Most of my best friends are guys and while there are a million skeptics out there who claim members of the opposite sex can never just be friends, I take great glee in announcing: They’re wrong!
Getting the inside edge
Despite the obstacles, experts agree there are specific boons that only male friendships can bring to your life. Getting a male point of view tops the list.
“Gaining an insider’s perspective on how men think, feel, and behave is one of the advantages of a female-male friendship,” says Michael Monsour, author of Women and Men as Friends.
You and your girlfriends could speculate for hours as to why men do the things they do, or you could just ask a guy pal who will break it down for you. This can give you the upper hand in dealings with not only a boyfriend but also a male boss.
Time spent with a dude is also usually free of the judgements women sometimes pass on each other. “With their male friends, women can let it all hang out,” says Heidi Reeder, PhD, an associate professor of communication at Boise State University. There’s less dress-to-impress, less calorie counting, less competition in general. They accept you as is, warts and all.
The truth will set you free
You’re also more likely to get the truth from your guy friends. While a female friend will assure you that you look fantastic when you’ve gained an extra 5 kilograms, a male friend won’t have the same approach! A male friend is also less likely to be a frenemy!
In addition there’s always the novelty that comes from being one of the guys – yes, you get to do all the fun 'guy' things but you also get treated a bit differently to the rest – in a great way! Guy friends will defend you at the drop of a hat.
Let’s face it, women are natural rivals, often competing for the same things in life – which obviously explains the cattiness and looks that pass between them when someone different enters their social circle.
Men are on a different playing field altogether, with different measures of success. Your best guy friend is unlikely to feel twinges of jealousy when you tell him you're pregnant or enviously rush off to by a new handbag just like yours.
When it comes to maintenance, guy friends are more cactus than an English rose garden – they require less preservation to contain. “People would tell me their female friends would be upset if they didn’t call them for a week or show up at a party, but that their male friends require less attention,” says Reeder.
A drama-free relationship that’s low on expectations and high on fun? What’s not to love?
Think of it this way, when it comes to an introduction in a new group of people, the males are instantly nicer, regardless of whether you’re male or female.
Ever been the new girlfriend in your significant other’s group of friends? Who was nicer to you then? Chances are you noticed the judgemental eyes giving you the once over and making contact with another friend – and they didn’t belong to the guys.
Add testosterone to your social circle
Thanks to loosened gender roles and far more equality in the workplace, men are easier to buddy up to than ever. Men and women, of course, have gone to the gym together and lived together as roommates for years and years and these days, guys are even more likely to pop up in your cooking class and it’s not unusual for a chick to join a fantasy football league. These common interests and shared experiences lay the groundwork for new platonic friendships.
Be clear in your intentions
Make it clear you want to hang out and not hook up, with words and actions. Asking a potential guy friend to grab dinner, for example, sends a very different message than suggesting he join you on an afternoon run. Relationships gain identity from how outsiders define them, so it’s equally crucial to confirm to everyone else that you’re just friends.
There will always be a place in your life for your girlfriends, but guy friends enrich our lives in ways our female BFFs just can’t. So go on, appreciate your boys!