One of the longest friendships that I have ever had, has been with a woman who I met in a stuffy auditorium while waiting to get an ID printed my very first week of college.  And over a decade later we are still thick as thieves.  Now I understand that a lot of people are stigmatized by the idea of men and women being friends.  Some people will say things like “No guy can really be a girls friend”or “any guy that doesn’t try something with a girl must be gay!”  And that is just from the women!  The guys can be even more crude.  And honestly I am not going to pretend that there aren’t very real challenges for some people in maintaining a completely platonic relationship with someone of the opposite sex.  Someone wants more than the other person wants……Time goes by and people start looking good to you……  There’s no way I can be next to this hot girl and not want to jump her bones…….  All of these are legitimately understandable explanations I suppose for some people.  They are also the sort of things that you find in less evolved and mature people.  And when I say mature I don’t mean to refer to age, because we all know some pretty old people who can’t seem to control themselves around the opposite sex.  I am referring to People who look at the opposite sex and only see gender and not a human being who has some sort of substance to offer besides the cut of their genitalia.  Are women that crude that they can’t look at an attractive man and not help but envision him without his shirt on?!  (Man…Talk about sexist!)  Cause I can totally work with, exercise with, and commute every day with Halle Berry and feel nothing for her at all……………………..”crickets”.  Seriously!

Men who have the ability to have mature relationships with the opposite sex are the type of guys that should be applauded…………….after you have done the obligatory checks to be certain that his “friend” was not someone who not so long ago had the term “with benefits” added to the title.  It really speaks to a man’s  open-minded perspective and value of a woman as a person when he can function normally around her and not be totally consumed with the fact that she has a vagina.  It says that he can acknowledge you as being a member of the fairer sex but still treat you just the same.  Isn’t this what many women strive for in the world?  And to have that complete acceptance without the concern of owing someone something for it on the back-end?  If so then we shouldn’t frown upon a guy who tells you that he has a lady friend that he is not involved with.  I know that having a female “bestie”, as women like to say, has been great for me in just creating some balance to the perspective that I have on the woman I date.  I can’t ask another guy something about the confusing questions I have about a woman.  That’s like the blind leading the blind!  And I have been the same for her in dealing with guys.  I let her know when she is getting played and when to give a guy a chance.  But the most rewarding part of this whole thing is that I, in no way, live with the constant pressure of feeling like I have to suppress some deep feelings that are weighing me down like a ton of bricks!  I am not Dewayne Wayne angrily watching Whitley Gilbert from my dorm room as she Rides off in Julian’s Mercedes.  I used that reference because I am not a little kid!  At some point I have to stop being totally driven by my sexual urges.

Now conversely, the people who are completely over the top, adamant that men and women cannot be friends are the ones you have to worry about.  I’m talking about the people who act like if you have to share a small work space or commute together or stay over night at a friend’s house that you are totally in jeopardy of sleeping with someone.  Those are the ones you have to worry about.  These are the type people who act like they are sooooo unable to fight off any level of temptation.  If my girlfriend were to tell me that she has refused to go to after work happy hours because some of her male co-workers are a little to flirty, then I am going to give her props and quietly do back-flips in my backyard to let off my exuberance.  But if she were to tell me that she declines to go because she doesn’t want to allow herself to be tempted by what might happen when you mix alcohol and the hot guy who works down the hall, I don’t imagine myself being quite as elated.  More like, ” WTF?!  Am I suppose to be happy about that?”  The idea that a grown person cannot control their emotions any better than that is a bit scary to say the least.  Of course I understand that we are all human but that term in itself is used to show a distinction between us and animals.  You ever see a dead deer on the side of the road?  That’s usually because they darted out into traffic to chase a mating scent that has been sprayed across the street and they couldn’t control themselves even though that 2 ton metal thing was in its way.  Humans vs Animals.  Come on people!  Take pride in the species!

Life is life……..and people have urges.  People act impulsively.  And some people are, more importantly, just impulsive!  But I think that the older I have gotten and looking at the close friendships that I have forged with a handful of women that have been not only entirely plutonic but just very supportive of my growth as a person.  And I have to take that into account when I meet a woman who has a close guy friend.  I cannot be so full of myself as to believe that I am the only person who can maintain a completely plutonic relationship with someone of the opposite sex.  So even though I am not totally at ease with such a dynamic initially, I am open-minded to it.  I still want to see for myself………because….well… I’m nobody’s fool.  But I am not the sort of guy who rages against the validity of it being a sincere friendship because I have been quietly sleeping with my so-called “best friend” off and on for the past few years.  You know…just in spurts…duirng the down periods. 

@JacksonBracey

Jackson.Bracey@gmail.com

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