One of my most unpleasant memories from childhood is a vague feeling that it is better to keep my distance from boys. No, there were a lot of normal guys around, with whom it was fun to play, there were also those with whom you could be truly friends... BUT!... You just had to start a little closer communication, well, for example, go skiing together bikes, or I don’t know, sit next to you and discuss something vital, when someone always appears nearby, winking conspiratorially and immediately inquiring, like, have you found a groom? And what’s most disgusting is that these were not my teasing peers at all - peers in such cases were simply sent to the address, and that was the end of the question - but quite grown-up people (mostly grandparents) whom it was not comme il faut to send. “Yes, this is my friend,” I delicately tried to defend my personal space. “Grooms! Zhanihi! - the older generation persisted, delighted with their own insight.
So, little by little, the boys moved away from the girls, in a company everyone could still communicate together, but having a boy friend - no, the risk of running into the neighbor’s grandmother-reasoner is too high, it’s not worth it! I don’t have a single example from childhood of a boy being friends with a girl, either in my own life or in the lives of friends. This is a very pity, because such communication should be able to greatly facilitate both adolescence and later adult life.
It’s amazing to me how in “The Blue Bead”, for example, Karolinka is friends with Petrek, and in “The Snow Queen” Kai is with Gerda, and not once does the verdict “Grooms!”
I look now at how five-year-old children, my child’s friends and girlfriends, communicate, and I couldn’t be happier: they are still free from conventions, for them it doesn’t matter at all who to be friends with, a boy or a girl, the main thing is that they have fun together and Interesting! After all, friendship is friendship, what do brides and grooms have to do with it.