Why Men and Women Can Just Be Friends

BestPhotoStudio / (Shutterstock.com)
BestPhotoStudio / (Shutterstock.com)

I can’t believe that I actually have to write an article like this one, but the stupidity of some men has driven to me to this point. I have seen countless articles about how men and women cannot just be friends and how a woman should not be trusted if she has a lot of male friends. I am so outraged to see things like this on the Internet. The popular opinion that men and women can never just be friends is a reflection of a man’s insecurities rather than a woman’s promiscuity.

By the logic of many men, I should ignore every male that shows any sort of friendship toward me simply because he is a man, which must mean that he wants to sleep with me. Why are men condoning this idea? Doesn’t that cut them down and make them seem like they are completely useless unless they are having sex?

I am a 23-year-old woman who has grown up with many male best friends. I spent the majority of my childhood hanging out with the boy that lived down the street from me. In middle and high school, many girls were rude to me for reasons I could never understand, so I would hang out with a group of boys and a couple girls that I am still friends with today. In college, I joined a co-ed fraternity and became best friends with two boys that I consider my little brothers. Although I do have a handful of friends that are girls, I have just as many friends that are guys, and I do not view them any differently.

Out of all of the male friends I have had, there has only been a handful that have ever tried anything with me, and that was because their goal when they met me was not friendship. The men that I am truly friends with have their own lives, their own girlfriends whom they love very much, and I talk with them the same as I would with any of my girlfriends.

If I am truly just friends with a man, you need to realize that I have already assessed their true intentions and whether or not they want to sacrifice those intentions for a friendship. For example, if a guy friend has expressed interest in me and I have declined to reciprocate, I am not going to cut them off as a friend unless they become aggressive or tell me that they do not want a friendship. If they are still a good friend to me and help me through any issues, if they are there to talk if I need it, if they remember my birthday, etc., I believe that it would be insulting to cut that person out of my life solely because they are interested in me romantically.

Don’t get me wrong: There are many men out there that only want to sleep with women and do not care about being our friend. Don’t pretend like we can’t tell. If I know that you just want to sleep with me, we won’t go out to get coffee or a drink, won’t grab lunch on occasion, and I most certainly won’t call you to come by my apartment if I need help with something. I’m not stupid; I know what your intentions are within 10 minutes of meeting you. I also can tell whether you care enough to put those intentions aside to be platonic friends, and the majority of them do.

I have a friend of four years that expressed interest in me last summer, and I did not reciprocate. We stayed friends. When my mother had a stroke back in August, my whole family was away and I thought there was someone breaking into my house. When I called my friend, he came right over, checked the place out, and stayed the night. He slept on my couch in the basement, and I slept in my bed, which was also in the basement. He did not try anything with me, and he sure as hell didn’t decline to come and help me out just because I didn’t want to sleep with him.

If you say that men cannot just be friends with women, you are selling them short. Many men have gone out of their way to help me just as a friend, whether they are romantically interested in me or not, and to downgrade that to “Well, he just did it because he wants to hook up with you” is incredibly unfair and insulting to them. I am sure there are some circumstances where that statement is true, but it certainly is not true in every case.

From a faithful woman with many guy friends to whoever is reading this, please understand some things:

1.

The majority of females I have met can be catty, shallow, and are not good friends. Just because someone has a vagina doesn’t mean they are automatically worthy of my friendship. I can say with 100 percent certainty that men have been much better friends to me than the majority of women have, and I am perfectly OK with that. I choose my friends based on personality and respect, not their gender.

2.

Just because you have an organ that I lack doesn’t mean we cannot be friends. All men are not attracted to all women and vice-versa; it is highly possible for two people to not be attracted to each other at all.

3.

Even if you are attracted to me and I do not feel the same way, we can still be friends. As long as you never cross the line or make me uncomfortable and continue to treat me the way you did before, I will gladly be your friend.

4.

Even if we are both attracted to each other but do not want to act on it due to significant others or wanting different things, we can still be friends, but hanging out alone is crossing the line. I care enough about my friends to never compromise their relationships, and I only stay friends with people who feel the same. Sometimes, you know someone isn’t right for you romantically for many reasons, but they are a wonderful friend and that relationship is important. You shouldn’t have to cut out that person solely because you happen to be attracted to them, but you also should make sure your significant other, if you have one, is comfortable.

5.

By saying that men and women can never be just friends, you’re essentially saying that the only thing that matters in a relationship with the opposite sex is whether or not you can sleep together. By saying that men and women can’t be friends, you’re telling me I cannot confide in a person who may be the most wonderful friend just because he is a man. You are making the point that because I have a V and you have a P, we can only be friends and get close if we want to get intimate. How silly.

6.

If a man cares enough about their female friend, they will never cross a line that she is not OK with, and vice-versa. That is called respect, and I think that proves a much stronger friendship than two people who are friends because they both bond over their love of Netflix and beer.

7.

With all of this being said, I agree that there are lines that should never, ever be crossed, and there are some girls who cross them and ruin it for the rest of us. If I am dating someone, I will make sure to never hang out with a male friend who has poor intentions. I will still hang out with the men that either haven’t displayed interest in me or did so a long time ago and have been respectful since. I never want to abandon my friends just because I am dating someone new. As long as we are truly just friends and I am honest with my significant other, I don’t see anything wrong with continuing the friendships I have with other males.

8.

I will never go and hang out with an ex-boyfriend unless we have been platonic friends for a very long time and I tell and invite my boyfriend about it ahead of time. I will always be open and honest about where I am going and who I am with, and my boyfriend is always invited to hang out with any guy friend that I have. I have nothing to hide, and anyone that I have ever dated has trusted me and become friends with my guy friends, too.

If you are dating someone that you cannot trust, you should not be with that person—NO EXCEPTIONS. This goes for men and women everywhere. If you genuinely feel like someone cannot and should not be trusted, you should leave them. Listen to yourself; you know if someone is bad news. The hard part is whether you choose to admit that to yourself or not.

Wait for the person who sees the best in peoplae whether they are male or female and that have friendships that have lasted years with them. Wait for the relationship with the one who would let you look through their phone, but you don’t feel like you need to. Wait for the one you know could be thrown into the most tempting situation, and yet you are confident that they would still be faithful to you. I know sometimes it feels like you’ll never find another person as devoted, faithful, and honest as you—but hey, if you are one of those people, it must mean that there are others. TC mark

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