This is a blurry photo of me with a few of my closest friends. Three of the four are guys, which is a ratio that can be applied to almost all my social circles (except the one from college, because my class was completely Y chromosome free).
For various reasons, depending on which stage of my life we’re talking about, I have always been one of the boys. I had never thought much of this up until a few years ago, when I visited the youth group of our church. As per standard procedure whenever Valentine’s draws near, the church had invited a young, newly married couple to talk about relationships.
excessively talking about how much they liked to have sex with each other, they excessively stressed one thing: Girls cannot be friends with boys. Boys cannot be friends with girls.
One or both parties inevitably develop feelings for the other, you see, and then all hell breaks loose because of all the drama (okay, this may not be verbatim, but this was the gist).
The middle school aged people who formed the bulk of the youth group came together after the talk, bright red (because of how many times S-E-X was mentioned) and confused. Were they supposed to just ghost their close guy friends? Sit them down and explain the situation? Tell them their friendship was not a responsible way to “guard their hearts”? (Since post-preaching groups were always segregated by gender, I only heard the girls, but I think it’s safe to assume the boys were no different).
Call it a case of Baader-Meinhof, but after that odd evening, I began noticing all the other places that shared the sentiment of anti cross-gender friendship.
Reasons I’ve heard range from “guys and girls just think too differently” to “a guy-girl friendship is bound to end up in bed.”
I find this hilarious and sad at the same time.
The propagation of this kind of thinking creates a population incapable of cultivating healthy relationships with the opposite gender. It also makes it easy to misinterpret friendliness as romantic advancement, and THAT is where real drama develops.
Also, from first hand experience, I’ve seen that this preaching can sometimes breed overly jealous individuals who can’t handle it when their SOs spend time (by choice or forced by circumstance) with the opposite gender.
While I cannot say that it is universally untrue that friends end up falling in love with each other, I can definitely vouch for the high likelihood of things remaining platonic.
Someone once told me that, in general, there isn’t a good reason to immediately write someone off and close the doors to the possibility of becoming buddies.
True, there are exceptions, but I don’t think the difference in reproductive organs should be one of them.