I’m not sure about you but I’m forever asked about my relationship status with male friends. I guess for many it raises the question whether females and males can truly just be friends. Personally, I feel it’s possible since I have quite a few healthy platonic friendships with guys. That doesn’t mean that some haven’t tried to get with me but I feel the responsibility is on you to draw the line.
So in order for us to address this question of platonic friendships a friend sent me a list of questions on the topic. At first I thought I’d just ask you the questions and get your thoughts on them but I thought it would be more fun if I answered them too.
Q & A
Q: How do you go about making them or do they just find their way to you? (E.g. do you guys have similar interests so you just gel?)
A: Firstly, I laugh every time I hear this question because it almost sounds like a little boy trying to figure out this great mystery that doesn’t make any sense to him. Truthfully I find it easier to make guy friends because they are either tryna fuck you or not. In both cases it opens up an opportunity to get to know the guy and decide whether or not you want him in your life. That’s why my guy friends are a mix of ex-boyfriends, ex-lovers, varsity, primary or high school mates.
Q: What qualities do male friends offer that your female friends don’t?
A: Unfortunately, I can’t be asking my guy friends to wax my armpits or just stroll around naked at their houses, that’s why girlfriends are awesome for those moments amongst other things. However, guy friends are great for challenging and sharing perspectives of the world. I find my guy friends are not afraid of being seen trying new things or questioning “established” orders of the world. They have a more natural curiosity for things.
Q: How do you really tell that they aren’t waiting in the wings for an opportunity to fuck you?
A: (laughs) Honestly, you can’t always tell. Sometimes it’s obvious from the change in behaviour towards you e.g. he suddenly becomes more attentive towards things he used to brush off or starts using the ‘blowing a heart kiss’ emoji more in conversations. Basically anything that a boyfriend or someone trying to court you would do.
Q: Please elaborate.
A: I remember speaking to a primary school guy friend about how I asked a mutual friend of ours to attend his wedding (the invite hadn’t arrived obviously) and he rejected me! My primary school mate’s response was a chuckle and then he revealed that the guy actually wanted me for the longest time. It was only after he said that that I suddenly became aware to the changes that had occurred in our friendship. When we’d hangout (I’d sometimes be the only girl amongst the group of friends), he’d be the first to make sure I was ok. I could always rely on him to pick me up, listen to my cries and have hour long conversations on the phone. He became my boyfriend filler when I wasn’t dating, without the boyfriend benefits of course. I still wanted nothing more than friendship even with his increased efforts, he obviously wanted more.
Q: How do you as a woman feel about your bf’s female friends that he’s close to?
A: This is a tricky question. I would only have an issue with his female friends if he, and she/them, gave me reason to. I had an incident with an ex-boyfriend where he had asked me to pick up his one female friend from the Sandton Gautrain station, then pick him up from his home so we could all go out that night. My god, even thinking about it gets me fucken angry. Anyway, I did exactly that then when it was time for us to head home he decided at the last minute to stay at the party with his ‘friend’. Long story short we got into a big argument outside and this bitch wasn’t even trying to help me knock some sense into this guy. I ended up leaving alone and even after that I stayed with him. Needless to say we are no longer in contact since I came to my senses after all of the bullshit he had put me through.
If a female friend of your boyfriend truly respects your relationship then there wouldn’t be any reason for you to feel uncomfortable or suspicious around her. Also, your boyfriend will make it clear to her about his standpoint in the relationship. If it’s just a friendship then boundaries will be drawn and she would respect that without jeopardizing the friendship.
Q: What boundaries, if any, do you have with your male friends?
A: (Laughs) The obvious one is no sex or sexually charged contact because that will just lead to unnecessary drama and potentially ending the friendship. Another definite no-no is cock-blocking! Even if you’re not trying to help me get mines which is okay, but don’t stand in my way then homie. Cock-blocking to me is a cop out from facing possible rejection and being honest with the next person about your true feelings. Lastly, you can’t be having late night after 11pm calls or texts with your guy friends when either of you are dating, unless it’s really important or an emergency. That’s just disrespectful to the partners in the relationships.
Q: Does the nature of your male friendships change when you’re in a relationship, if so how?
A: No. My close guy friends who’ve known me for years will tell me upfront whether they like the guy or not, or anything else that would be important. Otherwise nothing about our friendship suddenly changes because I’m in a relationship or vice versa.
Q: If you have any advice to give to a sister/cousin/friend/stranger about having male friends, what would you say?
A: Friendships by their very nature can be difficult at times, like any relationship. They come with work, honesty, love, pain, growth and everything in between. I guess the key thing about forming healthy relationships with guys is making sure that there are clear distinctions in the friendship, and there is respect and nurturing of your possibilities. I’m fortunate and grateful that I have guy friends who possess these qualities but also never belittle or take advantage of me instead I am respected as their equal.
It’s funny how questions can reveal things about yourself that you didn’t even pay-attention to until afterwards. Anyway, I’d love to hear your thoughts and comments.
Love and happiness,