How to Be Friends with Boys

Four Parts:Meeting BoysBecoming FriendsSpending Time with Guy FriendsDealing with Social Pressures

Are you a girl looking to expand your social circle to include some boys? It’s normal if you don’t already have some platonic (that is, non-romantic) boy friends, as from age four onwards, boys and girls tend to form more same-gender friendships.[1] This is a worldwide pattern too, so don’t feel bad if you only have girl friends! With that being said, it is possible to form boy-girl friendships with a little planning and effort.

Part 1
Meeting Boys

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    Be friendly and approachable. Though you may not be used to being around boys, remember they are people just like you. Casual greetings and small talk can go a long way!
    • Don’t get too discouraged if boys don’t always respond positively. From a young age, boys are socialized to be more aggressive and even rude[2] so it may take more time for a boy to warm up to you. Remember that if boys are rude to you when you are just being friendly, it says a lot more about them than it does about you.
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    Join an extracurricular activity. Boy-girl friendships are most likely to occur outside of school[3] so take this as an opportunity to pursue something you like and hopefully find some new friends in the process!
    • Find an activity that you genuinely enjoy. For example, join an intramural soccer team if you like playing soccer, but don’t do it just to meet boys! Boys are everywhere and, though there is a stereotype that they're only interested in sports, they have a wide range of interests too. So join a movie club or volunteer at the local animal shelter. Chances are, there will be at least a couple boys there who are interested in the same thing and you’ll be able to bond over a genuine shared interest.
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    Open up your friendship circle. See if any of your other girl friends are also interested in becoming friends with boys and invite them to do simple things, such as sitting together to eat lunch. After all, there’s no law saying that friend groups need to be divided by gender.
    • If your girl friends ask you why you want to be friends with boys, explain that you are looking for platonic friendships. After all, boys make up about half the human population, so you are all going to need to learn how to interact with them in a healthy and positive manner sooner or later![4]

Part 2
Becoming Friends

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    Spend time together. It always takes time to get to know another person and form a real friendship. This is especially true of boys, because they are taught to talk and share less about their emotions and personal lives as an expression of their masculinity.[5]
    • Activities as simple as going to the park, watching TV, doing homework together, or hanging out with other friends are all great, low-pressure situations which will gradually develop the friendship.
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    Don’t be overly affectionate. Girls tend to be more physically and verbally affectionate with one another while boys tend to show they care through less obvious means, such as doing favors for each other.
    • Though your instinct may be to give your boy friend a hug when you see him, a simple wave and “hi” should suffice. Show that you’re glad to have his friendship by giving small compliments or offering to help him with a class he’s struggling with.
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    Be yourself. Though this may seem like a cliché, it’s important to always stay true to yourself. Otherwise, any friendships you do make will be based on a false persona and it won’t be a real friendship.
    • Be honest about who you are, such as your interests, likes and dislikes, how you spend your days, etc. Even if you are into more traditionally feminine things, such as baking or crafting, that doesn’t mean you will always be excluded from having friendships with boys. After all, you may even find a boy who is interested in the same activity!

Part 3
Spending Time with Guy Friends

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    Go with the flow. Whether you’re hanging out with one or multiple boys, it’s likely that the time you spend with boy friends will be very different from when you’re with your girl friends.[6] Knowing and being open to this difference will help you and your new friends enjoy your time together.
    • Going with the flow can be a simple as letting go of expectations of what you will do with your guy friends. For example, if you’re invited over to a new boy friend’s place, don’t be surprised or annoyed if you spend the next few hours vegging out on the couch and watching sports.
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    Learn the basics of some masculine activities. While girls tend to get together to talk or unwind together, many boys tend to get together for a specific activity, even if it’s just playing video games or scrimmaging basketball.[7] Knowing the basics of at least a couple of these typically masculine activities will increase the likelihood of boys considering you to be “just one of the guys.” You may even discover a new, previously unexplored interest!
    • If you’re already an active person, try taking up a new sport. If you’re a more sedentary person, explore what the latest video games are to see if any of them grab your interest. Even just watching a sport or keeping up with a specific team will give you a lot to discuss with your new friends.
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    Have a sense of humor. Boys tend to bond over jokes and often even make of each other.[8] Let them know if they’ve crossed a line, but also realize that joking at others’ expense is a common male activity.If you’re getting picked on but you know that you are actually friends with the boy, come up with some funny rebuttals.
    • For example, if your friend makes fun of your poor performance in something, you can laugh along to let them know you aren’t too sensitive. You can also poke at one of their weaknesses in a funny way. Just be sure to keep it lighthearted!
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    Observe how guys interact with each other. Watching is one of the best ways to learn how to fit in. While it’s always going to be clear that you are different from boys, you can make this difference less noticeable by noticing how guys treat each other and imitating them.
    • With this step, just make sure you are not going overboard. You should still display your natural personality but you can pick up little gestures, such as fist bumps as greetings and common topics that boys discuss and use them yourself.

Part 4
Dealing with Social Pressures

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    Learn to stand up for yourself. Due to gender norms and the sometimes unhealthy social environments in schools, don’t be surprised if you find others being unsupportive of your friendship or actively teasing you about it.
    • If other kids accuse you of being in a romantic relationship or otherwise tease you about your friendship, practice some basic comebacks such as, “He’s a friend who happens to be a boy, so what?” If you don’t get worked up about it, eventually other kids will get tired of teasing you and leave you and your friend alone.
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    Make it clear you are just friends. You may find pressure to turn your friendship into a romantic relationship but stick to what you want.
    • Even adults may inadvertently pressure you by asking questions such as, “Is he cute?” Let them know that you are not interested in his physical attributes and emphasize that you are just friends.
    • One study has shown that boys and girls often have a hard time maintaining their relationships because they are pressured to make it romantic or sexual.[9] If your boy friend starts pressuring you to turn the friendship into a relationship, make it clear that you are only interested in him platonically. If he stops being your friend after that, then he never was really your friend to begin with and you’ll find other people who won’t pressure you into something you don’t want.
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    Remember your life is your own. At the end of the day, you make your own decisions about who you want to spend time with and how you want to live your life. Keeping this in mind will help you develop a stronger sense of self and not be overly affected by other people’s opinions.


  • Being friends with boys can be difficult due to the various social pressures both girls and boys face! Don’t be surprised if it doesn’t happen overnight and don’t let it affect your own self-esteem if you find it harder to form friendships with boys than you expected.


  • One study has found that having opposite gender friends during adolescence can negatively impact a student’s GPA, particularly if that student is a girl.[10] Make sure to not let your friendships get in the way of doing well in school!

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Categories: Making Friends