Why It’s Hard to Have Platonic Male Friends As You Get Older

Why It’s Hard to Have Platonic Male Friends As You Get Older ©iStock/gilaxia

When you’re young, having guy friends comes naturally. Even in college, bonding with the opposite sex on a platonic level is easy enough. Unfortunately, like most things in life, finding guy friends becomes far more difficult the older you get.

  1. You don’t want him to think it’s romantic. When you meet a guy and automatically know you want him to be your bestie, it’s because there’s nothing romantic happening. Unfortunately, he might think that your Facebook messages and texts are to set up a date, not a casual hang.
  2. You can’t hang out with a big group. In high school, it’s easy to find a guy you have stuff in common with and invite him to hang with the rest of your platonic crew. When you’re a certified grown-up (or at least kind of one), you don’t exactly have a bunch of platonic dudes to chill with. If you did, you wouldn’t be hunting for another one to add to the pack.
  3. There’s nowhere to meet guy friends. Sure, there’s Tinder for sex, and OkCupid for getting super creepy messages about potential threesomes with polyamorous city dwellers who don’t have photos of their face, but all of those dating apps don’t exactly scream “friends.” While you’d like to meet up and hang, it’s hard to establish platonic boundaries up front.
  4. It’s hard to find “friend” dates. Figuring out what makes a friend date different from a date-date is beyond difficult. After all, it can even be difficult to make a female friend after graduation because navigating the waters of a new pal is complicated. When it comes to a member of the opposite sex, do you grab drinks, catch a movie, or get dinner? All of the above sound extra romantic, especially when it’s hard enough to get an actual romantic interest to participate in those activities with you.
  5. You’re constantly worried that he’s going to “get the wrong idea.” Whether it’s because you’re constantly texting him or ask him to hang out, you can’t help but wonder if he’s eventually going to go in for a make out session that you’re going to have to avoid.
  6. There are more opportunities to mess up. When you’re making guy friends for the first time in elementary school, you don’t exactly have to worry about drinking around them. It’s super easy. You have class with a fun dude, head to the movies with him and your crew, and add him to your friendship arsenal for the next decade. Now, friendship most often involves drinking, which can lead to some unsavory situations, even if you’re definitely not interested in this dude.
  7. It makes you realize how much the guys you’re seeing suckIf you’re seeing a guy who can’t seem to respond to your texts, you come up with a million excuses. In your mind, he’s just busy with work or doesn’t have his phone on him. When you start hanging out with a new guy friend, you realize how naive you’re being. While some people suck at texting, most have their phone on them 24/7, and just because it’s a guy doesn’t mean he’s somehow different from the rest of the world. When your new boy bestie starts triple texting you and asking to hang out all the time, it makes you realize that if your potential gentleman caller was actually interested in dating, he would be getting in contact with you instead of acting like Casper the ghost.
Margaret is a freelance writer who covers pop culture and fashion in New York City and currently writes for Page Six's Style section. Her work has been featured in Teen Vogue, xoJane, and Racked. She tweets about her crippling caffeine addiction and teen TV obsession here: @margaretabrams