Being Best Friends With Girls

I realized at age six that girls make better friends than boys. My male peers amused themselves by competing to see who could smack a higher spot on the wall in the hallway outside our first grade classroom, a pursuit that seemed to me not only entirely pointless but also like an unnecessary waste of energy. This sort of judgment serves as a pretty neat summary of my observations about most male behavior for the following decade. (Most boys want a car for their sixteenth birthday; I wanted The Oxford Dictionary of Modern Quotations and The Portable Dorothy Parker. The chasm, in all that time, had not been bridged much at all.) As a result, I grew up with girls as my best friends. To me they seemed much more logical and understandable creatures, despite the initial shock I had about how they changed as we got older. In middle school I formed a sort of trio with two girls, and during the awkward first few months of high school I became best friends with a girl who sat near me in third period. Though I know from my sister’s experiences that friendships between girls are as completely inscrutable to me as the wall smacking competition, my friendships with these girls were beautifully simple. I think the prime factor was a lack of competition, which seemed to me the hallmark of male camaraderie, a notion that I had always been uncomfortable with and somewhat offended by.  And despite what cultural notions we’ve inherited, I am convinced that the teenage male is just as insecure as his female counterpart, and that, combined with competitive nature, makes it nearly impossible to form a quality friendship with him. A best friend essentially plays two roles: advice giver (or, alternately, advice receiver) and companion. In my experience, girls have been frank and reliable advice givers, and the activities they pursue are comparatively less dangerous and more interesting. The choice seemed simple.

But I didn’t think of girls exclusively as potential friends. Oh no. But there, where romance approaches, the male-female friendship manifests its most complicated aspect. (We’ve all seen When Harry Met Sally.) There are two primary disadvantages for a guy whose friends are mostly girls who is also looking for a girlfriend. Inevitably it is assumed by some people that you’re gay, which can make things confusing at first for the girl being pursued, but if you’re obvious enough with your intent that shouldn’t remain a problem. And, hey, if you do happen to dress incredibly well, she’ll have gained a shopping partner and a boyfriend! What more could a girl want? If the girl being pursued is one of your friends, there’s the equally unavoidable rejection, intended to be gentle but in fact quite the opposite: “But you’re just too good of a friend…” Or better yet, “You’re like a brother to me…” The situation probably wasn’t optimal before she brought up quasi-incestuous accusations, right? The solutions to each of these problems aren’t really that difficult, given time. The latter may have a more permanent effect, but at least you eventually realize, once your friend has actually chosen a boyfriend, that you’re glad you aren’t her type.

There are, however, undoubtedly romantic benefits to having best friends who are girls. The second sex is no longer a mystery or an only object of desire but a real person, someone worth getting to know and spending time with, and if that friendship develops at the necessary pace of affection, someone you can fall in love with. Being able to befriend girls also increases your likelihood of hitting it off with that girl’s girlfriends, something of truly inestimable importance. But in time and with luck, you’ll know without a doubt that she’s really your best friend. I didn’t know my girlfriend would be my girlfriend when I met her, but I knew right away we could certainly be best friends, and that just may have been my key to success. TC mark

image – *m5

More From Thought Catalog

  • http://www.facebook.com/jonathanharty Jonathan Hart

    Right on.

  • Ceqli

    I just LOVE the overgeneralizations made here: girls are smarter and more well-behaved than boys  (you cite ONE example to support this), girls make better friends than boys,  and being best friends with a girl is a healthy, normal, thing.

    Put yourself in the guy's shoes. When he's faced with that “quasi-incestuous” accusation, do you know what that does to him emotionally? It tells him that no matter what he does, this girl will NEVER break out of that mindframe with him. Honestly, if you've done this to a guy before, you should be ashamed.

    • Dan

      whatevs man I totally related to this article.

    • Customconcern

      bro. sucks that your best friend didn't want to bone you.

    • http://twitter.com/HipsterFriend HipsterFriend

      Yeah, how DARE you tell him you don't want anything sexual or romantic in the foreseeable future! God, it's like they have feelings and boundaries. [/sarcasm] Dude, grow up.

    • Flamintear

      Erm. Have you noticed the writer is a guy? And one with less issues than you, clearly.

  • Jordan

    I've actually subconciously determined that a lack of competition was one of the reasons I have lots of female friends too…weird.  That and a good dose of attraction (but no follow through, barring drunken nights) to keep things interesting.

  • Guest

    Hey, wow Cequli. Sometimes a girl won't ever break out of that mindframe with a guy, and the options are to tell him to his face, or try and salvage his emotions only to be called a tease later on? This guy wrote an article about genuinely being friends with girls, not insinuating yourself in their lives and then pining after them. That's creepy.

  • http://twitter.com/kelvin_lee Kelvin Lee

    You took a whole article to write “no homo”?

  • Dan

    “I am convinced that the teenage male is just as insecure as his female counterpart, and that, combined with competitive nature, makes it nearly impossible to form a quality friendship with him.”

    this is how I felt growing up, but as I got older I realised it is important for a male to make male friends. You will find some chill bros soon, I'm sure.

  • http://www.vincentgalbo.com Duke Holland of Gishmale

    I reached a point in my life where I can no longer look at women as friends. They are all potential mates. HU! HU! *Slaps chest in a gorilla like way*

    • http://twitter.com/joshliburdi Josh Liburdi

      i think every dude does this to varying degrees, even if they won't admit it. at some point you even consider “fem-bros” as potential mates/ lovers/ whatevers.

  • http://www.facebook.com/gregpphoto Greg Petliski

    Sorry to pop your bubble but men and women are not friends. To a woman, I guess, a guy is a friend. But no man wants a girl for a friend. Girls dont do anything rad, its all shopping, getting fucked, and watching Lost with ice cream.

    • http://twitter.com/jkymarsh J. Ky Marsh

      Best TC comment ever.

    • http://twitter.com/HipsterFriend HipsterFriend

      I dunno what's more bro-tastic, your collar-popping, slack-jawed picture, or your sexist attitude. How many “chicks” do you “pick up” by insulting their intelligences?

      The strange part is, guys like me, who surround themselves with women, get the “gay” label (as though that were negative in the first place), but apparently making life exclusively a sausage fest is the straightest thing a man can do.

      • whatever dude

        so you're saying that you surround yourself with women, but you don't want to have any sexual encounters with any of them?

        If you're not gay, then it's hard to believe you're not even slightly attracted to the girls you befriend and NEVER had a thought to be more than just a friend. It's natural for someone to want to be more than just friends of the opposite sex (if that's your sexual orientation).

        Otherwise, why do humans have sex drives? You make it sound like men are terrible for wanting to have sex with women (friend or whatever).

      • http://twitter.com/HipsterFriend HipsterFriend

        I'm not saying I'm not attracted to my friends, but I don't let that get in the way, and I don't hold this weird archaic belief that we're incompatible as friends.

        It's not men who want sex with women who are terrible; it's men like Pet-broski over here who think that they can't have meaningful platonic relationships with them.

      • http://www.facebook.com/gregpphoto Greg Petliski

        I don't pick up chicks. Not my style, one night stands arent very romantic. And thanks, you like that photo?!?

      • http://twitter.com/HipsterFriend HipsterFriend

        Somehow I didn't peg you as a romantic, believe it or not.

    • natural

      Agreed, man. People who think men and women can be friends are fooling themselves.

      • Sean Li

        This is false.

      • http://twitter.com/and_susan Susie Anderson

        all my close friends are guys! they all have girlfriends though, i feel this is relevant

    • you're kidding me

      “girls don't do anything rad, its all shopping, getting fucked, and watching Lost with ice cream.”  

      nice stereotyping there.  kinda like how blacks all love fried chicken and all asians are good at math.  i'm a girl and i bet i do waaaay radder shit than you, hate shopping, and i fuck instead of “getting fucked,” and i don't watch lost. but i do eat ice cream. so, you know, i guess that makes me like all those others girl who dont do anything rad and whose lives revolve around consumption and being sexual objects.  

      i thought that article was great and reminded me of alot of hetero guys i know who have good female friends.  it's refreshing that a dude has the balls to see women as people (not just sex) and wrote about it. logan, i wanna be your gf!

      • http://www.facebook.com/gregpphoto Greg Petliski

        You do radder shit than I? Sweetie I climb mountains.. by myself.

  • Girl

    Research confirms this. “Prior investigations of friendship patterns have reported gender differences, with women's same-gender friendships tending to be richer and having a possible therapeutic value, as compared to those of men. Compared to same-gender best friendships, opposite-gender best friendships have been described as less fulfilling for women and more fulfilling for men.” (http://www.springerlink.com/co… Still sucks when she doesn't want to go to the next level.

  • Jess

    Whether you want to acknowledge it or not, women are still subordinate to men in our society. The men out there who are capable of fostering real friendships with women are those who have a progressive state of mind in which they view women as equals to themselves. As for the others, they need to realize their sexism for what it is and attempt to move beyond it. Luckily for them though there are plenty of women out there who too readily give in to their subordinate role in society, and a sexist male will feel right at home having to never face his apparent sexism. 

    • Jeanne d'Arc

      LOL

    • smh

      Seriously? Sexism is the issue for men who find women attractive and and want to have sex with them (friend or not)? LOL – get out of here with that.

      I know men who have plenty of female friends, see them eye-to-eye as individuals, and yet still have a desire to have sex with them, and vice-versa. Has nothing to do with the inequality of gender roles in society – plainly and simply, they want sex w/ a woman who's attractive to them. Gay men, lesbians, straight people – all are guilty at some point for this carnal desire to want to have sex with people they get familiar with intimately. You're fooling yourself otherwise.

      • Jess

        Hmm, that's interesting because i didn't say anything about sex…

        Wait, are you trying to prove to me that men and women like to have sex with each other? Looks like I have to completely rework my argument now.

      • smh

        I'm a little confused now – isn't the topic about men and women being friends, and the benefits of having a female as a best friend (and users' said arguments of why men/women can't be friends)? Or are we talking specifically about the current state of women in the US?

        The answer to the latter question is still true in the US, so that point is acknowledged. But, not sure how this statement fits the current topic of men and women being friends. From what you're saying, it sounds like men and women can't be friends because males are sexists (unless the male is progressive enough). I don't think a male has ever said “i can't be friends with a woman because she's a woman. She belongs in the kitchen”. One of the main reasons why a lot of men and women aren't friends is because of the sex factor.

    • http://www.facebook.com/gregpphoto Greg Petliski

      As long as you and the children are getting out of the burning building first, I couldnt give a fuck less about “womens lib.”

    • Lol

      This is true, some men won't be friends with girls because they only see girls as potential people to fuck, if they're not going to have sex (if the girl is “ugly”) then it's not worth their time. This is a sexist attitude, because girls can be friends and sisters and mothers and worthwhile people, without sex coming into it. 

      Sometimes girls and guys who are friends will be attracted to each other and/or eventually hook up, that's human nature.  Sometimes, however, guys and girls can also be platonic friends and have things in common because we're all people and not weird ice cream eating stereotypes.

  • anal-flower

    Boys suck and can't be friends because they like girls and compete about them.

  • ricky sccchitliyz

    “I realized at age six that girls make better friends than boys. My male
    peers amused themselves by competing to see who could smack a higher
    spot on the wall in the hallway outside our first grade classroom, a
    pursuit that seemed to me not only entirely pointless but also like an
    unnecessary waste of energy.”

    you sound like a fucking boring prick. also, stop fucking kidding yourself, guy-girl friendships ALWAYS have a bad dynamic because the guy will always have some degree of “can i fuck her” and the girl will likely not even have that cross her mind

blog comments powered by Disqus