When a woman speaks of a male friend, there’s assumption to suggest, he’s either gay, or secretly hiding romantic feelings. We all know the scenario of a girlfriend who becomes suspicious of her partner’s hot, female bestie. The classic, My Best Friend’s Wedding, tells the story of Julianne (Julia Roberts), desperately trying to sabotage the wedding of her male best friend, who she realises she’s madly in love with. Despite the stereotypes, women need a non-sexual man in their lives.
What are we afraid of? If we ignored stereotypes, would women stop wanting love, and would men to try love too much?
Would they chase every women they see? Love every women they know? Or would the world carry on as normal, because stereotypes are not always real?
Can they ever be friends debate, is down to society’s view of women
Type female and male friendships in Google, and you will face a heavy stream of sites declaring no – same-sex platonic affairs don’t work. The main reason is biological – we naturally feel attracted to opposite gender, who we form a close bond with. A second reason – perhaps less credible, is that a partner may become jealous, at knowing the love of their life, enjoys listening to the problems of another man or woman, as much as they enjoy listening to theirs.
My argument to go against this perception, has been tough to back-up. Luckily, Broadly, has done as its name suggests, and gone wider than the standard conversation. Professor Sandra Faulkner, spoke to the Vice publication, discussing how people tend to follow along with the cliché script, that male and female friendships, are not truly possible.
She spoke of how society and pop culture, encourages women to believe they need a romantic relationship. It’s above all, one of the most crucial relationships in life. Therefore, any man a woman knows who possess qualities they like, is potential. Because why be ‘just friends’, when you can have your ‘other half’? Someone who puts you first and loves you in equal measure.
That concept is portrayed on-screen. Any woman who is single (those poor things), is just hopelessly trying to find their match. If a man is willing to chat with them and hang out – result! Now the poor, lonely single, finally feels happy. The American dream is sold once more.
Male friendships can change a female’s perspective of a man
If you’ve ever been hurt by a villain portraying a gentleman, you will understand the need for good, male models, who routinely remind you that men really are not all the same. As this Huffington Post piece suggests, having good male friends, can help you attract a good man to date.
As much as I enjoyed hanging around with girls in high-school, I felt hopeless in my understanding of male species. Despite being close to my dad, we don’t have a relationship that entails me to request advice on how to date. Since his affair when married to my mum , I’ve noticed my lack of trust when trying to fall in love.
My romantic history alone is not the best. Having a male friend who is different from the opinions I’ve built up, has forced me to stay open-minded, and not let my past heartache, affect me seeking a new partner.
If we’re going by stereotypes, men are much easier to communicate with
I have two best friends – one straight, one gay, and our disagreements last at most, one day. We share entirely different views on just about everything, which of course leads to a debate you might hear on LBC, however, we accept it and move on.
Compared to the female friendships I’ve had, it’s never been that simple. I do believe jealousy and competition, feud fire, as women know they are put together and judged. A great friend of mine, stopped talking altogether, when I forgot her birthday (I did try to make it up). Another stopped talking, when she realised she wanted to spend every waking minute with her new boyfriend.
There’s zero bitchiness with a male friend. I don’t have to worry about how I look, or spend a few minutes trying to figure out how to word something, as girl’s emotions, may convert my thoughts as evil. That’s a biased view of my gender I admit, though that’s what past experience has taught me.
A friendship remains platonic, when both people are honest. Exactly how a same-sex friendship works
With both my female and male friends, it’s honesty that weaves our continued contact. If a person forms a friendship with another they fancy and doesn’t say anything, of course it affects the friendship.
That doesn’t mean everyone is hiding feelings or lying about it. Society loves to group and box people, but men and women have been able to work and live amongst each other, without all winding into bed. I would argue that those who do sleep with a friend of the opposite sex, might have secretly wanted that to happen all along.
A male friend is a different perspective. Men have fantastic qualities valuable for a friendship as equally as women do. Okay, you might not want to buy underwear with them and talk about shaving or waxing, but don’t rule out 50% of the population. Their conflicting brains are worth listening too – on occasion.
How do you feel about having a male friend (if you are a woman)? Have you ever been jealous of a partner having an opposite-sex bond?