Friendships are an important part of our lives. Friends are the people one shares their interests with. They’re the ones you share life’s ups and downs with. The ones who will drop everything in times of trouble, always only a phone call away. Friends let you laugh until you cry and cry until you laugh if you need to. Friends are the family you get to choose in life. However, society and media have made it seem as if only same sex friendships are possible, at least without that friendship ending in a relationship. My best friend happens to be a male and I have a boyfriend, which means, contrary to what movies like “My Best Friend’s Wedding” depict, I have no intention of making my best friend my boyfriend.
Friendship is vaguely defined in the dictionary as “a relationship of mutual affection between two or more people.” Most people however, will probably have their own slightly varying definitions of what friendship is. Friendships are an important aspect of human nature. Most of the people we meet throughout the course of our lives probably won’t become people we consider close “friends.” This is because there are important characteristics that need to be present to form a legitimate friendship. In the pot of friendship, there are some basic necessities that need to be filled in order for a friendship to be meaningful as well as successful. Some of the major determining factors in a friendship include respect, communication, trust, forgiveness, and love. All of these facets should be present in any friendship, but even more so in a co-ed friendship. These characteristics of friendship all work together to create a stable foundation. As we grow up, we tend to form friendships with those of the same sex and stray away from forming meaningful friendships with the opposite sex in fear that they will turn into something more than friendship. However, friendship is not gender biased. As humans, we all crave and want the same things out a friendship, regardless of whether or not the friendship is between someone of the same sex or not. An unwavering foundation, one that possesses respect, communication, trust, forgiveness, and love, allows for a positive and prosperous co-ed friendship.
Both men and women share and understand the same basic human needs and virtues that ultimately guide them in successfully engaging in their friendships, regardless of gender. One of these virtues is respect. In any friendship, respect is when two friends love and care for one another enough to respect their morals and their being. With this mutual understanding, two friends won’t bash on one another for believing in certain thing. They also respect each other’s choices. Just as in any other friendship, respect is important in coed relationships. In today’s society, men are not as respectful towards women as they were in the past. There are few men who will open the car door for a woman who isn’t their significant other nowadays. Instead, most women will suffer cat calls in between the halls, anything from a whistle to a man commenting on their feminine assets. Some may even get harassed by a man every now and then. When a man has no basic form of respect for a woman, a friendship cannot be established. After all, who wants to be friends with a chauvinistic pig? A man with lack respect for a woman does love and care for her and will most likely have no regard her feelings which prohibit a friendship from every forming. Two people who respect each other share mutual admiration for one another as well as an understanding of one another’s thoughts, feelings, and beliefs. Respect for one another also helps to guide their friendship if and when problems arise in their friendship.
Friendships aren’t always butterflies and rainbows. As in many of our friendships, sometimes we argue and bicker with one another. We will not always see eye to eye with our friend, that’s normal. Most issues are insignificant…