The Girl Having Male Friends as a Young Adult
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Most of us have been in a cross-sex friendship at least once in our life, and we know it is a complicated kind of relationships to endure, especially during our teenage years. But it is also a difficult one during young adult, at this moment what may have changed is our viewpoint about this relationship. Having male friends as a young adult has its benefits as well as its inconveniences. Since I have experienced cross-sex friendship throughout my live, I have also enjoyed some benefits from it. And I think that the outcomes are more important than the drawbacks. As I will focus only on the inconveniences, let’s get a look at the advantages first.
Having male friends help me know boys in a way that probably I wouldn’t know them. I have come to observe the human part of boys and men. I have also realized that teaming up with men is not that difficult as many women think. Having experienced this is particularly beneficial for my career and social life.
With respect to the drawbacks, people tend to gossip on cross-sex friendships more than those of the same ***. Thus, if you are afraid of criticism, it would be difficult for you to have friends of the opposite ***. I have always been criticized for having boys as best friends. My guy friends have also been in that same situation. The problem is that people are inclined to think that friendship is limited to people of same gender. In our societies we tend to see people more as gendered being than human being.
My Experiences in Cross-sex Friendships
Most of my best friends are boys, then during my lifetime I have dealt with different sorts of misunderstandings. Last year, I took a brief time to analyze the types of feedbacks that I have received throughout my life. In this text I will share the 4 main comments my guy friends and I have received.
1) Our friendship is a first step for engagement and love
2) We are friends with benefits
3) It is a covered love relationship
4) One of us just friend-zones the other
I don’t generally choose friends that I love previously because I think friendship and love are two different relationships. I don’t encourage this kind of friendship either, because if the interest remains a secret for the other person the friendship can become abusive, in a way that the interested friend would make more efforts and sacrifices than they should do. Besides, jealousy can also starts cropping up when the loved friend speaks about their partner and ex-partners.
Even though both friends have known about the attraction and agreed that their friendship will go into another level, it may be a bit tricky, because the focus would not be on the friendship but on the future relationship. As both friends try to project their best versions, this friendship maybe shifty, insincere, and false. In the end, you can realize that the person you have known as friend is totally different from the partner they have become. This kind of revelation is always deceitful and may even draw you to confusion and self-hate. As you have known your partner for so long and thought they were a good person, you would probably blame yourself either for not being able to see their real face or because you have rationalized their behavior too much.
However, a person may come to love their friend (even the best one), if they have discovered intimate bonds between each other that they didn’t see at the first place. When this happen, it is important that the interest is clearly communicated. Bear in mind that any potential end of the love relationship may also lead to the end of the friendship. Yet if both of you are truly conscious about the value of your friendship, you may break up and continue to be friends.
I think that we need to make it clear as a day if we have a friendship or a love relationship, to not being confused about it. If there is *** involved in it, it is a friendship with benefits. Then make your agreements over this kind of relationship, so as you are not confusing it with the regular friendship, neither with a love relationship. Still, you must keep in mind that any problem that occurs in the sexual intercourses may also affect the friendship.
Why Boundaries Matter?
As for all relationships, friendship is as solid as its boundaries. When there are no boundaries, the friendship is more likely to do bad than good to both friends. If I didn’t know what would hurt my friend, I couldn’t avoid not doing it. When it comes to cross-sex friendship, the concept of boundary may come to have even more importance. Why? As many people conceive this type of friendships as chaotic, putting rules beforehand helps get control over it and prevent us from letting the social expectations influenced our friendship.
Each human being has its own interests, behaviors, habits, and viewpoints. This is the reason that someone may do something bad to you unconsciously. But we can come to agreements over our differences through communication. I don’t mean that you must bring up conversations about *** at the first moment you start a friendship. These types of debates may come up at the right time. When you feel it is necessary to talk about intimate subjects, give your opinion and listen to your friend. You need to set boundaries for yourself first and, if your friend seems to have a different viewpoint, convince them. Depending on the degree of commitments you have with this friendship, and the importance you give to your own beliefs upon the subject you disagree on, you can let go of this friendship or reduce its intensity in your life. Remember that friendship must be a safe place. Whenever it starts to harm one of you it becomes toxic. Then don’t try to be someone you are not for the sake of a friendship. If it is not adequate for you, then leave it respectfully.