To not have any male friends

(52 Posts)

I noticed at work recently that I am much more relaxed and confident when I'm with the women on our team. I am more quiet and withdrawn when men are present. Obviously I don't want this to be the case and I'd like to be myself around everyone, regardless of gender.
So I started thinking about how I am outside work and it struck me: I don't have any male friends. Not one. I socialise with lots of married couples (and am married myself), and DH has some lovely friends that I've got to know quite well... but I don't have any man-friends that I got to know myself, independently.

Is that normal? Do most of you have a more equal gender balance among your friends?

HeadFairy Sat 16-Feb-13 09:41:00

I don't have many, one that I speak to regularly, one who now lives overseas. I'm not uncomfortable around men, but I grew up in a very female family (no boys born in the family for 36 years until my ds came along) and I went to an all girls school. In my 20s I was very much like you though, having had so little contact with men I had no idea how to speak to them, I was incredibly shy and awkward with men.

ElephantsAndMiasmas Sat 16-Feb-13 09:41:59

I don't know how usual it is but I shouldn't think it's worth worrying about in a social sense. Are you from an all girl, no brother family? If it's causing you work problems then more worrying perhaps.

Yes I'm from an all-girl family! Apart from my dad. Just wanted a kind of survey to see if most 30-something married women have heaps of man-friends. Or if more are like me.

VelvetSpoon Sat 16-Feb-13 09:48:21

YANBU.

At uni, women were in the minority in my college (3:1 ratio) so I had lots of male friends. In my first few jobs again, more men than women. I am quite girly BUT I also like football and stuff, so always used to get on well with men, and I quite like banter-y type conversations.

however what I have realised now I'm older and possibly wiser is that there's always an agenda with male-female friendships, and they always go wrong. I have been dumped as a friend by several guys whose wives/girlfriends didn't like their friendship with me. I have been used either to make men look more popular, or to help them in career terms. Or it ends up with them fancying me, me not being interested, and it all getting awkward.

I am currently working with someone who a couple of years ago told me I was his best friend. He now doesn't even acknowledge my existence.

I think I have given up on having male friends now!

ElephantsAndMiasmas Sat 16-Feb-13 09:50:51

I'm slightly younger but have male friends (not loads but some) from school, college, university and past/current jobs. Did you go to a girls school? I do think sometimes that girls who grow up without brothers sometimes miss out on the crucial memo that there isn't really such a thing as "boys are like this, girls are like this" (likewise boys who grow up without girls around). IMO men and women are pretty similar so my advice would be talk to men as if they were women. They really aren't mysterious or a different species smile

rollmopses Sat 16-Feb-13 09:54:52

I always have preferred male company. My best friends are men.
Magnificent creatures and so much fun.

ENormaSnob Sat 16-Feb-13 10:08:06

I get on fine with men but prefer women tbh.

Had a few male friends when I was younger but they all tried it on at some point hmm

ifancyashandy Sat 16-Feb-13 10:16:42

I have male friends. No hidden agenda. And I'm single.

ChestyLeRoux Sat 16-Feb-13 10:20:30

I have lots of male friends they all met dh through me,and now they are good friends with him too.They all knew me first though.

mrsjay Sat 16-Feb-13 10:26:40

I don't really have male friends now I used too but they were mostly gay

I have male friends. Not gay. No agenda. Just friends.

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Sat 16-Feb-13 10:27:31

All the male friends I have made independently of DH are gay.

Caladria Sat 16-Feb-13 10:30:24

YAB a bit unreasonable. Be friends with whoever you want, but excluding half of humanity for having a penis is, well, limiting. As for the 'agenda' theory, maybe I'm just dim but I've never noticed it.

manicinsomniac Sat 16-Feb-13 10:31:15

I'm more the other way. I have female friends but, especially at work, my closest friends are all men.

I don't think it matters either way though. You get on with who you get on with.

As long as you have friends I don't think it matters what they are!

ChestyLeRoux Sat 16-Feb-13 10:34:20

I have lots of male friends they all met dh through me,and now they are good friends with him too.They all knew me first though.

ChestyLeRoux Sat 16-Feb-13 10:34:56

Sorry about double posts my phones going weird confused

GinAndT0nic Sat 16-Feb-13 10:38:23

I would like a few more male friends but apart from one who I meet up with once a year (!!) I have none. I think this particular male friend only stays in sporadic touch because we were flatmates 20 years ago so we do have a bond. But, men aren't motivated to have 'faux friendships' with me because I'm not pretty &/or young. So therefore, nope. When I was young of course I had men pretending to be my friend, and then when I told them I was going out with x,y or z they just said 'see ya then'. Pretty much.

Some very attractive women delude themselves that they are great at maintaining friendships with men. Men just want to be around them.

bleedingheart Sat 16-Feb-13 10:40:23

I used to have lots of male friends but now I work from home I find old colleagues and friends who bother to maintain contact are usually female as are the majority of the parents who are chatty at the school gate. I don't really think its a problem not to have any although the more friends the merrier.

bleedingheart Sat 16-Feb-13 10:43:06

I also had more male friends when I had a very cool and handsome boyfriend;
men wanted to be him, women wanted to be with him and some of my male friends thought somehow being friends with me would make them more like him!

(He turned out to be a bit of a dick so they probably succeeded).

mrsjay Sat 16-Feb-13 10:47:09

yes when i was younger and loads coolergrin I did have male friends non gay but we lost touch I have some of them on my facebook but not real friendship anymore

manicinsomniac Sat 16-Feb-13 10:58:43

ginandtonic that's a very sad attitude to have! Do you really believe that all men are only interested in famale friends because they're attracted to them?! I have quite a few mixed friendship groups and both the men and women in them range from stunning to not at all pretty and from single to long term happily married. We are friends because we are friends, not because of age, availability or attractiveness.

GinAndT0nic Sat 16-Feb-13 11:00:46

Well, it doesn't make ME sad. I know I'm capable of friendship with men. But they don't want it. I have plenty of female friendships. If I ever had a boyfriend it would be imperative to me that he was a friend, first and foremost. So, possibly it's a bit sad to have so few male friendships, but my attitude is not sad. I'm ready and capable of having friendships with men.

I won't hold my breath waiting though!

GinAndT0nic Sat 16-Feb-13 11:02:47

Also, if you're married and you are friendLY with your husband's friends, then it's easy to say 'aw poor gin&tonic, what a sad attitude'. But it's just circumstance and convenience that puts in a group situation with men, and you're friendly. I could easily be in those shoes. But when you're single with no husband who has male friends, then, not so easy to "tick off" male friends and say to yourself oh yes well done me, i have male friends!

manicinsomniac Sat 16-Feb-13 11:17:22

I didn't mean you were sad, I meant to believe that what you say of men is true is rather upsetting.

I am a single parent too and I have never held down a long term romantic relationship with a man. That is very sad but the issue is all with me (trust, own space, MH issues etc) and absolutely not the fault of men.

Men in general are as capable of friendship with anybody as women in general are.

I've always had male friends, though more of my friends these days are female, at least partly due to my main social scene being via an all-female dancegroup. Some of my male friends have been XPs or at least men I briefly dated, most have been work colleagues at some point. I have, annoyingly, lost one or two over the years when they took up with excessively whiny monogamist women (though to my amusement those relationships always ended badly and the man would reappear as a friend...)

QuacksForDoughnuts Sat 16-Feb-13 11:38:53

Why is it something to go 'oh yes well done me' over? Some people have largely same-sex friendship groups. Other people have more mixed friendship groups. I'm not convinced that one outlook is better than the other. On the other hand, if you're having problems interacting with your immediate colleagues purely on the basis of having outdoor plumbing then that would be worth working on. Not because they're all wonderful individuals who you are missing out by not being besties with - although one or two might be - but because it would improve the working environment for you and everyone else in the office.

INeedThatForkOff Sat 16-Feb-13 11:38:55

YANBU. Apart from DH's friends who are mutual and my female friends' husbands, I don't really have make friends.

I had a friendship a few years ago that came about because I had a bit of a crush on a man, not realising he was married, then just had to sort of bluff it and pretend I was interested in friendship all along blush. It didn't last because I found him too - I'm not sure - energetic? interesting? Not explaining this well, but he had an anecdote for every situation; and he probably found me dull, so thank fuck he hadn't been single in the first place! His wife is very similar in that they are both ultra-sociable. I like my quiet time!

Another old school girl crush friend got in touch around the same time, but unbeknown to me, he knew that DP and I had split. Looking back it was a fairly transparent attempt to get a friends-with-benefits arrangement going, but in the meantime DP and I got back together, and he's now DH smile

I must admit I don't have huge numbers of female friends either, but am content with those I've got.

GinAndT0nic Sat 16-Feb-13 11:46:43

The well done me comment was for poster who thinks it's sad that I feel the way I do.

I believe men are capable with friendship, but they don't want it with me. There's nothing wrong with me that would prevent me from being a friend to a man confused but a friendship, eh, it has to be consensual !!! I'm a good friend to my female friends. So there's nothing sad about it. It's jsut the way it is really.

Piemother Sat 16-Feb-13 11:49:01

I have a handful from school and uni abs one v close make friend I met a work but that's much less than my female friends

HauntedArmchairOfDoom Sat 16-Feb-13 11:53:17

I massively take issue with the idea that men will be friends with gorgeous women for dubious motives, and that said gorgeous woman are deluding themselves confused

I'm 4 stone overweight, with hair like Wurzel Gummidge and a series of pustulating spots on my horrid ageing face, but I've got 3 v. close male pals, one of whom is insanely beautiful. SO THERE.

Haunted - are you me grin

Viviennemary Sat 16-Feb-13 11:57:21

Before I was married I had a few male friends. Work colleagues and others. But I moved away. I have been friendly with male colleagues at work but never really socialised outside work except at work nights out and so on. I don't have any male friends really now.

Scrazy Sat 16-Feb-13 12:07:18

I've got a couple that I see from time to time, but they are ex's. I don't sleep with them now as the attraction has gone for me but I think they would. So not really friends. I've had platonic male friends in the past but it always went wrong.

I heard from a man once that men don't spend time with women they don't fancy and admit it's affected me and I am very suspicious if I meet a man who has many female friends. Not sure if that makes me sad.

I would welcome friendship with males I find interesting but it doesn't happen, I would welcome a new boyfriend more.

LadyFlumpalot Sat 16-Feb-13 12:10:53

My main hobby and enjoyment is modifying cars. This is a predominantly male area. Henceforth, most of my outside work friends are male. My closest friend however, is a lass I met at work.

KC225 Sat 16-Feb-13 12:17:23

I have a couple of gay ones, but the rest of my friends are female or male/female couples.

manicinsomniac Sat 16-Feb-13 14:10:51

scrazy , you must know that can't be true though. Women aren't only interested in spending time with men because we fact them so why does it make sense the other way around.

There's nothing fanciable about me, I'm rather plain, very underweight and look about 16. I'll never attract a boyfriend/hysband but I also value all my friends, both male and female, very much and know that they like me due to who I am and our shared interests/life experiences, not what I look like or what sex I am.

Can't see how sex/gender is relevant to friendship at all.

Scrazy Sat 16-Feb-13 14:17:15

I do think women see their male friends as friends only, yes. I hope it isn't true about men and their female friends but the thought goes through my head.

I have asked men about this and they say it's true to varying degrees confused.

Scrazy Sat 16-Feb-13 14:17:42

Sorry should have said 'I've asked a few men'

GinAndT0nic Sat 16-Feb-13 19:45:06

I was thinking about this when I was out earlier, and wondering what you'd define as a friend. As VivienneMary say, if when you move on from the group/job/course, you just lose touch, then was that male a 'Friend' or were they an acquaintance you were friendly with for a while?

~Scarzy, I think you're right. Men admit that. They may know deep down that it's unlikely that they'll get to sleep with their female friends if they're very attractive and /or attached, but they still LIKE being around them. More ordinary mortals don't hold the same attraction.

In a perfect World sex/gender wouldn't be relevant, but it seems to be. And don't give out to me for being 'sad'. I would happily be friends with men, if I liked them. I don't mean liked them 'like that' I mean, if they were good company.

Well I'm no great catch and one of my best friends is a man who has been one of my best friends since we were at school - and his wife is stunning.

StuntGirl Sat 16-Feb-13 20:13:16

I'm the opposite, virtually no female friends. Doesn't bother me, and no we're not all secretly lusting after each other hmm

out2lunch Sat 16-Feb-13 20:24:22

I always.think there is an agenda
I have loads of.female friends but no.male friends and never have without an agenda - I am mid 40s
Where are all these men then?

I'm mid-40's too outtolunch and I have loads of male friends and no agendas with any of us. Some are married and I am friends with their wives, some are married and I don't really get on with their wives, some are divorced and I babysit for them when they go on dates - just the same as with my female friends.

FreyaSnow Sat 16-Feb-13 20:29:35

I have a brother, have shared houses with men and have worked in jobs where most people were male. I have no straight male friends. It's not something that bothers me at all. The issue for you OP is that you feel more withdrawn when men are present. If that presents difficulties at work, then I can see why you would be concerned. But I don't think it's necessary to have male friends to resolve that.

out2lunch Sat 16-Feb-13 20:30:20

Blimey Freddie - I was just thinking about a few of.my friends and they don't have male friends either

I just mean, out2lunch, that they are just friends, I don't really take it into account if they're men or not - they're just mates

LessMissAbs Sat 16-Feb-13 20:43:56

I'm mainly with the posters who think men are often friends with women they fancy. Even if they have no intention to do anything about it.

Genuine friends are rare, as are ones you see often. I have one good male friend who is in a relationship with my good female friend. He is rare. I have some other male "friends" but I'm not sure they are true friends.

Some men who want to hang around you when it suits them I find quite draining. ie those ones who have a sort of "safe" girlfriend or wife but like to flirt with other women without any intention of doing anything. You;re nice to them because they seem nice and then it becomes very flirty on their part, and tbh I can see whats in it for them, but not for me. That sort of thing makes me feel very used.

LessMisAbs- I can see what you mean, But in my case most of my male friends have been friends with me for at least 10 years. And it's not in the least flirty, I'm really not that type. Having said that, how many female "friends" would I consider true friends -probably not that many of those either. Acquaintances are a very different thing from friends.

TheCountessOlenska Sat 16-Feb-13 21:07:03

No, I've never had a male friend.

Not really thought about it before, but I grew up with sisters, and have a difficult relationship with my dad (but am very close to my mum and sisters).

Never stayed friends with my exes - too awkward.

A few times I've sort of made friends with male work colleagues but it has always turned out that they wanted something more. Hmm do I give off flirty vibes because I don't know how to be friends with a man?? Not sure.

Friends husbands/partners, I always feel a bit shy for some reason!

My DH's mates - fine, but they are definitely his friends.

Gay men I find really intimidating - God, I don't know where that comes from!

<I possibly need therapy>

weegiemum Sat 16-Feb-13 21:13:22

This has made me think and I've realised that apart from my dh's best friend, who I also know very well, all my close male friends are gay. Obviously I have no trouble with that, but it is interesting.

out2lunch Sat 16-Feb-13 21:17:59

I can't think of anyone in my family who has male friends either

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now