Casablanca ends with the iconic line: “Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.” Granted, I’m no casino owner in love with a woman I can’t have, but I do know the power of beautiful friendships. And some of my greatest friendships are with men—those who I have liked romantically and those I have never liked in that way. For some people, this is a shock; for others it is not. The questions of “can guys and girls be friends?” has been debated for some time now and I just wanted to put in my two cents: Yes, I believe they can be friends without any romantic attachment. This is true whether there was no romantic feelings in the first place or we have moved beyond those feelings like Beyonce has moved on from Destiny’s Child (aka onto bigger and better things).
I have many male friends that I have met through a myriad of different circumstances. There is a whole lot of them that I have met because my friends liked them, and as they were exploring their relationships with these men, I got a chance to build friendships with them. I have met great guys through retreats, study groups, and through mutual interests. And most of these men I have never liked as more than friends. I may have found attractive qualities in them, which would be the reason I wanted to call them “friend”in the first place, but we have remained just friends and gone no further. I can’t imagine not having them in my life. They balance me out, they give me great advice, they tell me to stop over-thinking, and they amuse me to no end. I thank God for them.
Then, there are the boys who I have liked in a “more than friends”type of way. The ones that made me feel simultaneously sick and like a superhero that could do anything. The ones who made it really hard to resist pinning white dresses on Pinterest. These crushes have come and gone with the passing years of my life, but there are some crushes who have stayed: as friends. The characteristics that attracted me to them initially have remained my favorite traits after the romantic feelings have left. The boys who caught my heart with their sense of humor can still make me laugh even if the butterflies are gone. The boys who inspired me and drew me in with their enthusiasm for faith and life still call me on, even if the passion of love has faded away. The boys who have similar interests remain the friends that I go to in order to geek out about something new and cool in our similar fields of interest (like the new Star Wars movie-December 2015 here I come).
To those who say boys and girls can’t be friends, I understand that in some instances feelings cannot be put aside, that it can be too painful to remain friends with someone when the feelings are not mutual or even after a breakup. You may need space to collect your thoughts and grow as a person. Eventually, you may find your life is better off without this person. That is completely true….in some cases. But don’t allow past feelings to get in the way of good friendships or your life will be as sad as a rainy Monday. Each person is unique, and the presence of guy and girl friends in your life is integral to your happiness. They each give something so special to you, whether it is a laugh, a spiritual boost, a shoulder in time of need. Don’t miss out on some of the best friends of your life because of the fear of a little crush. There are greater things in store for you and your friends than this.
Kathryn Dionne is a recent college grad of Ave Maria University and is exploring the world of writing and films when she isn’t working for her alma mater. She is also a sports enthusiast, despite a soccer injury that cuts her physical exertion a little short. But that’s ok, because watching movies, her other passion, doesn’t involve running, so she still considers herself #blessed. She blogs at glenncococlub.wordpress.com & sleeplessincinema.wordpress.com.