By Kay Bush
Elm Staff Writer
There’s a social stigma that guys and girls can’t be just friends. Sometimes, this is true. After all, it’s hard to not develop feelings for someone you get along with so well. It’s also hard to tell if those feelings are real or not.
There is such thing as friend love, which is confused for real feelings in a friendship more often than not. Thoughts of him or her run through your head constantly, and you’ve planned out scenarios in which to confess how you really feel. It’s not a well-known fact, but there’s a fairly short window to do this. If you guys are sharing coy looks across the classroom or feel comfortable sitting in the same cramped twin bed watching movies, then the time is now. Otherwise, the other person will start to push you into the dreaded friend zone, and they’ll probably start to talk to you about other guys or girls.
When guys and girls pick each other as friends, there’s at least a small level of attraction involved. That first meeting or impression determines whether you can be friends. He or she may try to jump into something more right then and there, but the usual friendship is developed on your initial reaction to how the other looks. As I said, it makes sense if feelings arise, but it’s important to be open with the other person about what you expect from your relationship. Do you see it going further and does the other person agree? Do you want to keep the relationship platonic and friendly? These are the questions you have to ask yourself before approaching them.
So what if you just want to be friends? Friendship between guys and girls takes a balance of “bro-ness” and sensitivity. As the girl with a guy friend, you have to be able to bro out: talk about and do things that may seem kind of gross or lurid. I’m not saying to always talk about farting or things of that nature, but an inappropriate joke every once in awhile can’t hurt. Sometimes their interests become yours, like watching football or frequenting the plays in Gibson. Just roll with it. It’s probably giving you a more rounded personality which is always a good thing. Also, if you’re keen on remaining just friends, make sure he knows that.
If you’re a guy, you guessed it, you have to show a sensitive side. Strangely enough, girls tend to run on a more emotional level than guys so get used to being her sounding board or shoulder to cry on. There’s always the chance you’ll end up with a girl friend that’s not into sharing her feelings, but it’s nice to be prepared for whatever the friendship demands of you. Nowadays, guys don’t seem to have to dig deep to access their emotions. Most guys are actually quite emotional and are open about it. Having a friend that’s a girl could be a relief for both parties. Being friends with a girl can also make you a more desirable candidate for dating other girls. With your well-developed sensitivity, you’ll be a catch by any girl’s standards.
A relationship as complex as guy and girl friends requires some discussion. Openness isn’t too bad either, just be honest about what you’re thinking or feeling. That’s what friends are for whether they’re the same gender or not. That sounds incredibly cheesy, but it’s incredibly true.