Men, women should respect boundaries, stay friends

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I am a woman; he is a man; and we are happily celebrating our 11-year anniversary — as just friends.

Cody Burns and I have been best friends for a while now, and we have never shared intimate feelings or have ever dated. Whoa — say what? It’s shocking to believe, I know, but men and women can surely be friends.

Let me paint a picture for you. Our friendship consists of us being brutally honest, and there’s no such thing as beating around the bush. There have been times where I have been emotionally upset and he will physically shake me until I get some sense knocked into me. That’s a true friendship. Our friendship consists of times where we talk about our raw feelings and emotions — often about the people we are attracted to. And our friendship consists of the occasional farting and burping contest. Who can’t say we’re best friends? Well, we are, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

According to an article titled “Can Men and Women Really Be Just Friends?” published on eharmony.com: “If you’re in a platonic relationship with someone of the opposite sex and you feel perfectly comfortable in it, then for you, the answer to the question is a yes. As long as the boundaries are respected and feelings are considered, you may go on forever as ‘just friends.’ No one can place friendship in a neat little container with a perfectly descriptive label! We are all different, and the dynamics differ from one relationship to the next.”

If society says we can’t be “just friends,” then I will continue to prove society wrong.

I am a firm believer in the ability men and women have as being friends, and there are multiple reasons why having a male as a friend is beneficial.

No. 1: Men can be difficult to understand, and men know how each other work. If a woman is having relationship problems with her man, she should talk to another guy. Men know what’s going on.

No. 2: Men aren’t as dramatic as women; therefore, it makes as an easy relationship. If there is a fight or disagreement, it usually gets solved quickly with no hard feelings or grudges.

No. 3: Having a relationship with a man helps women understand how simple and straightforward men are. It helps women understand and appreciate the way men communicate and express feelings.

No. 4: Having a relationship with a man is like having a guardian angel who helps a woman pick out decent men who are actually worth the time. Men understand how others work, and men are women’s medicine to avoiding unnecessary heartbreaks and relationship problems.

If those reasons aren’t good enough to understand why men are great friends, I don’t know what is. Some think one could be attracted to the other or vice versa, but I don’t see anything wrong with that. If there are feelings on one side, it doesn’t have to ruin a friendship. 

If it ruins the friendship, that’s not what I call a friendship.

I feel bad for people who have their friend tell them he or she is attracted to them and they automatically think: “Oh no. He likes me! I can’t be friends with him. I can’t ever talk to him again. I can’t even look at him. Run!” And then they fall off the face of the earth.

Being friends means more than that. Friends are always there for each other no matter what. Friends accept absolutely everything about each other and love (as a friend) each other anyway. Friends are always there to look out and protect each other. 

If this is the type of friend you have, whether that friend is a man or a woman, don’t ever let him or her go. That kind of friend is hard to find.