Today, I was guilty of allowing Facebook to click-bait me into reading an Elite Daily piece of garbage titled “To My Boyfriend’s Platonic Girlfriend: Thanks for your help, Okay Bye”. As the platonic girlfriend to many guys, I was intrigued as to just what a miserable site like Elite Daily had to say about me.
The article starts on a positive note – first, giving me “a whole-hearted thank you for the years you’ve invested in our boyfriends” – essentially, thanks for getting fucked over by other boys so my boyfriend can see how hurt you are and not inflict that same pain upon me. Despite the passive-aggressive language, I can empathize with the message. I do believe it is beneficial for men and women to be friends because we can see how the actions of the opposite sex both negatively and positively impact our friends, and in turn we can learn from these reactions.
Don’t get too comfortable, though! The article quickly turns sour – I guess we’re at “Okay Bye” now. All while pretending to be a holier-than-thou friend, Elite Daily promises:
I’m not breathing down his neck, placing boundaries against you in our relationship.
That, however, is false. The letter to the platonic girlfriend is an extremely problematic, sexist, and false piece of writing that I fear will negatively influence women everywhere. In response, I have crafted my own letter to any and all of my platonic boyfriend’s future girlfriends who would dare to take advice from this article. I have titled it Chill Out! Not Every Girl is Out to Get You!
In all seriousness, it is not easy to be a girl who is friends with boys. As much of I love my friends, I do not love the stereotypes associated with being “one of the boys” – I’m a slut who’s surely slept with all of them, or I have difficultly making friends with girls because I’m so awful. In fact, none of these facts are true. And while I’m never one to let the false opinions of others affect me, it really is hurtful when it comes from the girlfriend of a guy I’m friends with. While I’ve never lost a guy friend to an equivalently Elite Daily-loving girlfriend, I can say that it has damaged our friendship, largely because she views me as a threat.
In general, girls in relationships have a problem with viewing other women in their boyfriend’s life as dangerous. While that’s an issue for another article, I encourage you to keep that in mind as you read. Women need to stick together, not drive each other apart.
So let’s dispel the sexist, cruel, and downright inaccurate stereotypes about your boyfriend’s platonic girlfriend!
This isn’t a battle.
Elite Daily has told me that my friendship is essentially over once my guy friend starts dating a girl:
As much as he values your friendship, he gets enough venting girl drama from me now, and he’d rather play Xbox with his bros than dissect a female crossfire that doesn’t end in “thank-you-for-listening-to-me-complain-I-love-you-sex.”
To begin with, this statement is just so dangerously sexist. I can’t pretend I haven’t annoyed my male friends with “girl drama” before, but the idea that conversing with women in general is an annoyance is just terrible. Not to mention, this friendship between us wasn’t forced on my end – your boyfriend and I are friends because he cares about me and wants to be there for me, even when that means listening to my complaints.
But my friend dating a girl does not mean that he has to choose between us. It is possible to be an excellent boyfriend and boy friend at the same time. Listening to my “drama” does not mean he can’t be there for yours, too. Girls fight each other over boys enough, and we are better than this.
We can spend time together alone.
The Elite Daily girlfriend is terrified of me spending time alone with her boyfriend:
He’s not going to be interested in a movie night at your place, and any movie night at his place will indefinitely involve me.
Here’s the thing – this statement would never be okay if it was about a male friend. You would be labelled clingy and crazy by everyone if your presence ruined boy’s night. But because I’m a girl, it’s somehow acceptable to be concerned with us alone together.
No relationship should ever change the nature of a friendship, no matter what the gender dynamic happens to be. It is concerning that you think your existence is enough to alter years of friendship. Additionally, what sort of relationship is this if you can’t trust your boyfriend alone?
You can trust me, however. I’m a girl who knows how much it hurts to have a relationship ruined – in fact, you thanked me for this in the beginning, remember? On that same logic, I would never agree to being “the other woman”, especially with my friend.
I don’t want to be in your place.
You see, I’m not the enemy here. I know there might have been a part of you that wanted him to be single forever, so you could live out the “If we’re both single when we’re 40….” pact.
There’s a grand misconception that girls are only friends with boys, and vice versa, because we want to sleep together. It’s a classic TV trope – the two lifelong platonic friends finally reveal their deep feelings for each other and end up in love. But that’s not always reality. I don’t dream of being in your place and I haven’t secretly planned my dream wedding with your boyfriend. We are just friends, no different from any other purely platonic friendship you or I have experienced in our lives.
In fact, I’m totally okay with my friend dating, mostly because I’m not a sociopath. I, too, have seen other people. As normal, healthy friends, we support each other’s relationships. We listen to each other’s problems and share joy at each other’s successes. If you’re dating, chances are your boyfriend told me about it before, and I was incredibly happy for him. I probably look forward to making you a part of my life, and I will never try to shut you out of his.
I want this relationship to succeed.
So, realize that the time your best friend spends with me is time well spent. Don’t be catty toward me, like you were to the flames of his past. Make an effort.
Again, as a sane person, I am cool with my friend dating people. I do not actively try to destroy his relationships out of some sort of deranged, pent-up obsession with having him all to myself. Friendship means wanting to see your friend happy, and I believe that a girlfriend can have an unbelievably positive influence on his life. That excites me! I hope I can have the same! And I would never actively try to make him unhappy by taking him away from you.
There is one condition though.
I can’t promise I won’t intervene if you turn out to take relationship advice from Elite Daily.
We both love him. And he loves us. But here’s the thing: I’m the girl you wanted him to end up with all along.
Believe me, he can do better.