Can Girls And Guys Be 'Just Friends?'

Can Girls And Guys Be 'Just Friends?'

I love my guy friends, but I'm not in love with them.
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The age old question: can girls and guys be friends without ending up having feelings for each other? Can they really just share a purely platonic friendship? Society has a fascination with mixed-gender friendships that arises from the social stigma that boys and girls cannot be close friends without having some type of romantic tension between them. Movies, television shows and romance novels parallel this notion that spending a significant amount of time with an individual of the opposite sex will manifest in romantic feelings towards them. Taking the time to analyze these notions can illustrate just how inaccurate these ideas are.

First and foremost, the principle that girls and guys cannot be purely platonic friends is based entirely on heteronormative concepts. It makes the assumption both people in the friendship are heterosexual and will "consequently" be attracted to each other. Are individuals in the LGBTQ community immune to this phenomena? If this is the case, then homosexual people can only be friends with the gender they are not attracted to. What about people that are bisexual? This argument then claims these individuals can have no close friendships that are entirely platonic.

Evidently, the social stigma surrounding boy-girl friendships is oversimplified; it offers complete disregard for other sexualities and is thus disproven by this fact. So, while boy-girl friendships at times may result in something more, there's no definitive rule that these relationships cannot be purely platonic.

Throughout my life, I've always had one or two close male friends. It offers a nice balance between my group of girl friends, and having guy friends is a different kind of relationship that I really cherish. This means I am constantly subjected to the remarks "Are you two dating yet?" and "You guys like each other, just admit it!" These may be amusing at first, but having to defend your friendship on a daily basis gets old, quickly. On top of that, you then get called out for being "So defensive."

Essentially, any response or reaction you elicit to such remark ends in you somehow having feelings for your guy friend. It's frustrating to have other people tell you how you feel about your own relationships. It can even cause strain on such friendships when your peers constantly tell you that you guys "have to" like each other.

It becomes awkward at times to hangout with a group of people together, when you know they are constantly overanalyzing each interaction with you and your friend in the hopes of it being something more. A sincere move such as offering me a jacket when I'm cold or a beer when I run out is met with "Oh my gosh... he loves you. That's a husband move right there." Any time a significant other is involved, they despise the respective best friend, or at the very least are jealous of the close nature of the friendship. People don't realize what the "appropriate" dynamic between a girl-guy friendship is unless they experience it firsthand, because media exposure defines what is and is not culturally appropriate.

I genuinely believe everyone should have friends of different genders. Male friendships and female friendships have been proven to be inherently different. Women focus on thoughts and feelings, and men are more group-oriented. Being close friends with a girl allows a guy to have an outlet to share feelings and personal reflections, something they may not get with "the guys." Men confide in women, and the emotional rewards they reap lead to higher levels of self-esteem and personal growth.

Being friends with men is highly beneficial for women, too. Hanging out with my guy friends is always more lighthearted, casual and care-free. They're protective--like older brothers--and are way better at keeping secrets than any of the girls I know. Most importantly, they give me insight into how other guys think.

I love having guy friends.

At the end of the day, a friend is a friend. Someone who you can call when you're upset, hang out with when you're bored, and trust with your secrets. We can hangout and do crazy things, or sit in silence comfortably and just enjoy each other's presence. Gender should not have any effect on friendship.

I love my guy friends, but I'm not in love with them.

You can have a close relationship with a friend of the opposite gender, and have them just be your person. No romance, no strings attached.

Just friends.

Cover Image Credit: tumblr.com

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

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I Used To Think Height Didn't Matter, But Maybe It Really Does

I've come to a conclusion

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I've had my fair share of boyfriends in the past. A common theme in my past choices of boys is that they were all an inch or two taller than me or the same height. Now, I am a little on the taller side considering that the average height for a woman in the US is 5 feet 4 inches tall. I'm not saying all the tall boys belong to all the tall girls and the shorter guys should stick with shorter girls, but I do think there might be something behind all this madness.

My reasoning for this is simple: I've been in an amazing relationship with someone who is fairly taller than me. Is this reason totally irrational and have no sort of concrete evidence for this argument? Yes, totally, but hear me out. All my other relationships haven't been this good or even had the potential to be this good. Is it a coincidence that they were all shorter? I think not!

There is absolutely nothing wrong with boys who are under 5'9''. There are some nice ones who probably don't talk to 5 other girls while you're dating, I just never happened to come across one back when I was in the game. I just find it interesting that I've been in a really healthy relationship for awhile now with someone who is over 6 feet tall.

Many amazing relationships have happened between all different types of people, no matter the height. It's just if you are having problems with boys who are under 6 feet, you may have some thinking to do.


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