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The Benefits of Having a Boy Friend

What are the benefits of having a boy friend rather than having a boyfriend?

TV Shows and movies can make even the most jaded of souls believe that guy-girl friendships will inevitably turn into the perfect romance. It always makes for a great story and appeals to practically every girl I know. But what about those boy-girl friends (emphasis on the space there) whose relationships never turn into more than friendship? Does that mean these folks are any less fortunate?

Think about it. What's wrong with having a guy strictly as a best friend? There are lots of reasons not to go all My Best Friend's Wedding on your guy bud, and we'd gladly share them with you.

You have an instant kuya/bodyguard/driver

The bright side: Guys love to feel needed, and we feel fulfilled when we're able to complete a requested favor. Now combine this with the fact that friends don't really need anything in return for favors, and you've got yourself another winning reason to have a guy friend. Parents will usually feel safer about their daughters going out if they know she's with a guy friend they trust. Guy friends are also useful when an ex strolls by with a girl on his arm-you know what we mean.
The downside:
Seeing you guys together all the time, loose tongues will always wag.

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He can be your guy spy

The bright side: Or in Austin Powers' memorable words, he can be your "mo-o-o-o-o-ole." You've always wondered about what your crush thinks of you, so what better way to find out than by employing your best guy bud as a spy? Guys will always be suspicious when girls ask about their personal characteristics or interests, as in, "I wonder why she's asking? Does she like me, or is she asking for someone who likes me?" But they'll never suspect anything's afoot if a guy asks, because chances are, your crush will share these things voluntarily with another dude. If your target knows he's your friend, he might even ask your guy bud to help him get to you!
The downside:
If he suddenly wants to buddy up to your crush, your guy bud runs the risk of being considered gay.

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You can be a total nut with him

The bright side: Admit it! You act differently when you're with the boy you really like. You're quiet, demure, and well-mannered. But when you're with friends, the totally insane and probably gross side of you comes out. Can you imagine heckling your crush? Don't think so. But can you now imagine doing the same thing with a guy friend? Letting the nutty side of you out is healthy because: a) it's a part of you that has to be expressed; and b) because it's fun! As a bonus, guys generally give as much as they get, so you're guaranteed a fun time for as long as you want.
The downside:
Acting crazy long enough can lead to lasting impressions, particularly if a crush sees you.

You have an unbiased sounding board

The bright side: You can talk to him anytime, anywhere, about absolutely anything on your mind, without worrying he'll be turned off. Talk to him about sports, politics, homework, and even other guys, and you'll receive an honest, unbiased answer. You can even share the most disgusting toilet jokes, and far from being repulsed, your guy friend will love it. Guys also make very good shoulders to cry on when you've got problems, and if he's a real friend, he won't be expecting anything in return.
The downside:
Guys are notorious for saying the wrong things at the wrong time.

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You don't have to deal with emotions

The bright side: When your boyfriend is feeling sad, lonely, mad, or (insert negative emotion here), you're practically obligated to take care of him. Plus, if he's the sensitive type, you have to make sure you don't run over his feelings. Here's a little secret: Guys are usually like that only with their girlfriends, because they feel they have a right to be. But with their friends, they're all stoic and macho, because showing their sensitive side to friends just isn't right. Well, guess what: Girl friends count as friends, too. So you can rag on your guy friend all you want, and he won't really mind. Okay, he'll probably mind, but you'll rarely hear him object. And when he's troubled by something, he'll talk to you about it, but without the awkward crying that would make the problem much harder to fix.
The downside:
He'll have no real reason to curb his natural insensitivity.

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It's easier to keep guy friends happy

The bright side: Unlike boyfriends who demand attention, fawning over, and all of that emotional crap, boy friends are never demanding. Why? For the simple reason that guys hate being labeled "maarte" or "OA" by their friends. So you can ask him for all the favors you need, and the worst he'll probably do is good-naturedly gripe a bit before doing what he's been asked. Just throw in a Go Large burger meal or a few pizzas once in a while, and your guy friend will be as happy as a clam. Quite useful, particularly when you need a ride or an escort.
The downside:
You may have to shell out for "maintenance food."

All of the advantages of a BF, with none of the complications

The bright side: Love in the romantic sense is definitely not easy to deal with, particularly when you're in your teens. But with a guy friend, you get all the practical benefits of a boyfriend, without all the emotional hang-ups that come with one. It may not exactly be love as the movies would like to portray it, but in a lot of ways, platonic love can be so much better.
The downside:
Well, he's not The One. And that's about it. Not so bad, eh?

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Drew Asuncion
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