Coupled. With Guy Friends

I like hanging with the guys; so what?

Growing up I was always a tomboy. I never wore anything remotely girly, played sports, and even had short hair (though that one was totally my mom’s doing). So it came as no surprise that the majority of my closest friends were of the male variety.

When college came around, I’d finally gotten out of that awkward tomboy phase and I was meeting guys who just saw me as a cute girl, not the girl who used to beat them up on the playground. I knew that if I was going to date in college it had to be with a guy who was OK with the fact that a lot of my close friends were male. I didn’t want a boyfriend who would get jealous if I went out with my best friend without him. Fortunately, I struck gold with my boyfriend, Matt. He got stuck in the friend zone a lot in high school, too, and his best friend happens to be a girl. He totally understands where I’m coming from and doesn’t get jealous when I go see movies with Luke, or go have dinner with Andrew, or go for a run with Steven.

But while he’s A-OK with me hanging out with other guys, it seems that no one else is. Especially my girl friends. Whenever I mention hanging out with other guys who are not my boyfriend, I get some really strange looks. Here’s how it usually goes down:

Me: “Have you seen (newest released movie) yet? I saw it with Dan last night and…”
Girlfriend: “Wait, you saw a movie with Dan?”
Me: “Yeah. He even picked me up on his motorcycle. It was awesome.”
Girlfriend: “You rode on a motorcycle and saw a movie with a guy who isn’t your boyfriend?

Insert judging face here. Followed quickly by my “what is the problem?” shoulder shrug.

Seriously, what is the problem?!

I don’t understand why people have such an issue with me doing stuff with a male who isn’t my boyfriend. If he’s OK with it, why is it a problem? More specifically, why is it your problem? Contrary to what Harry told Sally, it is possible for a guy and a girl to spend time together without it being at all sexual. Especially when one of the two happens to be in a very serious and committed relationship. I will never – I repeat, never – cheat on my boyfriend. And hanging out with other guys will not change that fact.

Now, I know it’s probably a total anomaly that I have a boyfriend who just so happens to have a best friend of the opposite sex like myself. And I know that there are many girls out there who aren’t so lucky and have to navigate the whole “male friend” situation with their boyfriends (and, subsequently, their judgmental friends….). It’s not easy – people can get really sensitive and jealous when their feelings are on the line – but at the end of the day it all comes down to honesty and trust. And that’s between the couple, not their friends. If you’re honest with your partner and trust that they are being honest with you it won’t matter who he or she (or you!) is hanging out with. And if having friends of the opposite sex is a problem, it might only be a sign of larger trust issues that should be addressed.

Guys or girls, friends are friends. And regardless of our relationship status, everyone’s allowed to have them.



  1. Syd says:

    Finally! Someone like me! :D And anyway, we're not in 7th grade anymore where we get all upset if out boyfriend/girlfriend looks at another person…as long as no cheating goes on, I can go out and get dinner with my guy friends, my boyfriend can go to bars with his female friends, and we trust each other enough to deal with it. It's other people who are all 'BLAH, I'M TOO IMMATURE TO UNDERSTAND THE WORD PLATONIC!'

  2. sam says:

    two words: sexual tension.

  3. Dan says:

    Well, I totally understand that.

    My best friend happens to be a girl, and you know what? People just have to deal with this fact. I don't care about these agressive comments we get sometimes, and I trust her more than I would trust any other friend, male or not.

    The greatest thing for me is, however, that you get to know the opposite sex without all those barriers that dating imposes. So you can have a better perspective on things like what's attractive to women, what does a girl expect from her boyfriend, what can we do to please women, etc.

    Having an opposite-sex best friend is a GREAT thing, because it becomes so much easier to get closer to people from the other gender!

  4. Casey says:

    I feel like I could have written this. Thank you!

  5. […] – We debated whether it’s OK for girlfriends to hang with guy friends. […]

  6. nikki says:

    Well, I wasn't ever the tomboy in the way i'd dress or anything like that. I mean, I am/always was very much in touch with my feminine side.

    But then, I have never sat around and obsessed about nail varnishes, taken an age to decide what I am going to wear each time I go out.

    I mean, I do have my "girl moments and concerns" but the "typical girl talks and concerns " are pretty much beyond my comprehension.

    I remember being stuck with a group of girls in the green room talking endlessly about "if their hair was okay" and " a zillion ways to brush your hair". I really almost lost it. So much so that I had to leave the room.

    So, basically .. I get along with guys MUCH better. Even they feel comfortable wimme as I talk about what they call "rational, un-girly topics". LoL.

    My best friend .. except for my 6th grade, has always been a guy.

    And I'd prefer hanging out with "the guys" anyday!

  7. Mollination says:


    While I was never a tomboy, I have the strangest friendship with a male ever. We are beyond close. We are closer than close as close can be without being a romatic/sexual/physical anything. NOBODY understands us or gets it, we are constantly judged, it's a struggle in my relationships, my mom questions me, my friends think we're gonna get married…etc. etc. etc.

    It is so amazing to hear there is someone else out there that has this. After a while when you're the only one against the masses, you start to let their judgments creep in and start to wonder if they know something you don't. YAY for this article!

  8. Tamara says:

    I think there are to kind of male friends (or opposite sex friends), or at least I divide mine in two kinds. First, there is the kind you would never, ever, not in a parallel universe, hook up with: this categorie includes openly gay friends, probably gay friends, guys you met so long ago you forgot they actually are sexual beings, guys who dated your best friends for a long time or guys who are close friends with your exes (close enough to be not able to touch you ever). I have friends like this, and there is no limit for what I can do with them: I even kissed one in a drinking game (a probably gay one) and told my boyfriend, who just laughed about it.

    But then there is the second kind…you can't say why but it is not the same with them. Maybe they're hotter, maybe they find you attractive, or whatever: but you know you could definitely make out with them on a drunken night or something, even if the sexual tension it's not always there. Most of the straight guy friends I've met in college fall in this categorie. While I go out with them, have long talks in the phone and everything, I try to be a little more careful on the boundaries: I wouldn't sleep in their house, wouldn't be all touchy touchy around them, etc. And my boyfriend definitely likes them less, probably because they look at me in a sort of sexual way that my other friends don't.

  9. Sandrina says:

    When I met my boyfriend, he knew that I have a lot of guy friends as much as I have girl friends. It's the same with him.

    He lives in another town as me and we only get to see each other on weekends, but he would never be jealous if I tell him that I'm going to the movies, to a bar or dinner with another guy. And I tell him what I'm up to just as he tells me what he's doing. Our relationship is based on trust, we know the other has to have some fun when we cannot see each other, I don't sit around whining when he's not around.

    It's great to see that my boyfriend gets along with my guy friends and I'm happy when he takes me along to an evening with a female friend of his (but I insist on getting there a little later so they have time to catch up).

    It's not a problem in our relationship and usually, all my friends see this as normal. I guess I'm blessed on this part ;)

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