Monday, October 4, 2010

Tuesday Musings: Can guys & girls be friends?

{For the few of you waiting for some fall recipes I promised on facebook... I'll put those up later this week!}
I realize I posted this at 11pm Monday night...but I think it qualifies as a Tuesday Musing!
Blast from the Past. Drew & Suz. Uniontown, PA. Circa Summer 2004.
I was in Atlanta last week for work. Besides a weird run-in with a creepy middle age man who thought it was okay to hit on me, it was a good trip. Especially because I got to see my awesome friend, Drew. We grabbed dinner at this super trendy Atlanta "burger boutique." It was fun & tasty.

Drew & I worked together 6+ years ago. We were on the same crew for Group Workcamps (best summer job ever) & we went all over the U.S. running home-repair mission trips for high school youth groups. We literally traveled all over the country - we made stops in Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, New York, Canada!, Massachusetts, Maine, Illinois, Missouri  & Kansas ... & hit several more states in between). We traveled & worked with 2 other great friends/crew members - Lauren & Jacob - who sadly weren't at our little reunion last week. Missed you guys!

Anyhow, long story short, Drew, Lauren, Jacob & I were best buds that summer. When you spend every waking moment together - as the four of us did - it's pretty hard not to become BFFs.  And when I saw Drew for the first time in ages (he stopped by to see us in Champaign en route to Field of Dreams about 5 years ago...), we picked up right where we left off.

At dinner on Wednesday, I asked myself the age old question: Can women & men be friends?

I'm not the first to raise this question. When Harry Met Sally, one of my all-time favorite chick flicks (really what's not to love about Billy Crystal & Meg Ryan?), made a whole movie centered around it!

Here's a taste...

Love love love this movie. If you haven't seen it, or didn't get enough of a taste from the clip above, their conclusion was....women/men/friends...not going to happen. At least not without a lot of complication....  

I, however, would beg to differ. Because my friendship with Drew & a select few other dudes work. Plus, I have several girlfriends who have guyfriends. And they are just that. Friends. Period. End of story.

How can you make it work? One, Matt's not threatened by my guy friends. Nor should I ever give him a reason to be. I think that's critical. If Matt was at all threatened or concerned about my relationship with any guy, it'd probably not be okay for me to be meeting him for dinner in a far-away city. In fact, when Drew & I spent that summer together 6 years ago, we were both in relationships (me with Matt...) so Matt's never had to question...Was there something between Suz & Drew before I came along??? Is there still something there? Cause there wasn't & isn't. We're just buds.

Two, I don't discuss my relationship with Matt with my/our guy friends. Not only would that be unfair to Matt, but would put my friend in an uncomfortable position. I do believe that it's healthy to have strong relationships with other married ladies / couples who we can encourage & keep me/Matt accountable. Community is healthy, but we should be smart about who we confide in about what. I shouldn't be running to a single, or married guy for that matter, to discuss the struggles & joys of our marriage.

Three, & lastly, Matt & Drew are friends. Sure, I'm the common denominator, but if Matt had been in Atlanta, the three of us would have had an awesome dinner catching up. Drew & his buddy stayed in Matt's dorm room when they came to visit me while I was in Champaign. They're good guys, who genuinely like one another & I'm thankful for that.

I guess what I wanted to say was..."Drew, it was so good to see you. I'm glad we're friends." & "Matt, thanks for being such a cool, trusting hubby. I appreciate you & won't ever give you a reason to worry."

What do you guys (or gals) think? Do you agree? Or am I off my rocker & Harry has it all right???


  1. I agree with you 100% here on how to maintain healthy cross-sex friendships while married/in a relationship. I think it's much easier to develop platonic friendships when one or even better both of the people is in a relationship - especially a relationship that doesn't terminate like yours and Matt's - so that you and/or your friend are never viewed by the other as available.

    Here's my conclusion: If a person as a rule thinks that men and women can't have strictly platonic friendships (like Harry), he probably can't! That person's partner should view any cross-sex friendships the person has as suspicious. For those of us who think it's possible it IS possible and with prudent behavior concerns need not arise.

  2. I have guy friends, too. I think it can definitely work!

    Also, I didn't know that you worked at Workcamp! I bet that was awesome! I had so much fun both times I went... it was such an amazing experience, and one of the women whose house I worked on stills sends me birthday cards every year :)

  3. Emily x 2 - Thanks for weighing in, ladies!

    Emily R -- I totally agree that if one (or preferably both) are in relationships. Helps to keep it strictly platonic.

    Emily A. -- It's been ages since we were workCAMPERs and I still miss it in the summertime! Good memories!!


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