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Four Years to Figure It Out

Posted by – 4/9/04

As promised, I shall lay out in this post my theories on the “Gay Best Friend” phenomenon. You may have just noticed that I put quotes before gay and after friend. That would be because this theory does not apply to those who truly are gay. You’ll soon find, if you haven’t already been informed, that in the English language quotes are used in two situations: one would be for the technique of quoting, and the other in the case of irony. The fact that the best friend is not gay and yet acts as though he were is clearly ironic. So for those of you who are gay and trying to figure out your place in a male/female friendship, you may stop your reading here. This is not your handbook.

Now if you have progressed to this point, I assume you are one of three things: a guy who can’t figure out why his best girl friends (note the space) won’t date him, a girl who is naive enough to believe that he just enjoys pouring his life into her without also desiring a relationship, or someone so encumbered by boredom that my words beg them to continue. I realize that we are only 205 words in and have yet to lay out the problem at hand, but let me preface the problem with a warning — no single event or situation I detail here immediately brands someone as the GBF (you’ll notice that I’m quite lazy, and so I’ll refer to the “Gay Best Friend” as the GBF from here on out). Don’t get all feisty and go calling someone the GBF if you note him involved in a single event, just take a mental note and start tallying.

To take you into the mind of the GBF, you must understand guys in general. Now, for the most part, guys want to know how to get them a lady (there are exceptions, that’s why I said for the most part). The fatal error that those who are to become GBFs make is instead of trying to attract girls with their dashing looks, athletic ability, or massive stockpile of alcohol for parties (all of which are shady attraction techniques at best), these poor, miserable saps have sunken to the ultimate low. These guys — remember that I am speaking from experience — decide that it’s best to take literally everything a girl says she wants in a guy. Gentlemen, when a girl tells you she wants a guy that is sensitive, she does not mean a guy that is the sort of feminine sensitive her girlfriends and she exhibit. So, to try and become her type of sensitive to attract her… well, that’s just fool’s gold. And over time, this guy becomes more and more like the girls that he is always with, thinking that simple proximity will surely make him a shoe-in. But what he does not see is that he is already providing for his girl(s) everything emotionally that she needs, but failing to exhibit any attractive masculine characteristics that she either knowingly or unknowingly desires. Perhaps a light bulb has just gone off in your head, answering the question (as I know it did for me), “Why don’t they ever go for the nice guys? Why does she want a jerk?” The jerk is good looking and plays basketball.

Now that was a rare glimpse into the psychology of the GBF, but it was just a glimpse. I do implore you to leave comments and questions so that we may delve further into this shadowy phenomenon. But let me now move onto the big red flags that might alert innocent bystanders of a GBF situation in progress. This will be a set of examples, but not an exhaustive list by any stretch of the imagination.

Just a lone guy in a group of girls is not, the situation isolated, a bad thing generally. When this becomes a pattern, then it becomes a problem. The guy should be accompanied by other guys most of the time, otherwise the girls begin to see the lone guy as “one of them”, and they don’t want to date one of their own. Humans seek companions that compliment themselves, not those that are identical.

Late night talks with a girl that is not yet your girlfriend is a danger-zone. The reason is that this is a conversational situation that simply begs her to lay upon the guy all her questions about men. When this occurs, an instant miscommunication has begun. It has been my experience that guys read into this, believing that she is indirectly referring to the gentleman with whom she is speaking. At the very least, she is actually referring to the male gender as a whole, but more often than not she is thinking specifically of a guy other than the one sitting before her. This should become apparent to the GBF-in-training when she begins to mention other guys, but he takes no notice, sloughing off their mention and continuing to trudge into the murky mess. Eventually he might work up the nerve to ask her out, but he will then be immediately jilted with the Friends routine (but in this case, I’m not entirely sure it is a routine).

The situation has clearly worsened when he begins buying things for her. Ladies, he’s not simply doing that out of the kindness of his heart, he actually does desire something. It is that desire that causes him to be so generous. When the relationship gets to the point where he accompanies her while shopping, we must stop. There is no going back, that’s for sure. But at this point, the guy is so far gone that he shall never be able to call her his girlfriend. She will forever stay his girl friend, the space always to be included.

One last thing, before my unquenchable desire for the pillow beckons my departure. I have been asked if this phenomenon occurs with girls as well. Can they also become GBFs? Perhaps on some remote island somewhere south of Nowheresville this may have a slight occurrence, but my contention is that it is extremely rare. Think about it for a moment. When a lone girl is put in a room with, say, five guys, what happens? She doesn’t suddenly morph into a masculine character in a subliminal attempt to attract the guys. Even if she’s a Tom Boy, she’s still got those sexy little feminine characteristics that make most of the guys in the room take notice. I think it’s because they do training at the Girls Only meetings — frankly, they know how to work it. It also has to do with the male approach to gettin’ a lady. When they ask her things about girls and dating, they are almost certainly referring to her in some form or fashion. This explains the confusion when girls are asking the guys questions; guys assume the ladies have the same intentions as they do. I’ve told you these things because I’ve had personal experience with it. For all my four years of high school, I was some girl’s GBF (if not more than one). It never dawned on me that I wasn’t at all what a girl wanted because I was her “Gay Best Friend.” The lucky realization came in time for me to formulate my thoughts and make a solid attempt to not be a GBF in college.

I know I have left things out; the reason they are left out is that I do not remember what they are. Perhaps one of you will remind me, or I may make an addition later. I’ll read back over this tomorrow, and revise it, I’m sure. It is late. Forgive me. Please leave your comments; I want to know what you think about it.

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