My best friend in life is a cis woman. We've been friends since we started college and had our first English class together in Fall '10. In the nearly 6 years we've been friends, we've been through highs and lows, we lived in the same house, and we've always had one another's backs (even when we were tearing out each other's throats).
Every once in a while, she'll tag me on facebook in some kind of post outlining 'the best reasons to have a friend of the opposite gender'. You've seen them before, I'm sure. Well this is one of those, though I'm hoping it's a good deal more honest.
(Disclaimer; this specific card is all about the virtue of cis male - cis female friendships, because that's my experience. I'm not trying to defend a binary here - these same things could apply across the board for any mixed gender relationship. I just have this framework that I operate within on a day-to-day basis and I want to be straight up about that.)
It's a different perspective.
If any of you all are like me, it means sometimes you forget to think about things from other perspectives. You try to be good about it, but some things just get you so rattled that you get tunnel vision. Having your best friend come from a different perspective than yours, even on just a gender level, opens you up to counsel that will differ from your own insight.
This is always important, because like any friend, they can help you see reason or see past your own involvement, but even more so because of the different paradigm of their worldview.
Bras Become Just... Clothes
Okay, yes. Brassieres are already just clothes, but bear with me here. I don't think I'm alone in saying that for many cis dudes growing up, there's a weird mystique around women's undergarments. Blame the media, blame parenting, blame society, or just blame us shitty dudes, it doesn't matter, it's true. I'd say that up until I lived with my best friend, the only time I really got to see a bra was when I was getting intimate with a woman.
That all changed. I learned pretty quickly into the living situation that bras are best dried by air-drying. And on laundry day, that could mean there's like 12 different bras just hanging around the house. Soon enough, they become more 'nuisance' than 'neglige' in your mind.
You Feel a Little Tougher
Again, this feels dumb to write down. But for real, you're gonna feel at least a modicum tougher as a result of being best friends with a woman. I distinctly remember one lovely late-summer day when I returned to the home I was sharing with my best friend and our other 2 female roommates. They were all holed up in the living room with the doors shut, because a dragonfly had gotten into the house and they were shying away from it.
So I was immediately tasked with the killing of this dragonfly. I did it, and I felt just the slightest touch proud of myself for it. Feeding into toxic hypermasculinity? Yes. Probably. But it's the truth.
They Will Check You on Your Dumb Guy Shit
Immediately after I killed that dragonfly and I was starting to feel that small swell of pride, one of my other housemates chastised me for killing it as opposed to just taking it out of the house. I was confused, I thought the Man™ had taken care of the issue. It took me down a peg at least.
More than that, though, a woman will smell some stupid bravado coming a mile away and will tell you to sit your ass back down. They don't have time for your childish testosterone fit, and they'll show you why you really don't either.
You Get to Give and Receive Honest Critiques
Okay, this is one that shows up on basically every one of those other lists, but it's because its unavoidable. I can't even count the amount of times I asked my BFF about my choice in outfit for a party/bar/gathering. I know she'll give me an honest criticism, because we aren't dating, or trying to, so there's no empty sugarcoating.
This also works in reverse. You will be asked honest criticism of her outfit sometimes. If your girlfriend were to ask, or even a potential hookup, you will say all the right things in order to be considerate or just for brownie points. With your best friend? 'No bitch, you're falling out of that top.'
Of course you know what a quality wingman takes. Hell, you've probably been someone's wingman before. For all the strengths of having a good wingman by your side, a woman does it 10x better.
Women listen to women, and having one do the vouching for you is a far better in than having a guy do it. A woman knows what other women are looking for, and she can help you highlight exactly the parts of yourself that you want to shine.
Guys aren't really known for being the most emotionally available or receptive. Naturally, that's not true for every dude, but the stereotypes abide. Emotional connections between cis men are harder to come by. I've also been told by some women in my life that friendships between girls hit similar roadblocks, or that they can feel strangely competitive.
For whatever reason, that kind of bullshit kind of falls away from a mixed gender friendship. Maybe it's the social stigmas taken out of it or maybe it's something else, but you'll find it a lot easier to speak openly to your best female friend.
This is a card for the Scene Queen in my life, or Squiks, as she hates to be called. I haven't used her name here because I didn't tell her I was doing this in advance, and then integrity reasons.