Yes, a woman and man can be just friends—best friends, in fact.

I’m a firm believer that everyone should have at least one really close friend of the opposite sex. If you’re unable to accomplish a healthy, platonic relationship with at least one person you may want to consider a therapist… just saying. Anyway, my best friend and I have been in the game for the last 6 years. He is the godfather of my baby girl and it’s the healthiest friendship I’ve ever had. Here’s what it’s really like to have a best friend of the opposite sex.

  1. He always answers. There is never a time that I need my best friend and he isn’t there for me. When you have a best friend of the opposite sex, like most good friendships, the foundation of the relationship is solid. There are no ‘if,’ ‘ands,’ or ‘buts’ about whether or not you will be there for each other in a time of need. Best friends of the opposite sex are a lot less likely to hold onto petty issues or grudges.
  2. He is whatever I need him to be. A big brother to beat up the bully. A date for the Christmas party. A wingman for a night out on the town. You name it. He’s there for me in every way I need him to be. A best friend of the opposite sex is able to be who you need them to be when you need them to be it. If they have to pretend to be your partner to get someone to stop hitting on you while you two are out—they can. If you need them to protect you in a brotherly or sisterly way—they can. If you need them to throw you the alley-oop on the hot girl or guy you’ve been trying to get at all night—they can.
  3. He makes me keep my shit together. Period. We’re a reflection of one another. If I’m slacking, it shows that he doesn’t care… and he does. He doesn’t let me make rash emotional decisions when I start, “acting like a woman.” He makes sure I keep my appearance together. He doesn’t let me waste my time with men, or anything else for that matter, that aren’t worth it in his opinion. When you’re best friends with someone, you don’t let them slip up. When you’re best friends with the opposite sex, you especially don’t let them slip up because if nothing else, you at least want them to end up with someone you actually like.
  4. He tells me when I’m dating a dick. I can’t begin to tell you the number of assholes my best friend has saved me from and vice versa. Best friends of the opposite sex are the perfect gatekeepers. They don’t let any old person occupy your time. They will make sure they let you know when someone isn’t right for you.
  5. He gives me the inside scoop. I think my favorite thing about having a best friend of the opposite sex is that I no longer have to play the guessing game about what guys are really thinking. One of the greatest benefits of having a best friend of the opposite sex is being able to ask the questions you’ve always wanted to know the answers to. You actually get an accurate answer, too. Keep in mind that it won’t always be what you thought or what you wanted to hear. Still, it’s nice to have a trusted source you can take all your questions to.
  6. He is always honest with me. On top of giving me the inside scoop on what guys are thinking, he keeps it “100” with me—straight up, no chaser. Being a woman, of course, it can hurt my feelings sometimes, but it’s always what I need to hear.

The friendship between best friends of the opposite sex is often successful because of the honesty and trust that is shared between the two of them. Without trust and honesty, you have nothing. With them, you have the world.

This article was originally written by Editor-in-chief of Prime Fifty-Two, Isis Nezbeth, and can also be seen on Thought Catalog.