It’s a question that has graced glossy magazines for as long as we can remember: can men and women really be ‘just friends’? Well, we’re here to tell you that they can, with help from our Britain’s Best Friend of the Year winners, Yvette and Edwin, of course!
The pair recently revealed their secrets to making friendship stand the test of time, but now, let’s see why they think men and women make such great friends, and their tips for putting paranoid partners at ease!
A different viewpoint
For women especially, having a male friend to turn to in times of trouble offers a valuable difference in viewpoint. While female friends are more known for fighting your corner and over-identifying with your problems, male friends are much more likely to step back and offer constructive advice.
A balanced friendship
We all know the stereotype: men don’t talk about their feelings. But for many men, with their male friends especially, this is true. Conversation tends to revolve more around hobbies, activities and just generally having a good time, rather than emotions. With female friends, however, it’s much easier for men to open up and talk about their vulnerabilities. In a similar way, laid-back friendships with men can help women to avoid getting too bogged-down with emotions.
The chance to just be silly
While you can have a laugh with the guys or a giggle with the girls, there’s nothing like sharing in the sense of humour of the opposite sex. There are sometimes boundaries to what people think they can discuss with same-sex friends, but when you’re relaxing with your brother from another mother or sister from another mister, those tend to disappear. What you’re left with, a lot of the time, is the chance to just be silly and indulge your inner children.
A familial relationship
While arguments between female friends can quickly get catty, and disagreements between guy friends can end in stalemate, boy friends and girl friends tend to resolve disagreements like brother and sister. You give in and learn to laugh about it, give one another a punch on the arm and get back to being besties.
You see, friendships between men and women needn’t be complicated – in fact, they can even prove more rewarding than same-sex friendships! There is, however, one fly that sometimes ends up in the ointment… paranoid partners.
It’s understandable that a boyfriend or girlfriend may be a little wary of your best male or female friend, but never fear, there are ways in which you can put their mind at ease:
- Spend time together as a group, so that your partner can see how your friendship works and that there is no ulterior chemistry.
- Encourage them to spend time alone, so the two can get to know each other properly. You never know, they could even end up becoming best friends themselves!
- Reassure your partner rather than acting like they have no right to feel like they do. A bit of a reservation is natural, but remember, if the need for reassurance becomes a constant feature of your relationship, it can start to get problematic.
- Include them in things like in-jokes so they don’t feel left out, whether in person or if you burst out laughing at a text message.
You see, it can be done! Do you have a best friend of the opposite sex? Why do you think that you make such great friends? Do you have any advice for those trying to convince their partner that they have nothing to worry about?