Home Plus One Dating Where My Boys At??

Guy friends are the best. We all know that. No need to be high-strung, little concern on impressing them, and it is totally casual. And fart jokes are normally totally cool.

Now living in the city, I feel like my guy friends are just as crucial as my girls. The majority of my guy friends went to college with me. Two of them, I’m lucky enough to live with! I need these boys to cut loose with, to drink beers with, and just to leave the drama out of it.

But now, beyond college, how do you get guy friends?? How do you just keep them platonic?

Movies these days do not help the situation. Movies like Friends with Benefits or Friends with Kids completely rule out the idea that opposite sex friendships are possible. You’ll always fall in love. Not true.

My friend Ellen is best friends with a boy. Both are very attractive people. They are extraordinarily compatible, and yet they have absolutely no attraction to each other. I think the key to their relationship though is that they met in second grade, prior to hormones even being in the picture. So their pre-built friendship trumped any possibility of attraction.

At this point in life, past puberty and past college, I feel like finding guy friends is harder than finding a boyfriend. If you meet a guy in a bar, the first thought isn’t “oh, we could totally be friends.” I had that thought once. And then I dated the guy.

Now, women are leading with their hearts and their ring fingers and men are leading with their groins (and maybe their hearts if we are lucky?). So how do you overcome these challenges and just be friends?

Dress down? No matter how unattractive you think you are, the man’s mind will still wander.

High fives instead of hugs? The gentleman just thought you are the coolest chick in the bar. High fives are his favorite.  Mind wandering again…

Admit you are looking for a friend? Who says they want a new friend?? They immediately assume you are looking for that kind of friend. Mind continues to wander…

So what do you do? Where do you go?

The best I’ve got right now is work. Work friends always stay platonic. (Or at least they should if you are taking a page from my book!). But working in a female-dominated field, that gets difficult too.

So what do you think? Do you have guy friends? How did you get them? Where your boys at?? Let’s talk!

Happy Thursday y’all.


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18 replies to this post
  1. i love guy friends! i think i’m able to do this by completely turning off all flirtation and not complementing them too much in the beginning. Showing interest in their interests but not showing amazement at their abilities. a guy friend told me he had branded Obama’s campaign and i shrugged my shoulders and said “cool.” He laughed and stopped flirting. FRIENDS. Also: get to know acquaintances of guys you are dating. I guess if you stop dating it ends though. Hate that!

  2. I totally agree with Lauren! How do 20 something’s find guy friends in NYC?! Any suggestions besides bar would be great!

  3. I’ve become pretty good friends with some of my girlfriends’ long-term boyfriends. Guys who are married or in a relationship are also a good source of guy friendship, provided that their significant others are not controlling/crazy and aren’t threatened by him having female friends. I also just refer to When Harry Met Sally as my general guidebook to male-female friendships…

  4. This is interesting. All my life I have had no trouble keeping a lot of guy friends- alarmingly more guy friends than girls to tell you the truth. If I had a dollar for every time I’ve been hear, “Naw, it’s just Midge, she’s one of the guys- she’s cool,” I would at LEAST have $20. However there have been several times where this “one of the guys” attribute has led to “one of the guys who is also a girl…” and the mind wanders. It has caused problems before, but on the whole it’s typically been a great thing.

    Not sure how to bottle this- aside from having 2 brothers and 15+ male cousins- I can’t tell you. But it’s worth the risk in my book. And if nothing else, dropping the old BF term casually can hold off the horses: “Yeah, I totally drive stick shift, it’s the only way to go with a Jeep Wrangler. I even taught my boyfriend how to.” Still cool while sending the “friendship only” signal- even if it’s not true ;)

      • Had to comment since I completely agree with MidgeTherese’s comment – I work in a male doiminated industry and so naturally a lot of the young guys I work with have become good friends (particularly as the industry is relatively small so we all know each other’s university friends etc). I found dropping ‘boyfriend’ comments here and there definitely keeps things in the ‘friends’ zone 9 times out of 10! However there will always be the the 1 out of 10 who will see you as a challenge and try and pursue you – he created a bit of drama and I actually developed feelings for him but being colleagues (and friends) it was a complete no-go but I felt like I’d been ‘outed’ as a girl! However, I found that by keeping things cool everything soon went back to normal – one of the perks of having guys as friends – no grudges or talking behind backs!

  5. I agree- It’s much harder to find a guy friend at this stage in our lives!
    I find that most of my guy friendships started years ago. The guys I’ve known since grammar school are like brothers to me – I could never get involved with them!
    I say stick to friending guys at work and guys who have wives/girlfriends/fiancees

  6. I never had guy friends until recently, but working in tech startups over the past 2 years where I’ve been one of the or (like now) the only girl, I’ve collected some pretty awesome guy friends. I love them, and it actually has helped grow a lot as a person to be around people who are so logical/rational/ “I see the world as black and white.” I don’t know if that’s the drama-free nature of guys, or if that’s a little more typical of engineers, but it’s helped me become more laid back in life and focused in my career.

    Probably one of the funniest things about guy friends is how little I care about how I look around them :) I feel like whenever I’ve dressed up to go out for a night with the girls, we debrief prior to the outing about what we’re wearing and it’s always much more of a production. Grabbing beers after work with this crowd is just… simple. It’s all flip flops and startup t shirts. I love it. I heart them.

  7. I totally sympathize with your struggle to find male friends in a female-dominated place of employment. That has produced zero results! I’ve also tried the we-met-in-a-bar-but-I-just-want-to-be-friends thing. After a couple of outings (which I later learned were considered dates), I made it clear that I wasn’t looking for a relationship, and the guy bolted. Really? Did paying for myself and avoiding all contact not scream platonic friendship? Whether your close guy friends are in the city or not, they are valuable networking resources. Ask them if they have any buds in your city, and make it clear that you’re just looking for a friend. No confusion that way!

  8. All my best friends are guys, but all from high school – I’d have no idea how to get new guy friends now. I mean, I talk to guys at work and guys I met at uni, but taking it to friendship level? Hmmm. (That said, I don’t feel like I need any new friends at this stage.)

  9. GIRL. I’ve been thinking about this so much lately! I have a bunch of guy friends from high school and college, but since moving 1000 miles away to a new city in a female-dominated field (damn you, social work), I’ve maybe befriended like 2 guys in the past year.

    Down with confusing flirtatious friendships/friendswithbenefitsships. UP WITH THE PLATONIC MALE FRIENDSHIP!

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