What does a healthy male/female friendship look like?

A common and understandable desire, can it work?
MrSpock
Posts: 1021
Joined: Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:39 pm
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Gender:
Age: 49
Argentina

Re: What does a healthy male/female friendship look like?

Post by MrSpock »

daydreamer wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2019 11:44 pm
MrSpock wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2019 9:00 pm
Is not like I would hang out with just her for example.
Then it's not really a friendship if you can't hang out together.
Right. Which is why I said that it depends on what you mean by "friendship".... but let me elaborate:
AnnieKaye9924 wrote:
Fri Jun 07, 2019 11:01 pm
Maybe I’m immature, but I just don’t think I’m wired for it. Men are great as colleagues & casual acquaintances but I tend to like to confide in a more emotional person...not that men aren’t emotional, just that I haven’t really met one that I connected with emotionally AND was not attracted to. Also, I have a tendency to feel more attracted to someone the longer I’m around them. So I know that even though it might start out innocently it would not guarantee to stay that way.

Also, this may be terrible of me, but I’m just being honest. It would hurt my pride to be close with a man and him have absolutely zero attraction to me.

To me, a healthy, close, male/female relationship is a mystery because I have never really had one.
Right.

What happens is that same-gender "friendship" is an entirely different type of affectionate relationship than "cross-gender" friendship.

And that's to be expected for after all there all ALL sorts of affectionate close relationships. Take parents and kids for instance. I'm certainly not "friends" with my kids in the usual sense, yet we are really close, we do lots of stuff together, they even confide in me a lot of their stuff, but, I, for example, don’t confide on them (not at this age at least), and there is a significant management asymmetry.

Similar with colleagues. I have, and had have, really emotionally close male colleagues and classmates, special even, yet they would not fit the canonical friend definition because our relationship is confined to the activity that we share.

So, male/female relationships are totally possible, even in the presence of varying levels and directions of attraction, but they have special rules and dynamics. In general, the greater the attraction (from either side) the more bounds are put in.

In my personal experience, I have many female "friends" (for lack of a specific word). Some I have always been attracted to, and they know it (like the LO I mentioned above), so certain boundaries are in place. But that works and there is genuine closeness. With some is the opposite: they wanted me and told me, I didn't reciprocate, yet again with the right boundaries in place, it works (one of them is my longest term female friend since we were teens).


Having said all of that, there is one more thing to factor in: most of us males just don't really even want to "befriend" a female, not really, yet they would always sort of "play it" to get what they really want. And I'm not referring to narc types in which this sort of fake relationships is completely fabricated. A "normal" guy would normally don't even realize he doesn't really want to befriend a female.
But there are exceptions, and that tend to change with age.

Pattihopeful
Posts: 789
Joined: Wed Oct 17, 2018 1:18 pm
Gender:
United States of America

Re: What does a healthy male/female friendship look like?

Post by Pattihopeful »

...
Last edited by Pattihopeful on Sun Jun 28, 2020 1:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

Faye
Posts: 52
Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2018 2:21 am
Canada

deleted post

Post by Faye »

...
Last edited by Faye on Tue Apr 28, 2020 3:02 pm, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
Celestialbody
Posts: 180
Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2016 2:41 pm
Australia

Re: What does a healthy male/female friendship look like?

Post by Celestialbody »

I think it only works if there is zero attraction. I have many male friends - there is less drama, no competition, etc. Women can be difficult. But, you know what? It never crossed my mind that maybe some are limerent for me. It's possible, but unlikely. They don't seem nervous and conversation flows easily. When my former LO and I are together, the chemistry is so strong, we both turn in to basketcases. I think I'm pretty good at picking up on male attraction, but maybe not?!???

NoDayDreaming

Re: What does a healthy male/female friendship look like?

Post by NoDayDreaming »

Celestialbody wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 3:21 pm

I have many male friends - there is less drama, no competition, etc. Women can be difficult.
LOL, this is exactly what my XLO said. she had numerous male friends and spent a lot of time talking to them. but, most of them were limerent toward her and she knew it (i mean she didn't know the exact term).
Last edited by NoDayDreaming on Wed Aug 14, 2019 2:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

Faye
Posts: 52
Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2018 2:21 am
Canada

Re: What does a healthy male/female friendship look like?

Post by Faye »

Women can be difficult.
Perhaps this is internalized misogyny? I grew up with only brothers, and for a very long time, I thought that other girls and women were just annoying and dramatic and not to be trusted. But I soon realized how much those ideas were a result of patriarchy and capitalism. Both structures love to keep women at odds and in competition for a "limited resource": male attention.

Now I have a handful of friends who are women and non-binary who also identify as queer, and they are some of the best friendships I have.
Last edited by Faye on Sat Apr 25, 2020 6:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

L-F
Posts: 3072
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 9:55 am
United States of America

Re: What does a healthy male/female friendship look like?

Post by L-F »

mamasita wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2019 8:55 pm
I have several healthy friendships with men.
They are no different than my friendships with women.
If we have differing motives, then we aren't friends.
:x

I was going to say the same.
Learn to forgive...Life is too short to live with hate.
"Everything is within your power, and your power is within you." Janice Trachtman

JupiterTaco
Posts: 4435
Joined: Sun Jun 28, 2015 6:12 pm
United States of America

Re: What does a healthy male/female friendship look like?

Post by JupiterTaco »

I've never been able to my knowledge to pull off a true friendship with a guy, which is strange as someone who has always hardly gotten any attention. But yeah it just never worked for me, but like others said, no attraction, and probably healthy understanding of what being a friend means, which is something else I just don't get I guess. I'm either too eager or too detached, and it has nothing to do with attraction.
"Byreeeeeeeen! Byreeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee...eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeen!"

Post Reply