What is gender anyway?
We've all heard the saying, "Men are from Mars, women are from Venus" right? But how accurate is this statement? This phrase is based off a book by the same title written in 1992. The author, John Gray, states the most common problem in relationships between men and woman are the "fundamental psychological differences" between the two sexes.
Does this mean men and women are from two completely different planets? Absolutely not. In today's day and age, the line between men and women is becoming increasingly blurred. Forget LGBTQ, gender as a societal construct is becoming an increasingly popular concept. We can no longer assume people view themselves as cis-gendered, meaning they view themselves as the gender that correlates with their birth sex.
Regardless of someone's sexual orientation, we need to get over the fact that men and women can't be friends without sexual or romantic feelings for one another. In preparation for this article, I looked back at some of my closest friends. One of my best friends in high-school was a guy, one of my closest confidant in college was a guy, and one of my oldest friends the person I share most of my secrets with is a guy. Of course, most of my best friends are women, but even they agree it is completely possible to maintain close friendships with men.
As I do with a majority of my articles, I polled my friends and followers on social media. What were their thoughts regarding this whole difference of the sexes thing? Is it possible for men and women to maintain a purely platonic friendship? It shouldn't be a surprise that an overwhelming amount agreed that yes, it is beyond possible. Some women said they have deeper conversations with their male friends, while others said it might be a bit more complicated especially if one does eventually develop romantic feelings for the other. Then there were those responses that questioned what gender even was, a hot topic in today's social world.
Why is it that we seem to have this notion that the two sexes can't be friends? Is it because romantic comedies involving male and female best friends always match the two of them together, or is it because movies in which they don't end up together don't sell? Maybe it is because people spend time figuring out how to get out of the friend zone instead of appreciating the friendship that exists in the first place. Is there a definitive answer, no there isn't. I know I would never jeopardize the friendship I have with my male friends by throwing romance into the situation, and I wouldn't want to either. Maybe this is because of the period of time these men entered my life and the fact they have stuck around.
I can't speak for others, only myself. But here is my suggestion, don't let gender stand in the way of friendship because yes it is completely possible.