This is an age-old question that has been plaguing the minds of well-meaning men and women wayyy before Harry made it a thing:
And so here we are. Asking the same question of you all, and requesting your thoughts. And SURPRISE. I have some of my own. ;)
So. Can guys and gals be "just friends"?
Well, it depends. I know, I know...we all hate that answer.
"It depends". RELATIVISM! GAHHH!
buuuuut since we're dealing with what I don't believe to be a moral Truth issue, Imma let this one slide.
Ok, so why does it depend?
Welllll, I'm a firm believer that men and women CAN be friends with one another because I have some veryveryvery close guy friends. BUT there are a couple factors that come into play in order to make these relationships possible:
1. Within these relationships, neither of us have a romantic interest in the other.
2. I'm also very close with their wives/girlfriends.
This isn't to say that you can't be friends with someone who you've been romantically interested in at one point or another, but in my experience, I've only been able to have authentically close friendships with guy friends once our friendship becomes completely platonic (regardless if the initial feelings were one-sided or not). Additionally, when/if these guy friends have a significant other, the only way that I've been able to maintain that friendship is if I'm also close with her.
I've tried to be friends with guys who don't match one or both of the above factors, and it just ends up being awkward. And like Jen said, I just don't/didn't feel like I could be authentically me.
I have a couple examples.
First, one of my closest guy friends. I've known him for going on 5 years and he's truly like a big brother to me. I trust him and know that he'd be there for me, even if it meant driving 3 hrs in the middle of the night. He also happens to be married to one of my dearest girlfriends. We've known one another for 5 years and they live only a couple of blocks from me. We hang out a good amount each week, both one-on-one and the three of us, and now that they have a babe, I try to sneak over whenever I can ;)
But the point is, I'm able to be true friends with P and I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that I've never had romantic feelings for him AND that his wife knows me and trusts me. Even though I know that I'd NEVER try to break up any couple, distrust between you and your friend's wife/girlfriend can cause major issues.
On the opposite end of the spectrum is a guy who I'm technically friends with, but I feel uncomfortable with our relationship. He's a nice guy and all, but I always get the vibe that he likes me in a more-than-just-friends way. Maybe it's the 3+ Snapchats from him each day or the little comments he makes about us hanging out alone, etc. Regardless of what it is, I'm not interested and while I've made that clear (VERY explicitly clear), I still don't feel like I can call him up on any given night to grab a drink without him potentially getting the wrong idea.
And I know that our "friendship" is different from what I've had with other guys because I have a guy friend moving to town next month who I wouldn't hesitate to get dinner with multiple nights a week. (again, completely platonic and his girlfriend and I are bffs)
So, in summation, I do think it's possible to be friends with guys....clearly these friendship will look differently than those you have with other women, but I think that's a given. These friendships have taught me A LOT about being able to relate to guy problems and how to communicate with them....skills that I think will help me eventually when I find Mr. Morgan.
But I don't think it's as simple as people might think. I don't think women can be "just friends" with every guy. Many will have romantic interests and others may have girlfriends who you aren't friends with. And, like I said, these are two factors that I've found really determine your ability to have a true friendship with the opposite sex. Keep in mind that these are just my opinions based on my personal experience...I'm not saying you have to follow these guidelines when making guy friends, this is just what I've found to be consistent in my life.
What are your thoughts? Can girls be "just friends" with guys? Are there other components you think I missed? We'd love to hear it!
Link up at Jen's with your writings on being "just friends" with guys!
Next week's topic:
Are there any books, songs, prayers, etc that have helped you during this time of your life? Sharing is caring!
8/6: Envy and Singlehood
Interpret as you will....
8/13: CHALLENGE TIME!
So...you think you are called to marriage? What are you doing about it? Go to a young adults activity! Sign up for CatholicMatch.com! Do SOMETHING that allows you to take an active part in writing your story. Praying is important, and we love writing about our thoughts and feelings, but we need to be doing more than just that! God won't just hand everything to us, we've got to make an effort as well!
Or....feeling that religious life is where you're headed? Maybe reach out to a community you're interested in! Have coffee with a sister from another community! Pray, duh. But, it's important to be active in your search for God's will.
On 8/13 we'll all be talking about what we did and how it went!
What's a community without challenging each other?? Can't wait to hear about it!
Again, Jen and I really really REALLY need your ideas for more topics! We've received a few great ones, but please don't be shy! We're hosting the linkup, but we really want everyone to be involved. Please email us or comment on our posts about things you would like to discuss. No topic is out of the question!