Why Guys and Girls can’t be friends – #ChatsAndRantsWithAFriend:

“#ChatsAndRantsWithAFriend” will be a new feature that I’ll use on my blog, in which various friends of mine and I have when we feel the need to chat and rant to each other.

Friend: I really hate that we don’t appreciate platonic relationships between boys and girls more. Whenever a boy and a girl exchange any form of physical contact, it’s always viewed in a romantic/sexual or potentially romantic/sexual way and I really hate that.

For me personally, it’s made it difficult to be friends with guys because I have this constant thought in my mind, like, if he’s a guy, I need to be aware that he could be a potential romantic or sexual connection for me. And then I lose complete interest in wanting to be around that person.

I wish we normalised friendships between boys and girls more. If it was more normal for boys and girls to be friends then the transition into a relationship, I feel would be so much smoother. If it was normal for all of us to genuinely be around each other as friends without ANY romantic allusions, I think being in a relationship would be a lot less scary.

If you are comfortable with each other in a platonic way, that’s a much stronger foundation than one that is based exclusively on the fact that you’re romantically compatible for when things get tricky and romance isn’t going to pull you out of it.

Again, just because I am someone who isn’t comfortable with romantic relationships with anyone yet, I want male friends. Platonic male friends. Ones that I can be myself with to the same extent I can be myself with my girl friends. I always feel so suffocated by that pressure to be aware of a guy developing feelings that I never want to pursue any kind of comfortable friendship with guys.

It’s not like I have this idea that all men are going to fall for me, because that’s literally not true, but I guess I have it in my head that when it comes to guys, all I’m good for is being a romantic partner, because that’s all we see with boys and girls together.

Patriarchy, Hollywood, whatever, all of it has made it seem so abnormal to be friends with guys with never any intentions to be anything else.

It’s made it hard to be around a guy without always automatically showing off my wife skills, even if I’m not interested in being one for this particular guy, just because I’m so conditioned to feel like communicating with a guy should be done by expressing how good of a partner I’d be for him, and only showing the best, forced, fake version of myself to him.

A version of myself I’m not comfortable with and a version of myself I don’t even like because it isn’t me.

The ability for men and women to be genuine friends would be a big move forward for feminism as well, which does, after all, stand for equality between the genders. Women shouldn’t be feeling like they need to puff out their feathers for a man because that’s all women are good for or because it’s important to impress him because he is a man.

The same goes for men with women.

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There shouldn’t ever be pressure to be a certain way around a certain person just because they are a specific gender. As soon as we project some version of ourselves intended to impress, it’s where we get things wrong. It’s not a game of who is the most objectively ideal person for anyone, it’s really a case of knowing each other on a very platonic and uncomplicated level before adding the complication of romance to it.

Even if everything I’ve just said is complete BS and I’m seeing things totally wildly wrong, I still wish that I personally didn’t feel the way I do around guys.

I want connections with them that are the same as my girl friends you know. I want to be able to bear hug them randomly and normal hug them randomly and put my head on their shoulder randomly without it being a big deal and without stressing about what that particular behaviour means for our friendship or our relationship and if I’m pushing the boundary of friendship too far.

If it’s not something that makes me stress out about my friendships with girls when I behave a certain way, I don’t want it to be something that stresses me out when I behave a certain way with guys.

Me: I love this because this is so true. It is this constant irrational pressure on the boy/girl dynamic that affects everything in how men and women relate to each other.

Friend: Yeah absolutely. It if was more normal for guys and girls to be friends, there’d be so much less mistrust and jealousy between partners because it wouldn’t be weird for your boyfriend to hang around other girls and it wouldn’t he something that would make you suspicious. If romantic connections between boys and girls wasn’t something we automatically expected when boys and girls were together, we’d approach getting into relationships very differently.

But I understand that we are where we are because that’s never how it’s been before; there’s never been a time in human history where potential romantic partners first inclination was to be friends. It’s like a natural instinct to see someone’s romantic/sexual potential as soon as they are the gender you are attracted to.

Which sucks and I kinda think that since we are smarter now than being driven exclusively by instinct it should be something we think about, especially because instinct doesn’t protect you from emotional involvement with someone and it’s a conscious thing you need to be able to be aware of.

Me: It would be cool if life wasn’t so complicated. It would simplify miscommunication and unnecessary drama in relationships that come out of this. It makes me sad that the type of friendships you describe will never get to exist. Those platonic bonds are now at least fictional ideas that we can only hope exists one day.

“#ChatsAndRantsWithFriends” will be a new feature that I’ll use on my blog. I didn’t really have a lot to say in this story because when I initially replied I was busy so my responses were short but also she touched on everything. I just felt very compelled to listen.

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Theo. Over and Out.

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