Perhaps one of the most distinct differences between male and female friendships is the way we bond. According to a UCLA study, female friendships tend to be oriented around personal sharing, and male friendships tend to be oriented around shared activities. And it’s been like this since the hunter-gatherer days, which explains why women are such badasses at emotional intimacy.
But whether we’re talking bromances or BFFs here, platonic relationships have some similarities to romantic ones—like, knowing how we’ve moved from casual to something more. In romance, the big DTR—you know, define the relationship—talk is usually, well, just that, but when we’re talking about friends, often we don’t even think about defining our friendship. We just do.
The friendship DTR can come about in many different ways, but we all know when it’s happening, and it makes us feel loved and valued and fabulous. Here are five types of friendship DTRs we’ve all experienced. Did I miss any?
01. The Sneaky Friend Drop
This is my personal favorite mode of defining the relationship—it’s quick, sly, and the least awkward when trying to establish friendship a little too early in the relationship. We all know how it goes: You’re sharing something personal and cleverly drop in something like, “I would only tell this to someone I considered a good friend.” See how I did that? The friend bomb has been dropped; you both feel warm and fuzzy and super-bonded. Mission accomplished.
02. The Friend Abduction
Sometimes the occasion calls for a more assertive approach where you basically just tell the person she is your friend, and that’s that. “You are my friend. Now get in the car because you’re coming with me.” Typically, you will be amazed at how compliant your captive is! If you read the signs right, they are usually more than willing to go along with this new arrangement.
03. The Friend Donation
Sometimes desperate situations require you to ask for charity, like at a big social gathering or when you are the only two women in a room full of men. In these moments, it’s best to turn to the woman standing next to you and ask, “Will you be my friend?” It’s a little sheepish and earnest, but sometimes you have to go all out. Good news—you will never regret asking for a friend donation, and sometimes those unexpected friendships are the ones that last the longest.
04. The Frenemy Confession
Has there ever been a woman in your life with whom you just didn’t mesh? Try as you might to bond, she seemed standoffish and disinterested in friendship, so you gave up. But then one fateful night, one (or both) of you has perhaps had one too many, and she confesses that she used to quite dislike you (yep, picked up on that), but now she rather loves you. Furthermore, she only disliked you because you were so intimidatingly beautiful. Cue the crescendo on the violin as you tell her that she is the one who is intimidatingly beautiful and that you have always wanted to be her friend. Sigh . . . nothing like a happy ending.
05. The Heroic Monologue
Sometimes the DTR conversation takes place in a much more dramatic situation, like after you have been dumped or something. You’re at your friend’s house crying, and she launches into a pep talk that turns into a lovely confirmation of your friendship. “How dare that guy hurt my friend, who is always so loyal and kind. Don’t worry, I will always be here for you to talk to whenever you need me. . . .” or something along those lines. This is one of the most magical DTR conversations because, even if for a brief moment, you forget your broken heart and feel truly loved and cared for. You realize this is someone you can open up to and respect. Pretty awesome, right?
Photo Credit: Du Castel Photography