1. Writersaurus

    Writersaurus Member

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    Thoughts on male+female friendship

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Writersaurus, Aug 24, 2018.

    To start with, here's my thought on friendships between men and women:

    As some of you who have posted on certain threads know, I have recently initiated an online friendship with a girl I met on 'meetup'. We exchange on a daily basis - little things like interests and stuff. She's offering to invite me to a group meet soon. Which, I would personally prefer to a one-on-one, since in a group, there's less pressure on me (I don't have to worry about awkward silence).

    Now, a small background - in 2013 my dad, unfortunately, died. And since then my mum has been going on these meetup groups with widows/widowers. Now, she meets up with the women, and encouters men in those groups - but she states that while men have asked her for drinks/meals, she has always declined - because she believes that they're (more than likely) looking for more than friendship.

    My mother believes that unless both party have known one-another longer than their partners, man/woman friendship is awkward, because there's always going to be a small hope that something more will develop. Personally, while I respect her opinion, I'm not so sure that I agree to this.

    I think that I am capable of meeting one-on-one with a woman, while keeping in mind that it's never going to be anything more than friendship.

    What is your take on this subject matter? Can a man and a woman go out for drinks and do things together without it being weird? Even if both are involved with someone else?
     
  2. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

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    We're assuming that both parties are straight?

    I have male friends. Not guaranteed to have never had a bit of mental speculation about what they'd be like in bed (just like I won't guarantee I haven't had a bit of similar speculation about the plumber, the policeman, the guy walking his dog, etc.) but no serious temptations.

    That said, I met most of them through less date-like activities. Guys I met when we had classes together at school or while we were engaged in a common interest or who are neighbours or whatever. Meeting someone online and then going out for dinner/drinks really feels date-like to me. I guess if everyone involved knows that it's supposed to be a friendship, not a romance, then the social conventions attached to the activity don't really matter, but I'd want to be sure it was extra, EXTRA clear to everyone involved that it's not a date.

    In general, though - I think men and women can do things together without it being weird for them. Society may not agree.
     
  3. flawed personality

    flawed personality Sweetness Contributor

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    Personally, I feel more comfortable around guys than I do girls. Maybe it was something to do with my relationship between me and my sister growing up, which was strained/competitive to a point. I have had male friends, and I do now (all but 1 are online only), so it is certainly possible. In the past though, most of those were either bfs first, or became them later. It depends a lot on the individuals involved to be honest.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2018
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  4. Necronox

    Necronox Contributor Contributor

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    I, personally speaking, never really been annoyed or bothered with male/female friendships in any way. I think they are radically different to sexual or romantic relationships and have a different type of expectations. The problem occurs if one party believe it is a different relationship to the party - and this frequantly occurs when people don't speak their minds. But then again, if everyone spoke their minds, it wouldn't be much fun either. It's just the age old communication issue really. I usually just state it if I think this is friendly or not. Some people don't like the honesty, but I have stopped caring - I would rather avoid the whole quagmire if things get blurry..

    Plus, there is the whole societal expectations part of the equation. As someone who has done and continued to do/study sociology on the side, it is fascinating. However, I will not lie and say I like it though, but fascinating to look at and wonder why things are like that.
     
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  5. T_L_K

    T_L_K Senior Member

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    I've always loved the idea of having a male best friend, or any close friendship with a male, but I've not had the blessed experience of it. When I was a kid doesn't really count. On the couple of occasions this could have happened it became obvious there was an expectation there, and I hated the feeling. I'm a dude, I like being seen as a dude, as a buddy, by men. I don't want you to like me, not that way. I don't think I've met a male with whom I could discern having the kind of affinities that call for a true friendship yet, but I've not given up on the hope that might happen.
     
  6. Night Herald

    Night Herald L'Anatra di Guerra Supporter Contributor

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    I have to believe that this is possible, even though all of my close friendships with women have had a sexual component. It has to be possible. I refuse to think otherwise.
     
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  7. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Benevolent Ochlocrat Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I refer you to the Scripture:

     
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  8. Carly Berg

    Carly Berg Active Member

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    I don't quite understand your post.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2019
  9. Writersaurus

    Writersaurus Member

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    ('Carly Berg', Apologies if my reply comes off as confrontational)

    It's not like I'm some creepy, objectifying weirdo who saw a picture of a pretty girl and thought 'Ooh, fresh meat!'. We have a common share of interests, being part of the same 'meetup' group. We both like horror movies, and are into art. And we both suffer from anxiety and depression. We talk to eachother about how we deal with our emotions, and share our thoughts. (Well, I share, anyway. She obviously has friends to share her thoughts with).

    I happen to know that she's married. And even if she did express that kind of interest in me, I'd see this as a 'red flag' that she was up to no good - because there isn't the teeniest part of me that could believe that this girl - or any girl - would be interested in me that way (due to inefficient testosterone production, I'm a 33 year old who only looks 15) I struggle to believe that she even considers me a friend - she's only reciprocating online conversation because she knows I have no close companions, and probably feels a bit sorry for me.

    But I appreciate your input 'Carly Berg', (as I do, everyone else) and I realize that you didn't have sufficient details to express an accurate opinion. I believe this lengthy reply should cover the two questions you asked me, at least. And suppose I met this girl, and I did develop feelings, I'd probably tell her, which would then lead to a mutual agreement that it would be too weird for us to be friends.

    But do you think there are any circumstances where a man and woman can be friends?
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2018
  10. JLT

    JLT Contributor Contributor

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    I have many friends who are women. And I think that there's a small, vestigial portion of my brain that tells me to evaluate many of them as sexual partners. (That's something that I've wrestled with since puberty, which was a long, long time ago.) But I also realize that this is fantasy, and that if I allow it to shape my attitude toward these women, it will kill the friendship. And I value these friendships too much to jeopardize them.

    Am I typical of most men? I don't know for sure, but I suspect that I am. It's just that some men are better than others in concealing it. And some men are smart enough not to let it interfere with the possibility of developing deep non-sexual friendships with people.
     
  11. exweedfarmer

    exweedfarmer Contributor Contributor

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    In my life of sixty years, I've only had one female "friend." That's only because she was married when we met and that's a line I don't cross, and by the time she got divorced, we were such good friends that we agreed getting naked together would have screwed it up. Otherwise, I would have nailed her. I know me and I'm not to be trusted.

    Otherwise, is the intergender friend thing possible? Yeah, if one of them is gay.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2018
  12. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

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    I honestly don't think this is a male-only thing, and I don't think it's a big problem, either. There's nothing wrong with thinking about people in sexual terms, every now and then. It's pretty much unavoidable. I think it's healthier to recognize it than it is to suppress it and drive it underground.

    It's entirely possible for adults (and adolescents, god knows) to have sexual thoughts and not act on them. We don't need to pretend the thoughts don't exist, and we don't need to beat ourselves up for having them.

    Stop wrestling with your natural instincts! Thinking about sex is fine. Acting on your thoughts in inappropriate ways is not fine. We've got enough self-control to make that distinction, right?
     
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  13. KaTrian

    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Supporter Contributor

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    I've been 'just friends' with straight guys, even hung out with some of them alone, so I'd like to think it's perfectly possible. I don't know if they've thought about it leading to something more - maybe? But we've still had a laugh and hung out together. I've always been upfront about my relationship status, and when I've been single, I've acted differently around a guy I'm attracted to vs. a guy I enjoy being friends with but am not attracted to. Sure, I've been in a situation where friend material has also been open for more, but that's how a lot of guys tend to be, I guess. Hashtag not all.

    These days all my close friends are women, probably because I'm nearing 30 just like my friends, and families and marriage statuses and such tend to change the social paradigm as well, so I couldn't really imagine going out say for a drink alone with another guy who isn't my hubby (or my dad or brother), something I might've done when younger, even if we were part of the same therapy group. Maybe if he was my sponsor or something (in which case, no drinks, unless it's about a gambling addiction, lol). When it's a gay guy, I can hang with him as I would with a woman, so that's different.

    So maybe the circumstances where it can work depend on when the friendship begins (if it's a fresh friendship when one or both parties are spoken for, it might feel weird), their sexual orientation, their age, and possibly their social status. (As in, if you feel s/he's "way out of your league", it can help keep things platonic. Doesn't mean it's automatically true, but it's like psychological discouragement or something like that).
     
  14. J.T. Woody

    J.T. Woody Creature of Quarantine Contributor

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    I've heard the old argument of "guys and girls cant just be friends" plenty of times..... because growing up, I hung out with guys more because girls were stupid. and they kept saying i was just like a boy and i might as well be friends with them because i could never get one to like me (you can imagine what that did to my selfesteem....). Also, I was the only girl in my family for a while so I hung out with my brother and my cousin and their friends for years.
    ANYWAYS.... i've had a few guy friends in elementary school, and in high school, the guys became my friends. 2 senior guys, 4 guys in my freshmen class looked out for me. It was easy to just think of them as friends and I never developed romantic feelings for them (ironically, my fiance and i didnt start off as friends.... one of my guy friends told me "this guy" liked me, and at first i didnt believe them so i went and asked "this guy" out and he said accepted, then we became friends over getting to know each other on our dates and developed feelings for each other). but alas, the girls spread rumors that I was probably screwing them because guys and girls cant just be friends. my cousin who went to my high school even stayed away from me because he got caught up in the rumors (people saw us get out the same car one morning before they FINALLY realized that we were related). it sucked. what sucked more was that after I graduated, those guy friends confessed that they had feelings for me which told me (at the time) that guys and girls CANT just be friends.

    but one of my longest standing friends is a guy. I can talk to him about everything. and he's always been there for me. its been 10 years. In the beginning, I told him upfront that i didnt want anything romantic or intimate, just friendship (we met because he asked me out at a mutual friend's party and i told him i wasnt interested in him like that). Rather than getting mad or leaving me alone, he agreed and never brought up the subject again. Though my fiance has never met my guy friend before (guy friend went to a different HS from us, then joined the Army in college and wasnt really around for them both to meet), he knows about him and knows our friendship and is fine with it. he's even coming to my wedding if he can.

    it CAN happen. it doesnt ALWAYS happen.... but i feel like if you set boundaries and enforce those boundaries right off the bat, then platonic friendships with the opposite sex can be lasting. I hate when people call it "friendzoning" when all it is is setting up boundaries.
     
  15. Privateer

    Privateer Senior Member

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    I've got loads of female friends. Some I have bumped uglies with in the past and more that I haven't. I don't really see why men and women can't be friends with or without sex, to be honest.
     

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