Can females and males be best friends? In the 21st century, are platonic relationships a thing of the past? Let’s take a look at a discussion between two friends who happen to be two millennial males. You be the judge. If there is a way we can curve this behavior, what would be your suggestions?
Some may call them Generation Y. Some may call them millennials. Some might even call them the supercharged Baby Boomers of today, or even Echo Boomers. Whatever your description of them is. One thing is for certain and two things are for sure. They are here. They are now. And they are doing things differently.
Meet Sunayan, a 32-year-old male from Zimbabwe. He is good friends with Mugabi, another 32-year-old from Zimbabwe. Even though they both are from Zimbabwe, they do not share the same opinions when it comes to dating.
Sunayan: “Dayummmm Mugabi! So who was that fine girl you posted a picture with yesterday? You tapped that yet?”
Mugabi: “Nah Sun, she’s the homie.”
Sunayan: “I don’t get you at all man, how can you have a fine type girl around your arm and not even notice her fineness?! You definitely need help spitting game, I got you bro!”
Mugabi: “Nah Sun, I’m good. As I said, she’s the homie. Obviously, I notice that she’s attractive but, I’m not attracted to her. She’s my friend.”
Sunayan: “How can you not be attracted to all of that?! She’s gorgeous! I don’t get you and your attractions. If she’s fine, tap that! Plain and simple.”
I have heard the above conversation way too many times in my life, with way too many people. The majority of my close friends are incredibly attractive young women. This does my dating life no favors. This does their respective dating lives no favors. I hug them, I kiss them on the cheeks. I confide in them, I seek out their advice. We stay up until 2:00 a.m. talking to each other. I visit them at their homes and sleep on their couches, and etc. We’re friends and we do what friends do. Heterosexuality aside, why must we constantly have to defend our friendship? Why must others see a close friendship between two attractive members of the opposite sex, as such an impossible feat?
Which is why it comes to me as no surprise that guys turn to me for advice. They look to me for answers, as though I have books with ancient dating secrets. Sunayan has looked up to me since our days in Zimbabwe. I gave him a lot of insight in our younger days. Now, as we are older, and I am much wiser, I coach him a lot about male and female relationships. Sunayan is old-fashioned and thinks that a man should be with one woman. And that’s it. No more. No less. I beg to differ.
Sunayan: “How can you not be attracted to someone who is attractive?”
Mugabi: “Attraction and attractiveness are two totally separate concepts. You can find someone attractive and not be attracted to them.
Sunayan: “I don’t get you, you have a lot of fine ‘friends’, and y’all are hella close! Like, these are your best friends. Like you tell these people things you don’t tell anyone else! How can you achieve that level of emotional intimacy with just a friend?”
In “She’s Mine, Pt. 1’, J. Cole raps:
“It would take more than some years to get all over all my fears. Preventing me from letting you see all of me perfectly clear. The same wall that’s stopping me from letting go and shedding tears. From the lack of having a father and the passing of my peers. While I’m too scared to expose myself. It turns out, you know me better than I know myself.” [Audio/video below.]
It’s no secret that toxic hyper-masculinity affects most men in terrible ways. This often leads to the inhibition of all emotions sans anger, and the dependence on romantic partners for heterosexual men’s emotional labor. Most men don’t call up their friends to be vulnerable when they are going through a hard time. Most women take care of others emotional needs oftentimes to the detriment of themselves. Why is emotional intimacy between the sexes often restricted to romantic relationships? Why can’t one be just as close or even closer to a friend than to a romantic partner?
If we are constantly teaching our youth, and adult males, for that matter. That showing any sign of emotion towards the opposite sex is ‘soft’. It’s almost like Tupac rapped about in ‘Keep Ya Head Up’. “We’ll have a race of babies that hate the ladies, that make the babies.” And that hyper-masculinity becomes a mask And that mask becomes a dangerous cover-up in today’s world.
We live in a digital age, where first dates have been replaced with online friend requests. The bar or the nightclub has been replaced with a chat room or a private group of some sort, where one can go online and mingle. Gone are the days of having to dress up and physically take yourself from one place to the next. This all can be done with just a point and click of a mouse. Easy to get to know someone and even easier to get out of knowing someone. Let’s face it. Every relationship is not a love connection. Contrary to any and every match.com commercial.
When online, you can be anyone you wish. When online, a guy can be as hard as he wants to be, and the ladies like it. Good girls still like the bad boy. Even though this behavior oftentimes proves reckless and without care or regard of others, it still exists in a day and time where feelings are mutual and ‘Do unto others’ is not just a proverb, but a way of life. People are still wandering aimlessly about life, still practicing near polygamy. Men are still out to conquer as many women as they possibly can. And women are still on the lookout for these men, lurking in the shadows of the clubs, the chat rooms, etc.
In order to rid of this sexist, macho culture, we must first re-educate our boys and girls. The youth is our future. We cannot continue with the traditions of our fathers. This is a new day and time.
Photo credit: Getty Images