As high school students, we know better than anyone just how important having a boyfriend or girlfriend is. It means you have someone to hold your hand when you go to the prom or ball. It means you have someone you can ask out on a date anytime without feeling awkward or nervous. It means you’re different from everyone else; you’re above all those who are ‘unattractive’ and ‘unlovable’. It means a lot of things, and to us guys, frankly it just sounds cool when we tell our fellow dudes ‘sorry, I have a girlfriend’. But, does having a girlfriend really solve all of your high school problems?
Being someone who has seen many relationships blossom and wither (honestly, I am amazed how much drama happens around me), I can guarantee that it only happens 10% of the time. You only have a one-in-ten chance of dating a girl who will really make your life in high school better in the long-run, guys. Of course, I’m not telling you to start hitting on ten girls hoping one of them will be the right one. That is absolutely taking things the wrong way.
Instead, you should start seeing things from a different perspective.
A common belief amongst us men is that you can only be friends with a girl for two reasons:
- She is important to something you’re doing (a team project, group activity, presentation, or even arranging a relative’s wedding), and you just have to get along with her if you want things to run smoothly.
- You’re attracted to her and want to know her better before making your move.
Because of this, we have been encouraged to form purely platonic (as in, you just really want to be friends) relationships with other guys. You can only call other males as good friends, since the moment you say you have a female good friend more than a few eyebrows will be raised. But this brings a host of problems. For one thing, it’s just hard for two men to have an extended conversation about any random topic. You want to talk about cars? Most likely you’ll already know what he knows and vice versa.
That’s not all. There are just some things that we can’t talk about with other guys, the same way there are some things girls can’t tell other girls. Are you seriously planning to talk to another guy about your fear of clowns, or that when you were a kid your parents made you learn ballet? And then when it comes to relationship advice, which seems better: a group of male minds theorizing the inner workings of the female mind, or a one-on-one discussion with a girl?
Unlike men, women see things from a different perspective. Like they say, men are from Mars, women from Venus. We see things differently, have different insights on many things and share little common ground. Most importantly, they can give you the fresh set of eyes you need when you’re stuck with a problem. Can’t decide what suite to wear to graduation? Ask a girl. Need some fashion advice when buying a new set of jeans? Ask a girl. And when you’re just going through a tough period in life and feel the need to talk to someone? Talk to a girl. You can talk to a girl for hours and hours without running out of things to say, simply because the two of you don’t see things the same way.
Believe it or not, women provide emotional support that you just can’t find from fellow men. You can talk to them about all the problems in your life and they’ll listen to everything you have to say. This is of course the foundation of strong relationships, but when you feel the need to let something out but it feels inappropriate to your girlfriend, like having lingering feelings over an ex who recently said she still loved you, who are you going to turn to?
While it might seem odd that the most qualified person to be your best friend is someone of the other gender, think about it. Who else will understand your emotional problems? Certainly not your guy friends who know more about the inside of a car than the inside of your head (though to be fair, some really are knowledgeable and provide excellent advice).
From a social standpoint, your high school life will be happy if you have a girlfriend. But from a personal point of view, and if you’ve been through circumstances like mine, high school will only be a happy period when you can have a girl you can talk to about nothing and everything and still have a blast. Some people end up combining the two, and indeed these are the people who form powerful, lasting relationships. But most people who have achieved the latter will come to realize that the former isn’t so important, and that you can do fine with a girl best friend even if you don’t have a girlfriend.
Throughout most of my high school life, my best friend had been a girl. I can say without a doubt that her friendship is truly one of the most valuable things in my life. We have been through ups and downs together and through thick and thin. Though our classmates (and teachers) constantly say how we would make a great couple, her friendship is too valuable for me, and considering how happy I’ve been with her as my best friend, I wouldn’t gamble it for all the love in the world.