Friendships provide some of the support required for us to bloom in life. In this article, seven Nigerian women talk about their platonic friendships with men.
I have a lot of platonic male friends. I find friendship with them therapeutic and less competitive than the ones I have with women. Also, men judge less. I feel freer with them. I feel like it’s safer to tell them secrets. Generally, the vibe is different and more lively with men.
Most importantly, because women and men tend to view things differently, friendship with men helps me develop other views about topics and gain insight into how men think.
I have had, and still have great platonic relationships with men. Some of my oldest friends are men. However, being friends with men can become weird when they start saying shit about women. Most of the guys I’m friends with hardly do this, but there’s one or two who would sit down and say nonsense about women just because they can.
Being friends with men can also be interesting. Most of these hard guys are just babies on the inside — they just need someone to talk to and someone to listen to them.
Having guys as platonic friends is the best kind of friendship for me. I don’t have a lot of friendships with women because I find that I have very little in common with them. My male friends have pushed me at school, in my career, even financially. They also give me great advice. I’d pick guy friends over girlfriends any day.
My best friend is a guy. We’ve been friends since secondary school. We attended the same boarding school. When my dad died, the teachers called him to the staff room to tell him to tell me because everyone knew he would know the best way to comfort me. 11 years and he’s still the best.
We argue sometimes but we never go a week without talking. People usually think we are dating and it has brought problems in some of our romantic relationships. One time, we kissed to see what it would feel like. It felt weird. We laughed about it and told each other we were never trying it again.
For me, it’s an okay experience. Most times, they end up being attracted to you. It happened to me one time. We were cool and he was even one of my female friends’ exes. We texted often and then one time, he told me he had feelings for me. I tried to laugh it off but he said he was serious and he wanted to date me. I told him I wasn’t interested and he said he wasn’t in a hurry. The truth is I am not interested and I am glad he has not brought it up again.
Asides from this, I have other male friends who send me money without any attachments or expectations. They support me when they can. They’ve listened to me cry through heartbreak before.
Honestly, platonic friendships with men can be quite frustrating. I have this male friend and he’s sort of my best friend. The friendship started platonically but I started to catch feelings. Hard girl like me.
He doesn’t feel the same way and he has a girlfriend so I have to go back to being just a friend. I also have to be happy for him because he has a girlfriend and he is happy. That’s what a good friend does, right? But deep down, I wish we were more.
Platonic friendships with men have been a mix of good and bad for me. The friendships always start great but along the line, they become something else. The guys either want to date me or simply have sex. I have been accused of being too warm and sweet by two of my male friends. When the friendship ends because I am unable to reciprocate those feelings, I end up being hurt. It’s a painful cycle but I have learned the art of letting go.
Now, I have a few male friends who have remained friends and I cherish them. I no longer make new male friends because I can’t predict how it will end.