Wednesday, November 4, 2009

You Say He's Just a Friend...

Thanks for all your awesome responses to my post last night about why I love blogging! I'm not surprised to see that so many of you are just as enthusiastic as me, and I loved to hear all of the other reasons I didn't even think of.

Last night was a more exciting Tuesday night than normal. One of my friends from college, Ryan, was in town for a work conference. Since this doesn't happen too frequently we got together for some dinner/drinks at a place in Brookline called The Publick House.

I decided not to have dinner there because we weren't meeting until way past my dinner time but I did get one drink to enjoy with everyone.
In this picture we have (from left) Matt, Gerry, Ryan, Miff and me :) Matt (first on left) and I have been friends his high school, but we also went to college together. I wasn't really aiming to bring my high school friends to college with me, but it ended up being awesome that Matt and I stayed friends. We both made our own friends freshman year and then blended our groups together.
Dan took the previous picture so I made him take a picture with me after. It's not the most flattering picture of myself but I had to post it because I wanted to say the following: Dear All Potential Employers, You should DEFINITELY hire Dan and pay him a lot of money. He is a seasoned world traveler and all around wonderful worker. I would know this better than anyone else because Dan and I have gone to school together since kindergarten, INCLUDING college. That's why you should listen to me and hire him.

Haha. But seriously every single person in those two pictures fall into the same category: I love them, they were there for most my best memories of college AND I don't see any of them enough now. I really don't think there has ever been a bad mood that these guys could not snap me out of. Since most of the people in those two pictures (except for me and Gerry obviously) are brings me to my question of the night:

Can girls and guys be "just friends"?

For most of my life I thought the answer to this question is 100 percent yes. I did not have a lot of friends that were boys when I was younger, but as I got more comfortable and confident in high school I started to befriend many members of the opposite sex. Do not get me wrong, I love my girl friends, but there is just something different that guys add to the friend mixture that I think you truly miss out on if you see guys only as boyfriends, husbands etc. I don't know if it was just me, or my friends, but my guy friends were just always up for whatever insane idea I had from bowling during free blocks to hanging out any night of the week. One of my best examples of this was one Thursday night during college at the beginning of the semester. I was hanging out with the boys and one of them had a paper to write. We actually managed to convince him that any class with a paper due on Friday the first week was clearly not worth taking and he dropped the class on the spot (it was add/drop still) and signed up for something else. Haha...amazing. I am not saying I never had complicated times with any of my guy friends, but there are many that never crossed any sort of line and even those that did, we always recovered.

It was only later when I met Eric that I started to consider the other side of this argument. Eric is not really into having friends that are girls. Looking at our wedding guest list I am inviting six or seven guys that are my friends (not dates of my friends), he is inviting two girls...and both are "one of the guys" sort of girls. Eric would never do something as insane as staying friends with a girl he used to date, and he rarely ever hangs out with friends that are girls, and never one on one. He said he does not feel that guys and girls cannot be friends, but he thinks *often* one person or the other will be interested in their "friend." In particular, he thinks guys are terrible at not wanting to make out with their friends that are girls. Kind of makes me happy he is not into the girl friend thing haha...

Since looking at this other side though, I have noticed that there are a LOT of times when "friends" will use the "we are just friends" line and it is a complete lie. As a result I've come up with some rules for guy and girl friendships. Of course there are exceptions to every rule, but for fun I will list them:

1. You should not hang out with your guy friend more often than your boyfriend/fiance/husband. If you do, it's sketchy. Even close to as much is sketchy.

2. You should not complain to your guy friend about your boyfriend/fiance/husband, at least not frequently otherwise you get into the realm of what Katie and I refer to as "emotional cheating."

3. If you seriously dislike your guy friend's girlfriend/fiance/wife you should consider your reasons. I know you will say it is because she is a really annoying person...but really...realllyyyy...

What are your thoughts on this topic? Are you a girl with a lot of guy friends? A guy with a lot of girlfriends? Can guys and girls ever be "just friends"? Also, how much more complicated does this get when you get older/married/have kids etc?

PS. I just wanted to add Eric and I are not having a debate about this or anything, we are both fine with how things are- I just think it's an interesting topic and lots of people have differing opinions. That's all :)


  1. Yes! Girls and guys can just be friends. For sure. Some of my best friends that I miss from college are my guy friends, and I know that for a fact, if I were to need help with anything, they would be there in a heartbeat!

    All through college I was a girl with more guy friends than girl friends. I got along better with them (less drama). However, now us college peeps have moved apart, some have gotten married, and it just isn't the same. Plus, I teach in a profession where the guy-girl ratio SUCKS! You know what I am talking about. So, I am around more girls, have made more girlfriends which is always good, but just not the same as my boys. :)

  2. Hmm, that's a doozie. I think everyone is different. For us, (married) there is NO hanging out one on one with the opposite sex. That way there is NO tempation to do things you shouldn't (even emotional cheating) and two, no one can ever suspect you of doing things you aren't, even when you aren't. Above suspicion.
    Find a balance that both you and Eric are comforable with - but ya gotta talk about it to find that out! :o)

  3. Haha, oh don't worry- we've talked about it. It's not a problem- I just find it an interesting topic :)

  4. I am not friends with any guys that are married, engaged, or in a serious relationship. I think it's easy for a guy and girl to be friends until they get into a serious relationship - mostly when it's a guy getting into a serious relationship because most of the time, the girl is going to question why he needs to be friends with you. And I don't want to cause tension. SO yah, no married guy friends - aside from people at work, and those relationship are only within working hours/events.

    It's just so dang tricky!

  5. I have always had a lot of guy friends, and I most likely always will. I have 2 guy friends that would definitely be my "bridesmaids" if I ever get married! I've been lucky enough that this has never been an issue with any of the guys I have dated. My boyfriend's best friend is a girl and I think she's great! Him and I do make it a point to hang out with each other more than we do anyone else, mostly because our schedules are so crazy!

  6. I was always the girl who said you can never have a good guy friend, and not become attracted to one one another eventually. I don't think that anymore. Nick has a lot of good girl friends and I think I get jealous sometimes, for no reason at all, I just never had SO MANY close guy friends. I think you are exactly right, and I love your rules. The only think I will add to that is that there is a high possibility that either the guy or girl may start to fall for the other, but the other may not reciprocate. That's happened to me, and it's hard to deal with. Akward.

    I'm glad you've got such a great guy friend, who sounds wonderful. It's good to have those relationships in your life, and I will agree with you that males can sometimes be more fun :)

  7. um yes and no. i've always been in the situation where i liked the guy and we were really good friends, so yeah i know where eric is coming from.

  8. Very interesting post, I think I'm going to write a post about this topic for next week because I find it VERY interesting.

    I personally think it completely depends on the person. I have NEVER been the kind of girl who has had close guy friends. All my close friends have always been girls and I just have always found I get along a lot better with girls.

    My Eric also doesn't have any girl friends that he hangs out with one-on-one and I have to say I'm kinda glad about it. I think it would make me jealous. Haha..

  9. I LOVE men! L-O-V-E men! Since college, most of my friends have been guys. I just feel more comfortable with them. My husband knew this when we married and he understands how I like to have male friends. It has never been a problem (we've been married almost 15 years) until a few months ago. He felt uncomfortable with me reconnecting with a guy friend from high school. We reconnected through Facebook. At first I was miffed that my husband wasn't comfortable... but I began to see that he was right. This guy is single and my husband doesn't know him personally. It wasn't easy, but I had to make a decision to un-reconnect with this HS friend. After all, it's not worth risking your marriage over. And if it IS, then there are problems.

    Great post and subject!

  10. I had tons of guy friends as a single woman. In a number of cases, I was crushing on them or they were crushing on me. When I first started dating my husband, I was hanging out a lot with another guy on nights my now-husband needed to work. It turns out he thought we were dating (even though he had never tried to touch me) because as soon as he found out I had a boyfriend, our meetings stopped.

    Fifteen years later, I'm now a long-married woman, and I'm more careful about being one-on-one with guy friends. My husband trusts me, but there's appearances to consider as well as human nature. I also watch myself. I have joking relationships with the husbands of a number of my friends (and I have a ton more female friends now that I have kids). I don't flirt, however, and if one of these men talks to me in a way that makes me blush (which has happened), I keep my distance all the more.

  11. Rookie on the Run- thats one thing I forgot to mention that Eric and I have talked about. I think it's really different if your boyfriend/husband/fiance knows them. I think Eric is of the attitude that anyone who knows him (and knows that he is a 6'4 football player) may not decide to have a crush on me haha. I don't have any guys friends that Eric does not know and I think that would definitely be a lot more sketchy.

  12. I have heard such great things about Publick House and you just reminded me how I still want to go there sometime...thanks!

  13. I tend to get along better with guys than most girls and I think they make better friends. I definitely don't think it's a problem, as long as the 'guidelines' you mentioned are followed.

  14. My husband tends to have more 'girl' friends than guy ones but I think a lot of that is a function of having been raised with 3 sisters. Doesn't bother me - I am still the #1 'girl' friend. :)
    The guidelines are good ones.....

  15. I've had guy friends my whole life - especially in college. My major in college was one that at the time had few women. So either I'd make friends with my male classmates or have no friends!

    Having said that, your rules are spot on. And these days, I wouldn't 'hang out' with guy friends without our spouses included. But I would have lunch with them.

  16. I think yes, but if your married there are major limits you must respect. Out of respect for my husband I don't hang "one on one" with a dude freind unless its for working out reasons that he (my hubby wont do) but is cool with me doing it with another guy (like mtbing).

    Before I was married I was a guys girl. Total toboy and had way more boy friends than girls. I had closer relationships with the girl freinds though.

    Very interesting topic.

  17. All of a sudden I feel like I should watch When Harry Met Sally! : )

  18. this is a tough one! i have a couple of work friends who are guys and while chatting the day away certainly makes the time go faster- i would feel uncomfortable doing things like inviting them out for lunch. guys and girls can be friends i think, but there is a fine line that can't be crossed.. the people have to set boundaries and keep them if they are in commited relationships with other people- otherwise that line can get fuzzy.. fast.

    for me? i am way more comfortable with guys, but the last few times i've been out with my friends and the guys are there- one of them always tries to make a move and that makes me really uncomfortable so i stopped trying to connect with them going places- if my hubby were there they wouldnt come near me. i need a t-shirt with his face on it to wear out... lol

  19. Interesting topic. BTW I love the Publick House and it's one of our go-to places around here. Great beer selection. On the topic, I think your list is right on. In our relationship my boyfriend (been together 11 years) is the one that has friends of the opposite sex. I don't really have any guy friends so it's kind of one sided. Sometimes I get a creepy vibe from them and then we talk about it but for the most part it has always been good. I think some people just gravitate towards the opposite sex for friends more than others. Darin grew up with a sister and sister's friends were always really close so that's what he's comfortable with. It doesn't really bother me!

  20. lol about #3... reallllly, put some thought into why you hate her. lol.

    i used to think 100% yes too, but now i don't think it's 100%. i think there are cases of just-friends where no one was ever interested, but there are obviously also cases were one party was. i certainly claimed "just friends" sometimes when i really had a crush...

    i think i'm pretty neutral on girl vs boy friends, but it is a lot easier for me to chat it up with a guy than a girl (even if i am not interested). now that i'm engaged, i do watch how much i communicate with guy-friends. even though i don't have feelings for them, i don't want to send the wrong message nor give anyone the wrong impression. i think it's fine to have opposite-sex friends, but you definitely should make a point that your person is your #1 person.

    i <3 reading your blog. i think it's funny that i have you under my "running blogs" category when you rarely post about running anymore ;) i know, i know, you are on the mend. i won't cut you out!