Like most nineteen-year-old girls, I have a best friend who I trust with my life. A person I can open up to, a person who makes me laugh until I cry and a person I can most definitely rely on. They are, arguably, my favourite person in the world. However, there is one difference between my best friend and those of most other nineteen-year-old girls. My best friend is a boy.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: shock! Horror! Is nothing sacred anymore?! Won’t somebody think of the children!
Alright, that may be a little facetious. I know I’m not the first person to have a best friend of another gender and I surely won’t be the last. Yet I have been bombarded with the same question so many times that you’d think a friendship between a boy and girl had never existed before:
“So are you guys a thing now?”
Of course, the questions aren’t the difficult part – they’re simply the beginning. The worst part is the childish rumours. Someone swears they saw us holding hands in the school corridors. Another heard we’d been snogging while waiting for a ride home. One person even claims to have heard from a friend of a friend that we’re sleeping together. None of it true, but all of it believed.
To quote one of my favourite films, Network: ‘I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore’.
It’s the 21st century, for crying out loud! We are lucky enough to be living in both a privileged and progressive society and, for the most part, I cannot complain. Looking at how far we have advanced over the last few decades is something that certainly restores one’s faith in humanity, however the fact that the idea of a platonic friendship still baffles people frustrates me. Of course, this does not apply to everyone, only to a small minority of the population, those who refuse to consider a relationship between a man and woman not involving sex.
These are the people who conjure up the silly rumours and would rather spread gossip than try to understand something as simple and innocent as a friendship between two people of opposing genders.
“we live in such a sex-obsessed society that people can’t just accept the existence of platonic love between a guy and a girl”
The fact is, I love my best friend like I love my brother – heck, a lot of the time I like him a whole lot more than my brother. I find it upsetting that people refuse to see this, and it’s disheartening to think that we live in such a sex-obsessed society that people can’t just accept the existence of platonic love between a guy and a girl.
I would like to believe that, one day, those short-sighted individuals will be able to catch up with the rest of society and come to terms with friendships such as mine and my best friend’s. One day, hopefully we will no longer have to feel awkward about being friendly in public. One day, we won’t have to justify ourselves simply because of other people’s outdated social opinions. One day, the rumours will stop and my best friend and I will finally just be friends.
Is anyone else in the same position and feeling the same frustration? Comment below!