Can men and women be just friends?
I feel like this question comes up all the time. I’ve always considered myself a guy’s girl. I’ve always had a great group of girlfriends but I’ve also had an equally great group of guy friends. I think it started when I was working in a male dominated field. Of a 10 person management team I was the only female. I’m also the only girl of all my siblings. So to say I’m pretty comfortable with a group of dudes is an understatement.
Recently I had the chance to take a quick weekend trip to do some hiking that I’ve been dying to do. One of my coworkers wanted to come along and I was happy to have the company. My coworker just happens to be a man. When I mentioned to my friends that he was going with I couldn’t believe some of responses I got. Everything from “he obviously wants to bang you” to “well, be careful you don’t lead him on”. My response of “we’re just friends with similar interest” was almost laughed at. We stayed in separate hotel rooms, which we booked separately. There were obvious, and unspoken, boundaries. We had a blast together and I’m glad he was there. As I was posting pictures on social media, because duh, I purposely left out photos of us together. I just knew it would stir shit up and I didn’t want to deal with it. I knew people would comment and ask what the deal was. Can’t men and women be just friends?
Yes, there are times when friendships with guys get messy. When one person develops romantic feelings that the other doesn’t share things can get awkward. I’ve been on both sides of that equation and each equally suck. It takes maturity, uncomfortable conversations and transparency to navigate those waters.
For me the positive of having guy friends out weighs the challenges. My guys have been a touch stone of relationship advice that is different than my girlfriends. They’ve been my protectors in times of heartbreak, and I can’t tell you what that has meant to me. These guys have moved my couch, fixed my car and put together countless pieces of IKEA furniture. They bring less drama and tons of laughs and I know they seriously have my back.
So, to answer the question… Yes, I do think men and women can be just friends. I think we’re all adults and I think you can be friends with a guy without wanting to fuck him or marry him. Sometimes you really are just friends and that can be a beautiful thing.