Why You Should Lean In To Your Guy Friends, Too
And make them squirm with emotional overload.
Breakups are the worst. They force us to look at ourselves, look at the other person, look at the situation, and attempt to make enough sense of it to help ease the pain.
In the past, I’ve overcome my heartbreaks by leaning in to my female support system: my mother, sisters, sister-friends, online sister communities, watching Sister-Sister, it just never ends. It’s second nature to feel that, naturally, they'll understand my situation more than anyone. They can easily relate, offer advice and/or a simple ear, some even cook and make tea and force a twerking session for some womb healing.
So, it was a bit odd to me when I noticed that this time around, I was falling in more closely with my guy friends. Maybe it’s because I wanted a male’s perspective, perhaps I needed to remember that all men aren’t emotionally unstable, or maybe I simply needed to remember that men can be just as vulnerable as women if you’ve built that space and truly honor it.
Here’s my top 3 reasons why you should lean in to your (trusted) male friends every now and again:
1. They’ve Been That Person
Particularly for my cis male friends, over half of the stories I complain to them about, at some level, they’re able to relate as the douche on the other side. Being able to ask specific questions and get answers back like, “I was just dumb and stupid,” or “I was actually just lying and talking to a bunch of other girls on the side,” does a lot -- even for someone seeking concrete answers. Often times, it’s helped me put into perspective whether or not I was mistaking an asshole move for unintentional stubbornness or vice versa. Spoiler alert: it's usually an asshole move.
2. The Energy Is Different
When entering a conversation with my homegirls, they automatically focus on my needs. They wonder if I’ve been crying and for how long, how often have I been eating, if at all, when’s the last time we spoke and what happened. My male friends do this too, but on another level. The energy is more masculine and therefore more cerebral. All they want is the facts. Who was wrong? Who was right? Is it even worth being angry over? Why are you crying when you deserve better? Often times they’re quicker to call them out than I am. Every cry-baby-ass woman needs that kind of thoughtful bully in their life. #PettyIgniteNow!
3. Healing Takes A Different Form
Healing with your sisters is different from healing with (most) male friends. Healing with my girls is mostly about what you physically need and desire. What kind of food should you ingest? What smoothies will liven you up? Which songs will help you pop and squat and milly rock your soul away? Physical activity in a space of healing is necessary, and it’s often accompanied with confessions and regrets, too. But healing with guys— whether cis or queer or gay — has come to mean more talking about the future than the past, or even the present. There’s this pull, this gravity, this motivation, this tyranny to end wallowing. Sometimes it can be too much when all you feel like doing is being nostalgic, and they’re looking at you like you’re a fool for putting yourself through the emotions. It is what it is, guys. You’ll still love me after my awkward hug-cry goodbye.
I'd like to think that through all of my whining and groaning and dissatisfaction, somehow they’re being fed as much love as I am. Maybe we’re just here to remind each other that everything starts with platonic love. That the love we share as platonic friends should feel the same in a potential partner. The last buffalo wing on the plate should always be divided by two, if there's two around.
Wait, who am I kidding-- that’s just for my sisters, sorry!