Skinned knees and a slight hangover plagued me as I started this blog post. The previous day was one of those pool parties turned Twerk-Off’s. (Yes, people are still twerking months post-Miley.) After hours of poolside champagne, I stubbornly flung myself against my friends’ living wall in repeated attempts to show off my inverted twerking skills. Despite constant warnings (“ANNNIIEEE!”) my guy friends were there to catch every fall and ensure that no permanent damage was done. The next morning, as I giggled over the ridiculous dance party Polaroids and cherished my unbroken face, I couldn’t help but think how much I love my guy friends. Immediately, I wanted to blog about all the reasons why every girl needs them but stopped because I figured it was just a given.

However, when I met with a girl friend later this week, I was reminded that not everyone understands this concept. As we discussed the details of her current break-up over wine, she mentioned one of her ex’s shortcomings that had bothered me the most: He insisted that she could not have guy friends because, according to him, those type of platonic relationships don’t exist. It reminded me of my college boyfriend who had brainwashed me into thinking the same thing, telling me I couldn’t have friends of the opposite sex.

Listen ladies: If a guy ever tells you this, RUN AWAY. As fast as freakin’ possible.
And guys, if this is you: Grow up and get over your insecurities. It’s 2014.

The archaic belief that such relationships are impossible is a red flag for a number of reasons, including trust issues, insecurities and much more. Imagine if someone told you, “You’re not allowed to be friends with half the world’s population.” Okay, Hitler. In fact, I personally find it a turn off if a guy doesn’t have any girl friends, thinking, “Do you not enjoy girls for anything more than sex? And do you really find it that hard to keep it in your pants?”

The fact is: Guy friends do exist, and there are generally five types.

5 Types of Guy Friends

1. Guys you meet at school, work, next door or a mutual organization
As in, that guy who seemed to share every mid-afternoon college course with you. The guy you sit next to at work and giggle with all day. The guys who cheer you on at the gym and accidentally call you bro. With this type of guy, your relationship has been defined by a common activity other than sex.

2. Their friends
They are normally able to stay in friend zone for fear of potentially pissing off their friend.

3. Former beaus and hook ups
After a Cooling Off period, former flings can make great friends because A. There was probably something you liked about them enough to date/hook up and B. Sometimes hooking up can elevate sexual tension BUT sometimes it can alleviate it, like “Great, now that we got that out of the way…”

4. Girlfriends’ boyfriends, fiancees and husbands
I definitely consider my girlfriends’ significant others as my friends. They help me with everything from weightlifting to Google Adwords to changing my bike tires. My friends like it because the more their guys like me, the more the girls get to play. And the guys like it because the more I like them, the more they get to… play.

5. Gay boys.
Arguably the best type.

But no matter the type, there are plenty of perks.

8 Reasons Why Every Girl Should Have Guy Friends

1. They set the bar.

Some girls hang out with guys who they don’t consider dating material to avoid any temptation. That’s not me. I consider my guy friends a great catch who any girl would be fortunate to date. Though the stars haven’t aligned for us, I find them so cute. They make me giggle, offer life advice, treat me like a princess and make great party partners. It’s the perfect method for ensuring you don’t settle.

2. They’re the big brother you never had.

When it comes to new guys you’re dating, if Dad’s and brothers are Judge Judy, guy friends might as well be The Don. “Who is this guy? If he hurts you, I’ll kill him.” You see, they’ll end up knowing more about the guy than your family because you’re more likely to discuss one-night stands or bedroom debacles.

3. They give you an inside look into the male brain.

One of the best things about disclosing your dating dilemmas to guy pals? Their honest opinion on what that dude is actually thinking. They’re able to decode unanswered texts, sketchy behavior and creepy advances and offer insider information that your girl friends simply can’t due to our lack of male parts.

4. They’re great business advisors.

Okay, so this may come off as a gender bias, but guys are the first people I turn to for business advice. In fact, I don’t know where I would be with Story of My Life if it weren’t for my entrepreneurial, marketing, coding, sales and finance guy pals to show me the way. They help you think about things logically… and have the balls to tell you that spending a fortune on printing glitter stickers might not be a savvy investment.

5. They’re helpful.

Girls, you know the feeling. You can be happily single, but the minute you’re home by yourself and get freaked out by a spider in the bath tub, you immediately think, “Omg, I should’ve never stopped talking to (last d-bag)!” That’s where guy friends come in. Not only do they help you with flat tires and cockroaches, it was my guy friends who discovered my 2014 bikinis via online shopping, sent me pre-made Coachella playlists and have forced me into cardio overtime for pool season. What more could a girl want?

6. They’re F-U-N.

Whether you’re going on a platonic dinner date, trip to Vegas or simply drunkenly twerking, guys know how to have a good time. You’re not tempted to compare thigh fat or who’s spray tan is more splotchy. (And though I’m as girly as they come, I would prefer to talk about breasts over breastfeeding any day.)

Wet Electric

7. They’re sometimes more. And that’s okay.

The obvious reason why significant others aren’t always cool with friends of the opposite sex is the sexual tension that can naturally exist. For people in relationships, this is no reason to drop your guy/girl friendships. Resisting only makes you stronger. In the same way that saying no to donuts leads to a healthy diet, being able to resist sexual temptation leads to a healthy relationship. And I totally get that you probably shouldn’t be hanging out in a donut shop, but you should be able to see some donuts in the office kitchen, think they smell good and their sprinkles are cute but turn the other way.

BUT for those who are relationship-free, this sexual tension is what makes being single fun and exciting. Like everything else in the world, friendships are not black and white. They’re gray, and that’s okay. People often speculate that in every opposite sex friendship, there is at least one person who is attracted to the other. This is likely true, and there’s no right or wrong about it.

There are guy friends with whom you may get extra friendly and there are those with whom you never will. In some of my friendships, it has never crossed my mind while in others that line has been crossed plenty of times. In either case, it’s important for all of us to look beyond gender and sexuality and attraction and enjoy people for people, for their heart, humor and the happiness they bring. Because the truth is, I am a million times happier now with many guys who make me realize what I can do than one guy who tells me what I can’t.