Platonic guy friends

Guys. Dudes. Bros. Chaps. The other sex. Men. Boys.

So, men. It is pretty inevitable that you will interact with one at some point in your life, even as a fierce Amazonian warrior-woman, because they are kind of needed to continue the human race.

And that is not a bad thing, really. Guys are pretty cool and they are not that different from us other than their tendency to sometimes be less observant, more physical in their response to things and less outwardly emotional.

(But most of that difference comes from a societal pressure of gender norms, so underneath all that crap, they are probably a lot more like us than we think.)

I remember in my final grade of elementary school starting to notice how everyone in class did not just play together in one seemingly chaotic mass anymore, but instead people were breaking into much smaller groups, often separated by gender.  Fast-forward to middle school (ugh what a time). I was not the girl in middle school who had a lot of guy friends hanging around, and, in fact, after looking at my year book, I can say confidently I had no male friends up until high school. I was able to interact with boys just fine, and I had acquaintance level friends who I interacted with solely within school on such riveting subjects like, “Hey, can I borrow your pen?” Or, “Do you have any gum?” Or my personal favorite, “What are we supposed to be doing right now in class/can I borrow your notes?”

And then in high school, the sudden realization that those annoying, loud boys who always teased you and pulled your curly hair in class might actually like you. And whoa, did that change the direction of my view towards boys. I slowly went from thinking they were probably just like me except louder and more prone to run around and that I could probably be friends with a few to basically being suspicious of the actions of every guy I knew.

If I dropped a pencil in class (and not a cute fuzzy pink one like in “Clueless.” I’m talking like a stubby, chewed-on one) and the boy in front of me picked it up, then my hormonal high school brain went from barely acknowledging his existence besides the fact of lamenting why such a tall person had to sit in front of me to thinking: ‘Why did he pick it up? Does he like me? Did he notice that I chew on my pencils omg.”

And from that point on, my general tendency towards the male sex was to pretty much avoid interaction because I did not understand them and they intimidated me with their power to take my friends and turn them into walking-down-the-hallway-with-bae people with a single smile.

Flashing forward to now, I have a few notches on my relationship belt and a good amount of guy friends as well. And I cannot say what exactly changed in between the fearing and not comprehending the male sex and now, but obviously I no longer feel intimidated by them. (Although there are still plenty of times where I realize how little I know about how guys’ brains work.)

I truly do believe the platonic guy friend exists, and I also believe that they do not have to be gay in order to fit into that category. I have all sorts of guy friends, and some of them are straight, but that does not affect our friendship in any way to make it awkward or incite miscommunication.

It is truly unfortunate that gender roles indoctrinate people who identify as male into believing they should hide their emotions, be more aggressive and prove their masculinity through the sexual domination of women. This has harmed many potential friendships people of various genders could have had due to misunderstanding and miscommunication from body signals.

I want to be able to ask my guy friend to lunch and not have any doubt about how he might misread that or how many view it from an outside perspective. Because to me, there is no difference between asking a good guy friend of mine or a girl friend out to lunch, and therefore I never worry about how my intentions will come across. All I know is that I am hungry and I want to binge free food off of one of my friends with a lot of cul-cash, regardless of their gender or sexuality. The starving stomach never discriminates.

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