Written by Jonathan Barker and Paige Farnworth | Media by Thomas Hajny
THE WOMEN RESPOND
First of all, I’d like to say: When Harry Met Sally. This movie pretty much sums up the ups and downs of a guy-girl friendship and addresses this question on multiple occasions. So go see it if you haven’t. Second of all, let it be noted that this is an issue that I’ve always been passionate about. I have some opinions on the subject considering that I am a female who has been “just one of the guys” on plenty of occasions and has had multiple male best friends.
Yes, I believe men and women can be friends but I think it is foolish to believe that this can happen without either party having emotional or sexual draws to the other at some point. You’re friends right? That means that they must have something in common with you or some qualities you admire. So it’s only natural to have some emotional or sexual connections with that friend at one point or another. One of you has thought about it. Whether it’s a brief 30 second subconscious consideration or a crush you’ve tried to momentarily bury, these tensions are there, and they’re natural. Pretending they’re not only makes relationships more complicated down the road.
A sophomore at GC, Jessika Roche, believes that sometimes it’s not biological; it’s the popular public opinion that can change how guys and girls view their friendship with each other. “I think that people get caught up in what everyone else says about their friendship with that guy or girl that they let it get into their head and they start to think things that aren’t even true. It can get emotional in every friendship but just because you care about someone of the opposite sex doesn’t mean that you want to be romantically involved with them.”
It’s true. Romantic feelings aren’t the only feelings guys and girls can have for one another. Sometimes those emotions don’t even cross your mind. However, sometimes they do. Tensions exist in any relationship with the opposite sex but that’s no reason for us to believe that we must always act on or be a slave to these thoughts and feelings. That’s no reason for men and women to avoid making friendships with one another. Guy – girl friendships are some of the best friendships I’ve ever been in.
My view is similar to that of junior Coley Baker who said: “I’m not sure what I would do without the close guy friends I have in my life. Whenever I’m seeking advice about something, I’m always sure to hear my guy friends’ thoughts along with my girl friends’ thoughts because they tend to see a different side to things than girls do. It’s nice to have that balance. And let’s be honest, sometimes girls get really sick of each other.”
GC’s Philosophy and Religion Chair, Christina Smerick, has always had close male friends and believes that what may hinder the average guy-girl relationship is a focus on sexuality. “I think we obsess too much about sexuality. It is but one component of human relationships, and to treat it as some dominant, invincible force that cannot be resisted and infects everything is, well, silly. And also more 20th-century-psychological than it is biblical.”
We all know sex is the focus of almost everything in today’s society, but that does not mean we have to let it control us. We also shouldn’t let our emotions and our perfect Disney romance fantasies control us either. Why can’t we just date who we want to and be friends with everyone else? Why does it have to be an all or nothing scenario? The fact of the matter is that relationships are hard work and friendships are hard work. Any relationship is difficult and hiding behind this wall of “guys and girls can’t be friends” is simply a lazy way to avoid working to make the friendship work. You must communicate, set boundaries, and always be honest.
It’s time to put the effort in folks. It is always worth it, I promise. Your friendships with the opposite sex will give you great dating advice, the perfect gift ideas for your significant other, no-pressure hangouts, details on the secret workings in the mind of the opposite sex, a shoulder to cry on, an accountability partner, clues to what they really talk about behind closed doors, a get-out-of-going-to-this-place-alone free card, great conversations from different perspectives, and so much more. Who wouldn’t want that?And if one of you hasn’t yet put the eternal friend zone stamp of “you’re like a brother/sister to me” on the relationship, who knows, maybe it could blossom into something someday. They say the best relationships come from friendships. But if it doesn’t go that route, who cares? Enjoy it! Don’t put pressure and expectations on it. Make the friendship work. You’ll both grow immensely because of it.
What do you think GC community? Can guys and girls be friends? What advice would you have for those in that type of relationship? Let us know in the comments and check out this podcast!
Haven’t read the guy side yet? Check it out here.
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