I may not have a boyfriend, but I have something better: an amazing guy friend who I’m pretty sure adds more to my life than any romantic partner ever could. Here are some ways he adds value to my life.
He regularly gives me blunt advice.
He serves as my number one source for advice about absolutely everything. In romantic relationships, I often bite my tongue and don’t share my actual thoughts and feelings because I don’t want to cause an argument. Thankfully, I don’t have to do that with my guy friend. Having difficult conversations where I don’t have the added layer of anxiety about a partner’s reaction is so refreshing. He once told me I needed to take better care of my nose hairs without hesitation; in a relationship, I probably would’ve spent a long time crying into my coffee!
There’s nothing better than getting the lowdown on dudes, from, well, a dude
Being single and defining my relationship status as “sorta kinda dating” can be a lot for anyone to deal with; some days I’m gung-ho for a swipe session, and other days I just want to incessantly vent about a guy who did me really wrong, like, eight years ago. No matter what type of mood I’m in, my guy friend is always behind me with a dose of much-needed dude perspective. He never hesitates to pull me back to Earth after an extensive stay on Guy Planet. I feel like my communication skills are getting stronger for a future relationship because of my friend’s perspective.
He provides me with a healthy support system but with more freedom.
Having a best friend of the opposite sex is so much easier for me at my current stage in life; he’s always supportive of my endeavors and he trusts that I know how to make good decisions for myself. In my past romantic relationships, there’s always been an underlying current of judgment and skepticism from my partner about my decision-making skills, simply because I was putting myself first. Having a support system comprised only of your friends allows you to devote more time to becoming the person you want to be without the added stressor of looking out for someone else.
Our friend groups can survive without any additional drama.
I’m at the crucial post-graduate stage of life; a big percentage of my friend group came from my out-of-state campus and we’re all heading in different directions. As it often happens, friend groups split or evolve and I’ve encountered both. My guy friend has traveled with me through it all, and his presence makes socializing less stressful. I’ve been able to introduce him to my old friends from home, and we’ve been able to happily fit into a comfortable friend group with our mutual friends from school. The drama that sometimes crops up from couples within social circles is nonexistent, which is great.
He helped me realize I’ve been attracted to toxic guys.
My close friends have rarely had anything positive to say about my taste in men. Before I got close to my guy friend, I was deep into surrounding myself with men who were making me feel like crap. I had a habit of building and molding myself around their expectations, despite knowing it was an unhealthy behavior. My guy friend showed me how much of my self-worth was wrapped in various levels of toxic habits from partners and really helped me change my ways.
He taught me how to be patient.
I have an awful temper and I sometimes succumb to it a little too easily. It has taken me nearly two years ending my longest relationship to realize how quick I was to let my temper take over, and I’m pretty sure it played a big part in its demise. Having a strictly platonic relationship with a guy was the most helpful element in my road to reclaiming who I was after a devastating breakup because he allowed me to see and understand my shortcomings from both the male perspective and the perspective of an outsider who also knows you very well and can guide you back to your better self.
He’s helped me reflect on my life plan.
I knew the exact trajectory I wanted my life to take from a very early age. However, I had no idea how much of my future fantasy life revolved around serving other people and how little room I’d devoted for myself until I’d met my guy friend. When I got to know him and saw how in tune he was with himself and what he wanted out of life, I learned a lesson in stepping back and make room for myself.
He taught me not to take life so seriously.
I’m a pretty laid-back person, but when it comes to work and everything I’m passionate about, I have a habit of falling into patterns of taking all elements extremely seriously and losing any sense of being level-headed. His goofy sense of humor serves as a constant reminder to focus on the lighter aspects of life, which in turn makes me feel like a more well-rounded person. When you’re trying to figure out who you want to be as a person, it’s extremely vital to have those reliable figures in your life who care just as much as you do about becoming exactly the person you want to be.
Platonic friendship doesn’t feel completely consuming.
Romantic relationships can be all-consuming, no matter much you intend for them not to be. Sure, romantic love is one of the most fulfilling feelings in the world, but knowing exactly what you’re wanting out of life and needing the necessary time to figure out exactly what those things are can also feel more deeply fulfilling than you realize.
Expectations are different, and that’s OK.
While it’s a cardinal rule to treat everyone with common decency no matter your relationship status with them, it can be a relief to understand different types of relationships come with different types of expectations. At this point in my life, I would rather not be in a romantic relationship because I know I need to spend ample time focusing on myself. Having a strong friendship with a guy taught me the type of relationship expectations I’m not able to live up to right now, and I’m grateful for it.
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