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Can a boy and girl be best friends?

06 July 2016, 08:23 Solomon Opala

I read a “Robert Mugabe” quote that goes like this: 'a boy having a girl as his best friend is like a Luhya keeping a hen as a pet, soon he will eat it!" It kept me thinking how true this is and I did a little asking around to get feedback. I soon discovered that many hold the same view as our proverbial octogenarian.

Shakespeare states rather boldly that a boy and a girl can never be friends forever. Lincoln clarifies that friendship is the starting step for what we call love and Wordsworth caps it up neatly by proffering that; proposing a boy or a girl for friendship is nothing but indirectly saying 'I LOVE YOU'.

Jackie Chan believes that Love is an everlasting friendship and Michael Jackson was not just a great singer and dancer, he had some wisdom for relationships too. “If one can become your best friend, then he or she can easily become your life partner,” he quipped.

The 1989 film 'When Harry Met Sally' first raised the question of whether men and women can ever be just friends. In the movie, Harry, played by Billy Crystal, was adamant that it wasn’t possible because the issue of sex always got in the way. Sally, played by Meg Ryan, disagreed. A Wisconsin University research has vindicated Harry and showed also that the man is likely to fall in first and and if it is genuine, drag the other person into it.

Read Also:The problem with dating a young man

This is understandable because of how men are wired. They are in for the chase and always want to push the envelope of friendship further. They also think of sex many times every day. This means that he may imagine of how his best friend will look like with only her boots on. They may not want to come out in the open to declare their interest and thereby jeopardize a long term friendship; on the other hand they feel trapped and almost fraudulent with their feelings.

Women understand friendship to mean trust and companionship. Men tolerate it as they wait for an opportunity to be intimate. This explains why many teenagers in college go binge drinking and end up in sexual orgies and the lady filing charges of rape against her male friend. This helps us draw lessons of life for the youth.

Youth especially girls can maintain physical virginity by guarding emotional vulnerability. Avoid undefined relationships with the opposite sex and keep respectful boundaries. Don’t lower your guard down by over trusting and have a sleep over at his place doing “homework” or lean on his shoulder to cry on after a breakup or in tough moment emotionally.

Friendships of the opposite sex are useful in building our emotional intelligence and confidence in dealing with the others. They add flavor to our life and we get the benefit of friendship and insight of the opposite sex without the baggage of emotional attachment. Not to mention the honest and contrastive criticism and useful life skills we can glean from such relationships. Bottom line is they are unavoidable and they are just people like us and carry gifts and graces that we need to lead fulfilled, fruitful and effective live.

However, much care needs to be taken as they as also precarious and can tip over especially after a break up with your partner or emotional distress, loneliness or when you both cuddle, throw caution to the wind and decide to watch a movie late at night at his place. 

- MyNews24

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

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