11.05.2014

No, We're Not Dating. Yes, We're Best Friends.


I tend to have more guy friends than girl friends.  Some people have a problem with that, but I don’t.  Honestly, most of the girls I've known just cause drama and I have enough personal things to deal with and don’t need a “friend” adding more.  Guys are fabulous.  I feel like I can be myself around them.  They don’t wear makeup, so I don’t feel like I have to.  They wear sweats and hoodies, so I feel totally comfortable being around them cuz that’s pretty much my favorite outfit ever.  They aren’t judgmental or stuck-up, and the good ones will always  l i s t e n  to me.  I’m not saying I don’t have any girl friends.  I can count my best girl friends on one hand.  The rest are just friends (ones who I’ll gladly talk to, text, hang out with, etc.) or acquaintances (ones who I’d much rather stay clear of...).

On the other hand, though, I am so blessed by the guys in my life.  The ones I am closest to, who I consider some of my best friends, are ones who I trust, respect and love being around.  Why?  Because they’re strong Christian men.  I know they are “safe” to be around.  And most importantly, they display Christian love and friendship towards me.  This is rare.  I’ve had many girls tell me how lucky I am to know such guys.  And I am.  I’m incredibly blessed by them.  One of my favorite things about my best guy friends is the fact that they’ll listen to me.  When I tell them about my day, about an achievement, about a dream.  Or even when I’m having an emotional break-down.  And when I’ve finished blubbering, they’ll tell me to suck it up, offer whatever advice they can, and tell me to move on.  It’s amazing.

But what also comes hand in hand with having opposite gender best friends?  Well, you get that lovely question.  One that a recent article I read referred to as “the golden question”.  (That article was also the one that inspired - and was the last nudge I needed - to write this one).  And what is this golden question?  Well, it can come in a few different forms:

“Do you like ____?  Cuz you two hang out a lot.”
“You guys are so cute in all your pictures together.  Are you dating?”
“So do you like him?”

Basically, “You can’t be just friends with him, Raquel.  When are you gonna start dating?”

First of all, I am really curious what determines the best friend/significant other line.  Hanging out a lot together?  Taking pictures together?  Calling each other “best friends”?  Secondly, why can’t people just accept the fact that guys and girls can be, yes, JUST friends without having romantic feelings for each other?

There have been countless times when I have had to explain to inquisitive super nosy people that no, me and (insert name of one of my guys friends) aren’t dating, aren’t interested in each other, and are just friends.  I really don’t prefer to use that term “just friends”.  It gives this air of “not that big of a deal”.  When, to me, these certain guy friends mean a heap to me.  I’ve just relented to saying it because it’s one of the only ways to get my point across to certain people sometimes.

I get really snippy when this golden question is asked of me.  And it’s because I get so frustrated that people have the mentality of: a guy and a girl cannot be best friends without dating each other.  Sure, I get the whole “you should marry your best friend” thing but who are you to assume that this particular best guy friend, at this particular time in my life is my future husband?  

I’m not saying that guys and girls who are friends will NEVER have romantic feelings for each other, that it’s impossible, that it’s stupid.  Nothing of that sort.  All I’m saying is that it IS possible for two people, a guy and a girl, to be best friends and just that.  Friends.  Good friends.  Nothing more.  And if a friendship turns into a relationship, that’s great.  Obviously you need to be friends with someone before you can think about dating them.  But don’t automatically assume that opposite gender friendships are ACTUALLY relationships.

I can honestly say that having close guy friends has been an incredible blessing in my life.  And I am very thankful for them.  So so thankful.  

I appreciate and love all my friendships - with guys and girls.  I especially love the diversity and uniqueness of each of my best friends because they each have different roles in my life, different outlooks, opinions, and personalities.  And all of these have helped and challenged me as an individual, as well as their friend.  I go to one of my guy friends for advice on this or that, and I’ll go to my girl friends when I need help or a good girly conversation.  Both are good.  Both are fun.  Both are healthy.  And both are a blessing.

9 comments:

  1. Ten years ago I would have said the exact same thing. I had more guy friends than girl friends, I thought it was "less work" to be around guys, and people even assumed that my best friend (who is now my husband) were dating when we weren't. But now that I'm on the other side of marriage, I don't think best friends of the opposite gender are wise, simply out of respect for my husband.

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  2. I have had the exact same thing happen before.... so why cant me and a guy be friends! it's like it is just not allowed.

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  3. Interesting on your first paragraph how you state because your guy friends don’t wear make up, you don’t feel the need to, or how they wear your favourite clothes so you can, too. I think this says more about the high expectations women put on each other. Sometimes, it can be insulting when we blame other girls for the drama – I know men who cause drama, too. We’re all capable of it because we’re all human, although some of us use different techniques. Perhaps it’s time we stopped comparing men and women and saying ‘men are more fulfilling friends because girls cause drama/have high appearance expectations.’ It’s nearly berating to our gender and doesn’t breed love, just breeds umbrella stereotypes which continue to divide women. It’s time, I think, that we start to BE the change in our female relationships – so we feel comfortable to wear whatever we want, wear make up or not, and not cause ‘drama.’ When I was younger, I would have shared the same views as you. However, now I’m older, I find that as I’ve matured, so have my female friendships and they are the most fulfilling ones in my life. When two women are friends, they are sisters…simple as. The intimacy fostered between them is almost sibling like and I would not trade that for the world. Now, am I saying you can’t get that with men? Not at all – I’ve had friends in the past who were/are like brothers to me. But I’m not going to start comparing the genders and saying one is more capable of drama than the other, or with boys I don’t have to wear make up. All my girlfriends slob about in their Pyjamas in front of me when I visit and I don’t have a care in the world! BE the change, girls.
    Overall, though, interesting post. And the whole question of "So...is there something going on between you both?" gets annoying. I guess people love a love story though ;)

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  4. I think that being friends with guys is awesome, and I totally agree with the fact that being friends with a guy shouldn't automatically mean that you two are dating. However, I don't think that it's wise to be best friends with a guy. I think for us girls, there's a fine line between attaching yourself to a guy as a friend, and attaching yourself to a guy as one would in a relationship. I'm not saying you are, and I don't want to imply that this ALWAYS happens-I'm just saying, I don't think it's wise to put oneself in that position. And unfortunately, I'm talking from experience. I had become what I thought was just best friends, and after a few years, I learned how much I had attached myself to him-more than just a best friend, when he started a courtship with another gal. It hurt too much for just being best friends.
    I hope this doesn't spark an arguement, I just happen to have a different view, and want to give a little warning to any who would listen.

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  5. I've always gotten along better with guys than girls. Before I was married, I would have agreed with you one hundred percent. However, with marriage comes a certain understanding of what it means to have strong relationships with those of the opposite sex. You give little pieces of yourself away when you have a friend with whom you're close enough to "vent" or spill your heart to, and those pieces are so precious -- they shouldn't be given away to many. They form a bond that, believe it or not, is sacred. Likewise, the person you're getting too close to is forming a bond with you that should be shared only with his beloved.

    I'm not saying being friends with guys is bad (I still feel more comfortable around men my age than women). I'm just saying that with friendships outside of marriage, it's important to be careful with your heart. Guard it. I promise your future husband will appreciate it.

    Love you and your heart for Christ, girlie! xo
    blog

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  6. Great article!! I totally agree.

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  7. I have some chick best friends, so I can readily identify with this whole thing. In fact, I recently had a pretty awesome friendship that turned into a relationship just because of the whole judgement factor you mentioned. It was easier for us to just say we were in a relationship than to explain how we're just best friends.

    In the end, it came about as we both expected, that neither of us were right for the other; however we came out of the relationship much smarter, and better friends for it. I'm thankful that because of our relationship with God, we can love each other as friends, and that we don't have to obey the guidelines of the social norm that seems to be projected into society.

    It's funny however, that as a man I more readily identify with females than my "bro" counterparts; the opposite gender friendship for me has always been my comfort zone. Anyways to sum things up, it's good to read about your life as it can identify with so many others when you think you're all alone in your feelings. Thanks for being honest, Raquel, and for continuing to write these blogs in the face of the occasional adversity that condemns "outside the social norm".

    Cheers

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  8. Nice post
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  9. Thank you so much for writing this! I've always had more guy friends than girl, have always been the girl that "hangs with the guys", and I've always been more comfortable hanging out with guys rather than girls. My guy friends are such a blessing to me and I wouldn't trade them for anything. Like you, people have told me how "lucky" I am to have so many godly guy friends. I am SO thankful for them.

    I have some very close girl friends too, but many girls I've met just bring a lot of drama with them, and I don't need more of that in my life. Guys are so refreshing.

    Anyway, just wanted to say how happy it made me to see someone else that totally gets it. Especially the part about how annoying it is when people ask those questions about them - I get those a lot.

    Thank you!

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