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Can Men and Women Be BFFs?
Can Men and Women Be BFFs?
By Tiffany Perkins Munn
I don’t mean whether or not heterosexual men and women can have platonic friendships or whether or not a gay women can be best friends with a gay man. Obviously, these types of scenarios are both possible and even likely.
I mean: In a heterosexual context, can your ‘ride or die’, know-all-of-your-dirt, keep-all-of-your-secrets, cover-for-you-when-you’re-scheming BEST friend in the whole world be a person of the opposite sex with whom you have no sexual relationship?
Well, the jury is still out on that question.
I posed the question on several different social media sites and was met with a solid split decision. Many people say, “Yes, absolutely” and an equal number say, “Nope.” There are several people who are on the fence, stating that if the relationship has stipulations, mutual understanding, boundaries, distance, blah, blah, blah. Geez….that almost seems like too much work.
What I believe is that men and women can definitely be BFFs once it’s completely understood that there will be no hanky panky, ever. No FWB, no casual sex, no “oops” after a drunken night in a bar….Nothing.
In fact, I’m going to take it a step further. If one person is attracted to the other, you can NOT be BFFs. The person who is attracted to you can NOT be your BFF because BFFs are–by definition–supposed to give you pure, unbiased and unadulterated advice, often about your love life. Someone who is attracted to you will not be able to be objective enough. They can’t. It’s human nature.
What I have discovered, however, and what I now believe to be 100% true is that every woman needs a male BFF and every man needs a female BFF.
Here’s why you need an opposite sex BFF:
My friend (let’s call her Irene) has been married for 20+ years. I have known her for a very long time, even before she was married. Over her lifetime, she has cultivated long-lasting, non-sexual relationships with a lot of men. Irene introduced me to one of her BFFs (let’s call him Brian). Irene and Brian have been friends for over 15 years.
Brian and I went on a date.
It was a lovely date.
Brian is generous, kind, fun, charming…
…and completely in love with Irene.
I have never spent so much time with a man who was supposedly trying to get to know me, but spent 80% of the time talking about another woman, albeit a friend of mine. I wasn’t offended because I, too, know Irene and the stories were funny so I just rolled with it. However, I immediately recognized the ole BFF-BWM (But Want More) syndrome, but Brian was completely oblivious to it.
Afterward, as I was regaling friend after friend with tales of my dating experience, often going through many of the stories that Brian was telling me, my girlfriends listened and laughed and said, “Oh well, he’s not for you….next!” (They can be so expedient at times (#loving my friends)).
What I found interesting is that every one of my male friends (these are just friends and acquaintances, not even BFFs), stopped me in the middle of the story to proclaim some version of: “You know Brian is in love with Irene, don’t you?”
That’s exactly what I needed! Support and straight talk. The typical, heterosexual male can not offer you the same kind of ‘Go girl!’ support that your women friends can offer. This is not an insult to men. It’s just not what men do. Women are the nurturers in the species. Men, on the other hand, can give you the no-nonsense, hard-core, male perspective. Women can’t provide this, even if they have many brothers because…well…they’re women and their viewpoint will always be an interpretation of the male perspective.
My advice: (1) Get you an opposite sex BFF but (2) Steer clear of BFFs with the BFF-BWM syndrome!
Tiffany welcomes your feedback, questions and queries at email@example.com
All Tiffany Perkins-Munn, Relationship Psychology Examiner articles � 2011 by Tiffany Perkins-Munn; Reposts permitted with link to original article. All other rights reserved.
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