Monday, April 2, 2012

The Cross-sex BFF Relationship Equation

No offense to my dear friend, Lea, but this topic—Boyfriends or, Friends who Happen to be Boysbegs a PSA.

Attention Readers: This is a public service announcement. Teens are egocentric. Once the hormones kick in, boys and girls cannot be best friends without mitigating circumstances. Those crazy, uncontrollable feelings are always lurking under the surface. Sexuality and self-worth intermingle with the intimacy of the BFF relationship making it nearly impossible to remain platonic. Someone always develops feelings, someone always gets hurt. Let’s examine the Cross-sex BFF Relationship Equation (which I swear is a real thing that I didn’t just make up):
Boy-Girl Teen BBFs = Intimacy + Self-worth + Sexuality =L♥VE

I’m not saying boys and girls can’t be friends.  Friends—yes; Best Friends—no way José.

Even when grown, many adults are platonically challenged when it comes to friendship with the opposite sex. As we become less egocentric later in life, and if our sources of self-worth and sexuality are cultivated outside the intimacy of the BFF relationship, platonic cross-sex besties may be achieved.

(Side note: I think that’s why the concept of the gay best friend is so popular, because sexuality is removed from the Cross-Sex BFF Relationship Equation. But even then, one party may be susceptible to thinking they can “turn” the other. Give it up! They’re gay—not a potential vampire.)

Let’s examine some of the better known boy-girl BFF relationships entertainment has to offer:

HarrySallyDefinitive chick flick on the implausibility of boy-girl besties. Unequivocally proves the Cross-sex BFF Relationship Equation.
Bella JacobJacob's masochistic "friendship" with Bella sends him into an angst-ridden doom spiral until he fixates on Bella's offspring in a twist creepier than Wuthering Heights second generation redemption.
LukeLeiaDoesn't count - *spoiler alert* they're related.
HanLeiaNever friends. The pent up passion behind their bickering was evident the first time she called him a Scruffy Nerf-Herder.
Anakin AmidalaWhat the dark side wants, the dark side gets - and the dark side likes the cougars.
JaneBillyBFF Billy confessed his love for Janie at the end of season one's Jane by Design. Their friendship is so screwed!
VelmaShaggyFriends - yes; Playing for each other's team - no.
BuffyXanderXander's unrequited friendship with buffy drove him into a monogamous relationship with Anya - that's seriously messed up.
BuffySpikeSpeaking of messed up - WTF?!?
KeithWattsIt's not Some Kind of Wonderful for Watts when Keith keeps her in the friend zone.
Emma KnightlyThou art wise in the ways of friendship and boys, Jane.
ZackMiriToo bad it takes a porno to make these besties see their platonic arrangement blows.
Harry PotterHermoineOkay - I'll grant this one. Smitten with funny guy Ron, Hermione's true blue to H.P. without the secret romantic agenda.
DawsonJoeyEven though Joey didn't end up on the creek w/her BFF Dawson, it wasn't for lack of trying.
KatnissGaleNot platonic by any district's definition.
AndieDuckieA second instance of BFFs without romantic undertones. But I always wanted Andie to go for Duckie - he was so much better than Blane!!!

If you suspect you're suffering from the Cross-sex BFF Relationship Equation, turn off your television immediately and take this quiz:
Your Turn: What are some other examples of Boy-Girl Besties that either confirm of disprove  the Cross-sex BFF Relationship Equation?
 I will be at the RT Booklovers Convention (April 10-15) with Lea, Lorie, and Melissa.

The Halo Chronicles: The Guardian, a 2010 RWA Golden Heart finalist for best young adult fiction, is available at Amazon   Barnes & Noble Smashwords and iTunes. Also available and *free* The Way Life Was Forever; and coming soon Eternal Spring (a YA anthology). Visit for more information.


Lorie Langdon said...

LOVE this Carey! My favorte part of the chart is Velma and Shaggy - just because I never would've thought of them in a million years and you are SO right on about their relationship! ;D

Jo Ramsey said...

Awesome-and hilarious-post, Carey!

I'm wracking my brain to think of an example that disproves the Cross-Sex BFF Relationship Equation, but all the examples I can come up with disprove it only because only one of the two besties is straight...Even in my own dang books, I can't keep the besties from becoming more!

Melissa Landers said...

Hahaha! That was awesome, Carey. I bow down to your mad chart-making skills.

CareyCorp said...

Thanks Lorie, Jo, and Melissa!

Jo - it's so true about straight besties becoming more.

OMG! I forgot my fav. besties-turned-more couple. And it even involves a straight/gay BBF pair.

CHASING AMY's Holden and Aylssa

Kimberly said...

Bridge to Terabithia! Ha! Got you! Of course, she does die, so we don't know what would have happened later in their teen years....hmmmm. Have to think about that one.

I'm with Jo on this one. Even in my own books, I can't stop the "besties from becoming more." Love that. I think it's because the idea of romance being based on something other than sexual chemistry is so great. It's easy to get all caught up in the emotion whirlwind of love and attraction, but when love is based on something much stronger, it does tend to last. What's better than friendship? It takes a lot to put yourself out there after being friends, so usually it means that at least one of the friends is willing to stake everything on the friendship becoming more.
I just saw Some Kind of Wonderful for the first time just recently, and my heart just broke for Watts--wanting something more but not sure it was going to happen. I loved the ending where he tells her that she's wearing his future. :-) So cute. Can't believe it took me so long to see that movie.

Anonymous said...

My mind immediately went to HP & Hermoine when I started reading so funny you included them:) I was BFF's with my hubby all through h.s. without even so much as a kiss. We kinda always knew we liked each other but was too scared to ruin the friendship with all the drama that existed within our group of friends. SOoooooooo glad we waited till college to date b/c I seriously doubt we'd be celebrating our 14th anniversary in August if we started dated when we were 14 when we met:) BTW, if anyone's interested, I'm giving away an Easter Basket full of YA books on my blog . . . LAST DAY TO ENTER:) ~THanks fOR a grEAT post!

Micki Gibson said...

Your chart is hysterical! And spot-on too. This will have me giggling the rest of the day. Great post, Carey!

PJ Sharon said...

Very good, Carey! I love charts, and you were spot on with your analysis. Fun survey!

CareyCorp said...

Thanks Kim, Jamie, PJ, and Micki for stopping by. Sorry I'm so late in responding. I've been really under the weather. :(

Kim - I can't believe you only just saw SKW - Watts used to give me hope that my guy friends (that I secretly liked) would WAKE UP AND SMELL THE AWESOME!!!!

Jamie - I love how you said "We kinda always knew we liked each other." I'm glad you waited and that everything worked out. :)