Can Guys and Girls be “Just Friends?”

I feel like we’ve all been there; you’re hanging out with or texting a guy and you see your friend standing behind him making winky faces at you.  He walks away and you’re met with one of two responses: “I ship it” or “so who was thaaat?” And so it begins.

Just a quick note: this article is mainly speaking on heterosexual relationships, since that is what my experiences have been so far.

Now, I have a twin brother so I’ve always grown up around a lot of guys and generally feel comfortable around them. I’ve always had a bunch of super close guy friends and even in elementary school, I’d have to explain that those guys and I were just friends.

Let’s paint a picture, shall we? One of my best friends was a dude and in grade six, we would have to constantly explain that no, we weren’t dating. Next, a teacher in high school thought me and this one guy would be a good couple -- just imagine, four years with a teacher asking about a friend of yours whenever she sees you.

I mean, I even have to explain to my parents that, no, I’m not trying to date this guy, we’re just a couple of friends hanging out.

And then just the other day, my cousin, who also has a bunch of close guy friends, told me she’s experiencing the teasing, which does nothing but make things all kinds of awkward. So I did what everyone my age does: I went to Instagram and created a poll asking if guys and girls can really be just friends.

I was hoping that the guys I knew and followed wouldn’t overwhelmingly say no, and I was pleasantly surprised… for the most part.

After a couple of minutes, the poll looked split: guys said no while girls said yes. Then, my faith in my friends was restored as the polling ended with 91 per cent of people saying yes and 9 per cent saying no.

I was happy with that and it’s kind of what I expected anyways. What I didn’t expect were some of the comments I got from the guys who said no. One said that sure, guys and girls can be friends because it’s just a helpful stepping-stone to sex or more … and now I don’t really know how to feel about him anymore.

The strange thing is, these guys who said no actually do have “friends” who are girls, which I totally didn’t understand. It seems like such an old and tired question to as,k and yet, it’s still a thing.

All in all, it’s not the biggest deal if people -- be they my family, friends or some random teacher -- jump to conclusions about my relationships. What’s a little bothersome is the idea that I’m lying if I say that we’re just friends. I can brush off people’s assumptions, but then trust me when I say we’re just friends and please don’t make it awkward for us.

The verdict? Guys and girls can be friends, and I think we’ve known that all along. Most people don’t think everyone is interested in each other, and, honestly, who else can you analyze the male brain with?