Remember the days where boys had cooties and if you made contact your friends gave you a cootie shot?
Circle, circle, dot, dot. Now you have the cootie shot.
It seems like those were simpler times. Boys were just not to be messed with. Then our horrible acne-infested adolescence arrived and brought on “feelings.” There wasn’t a member of the opposite sex that you couldn’t greet without classmates thinking you liked each other. Being friends with the opposite sex became challenging. Damn you “feelings!”
But it doesn’t have to be that way. I probably have as many guy friends as I do girlfriends that I turn to for input and suggestions, like how to approach a guy or what will catch a guys attention. At this age it’s totally normal, and let’s face it, men are just fun. They tend to be much more laid back and less…complicated. You may need a girls’ night with your guy pal when your BFFs are getting to you. It happens.
One warning (or benefit depending on your loins): being friends with a man may become a friends with “benefits” situation. There are ways to maneuver that sticky situation and keep male companions as just friends. Here’s some advice:
Accept that your guy friend might want something more down the line.
So don’t put yourself in situations where he may get the wrong idea. Basically, secluded, dimly lit atmospheres are a big no-no. And no flirting either.
Make your intentions clear.
If you’ve known each other since donning diapers, this won’t be necessary. In other cases, such as a college buddy, let him know – very clearly – that you only see him as a friend. Phrases like: “you’re such a good friend” and “seriously, you’re like the brother I never had” work wonders. It is best to take this approach from the get go. Especially if there is a physical attraction.
If your male friend is a hottie, look for flaws.
If there is a slight physical attraction, you may start seeing your male friend as a potential mate. So focus on what turns you off about him. Also, just limit your time together. Hang out with a group. The more time spent hanging out alone, the less platonic y’all’s relationship will likely become.
I am a firm believer that women and men can and should be friends. When dealt with maturely, I think both can benefit. Just don’t cross that line, ladies. The last thing you want is to lose a friend and have awkward encounters with each other. Or those dreaded cooties.