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Why We All Need Guy Friends Who Aren’t Trying to Sleep With Us

Something about a man’s love has always felt conditional. If I befriended a man, I might be asked later to hand over my relationships status, and repay him for his acts of kindness with a kiss, maybe two. If I glanced too long at him in the hallway, I’d owe him a smile. If he brought me flowers to my doorstep, or left a love note on my car window, I not only owed him a “thank you” and a half-hearted hug, but a week of texting back and forth, perhaps a date. And who knows, he may believe that he’s earned a hand up my shirt.

In my world, there was no such as selfless love from a man. Relationships were a death sentence, and friendships were never just a friendship, simply temporary companionship with secret hopes of a relationship. Each hour spent together, each dinner paid for, each text of “good luck” and “have a good sleep,” some sort of contract that entitled these men to a reward—hopefully a romantic one.

And unfortunately, men are encouraged to have these expectations. We tell them that friendships are only acceptable if there’s something in it for them. That it’s “gay,” to be a good friend, an attentive friend, a nurturing friend, unless sex is in the equation, of course. Then, it’s just fulfilling their male duty.

See the thing is, men are trained to sexually conquer, to woo us, to be the chasers and never the chased. While women, on the other hand, are programmed for limitless unconditional love, to care for everyone and anyone, to nurture. When women put forth these big gestures and devote their time to caring for a man, they expect nothing in return. Not sex. Not love. Not anything. This is simply their womanly duty—to give and give, and never take.

Perhaps the wort part of it all, is that women support this culture, too. Just recently, a close friend of mine who is, by the way, not gay and not interested in me, decided to bring me flowers after a hard day. When I told others of this story, I was kindly reassured that “men don’t do that unless they’re interested in you,” and that “I should be careful.”

But I have to ask, if a woman had offered a similar gesture, would it have received the same response? If a young girl had baked a plate of cookies for her male best friend, would we question her feelings the same way we would question a man’s? Or would this simply be a good deed, one friend taking care of another? Why must we continuously paint men as sexual conquerors, when perhaps their intentions are just as innocent as this hypothetic young woman with a plate of cookies?

Regardless, it is essential it is for women to have relationships with men who have no sexual interest us. Otherwise, we will be left feeling that our only value comes from what we have to offer sexually and romantically. And at the end of the day, we deserve men who do nice things for us with no ulterior motives, who choose to act selflessly, who choose to be our support systems without conditions. Because I still have hope with everything in me that men can be good.


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Editor-in-chief of Her Campus Utah - Double major in English and Gender Studies - Lover of Oxford comma, hater of patriarchy. 
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