Guys and girls can’t be best friends.
You can’t spend quality time doing fun activities, eating together, sharing your feelings, and not become attracted to another person even at the most basic level. This is also called dating. Just throwing that out there.
And I’ve always had a lot of guy friends. I’m probably more comfortable around guys than I am around girls. Eating copious amounts of food, not talking for extended periods of time, and wearing workout clothes. This was my wheelhouse. These were my people. Fist bumps all around.
But I had to cut a lot of guy friends out of my life.
It was actually really hard. As a girl I bear the burden of my relationships. They’re really important to me and I cherish them dearly. Eventually I realized I was creating a lot of unhealthy patterns in the midst of my intimate guy friendships. Unfortunately I learned the hard way, but there are a few reasons why guys and girls can’t be best friends.
We’re using each other.
I realized I looked to my guy friends to slowly assemble the perfect boyfriend. I wanted all of the perks of dating without the commitment. Thanks to a few close guy friendships I was able to assemble the perfect male companion. I would take bits and pieces from each relationship to make a complete boyfriend. Truth be told it was pretty toxic. There was zero commitment involved and I had complete autonomy. There wasn’t any sacrifice- if they ever needed me, I mean really needed me, I didn’t have to be there because we weren’t dating.
And for girls, if you have a best guy friend I promise there’s the temptation for him to create a mosaic of a girlfriend as well. You’re meeting his emotional needs, his mom is meeting his basic needs, and porn is meeting his physical needs. It’s the epitome of selfishness on both ends, just using each other without risk, submission or sacrifice. And those are the bedrock on which true relationships are built.
We’re holding each other back.
If I walk into a restaurant and see a guy and girl engaged in a deep conversation or even a fun one I’m going to assume they’re dating. It’s just natural.
And yet I would very willingly go spend time with my guy friends in one on one situations and wonder why I was still single. If we’re engaged in a best friendship with someone of the opposite sex those who might potentially be interested will lose interest.
If a guy saw me spending a lot of quality time with another guy he would most likely assume we’re dating. I know assume makes an ass out of you and me but it seriously does make an ass out of us both if we’re going to spend that much time together and wonder why no one else is making a move. Humans are most inclined to take the path of least resistance. Not to say we need to make ourselves readily available, but if there isn’t room at a table for two between you and your bestie then very few sane people would be forward enough to pursue a relationship and risk rejection.
Girls, your guy friend might be crowding out a potential boyfriend. Not in a protective hulking way. In a lack of availability and common sense kind of way. Guys, same for you. If we genuinely care about the other person and they desire a romantic relationship then it’s time to step away or at least step back and evaluate.
We’re keeping each other down.
For the longest time I thought that having a lot of guy friends would make me more attractive. I figured that guys liked girls who can hang with the dudes. I also was good at math and realized the more guys I surrounded myself with the better my options were of dating one of them.
I was wrong, so wrong.
Here’s the deal- no girl is cool girl. Every single girl is absolutely bat shit crazy. We’re all a giant ball of insecurity liable to burst into tears at any moment, no matter how cool or Pinteresty or athletic or pretty we may seem outwardly.
So hanging out with great guys who didn’t seem to want to date me was lighting a match to the lighter fluid of my insecurities. These guys enjoyed spending time with me, getting to know me, and we genuinely had a good connection, yet they still didn’t want to date me?
Commence every insecurity, doubt, and fear raging deep inside of me.
Guys, I’ve spent enough time with you to know that you too are a giant ball of insecurity despite your steely exterior. Insecurity, taxes, and death are the only things guaranteed during human existence.
So we actually might be doing each other more harm than we are good. We might be adding to the hurt and pain that already exist within us. We might be making our lives more complicated and less productive by pushing in on each other’s insecurities. And, to be quite frank, that’s not friendship. At least, it’s not a friendship I would like to be a part of. We're keeping each other from our fullest potential and the truest expressions of who we are when we feed those insecurities in one another.
Though our friendship might be well-intentioned it could actually be keeping us from what we want the most. If we really desire a dating relationship then we have to ditch the best friend.
It’s hard, it’s messy, but so is life. I think it actually frees us up to enjoy deeper and fuller relationships with the people around us. People who will inspire us and encourage us to pursue the kinds of relationships we really want. Not to say those can’t happen between guys and girls but it sure is a hell of a lot more complicated.
When it comes to guy-girl best friendships there truly are two options: either date them or ditch them.
And, for the record, I chose date.