I have many friends. Okay, that’s no longer true. Recently, I learnt to categorize relationships and tag them accordingly, and the rather shocking result of that was finding out that while I know a lot of people and I’m a friend to many (I don’t mean to brag, but who wouldn’t be lucky to have me as a friend? 😉), my circle of friends is actually quite small.
For someone like myself who has a lot of acquaintances, and being a Nigerian who lives in Nigeria, a country where we call our neighbours cousins just because we have a close relationship with them, streamlining those I consider to be my true friends was such a Herculean task. As of today, I can say my friends are just about 10.
Make I no lie, e shock me too!
Of this small number, I have a very few best friends. Let’s stick to “a very few” so I won’t have to explain myself before a panel of judges (I love y’all 💋). Of this select ‘very few’ besties, 85% happen to be of the opposite sex.
What can I say? I love men!
How do people of opposite sex become besties, you ask? From my experience and the insight from my friend, Osas, here are two ways as to how people of the opposite sex become best friends.
THE TWO TYPES OF OPPOSITE SEX BESTIES
Type 1: The one you love but can’t be with
The most rampant form of this is loving someone but being too afraid to tell him/her, hence you suppress your feelings and slip yourself into the bestie zone.
Another way this happens is when one of the parties loves the other or they both have feelings for each other, but for whatever reason, they know a romantic relationship won’t work, so they decide, “Hey! Why don’t we become besties instead?”
Also, there are some exes-turn-best-friends in this category.
I have a bestie called Zack (not his real name) under this type of bestie. Tea, anyone? 😉
Type 2: Friends from then, till now and forever
This kinda best-friendship usually begins with two people who genuinely like and respect each other from the outset. Somehow, life brings them together and the bond grows so strong it turns into BFF.
There is usually never any string attached and none caught along the line. I happen to have been blessed with another bestie, Mark (not his real name), in this category.
Now to the very famous question:
Can people of the opposite sex be best friends?
My answer is No and Yes.
HELL NO, if you fall into Type 1 (The one you love but can’t be with).
Eh ehn, let me spill some tea about Zack. You see, Zack had always been in love with me but I only ever considered him as a friend. We became really tight and my goodness, did this man not put up with all of my excesses and endure my BS. I love Zack, just not in the way he loved me and definitely not how he wanted me to (notice the past tenses?).
When he eventually came forward with his feelings, I was scared I’d lose the beautiful friendship we had. It didn’t help that our mutual acquaintances thought I knew his intention and true feelings all the while and was basically just stringing him along. To add a dash of sugar to this tea, Zack is my pioneer FWB (ask a friend or Google if you don’t know what that means).
In my defense, I wanted to see if there was a spark somewhere inside, you know… Hehehe. Anyway, this only made our friendship awkward, for me at least.
I remember asking Zack if he would be able to tell his partner (he was single then) that we’d ever made out. I honestly wish we didn’t do it because, the thought of him telling his future partner that story makes me cringe everytime… Arrgh!
And if Zack and I are to remain close friends, I don’t even want to imagine the awkwardness of him meeting my significant other and him (my partner) having crazy thoughts in his head.
So, if my man tells me he’s ever made out or slept with his bestie before, that’s it! What??? They either peg the best-friendship or stay farrrrr away from each other, periodt! I can’t speak English, abeg.
On the other hand…
YES, YES, YES! I think people of the opposite sex can be best friends, if they fall under Type 2
I happen to have one of the most beautiful best-friendships ever with my bestie, Mark, and that’s because our friendship was built on nothing but mutual respect and love (I use the word loosely here) for each other.
Our relationship is that of two people genuinely looking out and rooting for each other. He’s married by the way and I can confidently visit their home, talk to him and his wife at any time because… Why not? There’s nothing to hide. Mark is a brother to me, just like Psalmy and Honey (my blood brothers) and I’m his little sister. It’s that simple.
The truth is, people can always tell what type your best-friendship falls under. No matter how well you think you hide your emotions or true feelings, someone will still see right through you.
That said, when both or either of the Type 2 besties have a partner, boundaries must be set and followed strictly, and the feelings of the partners put into consideration.
In simple terms, KNOW THY PLACE in the other person’s life, and maintain that lane ’cause that’s the only way you can make your best-friendship with the opposite sex work. That’s if you really value the relationship.
Well, these are my thoughts, what do you think about being best friends with the opposite sex?
Would you be cool with your partner having a bestie of the opposite sex?