Imagine the classic case of a quintessential Lizzie McGuire and Gordo friendship: girl and boy do everything together, girl and boy are best friends, girl and boy act like they could be dating—but they’re not. Everything on the surface adds up to a perfect friendship: a balanced dynamic, always fresh with two unique sides and thought processes.
Girls and boys can be friends, but they cannot be best friends. Here’s why:
1. Sometimes in close friendships, caring gets confused for feelings.
When you are best friends with someone of the opposite gender (assuming you are heterosexual), any action you take to show your friend how much you care can be passed off as a secret sign of showing affection on a deeper level.
2. You always have to dodge the “Are you dating?” question.
You want to go out to eat together and people assume you’re a couple. Doing things alone, just the two of you, isn’t weird for either of you, but to your onlookers, you appear to be an exclusive couple. Answering that question sometimes is followed with a “Why not?” which leads to further explanation of the dynamic of your confusing friendship.
3. You never really know what they’re feeling.
Is he secretly in love with you, despite denying the possibility? Are you secretly in love with him, even though you think you only see him as more of a sibling? Should you be secretly in love with him? Would it make everything fall into place—or would it destroy everything?
4. You find yourself getting jealous.
If your friend starts dating someone or spends more time with a new potential significant other, you might feel as though things are falling apart. You’re not necessarily jealous because you want to date him; you’re just jealous because you’re no longer the only girl in his life. You might also be jealous because you want what he has.
5. Your relationship is held to a different standard than other friendships.
Because of that unusual dynamic between the two of you, you expect certain things to happen and/or not happen. When these expectations aren’t met, they hurt worse than any of your other friendships.
6. Both of your parents want you to get married.
They even joke about it in front of you. It’s awkward.
7. Sometimes you end up being let down.
You hold your friend to a higher standard because the relationship is—on some levels—more intimate, even though it is just a friendship. Anything that may go wrong hurts twice as much because you feel as though you’ve lost more than any other normal friendship.