I have a few very close male friends that have always been platonic. A few that teetered on the edge. A couple that blossomed from the ashes of a relationship.
What determines success in this area? A few things:
How you feel about the opposite sex. A lot of folks have issues with the opposite sex and don’t know or admit it. A few guys I know have nothing good to say about women when you step outside of their physical attraction to them. Some women I know hate on men every chance they get. If you truly love the opposite sex, you can love them without having sex with every one that crosses your path. Some people do not have the capacity to be friends with someone of the opposite sex. Sad but true.
How good you are with boundaries. Just because you are friends does not mean you can behave as you wish. You’ve got to step back and chill if your friend is married or has a significant other. You will often find yourself in a sticky position when it comes to the other. Respect the boundaries. Your friend loves you, the significant other or spouse is even cool with you. But they don’t wanna see you at their house every goddamn day. Or have you calling their boo all the time. Or even grinning and laughing with them too damn much. Don’t be too offended by this. Your friend is trying to make their SO happy. Be friends. Just take it down a notch.
How good a friend you are. This one is obvious. If you are a crappy friend in the first place, don’t expect to cross gender lines and succeed. Some folks just take up space in your life and you have ask why they are even there. Don’t be one of those. And don’t allow these kinds of folks in your space.
Your compatibility. Just because it’s platonic, doesn’t mean it’s not a relationship. Do you share a common interest or special bond?
Still, sometimes friendships come to an end. Sometimes you realize that this person was never really a friend at all. Some examples:
True story: I had a good male friend once (or so I thought). We hung out, had a great time. I loved that! I did not feel particularly attracted to him (translation: he was in the never gonna get it category). I thought we had that understanding. However, as soon as this person discovered that I had no interest in him outside of friendship, he turned into another person altogether. Deleted me on Facebook! I hadn’t done him a thing.
True story #2. Another good friend was in my life for almost 15 years. But one day it dawned on me that I had had one too many ‘arguments’ with this dude. Um, hello, what are we married or something? Every word out of my mouth was challenged or ridiculed. Not having it. Cut! I realized, after all that time that he wasn’t the friend I thought he was. And being his friend wasn’t fun anymore. So that was that.
There were some bad experiences, but I do have a couple of platonic friends that I truly love! And love is hard to find. When you get it right, you’ll know.