Just Friends

Friday, August 01, 2014

Just Friends

Can straight men and women ever truly have a completely platonic relationship?

I don’t have a lot of girl friends. I’ve never really been able to get along with other girls. Perhaps because I would rather discuss the meaning of life and other philosophical inquiries than celebrity drama, or how to impress boys. Or perhaps I just have too many trust issues, and (being a girl myself) have more trouble trusting girls than guys. Whatever the reason, I’ve always had more guy friends than girl friends.

But I’ve noticed throughout the years that my friendships with guys reach a certain point where the friendship can no longer continue. The problem, so stereotypically, is that one of us develops not-platonic feelings for the other and those feelings aren’t returned. Or worse: they are returned and the ensuing relationship crashes and burns. Badly.

Of course, there are exceptions to this. I’ve known a few people who have survived a romantic tragedy with their best opposite-sex friend, and I myself have had one friendship that has remained purely platonic for the past five years, since we met. But are these cases exceptions to the rule or are they the rule themselves?

I’ve done a lot of research on this, and I have to say that it’s not pretty. I’ll spare you the boring, scientific details, but essentially all evidence points against opposite-sex friendships between straight men and women in the long term. The friendship lasts until it becomes something more than a friendship. Or doesn’t in a friendship-crushing revelation. 

But that doesn’t mean the friendship isn’t worth it.

Everything is temporary, especially relationships. All marriages either end in death or divorce. All friendships either grow together or grow apart. But that doesn’t make the time we spend in these relationships any less meaningful. We learn from our relationships, we experience things we wouldn’t on our own, we find who we are and who we want to be. 

I’ve learned a lot from my friendships with guys. I’ve loved a lot. I’ve experienced a lot. And I don’t regret any of it. Not even when the friendships ended terribly. 

So embrace the friendship. Enjoy yourself. Because even if you’re not the exception, you’ll at least get to experience something great while it lasts. 

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