The boundaries of guy-girl friendships seems to be a trending topic -- especially with movies such as "NO Strings Attached" and "Friends With Benefits" out. Today I want to take a break from beauty blogging and bring up a post I wrote 3 years ago when I had more of a "relationship blog." Kind of miss it! And please feel free to let me know your take on this topic!
Yesterday over lunch, P and I had a delightfully heated debate over the topic of guy-girl friendships. He had created an entire philosophy explaining why it was absolutely impossible for a guy and a girl to be “just friends” whereas I felt it was entirely possible.
In his theory, he stated that the only way for a guy and a girl to become close was if there was some sort of initial attraction – whether one-sided or not. He said NO guy would ever ask for a girl’s phone number or screen name, arrange a one-on-one "date" (movie, dinner), and make an effort to get to know her if he didn’t find some sort of appeal (and vice versa). And the only way a friendship can become “allegedly” platonic, is if one person sets the boundaries of the friendship, and the other person chooses to respect those boundaries. Basically someone agrees to accept the friendship because that’s all they can get haha.
In my perspective, the context of how two people meet can predetermine the status of their future interactions and relationships. If you don't meet in an "instant" dating scenerio -- at a club, at the gym, through a mutual friend -- or some other way in which you immediately size up their potential, it's harder to get into the groove and often just leads to friendship. But there’s definitely other ways of getting to know someone than “hollering” because in some situations, you are forced to get to know one another – perhaps you work together every day, you’re always over at your boyfriend’s house so you end up getting to know his roommate, you grew up with a family friend, or you look to your girlfriend’s best friend/sister/cousin for advice on your relationship since she knows her so well.
I mean yeah, you don’t HAVE to get to know them – but isn’t it kind of rude not to? And I don’t necessarily think that the gender of the person comes into account – a guy and a girl are easily interchangeable in these situations. Sometimes you accidentally get to know someone, find you have something in common, and develop a friendship. And why is it perfectly okay for a girl to call up a girl friend for lunch, but if she calls up a guy for lunch, it has to mean something???
Our greatest debate was over the topic of guys with girlfriends and girls with boyfriends. In my case, if a guy has a girlfriend, I’m more willing to accept his friendship because I know it’s safe. But maybe that’s the trick behind it? Maybe because both of your guards are down, you develop an intimate bond without realizing it.
P says that the only reason people in relationships look for friendships in the opposite sex, is to fill certain voids. It’s not necessarily looking to cheat, but perhaps there is a particular quality missing in a relationship. Maybe the girlfriend is too shy and safe and not willing to venture out – and he has a female friend that’s crazy and fun and a blast to go out with. Maybe he loves the fact his girlfriend is so outgoing, but feels he can’t relate to her on certain levels. Maybe the girlfriend doesn’t understand a crisis he’s going through. He says it’s so much harder to confide in other guys because of pride issues, so guys naturally look to girls to be compassionate about their problems.And when a girlfriend doesn’t understand, he turns to the next best thing -- a female friend.
So basically, everything comes down to “what if.” What if a guy has a female friend that’s always been there for him and he breaks up with his girlfriend? What if you accidentally get to know someone and realize later that there IS a physical attraction? What if the girl you always looked to as a “little sister” suddenly grows up before your eyes? What if one day you realize the guy you’ve always called on to help you with a flat tire or unclog your toilet is actually HOT?
Can a person really sit down, write out the names of all their friends of the opposite sex, and be absolutely certain, that if one day that person confessed their feelings, they would feel completely nothing? Because essentially, doesn’t a person look for similar qualities in both a friend and a significant other? Why on earth would someone be good enough to be your best friend, but not good enough to be your boyfriend? All the “safeties” that we create – "he has a girlfriend, he’s like my brother, he dated my friend, we grew up together, we’re TOO good of friends"– are they all just excuses made up in our heads to keep us within the boundaries?
Because I mean really, WHAT IF?