I bought into the story hard, and, for the most part, it proved to be true. I went to an all-girls high school and all of my male friends were either my friends’ boyfriends or guys I ended up dating. It was a complete separation of church and state, and it worked perfectly fine at the time.
Fast forward to college, when males were ubiquitous and I actually had to think about the prospect of making guy friends. I was fairly daunted by the whole concept, unsure of how to treat a completly platonic male friend because I had so little practice.
When I started making friends with a group of guys, I was constantly self-conscious about my hair and clothes, feeling the need to see them as potential love interests instead of actual friends. Every time they were nice or affectionate, I immediately stressed about whether they possibly had feelings for me or vice versa.
As girls, we are raised to think that being friends with guys is against the norm. Girls who have mostly guy friends are often viewed as promiscuous or pretentious. And while it is perfectly normal and wonderful for a romantic relationship to arise out of a strong friendship, it is not as inevitable as we are led to believe.
Once I got over my socially-induced narcissism and learned to see my guy friends as friends instead of potential romantic partners, I was so much happier in my group of friends. Shifting my limited perspective of my friends helped me be a better, less judgmental friend in general. Relationships between girls and guys do not have to have romantic or sexual intentions. When I realized how sexist I was being and made an active effort to change my attitude toward my guy friends, I became happier, friendlier and more open with everyone I met.
Guys, I love you all so much. You support me and never fail to make me laugh or feel better when I am having a problem. You are the only reason I know anything about video games, soccer or fashion. I can ask you the weirdest, grossest, most personal questions and you will always answer with complete candor. I have learned so much from you and I can not imagine getting through college without you all. As we start the new school year together, I know more than ever that I can count on you guys for anything. You are the best wingmen a girl could ask for.