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Can Girls and Guys Be Just Friends?

Can Girls and Guys Be Just Friends?

How do I know if a guy just wants to be friends or is hoping for more? I don't have many male friends and I'm totally open to having some, but whenever a guy starts much of a real conversation with me I tend to assume he's interested in a relationship...which is something I don't really want right now. This guy that I used to be in school with has recently started talking to me via Instagram DM and he's cool to talk to and we've been getting along, but I can't tell if he sees it as flirting or just friends talking. I don't want to lead him on, but I also don't want to make assumptions that he's after more than friendship. How can I talk to guys without fearing they think it's more than friendship?

First, a disclaimer: Every guy is different, which is what makes them so freaking annoying. This also means it’s impossible to generalize how all guys act (trust us, we’ve tried). But the best advice we can offer is from our own personal experience. So here goes...

To be honest, platonic guy friends are really tricky in high school (and beyond, tbh). Some people are pretty adamant about the fact that guys and girls can’t be “just” friends. Rewatch When Harry Met Sally for further proof. But don’t worry, we disagree with Harry. We think guys and girls can be just friends, as long as everyone’s on the same page. This doesn’t necessarily mean having an awkward DTR talk right off the bat, either. If you’re not looking for a relationship, then that’s how you should act. Treat the guy—and all guys, really—how you would treat all your friends.

We should also mention that if this guy is blowing up your DMs, he either thought you were cute and decided to reach out, or maybe—maaaaaybe—he thought you seemed cool and was just looking for a friend. Chances are, though, it’s probably the first one. In which case, it’s best to take things offline and see how they are in real life. That way you’ll be able to have a better feel for his intentions, and you’ll be able to better gauge how you feel. As great as social media is, a million emojis can’t substitute real-life hangs.

Another benefit of being friends away from the confines of your Instagram inbox is body language. When you’re finally face-to-face, expectations will become pretty clear on both sides of the relationship. If you start hanging out IRL and become friends offline too, just be careful that you’re not using your boy friend as a crutch for a boyfriend. He’ll get confused, then you’ll get confused, and the relationship won’t end in a happy way (and you can bet it will end).

But if it becomes clear that he wants more, you’ll need to be just as clear that you don’t. This can be pretty uncomfortable, but it’s seriously necessary. The longer you let things go on, the harder it’s going to be.

Bottom line: Having guy friends is possible, it’s awesome, and it doesn’t have to be all awkward. Mostly because some guys really do just want to have you as a friend. However, those guys likely won’t be hitting you up via DM.

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