In my humble opinion the answer to this age-old debacle is yes. It’s a slippery territory that requires thoughtful navigation, but it is totally-one-hundred-percent possible to keep things totally-one-hundred-percent platonic.
Let’s examine my own personal life story with my best friend Matt. Matt and I met in college. It was my first year and I was just getting comfortable in my new surroundings when this random guy introduced himself. Our exchange went a little something like this;
“You’re Bronwyn, right? Molly’s friend? Do you shave your legs?”
I was completely taken back as I looked down at my smooth clean-shaven legs. This was California after all, where it’s beach season all year long. Of course I shaved my legs!
Apparently my love of kale and yoga translated into, what Matt assumed, a lack of razor ownership. I was so caught off guard that contrary to what I’m usually capable of, no witty comeback ensued. Somehow we were able to get over that awkward exchange and a few days later we headed to a café to grab lunch.
The rest, as they say, is history. Just kidding. This seems like the perfect little anecdote that people would tell at a wedding, but here’s the thing, it won’t be at our wedding. Why may you ask? Because Matt and I will never be anything more than friends.
I’ve always gotten along well with boys. Maybe it’s because I have an older brother and I grew up around him and his friends, or maybe it’s because I love snowboarding and surfing, activities that are dominated by males. Whatever the case may be, boys are fun, and I enjoy spending time with them.
Since that first day, Matt has become one of my best friends. And in that time each of us has had multiple relationships with other people. But whether single or taken, more-than-friends has never been an option for us.
I love Matt’s personality, his humour, his keen longing for adventure and his can do attitude. But there’s something that’s just not there for me. Seriously, even the thought of making out with him makes me bust into laughter. And I am guessing he would say the same thing about me. And no, he’s not gay!
My friendship with Matt is very special to me. Matt is honest, and calls me out on my bullshit the ways girls sometimes just can’t do. We females often get in the habit of always being nice. I take to heart the advice he gives me on dating, career moves, friend issues and life in general. There’s something so great about having a male perspective on things. He helps me gain a little more insight into the way guys really think, something that you can’t always get when hashing things out with your girlfriends.
Am I being naïve? Maybe… But contrary to the convictions of the cinematic masterpiece, When Harry Met Sally, I don’t think male-female friendships are on a one-way train headed straight to the bedroom. My friendship with Matt just works. Period.
Yet I feel the need to write this post because I’ve heard it before and I will certainly hear it again. Five little words that make me roll my eyes- “what about you and Matt?”
There is an I. And there is a Matt. But there is not a Matt and I.
So I’m curious, do you have a great friendship with a member of the opposite sex that is strictly platonic? Do you believe men and women can ever really be just friends?
Tell us what you think.