“You guys should totally date!" Oof. Although this comment is expected, it doesn't change the annoyance I feel every time I hear it.
I know how it must look. I spend a lot of time with a certain guy, talk about him often, and even post him on my Insta and Snap stories. Any ordinary person would wonder what the deal is, and they're not wrong to question the nature of the relationship.
It's hard balancing the fine line between friendship and something more, especially when popular culture has made us believe that a guy and a girl can't be just friends. Movies like "When Harry Met Sally" and "Love, Rosie" focus on a guy and girl who have been friends for as long as they can imagine, and even though everyone around them can see it, the two protagonists don't realize until the end of the movie that this whole time they've been in love with each other. It's such a cliché, and yet we see it all the time in films. And honestly, who can blame Hollywood? We all love a good romance story, and what better tale to tell than that of two lifelong best friends who eventually realize that what they thought was friendship was actually love?
Thinking about it from a logistics standpoint, it makes sense.
We look for a significant other who understands our flaws and quirks, and no one knows these little details better than a close friend. And sure, there are plenty of cases in which friends eventually become something more. Spending a lot of time with one person can make you question the state of your relationship, and I've been guilty of doing so myself. What if I DO like him...as more than a friend?
Hearing my classmates and friends tell me that we would be perfect for each other has made me consider, on quite a few occasions, whether I was lying to myself in order to protect my feelings or my friendship with this said individual. But no matter how many times I ask myself these questions, I always come back to the same realization — that my guy friends are really just that: friends.
They're people that I turn to when I need to joke and laugh or scream and cry. I'm so grateful to have such amazing guy friends, and I wouldn't trade that friendship for the world. It's a different relationship than that with my girlfriends, but it's still just friendship. It may be difficult, but we have to stop immediately assuming that a guy and a girl who are friends have to be secretly in love with each other. Not only does it conform to heteronormative standards, but it invalidates the nature and depth of these friendships.
Why do you assume that the only reason I'm close to a guy is because I like him? Friendship is an incredibly powerful force, and to reduce a friendship between a guy and a girl to a mere stereotype is kind of insulting. The love that I have for some of my male friends is different from the love I have towards my romantic partners, and that's okay. Because at the end of the day, guys and girls can be just friends.