Published on Meld Magazine, Friday, 20 April 2012.
WHEN it comes to the opposite sex, how many times have you heard friends chime, “Oh, we’re just friends”. Marcella Purnama explores the topic of platonic relationships and explains why she is a skeptic.
Platonic relationships form when boy meets girl and they become best friends. While some believe it can happen, others are a bit skeptical about their existence… including me.
For girls, the norm is to have another girl as your best friend. For boys, it’s pretty much the same, which makes life difficult for girls (like me) who have boys (like them) as best friends.
I’ve always liked to be friends with boys. Why? Gosh, their lives are so simple! No gossip, no celebrities, no fashion. It’s more about sports, fun and games.
When I hang out with the boys, I don’t need to pretend to look excited at their new notebook and say things like, “Aww, that’s so cute.” I don’t even need to think about not hurting their feelings. If I don’t like it, I’ll just say it, and somehow, guys can handle that kind of honesty better than girls.
I can challenge them to a game of Mario Kart, talk about superhero movies and argue over the latest match between Federer and Nadal without even trying to remember who the hell Kim Kardashian is.
You can be as frank as you want and they won’t backstab you because boys usually don’t want to talk about private stuff. There’s no messaging, no chatting on a day-to-day basis with other boys, unlike girls, so the secrets you share are safe(r) with them.
Boys use logic, so when I am clouded by my emotional blues of sadness, their words strike me like lightning.
And for a girl (like me) who doesn’t want to know about the latest trend in fashion, be in touch with America’s Next Top Model or gossip about the dress Jessica Alba wore to the Academy Awards, boys are just plain easier to get along with.
I love playing badminton, but sadly none of the girls in my friendship circle play, so I end up playing with the boys. I love playing table tennis, but it’s hard to find girls who will agree to doing anything other than grabbing a cup of coffee or window shopping, so I end up playing with the boys.
I love doing outdoor activities, but not many girls do. So when the choice is between going to the shops and going to Seaworld, the shops will always win for girls… every single time. So I end up going to Seaworld, theme parks and the zoo with the boys (again).
In a sense, boys are easier to talk to and easier to handle (boyfriends are different stories, but don’t get me started). They won’t comment on your weird sense of fashion (at least not out loud), your branded or unbranded bags or how much weight you’ve gained during the weekend.
But is there such a thing as a platonic relationship?
In my humblest opinion, when you befriend the opposite sex, it’s either because you’re just “sometimes-friends” who occasionally go out in groups and chat about random topics or you’re lovers. You can’t really be best friends with the opposite sex. On what do I base this belief? Personal experiences, mainly, but the opinions of my guy friends too.
When boy meets girl and they spend too much time together talking about private matters, sharing too many laughs and exchanging too many smiles, one or the other will end up having amorous feelings and the friendship will crumble. And then you can’t go back to being friends once more.
Looking back, every single one of the male friends I considered to be my best friend eventually did something to destroy that platonic relationship. One gave me a flower on Valentine’s Day. One gave me a love poem, twice. Another asked me out on a dinner date. The other gave me a bouquet of roses after prom night.
As yet, up until this time last year, I was still a believer in the platonic relationship. Then I had dinner with some skeptical guys who were convinced friendships between boys and girls do not exist. I began to question my belief as well. When they asked me, “Do you have a good male friend who has never fallen for you before? Or vice versa?” I couldn’t say yes.
And so today, my relationships with the opposite sex can never cross that level into becoming good friends. It’s either being just friends or being more than friends. It’s harsh, but it’s completely and utterly true.
Do you believe in platonic relationships? Share your views in the comments box below!
Photo: Andrejs Pidjass