I understand that some girls who are already dating feel the need to Snapchat and DM single (or taken) guys because they want to fool around or feel flirty. Guys are known for doing this while being in a relationship, too. It's just so frustrating that these promiscuous assumptions get in the way of a genuine friendship a faithful girl could have with a really nice guy.
Bottom line: if a girl who's already dating someone starts talking to you, don't jump to the conclusion that she wants you for a hook up she can mess around with when her boyfriend's busy. She may just be looking for a new friend. That doesn't sound too unbelievable, does it?