It’s a question that’s been asked time and time again, but a recent conversation with my parents made me stop and rethink almost half of my friendships: can girls and guys really be just friends? My dad, a pretty widely accepted representation of the male species, seems to think that there is no way a straight guy can be friends with a girl without the ever present idea of sex in his mind. My mom and her constant optimism, on the other hand, is positive that it is completely possible for two people of opposite genders to be platonic. I’ve heard this argument my whole life, but only since coming to college have I realized just how complex the dynamics of these friendships can be.
I like to think that I’ve always had a healthy amount of boys in my friend group, but have they really just been in it for the chance that I might let them in my pants? Was every laugh that we shared really just them buttering me up? (LOL JK I know I’m hilarious, who wouldn’t laugh at me?) But in all seriousness, I hate the thought that these guys who I’ve entrusted with my personal secrets and feelings might just be in it to get their dick wet.
I actually remember a specific instance with one of my favorite friends of the male variety where the issue sort of came up. I had been pestering him to date a random girl because I thought she was cute. “There are a lot of pretty girls out there, but that doesn’t mean I want to date them,” he said. Amazed at his maturity and un-superficialness, I was proud of my friend.
“Like you’re super pretty,” he went on, “but that doesn’t mean I want to date you.”
I was flattered and relieved at the same time. I didn’t take any offense to a guy who I have never nor will ever have any interest in saying he didn’t want to date me. Then he got drunk and tried to kiss me a couple weeks later, so I started to think maybe my dad was right.
But the more I think about it, the more it makes sense. I think that in most cases, guys are always down for sex with their girl friends. But I think that just stems from the fact that boys are pretty much always down for sex, period. On top of this, I think that girls know this. We aren’t oblivious the power that we possess in regards to those jumbles of hormones we call boys. And I think that whether we realize it or not, we feed off of this sense of supremacy: we hold the reins, and we control what happens. Guys are just waiting for a chance to jump into our pants if and when we allow them to.
At the same time, though, we are not in it for the superiority. Just like guys are not in it for sex. Sure, 99 percent of your guy friends have probably wanted to sleep with you at some point, and let’s be honest, they’d still probably be down if you asked. But this doesn’t mean that they’re only friends with you for that reason. Even the horniest of boys would not be able to put up with our incessant complaining, gossiping, and photo-taking just for a chance at getting off. Anyone who says a guy cannot be just friends with a girl is doing them a huge disservice, for I firmly believe that young men are more than capable of recognizing a girl’s beauty, but still caring about her as a person, with no ulterior motive.
So let’s just settle this once and for all: sure, odds are our dude pals have thought about sleeping with us, and odds are we like that they’ve thought about it. But what really matters is that we’ve found someone we can trust — male or female — and they’ll be there for us when we really need them. .
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