Sometimes in life, things get right on my wick. Some of them I can write about here, some for fear of reprisal I choose to keep them to myself. Shocker I know. Yet if society pushes something on me, I am more then likely going to have an opinion on it! Friends without benefits!
Now recently I have come across this one that really riles me.
Why as a woman am I not allowed to have a platonic friendship with a straight male without it been perceived by society as something more?
By that I mean without sex.
I mean anything more then, in this case what you feel for your girl friends. (Just throwing it out there that this applies to any gender and any sexual orientation but in my instance I am talking female/male friendships). I have the best group of close girlfriends *Hi there ladies. I can count all of them on one hand but I also have close guy friends *Hi there gentlemen.
Society seems to push the notion that if you are close friends with the opposite sex. There must be something more going on. Well, listen up ladies and gentlemen this is not always the case. I have guy friends that I rely on and treat like the annoying little brother (Hi Marc if you’re reading this). I poke them and laugh at their fart jokes, but we also have conversations that leave you feeling more alive and ready to face the world.
I am lucky enough that my husband isn’t phased by my friendships. He rightly so trusts me and my judgement. If for a moment he tried to tell me who I could and couldn’t be friends with, we’d be having a very different conversation right about now. I travel and am great friends with Matt, we have visited Tokyo and Kuala Lumpur together. It’s no different than spending the weekend camping with Gina at Bluedot, well we didn’t camp but for the purpose of this post you get my drift.
Opposite gender friendships
If you have a quick google you come across many articles titled such “are opposite-sex friends ok?” I can only imagine that these are written by woman that do not trust their man! *insert the biggest eye roll known to man.
We are not in 18th century or the slightly more relatable 1950s for that matter. Where woman can only be friends with woman and men with men. I’m pretty sure religion also plays into this but we won’t go there on that one as years of Sunday school didn’t teach me that. Friends without benefits are a real thing.
There is a train of thought that male and females can not be friends without trying to get into one another pants. This is especially true if they’re married (god only knows why this suddenly changes because surely you know the person you’re marrying and their thoughts before you take the plunge?). I have done a little reading into this and it if anything made me even more annoyed!
“Your spouse’s discomfort with your friendships doesn’t mean you have to sever them completely. But it does mean you need to be extra diligent about building your spouse’s confidence.” (Symbis)
Make your spouse go to bloody therapy to address the issues. Ok yes reassure them if they ask. But would you need to be extra diligent if your friend was of the same sex?! I’m going with 99% no.
I want to end this rant with a statement. That if your partner doesn’t trust you with someone of the opposite gender you need to have a very serious conversation with them. Friends without benefits are a very real thing.