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Wellness > Sex + Relationships

The Value of Male/Female Friendships in College

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Cal Poly chapter.

Our time in college is labeled as some of our most formative years prior to true adulthood, which is why the relationships we make during this time are pivotal in developing potentially lifelong friendships. Although many say that it’s impossible for a girl and boy to be “just friends,” I’ve found this sentiment to be entirely false. I’ve even found that having guy friends is more fulfilling than talking to/dating some guy I’ve met in a class, on a dating app or at a party. Male/female friendships are far more valuable than most people realize and only add to your overall perspective on life.

The first thing I love about having guy friends is how I can go to them with my “boy problems” in order to gain a realistic male perspective on the situation. Young women have often struggled to fully understand the minds of young men; we’ve been told that they’re simple creatures, yet they can often confuse us. So how simple can they truly be? For women attracted to men, having guy friends makes it a lot easier to know and understand the true intentions of prospective romantic pursuits. Guy friends know when to give it to us straight and can sometimes notice red flags in other guys easier. Having platonic and trustworthy men around is comforting and eye-opening. 

Not only can guy friends give smart relationship guidance, but they can also make us feel safer in social situations, especially when we trust them enough to know that they’ll look out for us. Though women should feel safe on their own, I’ve found that men are regarded with more respect in terms of safety. Knowing that my guy friends have my back automatically makes me feel safer in most situations. Seek out friends who will look out for your wellbeing and safety.

Having guy friends can be a nice reminder that men can be just as emotional and in need of support as we are. As with all friendships, you will find a listening ear, study buddy, and designated driver for late night In-N-Out runs. Likewise, you can support them through their ups and downs and provide an emotionally safe space.

Young women and men have a lot more to offer each other that doesn’t have to be romantic. It’s comforting knowing that I have important men in my life who won’t sexualize me and just enjoy my company. Having these platonic relationships is especially important in maintaining lifelong connections with the special people that you come across in your college life.

Carisa Joyner

Cal Poly '25

Carisa is a first year English major. She wrote for her high school's online newspaper, the Veritas Shield, about politics, relationships, campus news, etc and worked as the Social Media Editor her Senior year. In her free time, Carisa enjoys going on little adventures with her friends, and sharing photos from her life on VSCO.