Dating girls with guy friends

I'm a girl who has always been one of the guys, but also very much a girl; not really blending perfectly into either side. We all know teenage girls have it tough; going through a battle to make sense of societal standards being welded onto their adolescence (makeup, bras, acting shy, crossing our legs, competing for male attention, I can keep going here).

There are a bunch of perks, and plenty of detriments, to this life. But there's a whole other layer on top of said growing pains when part of your coming-of-age story includes being wrested from the pack that raised you.

Not to say I don't understand those labels, or haven't cast them onto others myself. But in reality, with pure guy friends, there is no ulterior motive. Minus the anatomy, there is zero difference in how I feel about these friends -- they're basically girls (just don't tell them I said that).

Or, we're exalted for how cool we seem: the ones guys fall in love with, the ones other girls want to be. It's all a bunch of symbolic labels that actually mean very little.

I often view guys as non-romantic options from the jump, essentially friend-zoning myself.

And believe me, prospective mates catch that vibe; often reading it as a "she must not be interested" rather than the more likely in my case "she's just entirely clueless she's doing this." And that's the dark side -- when, at some point, you wonder if this guy you've always loved so dearly might be actual boyfriend material. These relationships have truly shaped my identity, and are a constant source of comfort for me; they remain long after the non-platonic ones come and go, which to me, makes them the most special ones that exist.

I'll never forget my confusion when my mother pulled me aside and explained I would eventually have to put a shirt on while running around outside with the neighborhood boys.

Being one of the guys can be a lot of fun -- and not just because groomsman wedding prep (drinking whiskey, playing pool) smokes that of a bridesmaid (nail salons, hairdressers).But with all the late night conversations and touchy feely time together, love is bound to enter the picture one way or the other.You may end up falling in love with him, or he may end up falling in love with you.Every time I put myself in these girlfriends' shoes, I honestly think about how much I would hate me too.Sometimes I catch myself in group settings talking about things like The Pirate (two words: Urban Dictionary). Sure, it gets laughs (because The Pirate is hilarious), but here's the thing: I'm not always surrounded by a bevy of bros... that you've never hooked up with your best guy friend. If that works, your boyfriend will be relieved -- but he'll also have residual resentment that there are things you've told this friend of yours that he will never know.

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