When Harry Met Sally asked the question heterosexual men and women have been trying to figure out for centuries: can men and women truly be friends? I’ll admit, finding a platonic buddy isn’t the easiest task in the world, but when you do (and they DO exist), you enter into a truly rewarding relationship.
1. They’re going to be honest with you
When sex isn’t on the table, so many façades and acts just fall by the wayside. Even my girlfriends occasionally play a part, we all do. But your opposite sex buddy isn’t going to lie to you about how that shirt makes you look or if you’re kind of acting like an irrational looney toon. I can always count on my BFF to give me a dose of needed reality, even if I don’t want it.
2. You’ll get free dating advice
Recently, my buddy and I were talking about Tinder. He mentioned matching with a really cute girl, but that he had to follow some rule about waiting a day to message a new match (Huh??? Where are Tinder rules?!?). I told him I’d prefer a guy to message me right away if he’s interested, not play some outdated game. We tend to overthink things and complicate situations when it comes to dating that are actually really simple. It’s super awesome (and helpful) to have someone of the gender you’re trying to woo who can advise you.
3. You have an automatic wingwoman/man
This has to be one of the best perks. I can’t tell you how jazzed I get at the idea of going up to a pretty woman and saying, “Haaaaaave you met my best friend?” Girls are usually less creeped out if approached by another girl. It’s almost this subconscious thought process that this dude must not be a weirdo if his female friend appears relatively normal. And if you ever see your bro talking to a handsome guy, you can easily ask for an introduction.
4. You learn how to communicate
So much of dating consists of learning. You learn what works, what you like, what you won’t put up with. You take all of this information throughout the years and eventually find the right fit, but only after having learned a lot of shit the hard way. Absolutely all relationships require work and commitment, regardless of if they’re romantic. Men and women communicate differently. This is no secret. You can take any basic interpersonal communication class and know that women need to vent and men want to fix. There have been times I came running to my friend completely destroyed over something. He always wanted to help by fixing it, but sometimes, I just wanted someone to listen to me. And I, in turn, had to realize everything he was saying was from a place of love and affection, he wasn’t trying to brush off or invalidate my feelings. And because we’ve always been platonic, any frustrations with each other never blow up or get too personal. We’ve learned what the other needs and how to vocalize our own needs, which we will ultimately bring to our own sets of romantic relationships one day.
5. You still have date nights
You kind of get to do all the fun activities couples do (okay, excluding the most fun activity of all), without the pressure or awkwardness of actually dating. You can go catch a movie, concert, dinner, etc. You can people watch together, trying to pick out each person’s “type.” You can just have fun, without worrying about much of anything.
6. You can cheer each other up
Now, I’m by no means saying you need validation from the opposite sex (or really anyone), but there is something really comforting about when you’re feeling really low and your best buddy saying, “He didn’t deserve you anyways. You’re beautiful/amazing/insert any warm fuzzy feeling adjective here.” We could all use a boost every now and then.
7. Not everyone is going to believe it
Platonic opposite sex besties are sort of looked at like sparkly unicorns or some mythical thing that just CAN’T possibly exist. It will baffle some people that you can genuinely love someone, have an awesome relationship, but not be sexually attracted to one another. I think my best friend is handsome, and is the most photogenic sucker on the planet, and I’m aware that he thinks I’m pretty. But that’s it. You can acknowledge what someone looks like, but still not wanna bang. I’m not sure how this is so revolutionary. It just is what it is.
8. You’ve got a back up plan
You can have a marriage pact or deal that if your biological clock starts screaming at you, you’ll just say, “Ah, fuck it, let’s do this!” and raise a family together. My best friend told me the other night if I reached a certain age and really wanted kids, he’d go make a donation at the sperm bank for me. That’s a true pal.