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The Truth About the Fact: An International Journal of Literary Nonfiction

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Sunday, April 18, 2010

Just Friends

‘Lets just be friends.’

The four words any person in love dreads hearing.

Just. Friends.

I’ve used this line countless times. Not because I’m heartless, but because I seem to find myself in the same predicament over and over again: and that is finding a man who just wants to be my friend. Or, more specifically, I have yet to find a guy, who I am close to, who I would consider to be my best friend… that just wants to be, well, my best friend.

It all started in 4th grade. I remember the day vividly.

It was a dry, hot, and sunny day in Scottsdale, Arizona. I was wearing my ripped jean shorts and a blue Hollister t-shirt. My hair was in low pigtails with two blue ribbons tied at each end.

I stood, with my black corduroy JanSport backpack high up on my back, leaning against a light post, as I waited for my mom to pick me up at the parent pick up gate.

It was then that my best ‘boy’ friend at the time’s Mom pulled up in her red Jeep Wrangler. He and a few other boys piled in, but before they left, my best bud hung his head out of the front window and yelled, “COURTNEY!!?? Will you be my GIRLFRIEND!?”

I remember turning bright red, as I stared back at him, open mouthed, completely shocked. I mean this was my best friend Ronnie! We talked on the phone every night, three-way called with my best girlfriend Amy, played kick ball at recess, ate lunch together…we shared a math book for crying out loud. He was my really really good friend… But BOYFRIEND? Ew!

With a slow shake of my head, all I managed to get out of my dumbfounded mouth in response was, “No! …We’re just friends!”

And I repeated that phrase all throughout middle school, high school, and now even college.

So what’s the deal? Can men and women ever really be just ‘best friends’? Or is there always one person who secretly harbors feelings? One person who wants to be more than simply a bestie?

I’ve been toying around with this question for weeks now, and the conclusion I’ve come to is that there isn’t a straight answer.

Many guys I’ve talked to argue, “Yes, of course you can. I have a really good girl friend named so and so and I would NEVER want to date her.” But, when I follow up with the question, “Well, is she attractive?” the answer is almost always ‘No.’ And if for some reason the answer is ‘Yes,’ the girl usually has a boyfriend, so an ‘extra-special’ friendship would not have been an option anyway, or the girl is someone that the boy has known since childbirth.

So, are platonic male-female ‘best friend’ relationships only able to occur in cases where:

1. your friend of the opposite sex is not physically attractive to you,

2. you grew up together and therefore feel related, or

3. one of you has a significant other

The only way I can test this theory is to look at myself.

Do I have really good friends or best friends of the opposite sex in my life? Yes.

Are we more than just friends? Nope.

But am I attracted to them? Most certainly not.

Have I known them forever? In most cases, yes I have.

Or do they have a girlfriend? Yes again!

And if my example doesn’t work for you, look to the movie Just Friends. Amy Smart only falls in love with Ryan Reynolds after he’s lost about 200lbs. Coinencedence? I think not!

The point is, that I would love to be able to have an emotional, deep connection with someone of the opposite sex who is good-looking and single, without the physical attraction, sexual tension, or whatever you want to call it getting in the way of our friendship at some point in our relationship.

All in all I continue to hold out the hope that there is such thing as a platonic relationship between members of the opposite sex. But, since I can’t seem to come to a conclusion, I will leave the topic open for discussion.

Do you think it’s possible for men and women to be ‘just friends’?

-Courtney M. Myers

***If you ever find yourself in the ‘I don’t want to be just friends’ predicament check out the video below. It gives some great tips on how to stay ‘just friends’ with the opposite sex.***


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