I want to mention first how uncomfortable I am with using ‘girl’ and ‘boy’ on the title of this blog because I obviously will be talking about grown-ups here – since only adults make relatively simple things such as friendship so complicated. Using ‘woman’ and ‘man’ equally feels wrong though and so does ‘female’ and ‘male’ hence, the choice of words. Am I the only one uncomfortable with these terms?
Sorry that was a really lame introduction.
I have been thinking about ways to keep this blog alive for the past few days now. I was watching Claire’s vlogmas on Youtube earlier though and she mentioned about how she will be posting one vlog per day during the entire holiday season to ease her way back into vlogging. While I am nine days too late to start a blogmas, I thought that I could still use Claire’s technique and promise to write something each day until the end of the month. Hence the birth of a segment in this blog: controversial talks. I am in no way going to research thoroughly for each topic nor will I support my position with research and empirical data – coffee as always, along with personal experiences, will guide me through all my answers.
In my opinion, girls and guys can be friends and be very close with each other without wanting to sleep with them or without having any other hidden agenda than just friendship.
A lot of people think that if a girl hangs out with a guy, there definitely is something going on between the two of them sexually or at least, romantically. This I can attest to – being close with so many guys as early as high school up until now. In high school it even came to a point when there were rumors about me and my male friends, either revolving around I being a lesbian or I dating one of them. None of them were true but it definitely made me conscious about how I act around people of the opposite sex just so the rumors will stop. Sometimes, their girlfriends end up disliking me as well, which just added up to the reasons why I tried to hang out with the guys less and establish friendship with the same sex instead.
The problem with that line of thinking though is that it reduces people into some sex-driven and romantic relationship-seeking individuals who I believe we are far from. While perhaps the ‘end goal’ of an adult life is to marry someone and have a family, I don’t think that it is enough to presume that every individual is interested in hooking up or falling in love with someone they get along with just because she or he happened to be a female or male. Nor is it sensitive to assume that we befriend people for their bodies – that’s just barbaric.
I treat my guy friends the same way as I would treat girls: if they need someone to talk to or if they are too embarrassed to talk about relationships and love with their own friends, I am always willing to listen; if they ask me out for food or need someone to accompany them wherever, I will gladly come; if they want to chat about anything this universe has to offer, I will be more than willing to spend hours over Messenger with you if it happens to interest me as well. The bottom line is, all these guidelines, to put it lightly, on the way we should interact with the opposite sex are just constructs that our culture and society imposes upon us and in no way should we allow it to dictate the way we want to treat our friends.
One might ask: what if the guy actually likes you? Or what if he is attracted to you physically? This is where intuition should kick in. I know that I may have come across naive and idealistic with everything that I wrote above but the thing is, I am not unaware of the fact that this universe do have a lot of jerks who befriend girls so they can sleep with them at some point (my friends in law school taught me that these guys are generally referred to as fuckboys or fuccbois, and the term apparently does exist). I guess that it always comes down to your senses as it is easy to distinguish a player and one who offers genuine friendship. I say avoid the former and keep the latter but if you want to play as well then by all means do, that’s your choice. And if in case the guy likes you romantically then weigh in how you feel about him and be honest about it right away as it is complicated to establish friendship when you two want different things. Things would go smoother if it is mutual but that is not always the case.
I think my premise is becoming less and less appealing at this point, considering how complicated the subject has become. But still – ugh, kulit ko I know – girls and guys can be just friends. Perhaps what makes friendship with the opposite sex difficult is the possibility of falling in-love with them but it does not mean to say that it is altogether difficult and impossible. You will end up losing people you could have been great friends with for a long time if you let your prejudices or assumptions get in the way. Be friends with people who feel like home to you, those you are comfortable with and those who interest and inspire you irrespective of their gender or sexual orientation. Screw the rumors.
What happens if it is you who end up liking the guy? You can either risk the friendship by letting him know what you feel about him or you can take a step back and control it, because no matter what these cheesy love songs try to tell us, feelings can be controlled and you can stop yourself from liking someone if you want to. In my opinion, genuine friendship is more valuable than romantic relationships so if it comes to a point when I need to choose between confessing and keeping my sentiments to myself – I will most likely choose the latter even if it seems like a cowardly thing to do. But if you think you like the guy enough to make you want to risk the friendship, then go for it. It always is a choice you have to make for yourself.
P.S. I just go way off tangent halfway through finishing a topic, don’t I? Sorry about that. I wanted to talk about friendship per se without going into the topic of love and relationships but it was impossible not to touch on the subject even for a bit. I hope I made sense. Haha!
(Credit: the GIF above was taken from this essay)