Can heterosexual men and women truly be friends with no hopes or expectations of anything more?
Throughout my middle school year, I thought that you could only have female friends and those who had male friends were usually male themselves. I was a naive little middle schooler, I didn’t realize that males and females could be friends without ever being in a relationship.
Sophomore year of high school years, I made some really good male friends. We will call them Cameron and Ethan (names changed for privacy); they were smart, funny and loads of fun to be around. We had several classes together and would talk during class to pass the time. Then, senior year came and things changed. We started planning days where we would get breakfast together at a local bagel shop, go to the beach, hang out at each other houses and spend endless nights texting each other. This is all things female friends do with each other, but no one raises any questions.
I lived in one small town, while Cameron lived in the next small town and Ethan lived in about fifteen minutes from Cameron. When we go out in public one of the boys would always be late, because we lived in different places. Therefore, I would be sitting alone with either Cameron or Ethan and the public would always think whoever I was sitting next to, I was dating. This was not the case; we were just a small group of friends hanging out together. I have gotten to the stage where I see them more as my brothers than potential boyfriend material.
I am at the end of my four months abroad and of course, I wanted to stay in touch with Cameron and Ethan while I was gone. The only way to communicate with them is Facebook and Skype. Cameron brought up that he has a lady friend and they could possibly start a very serious relationship come the fall semester. When I first heard this, I was jealous because there have been multiple times where I felt like we could be more.
Then, I started to remember something I once told my friend. “Would you rather be in a relationship with a guy for one year or be friends with them forever?” I revisited this question myself. I would like to have Cameron as a friend rather than a boyfriend. We have worked on our friendship for about five years and I wouldn’t want to jeopardize what we have currently. As I thought about us more, I realized that we probably wouldn’t work out anyways. He wants to become a doctor, while I want my life to be free and wild. I want to travel the world, while he wanted to be working a standard 9 to 5 job. Also, I could be moving within the next year. I haven’t seen them in over four months and I feel like my feelings towards both are more intense since I haven’t seen them in a really long time.
I never went into our friendship, wanting a relationship, even though I have thought of us being more I’ve never taken any action. I want to be able to tell them everything and want them to support me as well as I support them. I want to be able to attend their weddings while they attend mine.
I’ve been to their houses as they’ve been to mine. I’ve met their family and they’ve met mine. We are just like any friend group, but we are mixing genders. Of course, sometimes our friendship is frustrating at times because we are girls and guys. For example, I would love to go camping with them, but our parents might not feel comfortable us spending overnights together. Our parents trust us… no doubt, but society says that girls and guys together can lead to unwanted consequences. There are times where I don’t quite understand what they are saying, especially when it comes to gaming.
In conclusion, be friends with everyone, whether they are girls or guys. Don’t let society tell you who you can be friends with. If you have something in common and you enjoy being around them then, start to build a friendship that could last forever.