Men and Women as...Just Friends?? YES!
By Kitty Lane
Welcome to my soapbox…
Can anyone tell me why in the hell it seems to be so difficult for men and women to be platonic friends?? I just don’t understand. Ok, I get it, there are some guys who will straight up tell you that they do not feel some kind of way about a female and they would bet their life on it. They may look at the girl like a little or big sister, or one of the boys. Whatever you want to call it. I know this is true because I have been there. I used to have a good portion of time spent hanging out with my guy friends. I didn’t hang out with just guys, but I spent more of my time with them than the girls. I just couldn’t relate to women that easily, and to be honest, I still can’t.
I try and sure I do find some female friends that I can be tight with, but I still seem to find the better bonds have always been with my guy friends. Maybe it’s a security thing. I didn’t have boyfriends because I didn’t want to have one and I didn’t need one. I didn’t feel like I would waste away and die if I did not have a romantic relationship with a man. Sure, I had moments that I felt lonely but to be fair, there was always one or two of my guy friends that I was close enough with that if I really needed a hug or a cuddle moment, they would be there for me and I knew that I could trust them.
Now, I know what you’re thinking… You think that these guys were either homosexual because they didn’t want me, or they were hiding some feelings somewhere for me, whether it be sexual or loving. Why can’t it be that they genuinely just respect me and hold me to a higher standard than others expect, yet also realize that I am a woman and that sometimes I need tenderness and can understand that they are able to provide that for me without anything else happening? I have had plenty of guy friends I was close with who had girlfriends or wives who knew me and knew me quite well. Their women knew I would be out on guys night drinking beers and bullshitting with the boys. Their women also knew that I was most likely going to be the one to make sure their man got home ok. Yes, there were some guy friends who would meet women at some point in our friendship who would automatically have a problem with me, apparently, I looked too good to just be a friend, but they didn’t understand. I didn’t want their man, if I did want them, the last thing I would do would be to hang out with them and put myself into the perpetual friend zone!
As a woman, we don’t want to be in the friend zone of the man we want any more than a man wants to be in the friend zone of the woman he wants. Men and women who are genuinely just friends will go to each other for advice they can’t go to their significant other about, be it because it’s dealing with them and they need a point of view from someone other than their family or same sex friends, who are going to be obviously biased. Now if you go to your opposite sex friend about a problem with your significant other and all they can do is bash them or tell you to leave them, they may have some feelings for you, no matter what they say. As far as I can see it, I true friend will listen to you and give you their unbiased opinion without stepping on the significant other's toes. Basically telling you that they feel like it sounds this way or that way but at the end of the day, any decision is ultimately yours and they will have your back no matter what happens. That's how it is supposed to be. In some cases, this friend may be the one who saves the relationship between you and your significant other. Maybe they can make you understand things that your significant other could not explain to you the way it needed to be explained. There are so many possibilities here.
Now, some women are lucky enough to have a significant other that they also consider their friend so he understands that if having guy friends is something that is good for her and good for her moral, well then so be it. Sure, he is going to be skeptical about every one of them that ever walks through the door of their home and is going to eye them up more than once, but you can’t really blame him. He wants to make sure that whoever his woman is hanging around is going to be able to keep her as safe as he would be able to. He is going to make sure that she comes back home the same way she left, in one loving piece of beauty and grace. Surely, those guy friends are going to have to understand that they too are going to size up any man she dates or marries even, simply because they have a different kind of respect for her that runs through them that makes them want to be protective like a sibling would be. Ok, again here, there may be some guy friends who are going to certainly hide whatever they feel for that woman beyond friendship for fear of losing their friend but in most cases, none of them are going to try pushing anything because they are just afraid of getting their ass kicked by her man.
Yes, there are going to be the occasional guy friend who is feeling some kind of way about you and actually has the balls to speak up about it. Now, there are a few different types of guys in this scenario.
The first type of guy is going to be the one who will say to you “Well, if I thought I could, I would, but I know that isn’t the case so I won’t.” These are the ones who value your friendship more and know that what you want from them is really only their friendship. Sure you may joke with them and people on the outside could certainly think something but at the end of the day, you both know that it’s only a friendship and it's accepted as that. These are the guys who know it but it doesn’t hinder them from being able to be a real friend to you. These are the guys who know their worth and that if it was different, maybe you two could be different but it's not different and won’t be, and that’s ok.
The second type of guy is the one who truly cannot look at you in any other capacity than like a sister of sorts. These are the guys who may be older than you and were around while you grew up and may have been friends with one of your older siblings. They just don’t have the capacity to look at you like more than that little 10 or 12-year-old girl that was always annoying the crap out of their sibling and their friends because she wanted to be included in whatever it was they were doing. These guys do have the potential to look at you differently when you get older but in most cases, it will probably freak them out and gross them out if they do look at you like that. They just can’t fathom the thought.
The third type of guy is the one who wanted to be your friend because they saw something in you. And I don’t mean they saw a special spark that you could be someone famous… I mean they someone that maybe they could weasel their way in and see how quickly they could break that platonic man/woman friendship. These are the pieces of shit who want to get in your pants and are willing to do and try anything in order to do it. The problem is that these are also the guys who end up getting one of the hardest slams. These guys will spend time acting like they are your closest friend and always have your back. Now, true they may genuinely like you in a friendship capacity, however, they still want in your pants. Then, one day, they make their move and that's when they realize, they never had a chance. You are either going to smack him, punch him, kick him in the balls, or completely flip your shit on him. “What the hell are you thinking???” will most likely be one of the phrases you spew. You will proceed to explain to him that it isn’t going to happen and that you have no idea why he thought that it would. This is also the guy who will be a total sleazeball and continue to tell you that you really do want it because that is how it is. Ummmmm….NOPE!
The last guy I am going to tell you about is going to be the guy who will receive the hardest hit of them all. This is the guy who genuinely is your friend, but he has also fallen in love with you to some capacity. This is the guy who will forever hide his feelings from you. He will watch you go through relationship after relationship. He will be the one who will let you cry on his shoulder while he holds you and tells you that its ok. He is the one who will slowly die inside because he never has the balls to tell you how he feels. Not until it’s too late. And even then, the heartbreak may be even harder because you may not be able to be around him in the same ways you were before because now you know. Now you know that he has feelings for you that you do not and cannot return. You can’t help that you feel the way you do, but it just is what it is. You want to be there for him as his friend but you are the one who broke his heart. These are the hardest ones because you end up losing your friend and he loses his friend and his love. These are sad situations, always.
Look, at the end of the day, being friends with a guy is not impossible as a woman. It just isn’t. I don’t care how you feel about me as a female, if you are my friend and you mean it, then great. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to have to kick your ass or break your heart, but I don’t want to lose my friend either so learn to control yourself. Maybe that is selfish, well, fuck it, call me selfish then, I don’t care. I love my friends for all different reasons. All the guys I used to hang out with are no longer around as we have all grown up and moved around and went our separate ways. Some of them I keep in touch with and others faded away but at the end of the day, I still have my memories of them and the times we all shared. It’s also a reminder of who I was and who I am now. A reminder that friendship is great but having the guy friends that I used to have, I know every kind of guy that could come at me and how to handle it gracefully. I know the signs and what to look for. They always had my back and I firmly believe that even as a grown ass woman, they would still have it now if it came down to it. To all those people who think platonic relationships between men and women are unattainable, well, if you know something I don’t, feel free to share. All opinions are welcome. Tell me your stories, I’d love to hear them.