to think a man and a woman can't be friends?

(162 Posts)
QueenBach Sun 25-Aug-13 22:15:25

Seems to be the sad conclusion that I've reached.

I've been working at a new place for 4 months now, have a desk next to a guy - really like him, he's funny, easy to chat to and we have very similar tastes. I do not like him in any other way but friendship and he has a girlfriend who he loves.

Like I mentioned we have very similar tastes and both love the same music. They are playing in our home city next year and I'd love to ask him to go (I have very different music tastes to my friends and therefore they wouldn't want to go with me - fair enough.)

However I would never ask him because he has a girlfriend and I'm sure most women wouldn't their partners going on an evening out with a female work colleague. So our friendship sticks to work hours and we would never communicate or meet up or text - so can't really develop that as a friendship.

Another guy at work I was friendly to him, if we had a break together we would go outside and chat. He asked if I was single when very soon on (I am) and towards this last month has been pushing me to go on a date with him. Why can't we just be friends?

Now I'm not a Samantha Brick and definitely not as good looking as her either grin but it seems to me if a man is in a relationship is quite a no go zone to start a friendship with him and if they are single then the majority of the time it will turn in a sex or relationship thing.

So from my experiences (there are other examples but these are the most recent ones) men and women can't be just friends.

WorraLiberty Sun 25-Aug-13 22:18:42

I disagree because I have male friends

But why not invite his girlfriend along too?

If she doesn't want to go then that's her choice, but at least she's been asked?

TallyGrenshall Sun 25-Aug-13 22:19:16

They can and, in my experience, they are. I have male friends, DP's best friend is female

TylerHopkins Sun 25-Aug-13 22:20:19

There's nothing worse than when you're getting on great with a guy, you haven't give him any signs that your interested in anything more than friends and then he tries it on with you. So disappointing!

grobagsforever Sun 25-Aug-13 22:20:55

YABU. I have several close male friends, we are all in LTR. Ask his girlfriend too, good advice from Worrall

MrsBungle Sun 25-Aug-13 22:22:18

I think yabu. Dh regularly meets up with two women friends. One is his friend from school and the other he met at work.

Seaweedy Sun 25-Aug-13 22:23:31

Oh, this old chestnut. It's simply not true in my experience. One of my closest friends is a married male colleague whose wife works away a lot. We're very close, and spend lots of time together. Sex has never reared its head. I have two other close male friends, both married/ in long term relationships, whom I see less of now because of geographical distance.

The colleague pushing you to go on a date is an idiot trying his chances. I find your idea that you cannot become friends with the married colleague depressing, though. Do you honestly think of people's wives and girlfriends waiting, green-eyed, to quash their SO's friendships with women?

As I said, it simply isn't true in my experience.

QueenBach Sun 25-Aug-13 22:24:49

But why not invite his girlfriend along too?

I don't know ... it could potentially be a rather awkward situation and I'd be riding that third wheel haha.

BrianTheMole Sun 25-Aug-13 22:24:53

Men and women can be friends. One of my oldest friends is male. I'm married, he's just about to be married. We've been friends for over 25 years.

soontobeburns Sun 25-Aug-13 22:25:29

Hmm I have a few male friends but all of them I made before I met my OH and I did fancy ffirst amd hope fpr a relationship with.

I think it can be possible but if you are single, get on really well with someone to a best friend point and think they are attractive, you would of course want more than friendship I think. After all the best relationships are friends not just lovers.

soontobeburns Sun 25-Aug-13 22:26:37

Sorry hoped* my phone is playing up with spell check.

ViviPru Sun 25-Aug-13 22:26:42

I was about to come on and give it large with "of course they can, my two best friends are male, what are you ON about, woman?!" but your post halted me in my tracks.

The scenarios you describe do create an interesting dichotomy. In these circumstances, I see your point. But these are very specific and as you acknowledge, don't necessarily reflect the length and breadth of male/female (hetero) relationships.

I think it could be a life stage thing. My two male BFs I met years ago when my life was very different. I'm now in a long term relationship so male friends I have now are more often than not one half of a couple, so the dynamic is totally different. If you're single and late 20s+ I can see how friendships with men can be problematic as you describe.

QueenBach Sun 25-Aug-13 22:26:58

Do you honestly think of people's wives and girlfriends waiting, green-eyed, to quash their SO's friendships with women?

No I don't. But I don't think a majority of people would feel comfortable with their partners going out with a new work colleague of the opposite sex. Not just specific to women.

LimitedEditionLady Sun 25-Aug-13 22:27:26

Course you will have males friends,my best friend i met at work is male and i see him like a brother.He has a wife and lovely kids and we just talk like any other friends do about home,kids,interests etc.
Yeah i agree if you want to socialise invite his gf or in a group and that single guy probably wasnt looking for a friend.He cant help fancying you lol but dont let him think that all boys are like that lol

SeaSickSal Sun 25-Aug-13 22:27:45

YABU. My son's godfather is my husband's female friend. They shared a flat together in the 90s and have known each other over 20 years. She's become my friend too, there's no issue.

solveproblem Sun 25-Aug-13 22:27:48

I had lots of male friends when I was younger (pre DH & DC) and am still friends with these.

But I find it really difficult to make new male friends now and am in a similar situation as you OP. I've got a great male colleague who I get on really well with. We're both married and there's absolutely nothing sexual there, but it still would feel weird to 'hang out' outside of working hours.

TylerHopkins Sun 25-Aug-13 22:28:13

I once had a male friend in the office. The other staff couldn't get their head around it and accused us both of fancying one another and said to 'book a room'.

He later started dating one of our colleagues. She couldn't accept our friendship so it ended and I no longer see him. He had fancied her long before I came on the scene so kind of understand why he chose her over me in the end.

They're married with kids now. He left to work elsewhere but she still worked with me for a while and would never give me the time of day.

RubyrooUK Sun 25-Aug-13 22:28:38

I totally disagree.

I have male friends in relationships. I tend to make friends with their partners too (because if they like them, I like them and who doesn't want more nice people in their life?). So there has never been a problem there.

And I've had single male friends when I've been single and there simply hasn't been any chemistry for either of us. So we have just been friends and moaned about our lack of joy in the love department.

BrianTheMole Sun 25-Aug-13 22:29:25

I don't know ... it could potentially be a rather awkward situation and I'd be riding that third wheel haha.

ahh, this is the problem. You need complete transparency. My friend visits our home where obviously dh is here. Sometimes he comes round alone, sometimes he brings his wife to be, sometimes I go out with the two of them by myself, and sometimes the two of us go out and get plastered by ourselves. Everyone is happy as they are all more than welcome to be there, or not.

LimitedEditionLady Sun 25-Aug-13 22:30:00

No i agree that if oh said he and some were going out alone id think hmm? But if i was invited as a group thing first and it was when they were closer frirnds id be ok.

Seaweedy Sun 25-Aug-13 22:31:11

Really, Queenbach. Surely I can't be that unusual in that I cannot imagine placing any kind of veto on who my husband chooses to spend his time with! (I mean, excluding EDL members and the like...)

WorraLiberty Sun 25-Aug-13 22:32:31

No I don't. But I don't think a majority of people would feel comfortable with their partners going out with a new work colleague of the opposite sex. Not just specific to women.

This is why I think you should invite her.

She might feel too awkward to go, or she might come along.

But at least she has the choice and as Brian says, there's complete transparency.

QueenBach Sun 25-Aug-13 22:34:43

I think I'm just slightly annoyed about the second situation I described.

He asked if I was single and that was only a one off comment and he asked me in front of another woman colleague and she said that yes she had a boyfriend and then he said he was divorced. I just assumed it was a getting to know you talk.

I don't feel I've ever flirted with him, just chatted to him now and again when he would sometimes make a point of sitting at my desk because he was bored on his lunch break.

We had a 10 minute game at work last week and afterwards he came over and said "you and Jack were quite flirty" - no we weren't and Jack has a girlfriend and that made it rather awkward.

And then he emailed me and asked me to be his date at the company event, I said thank you but I wasn't actually going and I hadn't RSVP'd and wouldn't be allowed to go now as final numbers had been done and he seems to be quite moody after that.

Just because I'm single and he's single doesn't mean I automatically fancy him.

ViviPru Sun 25-Aug-13 22:34:48

I don't think a majority of people would feel comfortable with their partners going out with a new work colleague of the opposite sex

I'm not sure about the 'majority' but speaking for myself, I think I'd find it a bit peculiar and wouldn't be especially comfortable with it. Not because I was worried about anything happening, more because I can't imagine a scenario whereby DH would make a new, single friend of either sex without me being a part of that, socially, to a degree. (I'm not saying I wouldn't allow it, rather I can't imagine it happening)

ShellyBoobs Sun 25-Aug-13 22:36:40

I have a couple of longstanding close male friends and my OH has a female friend he sees pretty much every week.

To be honest, it's a bit sad that so many people think you can't have close friends of the opposite sex.

There must be a lot of people who could be close friends but don't give it a chance for illfounded reasons of it 'being impossible'.

hermioneweasley Sun 25-Aug-13 22:36:53

Sigh. Of course we can. I tend to think about "people" rather than imposing gender stereotypes.

Mayanbob Sun 25-Aug-13 22:37:17

YABU like most people on here- it's not my experience.

Most of my friends are male. I have not had a relationship with any of them. I just get on better with guys. I have made new friends who are in relationships/ married and it not been a problem. In fact, i've met their oh's on various occasions, and are always invited but often they don't want to come out with us because we generally just chat shit.

I also recently met up with some old school friends (mostly male) and I shared a blow up bed with one. Me being married to someone else, him in long term relationship. Whilst we found it hilarious... there was nothing untoward and there never would have been... (seriously, we've been friends for 25 years... that notion is gross).

DH knows my friends and likes them all. I had 2 hen dos. A girlie one with cocktails and 80's dancing, and a "men hen" where I went to a decent club and danced to some proper music.

Similarly, DH has a few female friends, although not perhaps as close as my male friends but he occasionally gets invited round for cake or goes out to meet them. I've met them and I've never thought of anything untoward going on.

QueenBach Sun 25-Aug-13 22:37:48

My friend visits our home where obviously dh is here. Sometimes he comes round alone, sometimes he brings his wife to be, sometimes I go out with the two of them by myself, and sometimes the two of us go out and get plastered by ourselves. Everyone is happy as they are all more than welcome to be there, or not.

That's lovely.

I think it makes it easier if both friends are in relationships and it can be more of a group thing.

ViviPru Sun 25-Aug-13 22:39:33

Shelly I don't think you can't, more in mine and DHs circs, I can't envisage a NEW friendship being formed between him and a single female whereby they would socialise just the two of them and likewise me and a new male friend.

ViviPru Sun 25-Aug-13 22:40:46

I think it makes it easier if both friends are in relationships and it can be more of a group thing.

I agree

QueenBach Sun 25-Aug-13 22:42:23

I tend to think about "people" rather than imposing gender stereotypes

Uh huh, I try to too.

The reason I probably wouldn't ask him to a concert is I wouldn't want to put him in that awkward position.

His girlfriend might be completely laid back and genuinely not care or she might not want him to go. Then if he said I can't go because my girlfriend is uncomfortable with it then that be make it a rather awkward thing to be working together.

SaucyJack Sun 25-Aug-13 22:43:24

Would you fancy him if he was single btw?

And to answer your original question, yes men and women can be just friends. But I do think it's a million times easier if both are involved in genuinely happy, healthy relationships else I do think there will be the "What if" thing for one of both, if only at the back of the head.

My OH works in a female-dominated industry. He socialises with some of the women from time to time. Most of them have partners, and nobody has any objections.

I have some male friends who I see socially. Likewise, my OH has no problems or concerns with this.

It is sad that people feel that they can't be friends because of what other people might (or might not) think.

ViviPru Sun 25-Aug-13 22:44:44

OP I think your thread title should have specified 'single' woman and in the context of making a new male friend (be him single or otherwise). Because I think that's quite a different scenario to the umbrella "men and women can't be friends"

ShellyBoobs Sun 25-Aug-13 22:44:56

Vivi - I wasn't responding to your post, in particular.

Apologies if that's not why you addressed your post to me.

QueenBach Sun 25-Aug-13 22:45:20

Whilst we found it hilarious... there was nothing untoward and there never would have been...

Yes I completely 100% believe you.

But some people wouldn't find it comfortable if their partner slept in bed with a friend of the opposite sex and therefore could potentially put a strain on their friendship.

ProphetOfDoom Sun 25-Aug-13 22:45:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

QueenBach Sun 25-Aug-13 22:46:11

Yeah very true Vivi ... if I only I could change the title.

TylerHopkins Sun 25-Aug-13 22:49:09

I wouldn't mind a partner mixing with the opposite sex on work doos but if their friendship extended to then going to the cinema or to restaurants together I would probably suspect the start of an emotional affair if I'm honest.

ViviPru Sun 25-Aug-13 22:49:31

I know Shelly, sorry if that sounded confrontational just your post struck a chord and for some inexplicable reason (this is not remotely an issue close to my heart or relevant to me atm) I seem to have had quite a strong reaction to this thread and struggling to articulate myself!!

BrianTheMole Sun 25-Aug-13 22:49:41

I think it makes it easier if both friends are in relationships and it can be more of a group thing.

It does, but we weren't always in relationships. Sometimes he had a gf and I was single, and vice versa. I've known him far longer than I've known dh. And he's known me for longer than his wife to be. But previous partners have always been ok with it because they could see we weren't hiding anything. It works out great these days because we're both in long term relationships and everyone gets on, but even if one of us wasn't, we would always be friends.

QueenBach Sun 25-Aug-13 22:49:50

Mayanbob your friends seem to be very gender specific - with the women drinking cocktails, liking 80s music and inviting friends over for cake.

Compared to the men who go to decent clubs and dance to proper music.

Nancy66 Sun 25-Aug-13 22:54:06

It's perfectly possible but it does totally rely on the person you are friends with having a mature partner not prone to jealousy.

I've lost a very close male friend of 20 years plus because his wife was just not happy about us meeting. The last time we met he had lied to her about who he was with which I didn't like. Eventually just not seeing each other became the easiest solution.

on the other hand I have two other close male friends - one married and one not.

QueenBach Sun 25-Aug-13 22:54:21

I also think if you have been friends a long time (possibly before either of you were married/in long term relationships) it makes a hell of a lot of difference.

And if people were being completely honest I don't think they would feel comfortable if their partner met someone at work and swapped numbers, and text and met up outside of work just the two of them.

And I'm not pretending to be any different - if the roles were reversed then yes I most likely wouldn't like it (hence why I haven't asked him to go to the concert)

ViviPru Sun 25-Aug-13 22:54:34

I can usually pitch my words in this medium to convey my intended tone, but this thread is a rare occasion whereby I wish we were all sat round chatting in person with cake because my posts read really quite snippily whereas in reality I'm just idly musing....

ZingWantsCake Sun 25-Aug-13 22:55:08

it is difficult if you are single, I give you that much - I do think in most cases one probably fancies the other, at least a little bit.

when you are in a relationship the dynamic changes so it is easier to be "just friends"

having said that I'd probably ask him and his girlfriend to that concert.
why not?

and the other guy - if he fancies you he'll never be "just a friend" IMO.

SilverApples Sun 25-Aug-13 22:55:46

I'm hiding this thread, as I do with all of the pointless and monocentric opinions of 'men and women can't be friends'
In your world, they can't. In mine they can. I've had male friends for years, some single, some in relationships.
DD has been living with her friend/housemate for three years. They are friends, and his girlfriend doesn't mind. Because they are just friends.
It helps if you have hobbies or interests in common that aren't based round shagging, drinking and flirting.

ViviPru Sun 25-Aug-13 22:56:21

I agree OP. Most of the examples in this thread of problem free male/female friendships (including my own) are long-term ones.

SilverApples Sun 25-Aug-13 22:58:08

'And if people were being completely honest I don't think they would feel comfortable if their partner met someone at work and swapped numbers, and text and met up outside of work just the two of them. '

Like this. OH has done this, he's a musician and she's a singer. They are tackling some tricky 17th century motets. Just the two of them.
Oo-er missus. confused

ViviPru Sun 25-Aug-13 22:58:24

Slver Really? That strikes me as a little extreme. People aren't generally saying men and women can't be friends, just exploring circumstances where it can potentially be problematic and the OPs concerns seem valid and genuine.

cory Sun 25-Aug-13 22:58:54

It depends on the situation surely. For an academic meeting a colleage for e.g. a lunch that wasn't directly work related would seem quite normal because we don't necessarily distinguish very clearly between work and relaxation and you do have things in common with colleagues that you might not have in common with your spouse. I have a male friend in my home city, we always go out for a meal when I go back and dh doesn't come because he would only be bored rigid by us talking about things he doesn't understand- or else I would never get to talk about some of the things I care most about.

SilverApples Sun 25-Aug-13 23:00:08

Been on this site too long maybe, but this topic comes up on a regular basis.

Cremolafoam Sun 25-Aug-13 23:00:11

Dh and I are friends with another couple. I have known the guy for 20 years and we are like siblings . His wife and my husband get in so well they have regularly taken our various children on holiday together ( mostly to music festivals) without me and male friend.( neither of us can be doing with camping and noise)
We have a great time digging in the allotment and listening to vintage music while they are away . We also meet up and play poker with his mates . We are FRIENDS.
There is absolutely NO jealousy issue or anxieties about any of this. We are like family( but aren't) and our girls are like sisters.
It is a state of mind op. you can be friends with anyone any age any sex.
Life is all the better for it IMO smile

BrianTheMole Sun 25-Aug-13 23:01:30

I also think if you have been friends a long time (possibly before either of you were married/in long term relationships) it makes a hell of a lot of difference.

yes, this is true. I guess if it was someone I really got on with then I would invite him and his partner round. If I was single then I still would, but maybe invite a couple of other friends round too to make it easier. But yes I guess those older established friendships are easier.

MagratOfStolat Sun 25-Aug-13 23:02:24

I disagree, I have several friends who are male and I love spending time with them.

However, I will admit there's a lot of evidence to corroborate this theory. Case in point - Started a job a few months ago and have made a few new friends, but the man I ended up working with quite closely and who I formed a pretty good bond with almost immediately decided to move jobs without telling me, and then have someone else break the news that he moved locations because he'd "fallen" for me and working with me was too hard on him...

He'd just celebrated his 15th wedding anniversary FFS! I was a bit hmm

MariaLuna Sun 25-Aug-13 23:03:38

My male friends are gay grin

So much simpler!

Had what I thought was a great hetero male friend, he was great, we could laugh, chat, etc. I loved him as a friend.

Till the day he told me he wanted more.... I still see him sometimes (both moved on), we are both chatty and funny, but something has changed... so sad, I miss that light-hearted banter

I do think man/woman friendship can be, though!

ViviPru Sun 25-Aug-13 23:05:02

I know, Silver, fair dues. That was my initial reaction on seeing the thread title too but I do maintain that I can see how single women making new male friends past mid-20s might not always be entirely straightforward

blueemerald Sun 25-Aug-13 23:06:05

I think I agree with the long term vs new friend point.

I have lots of male friends who I've known in a group with some female friends (70-30 split more male) 10-15 years (I'm 26). Nothing sexual would ever happen that hasn't already (there is one long term couple and a few flings as teenagers). Since leaving university I have noticed that most new opposite gender single friendships (where someone makes one new friend rather than a pair/few from work/a new hobby) turn into relationships.

cory Sun 25-Aug-13 23:08:02

So what do people do if they have an interest that is a very important part of their lives but not shared by their spouse and the only people you know who share this interest are of the opposite sex? If you can only see them with their spouses then the conversation will be general chitchat. And seeing them on their own is not allowed.

MrsOakenshield Sun 25-Aug-13 23:09:24

virtually all of DH's friends are female, and if he makes a new friend at work, almost certainly they will be female, even if for no other reason than the industry we both work in is female dominated. I have no issue in him saying he's going for a pint after work with so-and-so female friend. He's not a flirt, and, with one exception from a while back (who he's lost touch with) doesn't fancy any of them.

I, on the other hand, am a frightful flirt, so it's best that most of my mates are female too!

ketchupontoast Sun 25-Aug-13 23:10:48

One of my best friends was a male up until earlier this year. We had been close for 15 years and there were never any issues between us being friends. We went away together, would go on nights out and we were always together at birthdays and holidays. We were forever asked if there had ever been anything between us and ppl were shocked when we said we'd never had any attraction. Sadly this friendship ended this year but I do believe that men and women can have a friendship which is not based on anything sexual

thistlelicker Sun 25-Aug-13 23:12:07

I had a male
Friend who I was
Friends with for over ten years!!! We talked every day and at times my rock when trouble with dh! His wife accused us of having an affair wen we wasn't, my dh knew I confided in him as my sounding
Board. She have him an ultimatum! We haven't spoke in nearly three years!

Mayanbob Sun 25-Aug-13 23:12:29

Queenbach- totally agreed re: bed sharing- not something I'd do with anyone or okay in many circs. Prob should have said as an example.

Most of female friends were originally wives and gfs of dh's male friends and wanted a more traditional pink based hen do. I can dance to anything and I love cocktails so was happy to indulge.

Also agree with long term friendship and being single points. And much depends on the oh of the person in question. Jealousy can- but not always rear up. Inviting her to concert too could potentially save that?

SilverApples Sun 25-Aug-13 23:13:45

Dunno cory, OH is going to have a long wait if he wants me to sing baroque motets, or even want to listen to them. The poor sweetling has had to look elsewhere for satisfaction.
And Mrs Oakenshield should understand my needs, OH feels the entire Tolkien oeuvre is....nonsense. shock So I saw the films with my friend, who understands. His wife is grateful too.

QueenBach Sun 25-Aug-13 23:14:45

Been on this site too long maybe, but this topic comes up on a regular basis.

So?

There is always going to be threads that happen over again - ear piercings on babies, bf v ff, working mums vs stay at home mums, toilet brushes.

Most threads are very obvious as to what the content is so if it's a subject that bores you don't open it up. Don't waste time and energy saying this has been done before.

YoniBottsBumgina Sun 25-Aug-13 23:15:21

There are a lot of dicks around who will try it on with anybody.

As long as you avoid them of course men and women can be friends without there being anything underlying.

The proportion of dickheads (of either gender) does tend to make it seem like a general thing though, but it's really not.

sunshine401 Sun 25-Aug-13 23:15:24

{shock]
Just see if he wants to go.

sunshine401 Sun 25-Aug-13 23:15:50

shock

BrianTheMole Sun 25-Aug-13 23:19:15

So what do people do if they have an interest that is a very important part of their lives but not shared by their spouse and the only people you know who share this interest are of the opposite sex? If you can only see them with their spouses then the conversation will be general chitchat. And seeing them on their own is not allowed

well if this was the situation for me then I know my dh wouldn't have a problem with that, or vice versa. Although I think its still good to meet the partner anyway, why wouldn't you want to. If someone is my friend I would want to meet their partner / children, because they are an important part of their lives. But I can't see a problem with people hanging out and talking about their hobby (far away from me) to avoid me from being bored to tears.

sunshine401 Sun 25-Aug-13 23:23:59

I don't have millions of friends, however the friends I do have are close friends some women and some men. All of them now have met my DH, however when the friendships were forming most did not meet him straight away. I have regular "catch up" days with my dearest few, cafe,pub,cinema and so on. I do not see anything wrong with it.

ViviPru Sun 25-Aug-13 23:25:41

So what do people do if they have an interest that is a very important part of their lives but not shared by their spouse and the only people you know who share this interest are of the opposite sex? If you can only see them with their spouses then the conversation will be general chitchat. And seeing them on their own is not allowed

I've been pondering this too and trying to imagine this scenario. All of DHs specialist (and stereotypically male) interests we share, MTB, a particular underground music scene, a specific motoring interest, so I can't imagine it happening in our circs, especially with a female (this is not a sexist generalisation, on the xc MTB trails, women are massively outnumbered so the chances of him making a female MTB pal are greatly less likely than a male one) We also both work in related fields. I can however imagine shared interests in the circs you describe being a catalyst for a new mixed-gender friendship generally.

TheGirlFromIpanema Sun 25-Aug-13 23:32:36

I agree OP.

I'm happily single but would not invite either of the colleagues in your op to a gig on my own for the obvious reasons you've outlined.

I'm a bit hmm at all these anecdotes about having male friends as if you've stated something so ridiculous.

StuntGirl Sun 25-Aug-13 23:36:06

YABVU.

EBearhug Mon 26-Aug-13 12:51:52

I've got more male friends than female friends - part of this is because I work in a male-dominated industry.

Actually, I do have a couple of old boyfriends who are friends (we are talking boyfriends from about 20 years ago rather than recently), and another man from university whom I threw myself at shamelessly, and he always turned me down, but it did develop into friendship, and now I can't imagine having any other sort of relationship with him (and not just because he's now married with a child.) But I've other male friends I've never had any interest in anything more than friendship, and I don't really see how it's different from having female friends where I've never had any interest in anything more than friendship.

It's possible I'm too good at just friendship, and that's why I'm single, because I'm not someone anyone would consider as anything else, I don't know.

FredFredGeorge Mon 26-Aug-13 14:00:52

It appears to be very much your problem, and yes it does sound like you cannot be friends with a man. In fact I'm surprised you can really be friends with anyone if you're so obsessed with how other peoples relationships and friendships are impacted by things, rather than simply getting on with being a friend.

If you want to do something with a friend, you ask them, and it's down to them if they do it - it's not your job to think for your friends and decide if they should do something or not. It sounds much more likely to me that this guy isn't your friend, simply a guy passing the time at work - maybe he could become a friend, but not if you're obsessed by his girlfriend.

As to the 2nd guy, you're single, he's interested, he took a chance, why so be hard on him - and what's it got to do with being friends? He's interested in you in other ways... If you're not, just let him down as friendly or as obnoxiously as you want or need for him to get the message.

Of course people can be friends.

Cloudhoney Mon 26-Aug-13 14:03:20

Yabvvu. I have just had an old uni friend and his family come to stay. Never been a hint of anything more than friends on either side in 20 years.

TheGirlFromIpanema Mon 26-Aug-13 14:11:36

So those of you who say its fine would seriously not bat an eyelid if your dh/dp came home one day and said that he was off to a gig with a new female friend/colleague, whom you'd never met?

There are loads of threads on here which prove otherwise. With answers to this type of thing ranging from 'he is an inconsiderate arse to not consider your feelings', all the way through to 'I'd suspect an affair' or 'ltb'.

I'd consider posters on this thread to be either rather disingenuous or to have only read the thread title rather than OPs post.

To suggest the op is incapable of forming friendships is downright nasty imho.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Mon 26-Aug-13 14:12:14

I wouldn't be very happy if dh went to a gig with a single woman he was friends with at work. And I wouldn't arrange nights out with single men either. Mutual friend of both of ours/ or a friend from before we met - maybe. But not the scenario op describes.

I have more male friends than female ones - the result of working in a male dominated industry. Dh's closest friend is a female; at one point they were flat sharing together whilst working on an attachment to a specialist unit in London.

Would I bat an eyelash if he went out with her, or any other female friend? No. Does he? No.

To stereotype all men because of a few dozen sleazy ones is not on, IMO, and we would be up in arms if it were the other way around.

QueenBach Mon 26-Aug-13 14:30:37

Blinking hell FredFredGeorge someone got out of the bitter side of the bed this morning.

How have you deduced that I'm obsessed with his girlfriend? I genuinely don't even know her name, if he speaks about her it's not in depth just like I'm going to the cinema with my girlfriend tonight.

He's an absolutely lovely guy and from that I'm assuming that so is his girlfriend.

When have I thought for my friends or made them decided whether to do something or not?

Maybe I'm personally quite a deep thinker and I try and be thoughtful and wouldn't want to put people in possible awkward situations.

I'm sure if I came on here and said my partner has become friends with the new girl at work and shes single and asked him to go to a concert with her. Aibu to be uncomfortable with this? I'm pretty sure most would say YANBU.

I have lots of friends thanks. I love meeting different and new people too. I'm surprised you have any friends with how bitter and sour you come across.

Silverfoxballs Mon 26-Aug-13 14:31:52

I have male friends, DH has female friends. He is popping off to Paris in a couple of weeks with one of his women colleagues. It is a conference.

I can either sit and wring my hands and fret or just shrug my shoulders.

I just cannot be arsed to worry about it. My Mother was awful but she did say two useful things, have some financial independence and don't spend your life worrying about your man being unfaithful if they are they are and fretting wont help. She was convinced being clingy was the one way to make them stray.

LadyClariceCannockMonty Mon 26-Aug-13 14:35:55

YABU, yes. I can not be arsed with the idea of people being jealous if their partner goes out socially with someone of the opposite sex. And if a woman invites a male friend out to do something, it's not her business to wonder/worry about their partner having a problem with it.

IMO people need to grow up, basically.

Spickle Mon 26-Aug-13 14:48:11

Most of the posters here mention having these friends for years, often before meeting OHs etc, and also that those friends are not previous exes and therefore not a problem.

The work colleague's girlfriend probably wouldn't feel worried if the OP invited her OH to a concert, unless there were an underlying suspicion of feelings on either side.

But how many of you would feel uncomfortable if your SO was friends with someone they had previously been in a relationship with?

I have no issue whatsoever with my DP's female friends but I would struggle if DP wanted to meet up with an old ex as "friends".

EBearhug Mon 26-Aug-13 14:52:50

So those of you who say its fine would seriously not bat an eyelid if your dh/dp came home one day and said that he was off to a gig with a new female friend/colleague, whom you'd never met?

It wouldn't bother if we'd never met, but I think it would bother me if they'd never been mentioned.

If your partner doesn't work very locally, you might not have many opportunities to meet them, especially if it's a department which doesn't tend to have many social events, partly (but only partly) because not many people live that locally, and most aren't in the same direction, so the rare occasions we do go out, it's unlikely to be with partners. I have heard a lot about colleagues' partners, but I've only met a handful over the years, and it's mostly been down to geographical convenience. At a previous company, we tended to meet spouses & partners at least at the big Christmas do, and sometimes at other parties. Other times, it would be evenings out without partners, and some things happened with only one or two other people, if it was something not many others were interested in. Different companies seem to have different social cultures.

FredFredGeorge Mon 26-Aug-13 15:01:31

QueenBach You've thought for him as soon as you decided not to ask him purely because of entirely his personal factors. You ask, if he thinks it would be odd because of his GF, he declines, or invites her too, or any other solution that is his.

Normal male/female friendships don't have this fretful worrying about how other people see it - they just get on with being friends, the same as male/male and female/female friends.

Seaweedy Mon 26-Aug-13 15:14:31

OP, you sound determined to disbelieve people who say they don't have a problem with their other halves having female friends! I have close male friends, my husband's close friends are about 80% female, and he has on at least one occasion i can think of shared a hotel bed with a female friend when we were all skint and students. I think it was a wedding I couldn't go to.

i am being 100% honest when I say this is not an issue for me. That doesn't make me either some seventies swinger type or The Dalai Lama! I have plenty of hang ups and insecurities, but my husband being close to other women is not among them.

memphis83 Mon 26-Aug-13 15:17:48

My two best friends are men, I recently went on a stag do as the only woman. The only female friends I have are the wives and girlfriends of my male friends.
We have all been friends since school though, One will give me away when I get married soon and the other is my 'bridesmaid'. My dp loves that I have male friends as there are certain gigs/films/nights out I want to go to but aren't his type of thing so I go with my friends instead.

Seaweedy Mon 26-Aug-13 15:18:21

PS, I meant to say, ask this guy if he wants to go to the gig or whatever it was! I think it's rare enough to meet someone you genuinely click with, so don't pass this one over for a spurious reason!

Also, maybe you are being over cautious about this guy because of the other male colleague immediately seeing you as a potential date...? Are you worried that this also looks like asking someone out in a date sense...?

SilverApples Mon 26-Aug-13 15:23:47

'So those of you who say its fine would seriously not bat an eyelid if your dh/dp came home one day and said that he was off to a gig with a new female friend/colleague, whom you'd never met?'

Yes. And he is the same with me. I realise that it is incomprehensible and inconceivable for the majority to begin to cope with that idea and not see a shagfest, but it is not the only way in which we choose to live an unconventional lifestyle.

SilverApples Mon 26-Aug-13 15:30:02

I do hope that DD and DS find rational and secure partners who trust them.

QueenBach Mon 26-Aug-13 15:36:21

OP, you sound determined to disbelieve people who say they don't have a problem with their other halves having female friends!

Erm what the hell are you on about? Don't put words in my mouth thanks.

I've never said that I don't believe people who say their partners have female friends or they have males friends. I'm sure they do, why would they lie? confused

I also said I should have worded it better. I am referring more to making new friends when the other person is the opposite sex and is in a relationship - then it becomes quite hard.

I think it also might be hard to socialise as a group consisting of a couple and a single person. Not impossible but hard.

I've never made this a female thing either. But in my examples of course it would have been me being friends with a man and him having a girlfriend.

Yes I do believe that men and women can be friends if certain factors are included.

QueenBach Mon 26-Aug-13 15:40:00

SilverApples you already stamped your feet and had your tantrum that this thread had been done to death and was boring and that you were "hiding" it.

Yet you're still commenting? .... Riiiiiight.

SilverApples Mon 26-Aug-13 15:45:10

'Yes I do believe that men and women can be friends if certain factors are included.'

Changing your mind, just a little maybe? Realising that some relationships are run along different rules and perceptions.? Good.

LadyClariceCannockMonty Mon 26-Aug-13 15:52:05

'I think it also might be hard to socialise as a group consisting of a couple and a single person. Not impossible but hard.'

Really? hmm You really think it'd be that hard for a group of people to, you know, enjoy each other's company, because of some of them being part of a couple and some not?

SilverApples Mon 26-Aug-13 15:54:35

Well, only if you have something to talk about that doesn't focus on being a couple. Otherwise you'd just sit there feeling left out.

SoupDragon Mon 26-Aug-13 15:55:37

I've been pursuing my hobby in Richmond Park late at night with two married men with no problems at all. And no, it's not dogging

Maybe you can't be friends with men but that doesn't make it a universal truth.

QuacksForDoughnuts Mon 26-Aug-13 15:58:16

The key phrase here is 'I would love to meet your girlfriend'. Even if you aren't sure you would. You say you don't know much about her - so she could be lovely and into the same things as you. Or she could be a total arsehole or just someone you have nothing in common with, but you won't know that without meeting her. Seriously, suggest that you all go to see the band together. If I was in her shoes I wouldn't want to make you feel like the third wheel, I would worry about occupying that position myself, but assuming your friendship isn't based on hugging him every five minutes and sulking every time his partner speaks (nearly every male I've dated has been friends with at least one woman who has done at least one of those) things should be ok. If you like her you get two friends for the price of one.

In other words, men and women can be friends. People with vastly different expectations of friendship, whatever sexes and genders are involved, tend to have problems.

EBearhug Mon 26-Aug-13 16:02:21

Can't you just say something like, "Do you fancy going to this gig? Is it the sort of thing your girlfriend likes? Would she want to come too? It'd be great to meet her."

Mind you, my experience of letting boyfriends meeting my male friends has been that they get into some in depth discussion about cricket or stuff, and pretty much ignore me... Er, and I've done similar with wives of my male friends when I've met them.

LadyClariceCannockMonty Mon 26-Aug-13 16:12:24

Arf at 'And no, it's not dogging' grin

QueenBach Mon 26-Aug-13 16:22:39

Still commenting SilveApples ? Thought you'd hidden this thread a long time ago...... confused

SilverApples Mon 26-Aug-13 16:26:35

Changed my mind, I'm like that. I'm an inconsistent, unreliable girly, what do you expect of someone based on candyfloss and <squeee> ?
I do agree that it's hard to have a friendship with a bloke if you fancy him and keep dribbling when you should be attempting conversation. Even the most tolerant girlfriend would find that hard to deal with.

QueenBach Mon 26-Aug-13 16:30:39

Oh riiiiight so when I change my mind you try and attempt to patronise me.

But it's perfectly ok for you to change your mind?

I genuinely have no idea what load of crap you just wrote about candyfloss and dribbling but ooooook.

I'll pass you a tissue for that nose bleed. It must be pretty high up there on your horse.

SilverApples Mon 26-Aug-13 16:38:07

It's OK thanks, I'm used to the altitude. smile

QueenBach Mon 26-Aug-13 16:42:07

Ha good smile

ZingWantsCake Mon 26-Aug-13 17:26:15

SoupD

grin @ not dogging!

OP I find it interesting that you fail to reply to level headed & supportive advice (which I and many others have given you)

so for that reason I'm out.

ZingWantsCake Mon 26-Aug-13 17:26:59

SilverApples

your last post is pitch perfect!grin

QueenBach Mon 26-Aug-13 17:56:25

Oh for pete sake what rubbish are you spouting Zing?

Did you want me to bow down to your comments or something?

I did listen to other people, some said invite girlfriend, I said good advice but I would perhaps feel like a third wheel.

I haven't seen any other advice.

Why would I need supportive advice in the first place? It's hardly a hand holding situation. It was more of a discussion - which others have participated in and not felt the need to make a big declaration that they are leaving because I didn't personally respond to their comment.

QueenBach Mon 26-Aug-13 18:00:38

having said that I'd probably ask him and his girlfriend to that concert.
why not?

and the other guy - if he fancies you he'll never be "just a friend" IMO.

Fine I will answer this now.

I already said to Worra it was a good point about inviting his girlfriend but I would perhaps feel like a third wheel.

Did you really need me to repeat myself? confused

And I'm not sure how the last sentence is "supportive advice" - but sure. I think he has got the message now anyway.

There I bow down to your insightful views and beg you not to leave this thread.

hmm

It is a bit of a minefield. My sister lives with a male friend and is constantly getting nudge-nudge-wink-wink jokes about tiptoeing across the corridor at night and so on, as well as mawkish shit about how they might get together in the end after realising The One was right under her nose all along! except she doesn't live in a fucking romcom

Of course, they do tend to shut up when she says she loves living with Dudefriend because their girlfriends get on really well.

Mind you I lived with a group of guys at uni. Great friends but never in a month of Sundays would I have got it on with any of them.

neunundneunzigluftballons Mon 26-Aug-13 18:30:19

I totally disagree I work and have always worked in completely male dominated environments and I have has loads of male friends. It was definitely easier when I had a boyfriend and everyone knew there was no hidden agenda but definitely yabu.

skyflyer Mon 26-Aug-13 18:45:40

Of course a man and a woman can be friends.

My best friend of over 25 years is a man. His wife of 10 years and previous long term gf of 8 years had no issue with it, neither does my DH.

maddy68 Mon 26-Aug-13 19:25:28

Well I have to disagree. My four closest friends are all male. I went away with two of them this weekend to a festival. My husband knows them well and knows they are my friends. (And only friends)

StuntGirl Mon 26-Aug-13 19:41:58

So those of you who say its fine would seriously not bat an eyelid if your dh/dp came home one day and said that he was off to a gig with a new female friend/colleague, whom you'd never met?

Absolutely couldn't give less than a shit.

maddy68 Mon 26-Aug-13 20:36:35

My oh has female friends. He plays pool with one and goes all over the country sometimes staying over night at competitions. Sometimes I go ( generally I can't be arsed).
She is lovely
Why would I worry. I trust him as he trusts me.
I have just had an amazing time with my two male friends this weekend. My dh would have hated it

ZingWantsCake Mon 26-Aug-13 20:55:58

OP

shock did you mean to be so rude?

biscuit

fabergeegg Mon 26-Aug-13 21:01:58

I know this is something many people here feel strongly about. Speaking personally, I don't think it can work, actually. I've no problem with my DH chatting with women at work but I wouldn't want to see him start a friendship with them - lunches, trips out, phone calls, texts... I just wouldn't. And he wouldn't feel happy doing it, either. Love can come when you're least expecting it - with anyone!

I have a spinster aunt who has male married friends calling to 'blow off steam'. She lost my respect.

Marriage is under siege a bit in our culture and the idea that choices come with sacrifices attached is also very unpopular. But if we carried out a poll of people with long and happy marriages, I very much doubt that many of those people would have had cross gender friendships that weren't part of a couple or a shared friend. And there's a reason for that. However it's also likely that many would highlight the importance of giving each other space. Just...not space of that kind.

So no, YNBU

Trills Mon 26-Aug-13 21:11:06

YABU

Maybe you can't be friends with someone of the opposite sex.

Or maybe the men you know can't be friends with a women.

But there's no actual reason why two people of different sexes, or two people whose sexual orientations "match", could not be platonic friends.

Trills Mon 26-Aug-13 21:13:19

I don't understand what the guy who asked you out did wrong.

You're single. He's single. He asked you out.

You say "why can't we just be friends?" but how is he to know that you don't fancy him without asking?

SilverApples Mon 26-Aug-13 21:41:18

'But if we carried out a poll of people with long and happy marriages, I very much doubt that many of those people would have had cross gender friendships that weren't part of a couple or a shared friend.'

27 years long enough? 30 if you count how long we've been shacked up together.

FredFredGeorge Mon 26-Aug-13 21:51:57

fabergeegg but I wouldn't want to be with a partner who was with me simply because they didn't have the opportunity to meet someone better? What would be the point?

cory Mon 26-Aug-13 22:30:30

fabergeegg Mon 26-Aug-13 21:01:58

"Marriage is under siege a bit in our culture and the idea that choices come with sacrifices attached is also very unpopular. But if we carried out a poll of people with long and happy marriages, I very much doubt that many of those people would have had cross gender friendships that weren't part of a couple or a shared friend. And there's a reason for that."

Dh and I have also been together 30 years, but he still can't hold a decent conversation about Classical philology. My friend (from before I knew dh) can.

Marriage may be under siege in our culture but dh's and my marriage is not.

QueenBach Mon 26-Aug-13 22:40:19

did you mean to be so rude?

This sentence really does not have the desired effect everyone seems to think it does.

In fact I think most people on MN roll their eyes at this question now.

You stamped your foot and declared that you were "out" and yet still continued to read and then comment so .....

I don't understand your big declaration about how I have ignored peoples supportive advice and for that reason you were leaving the thread when clearly the advice of "ask his girlfriend to come too" had been offered in the first reply and I had responded.

What other advice was there?

This wasn't an advice thread, it was an opinion of mine which I was interested to discuss.

I genuinely am stumped why you felt the need to publicly declare you were leaving a thread and what "supportive" advice I was meant to have responded to.

SilverApples Mon 26-Aug-13 22:40:51

cory, do you think that your lack of unfounded jealousy and your reasonable attitude has contributed to the survival of your marriage in these troubled times? grin

blueshoes Mon 26-Aug-13 23:49:04

Silverapples, what is the point of your last post?

cory Mon 26-Aug-13 23:56:06

blueshoes, I think it was a comment on fabergeegg's suggestion that the marriages with cross gendered friendships weren't the long established and happy marriages, to which I responded that dh and I (like Silverapples and her dh) have been together for 30 years, which seems pretty long established to me.

blueshoes Tue 27-Aug-13 00:28:24

Cory, I was confused where "unfounded jealousy and reasonable attitude" comes into it. Personal, not?

EnjoyEverySandwich Tue 27-Aug-13 00:57:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MistressDeeCee Tue 27-Aug-13 01:59:41

I do have a close male friend. But Ive known him for many years, long before I met my DP. I introduced him to my DP and they get on well enough. Aside from him, all my friends are women. Same with DP he has a good female friend theyve known each other since the age of 3 and I get on well with her too.

I wouldnt meet a new male friend tho,nor would I want my DP to suddenly have a new female friend. We have friends already, both individually and as a couple. I wouldnt say Im a jealous person but I dont like hassle in life and certain situations do have the potential for hassle.

It's perfectly possible. In fact, most of my best friends in life have been male - when your hobbies belong to traditionally "masculine" spheres it can be very hard to get on with other women because you simply have nothing to talk about.

I find it weird that some of you don't think it's okay for your other half to have friends of the opposite gender. That immediately speaks of lack of trust, no? I wouldn't care if a partner of mine had a female friend, and I've been dumped for a new-found friend before!

I've also been that new female friend, and not once have I had problems with jealousy from girlfriends. That said, I'm a bit of a munter so maybe they just didn't feel threatened by me grin

cory Tue 27-Aug-13 09:49:50

But blueshoes, if I am only meeting a friend to talk about interests we have in common, then any jealousy would be unfounded, would it not? Some posters seem to suggest that one should always be suspicious of one's spouse.

blueshoes Tue 27-Aug-13 09:55:25

Cory, your male friends pre-dated your long term relationship?

cory Tue 27-Aug-13 09:59:46

My best male friend predated it, yes.

But I would also go out and have a drink with a male colleague/friend at a conference, or have lunch with a male colleague at work.

And fwiw, the first 10 years of dh's and my relationship were mainly longdistance- we lived in different countries. If we had been given to constant speculation about what the other part was up to, we would have driven ourselves insane.

Dh knows that any jealousy would be unfounded because I love him and him only. And tbh I don't find it much of a problem: I don't really want to shag most men I meet, so it's not massively difficult to keep my hands off them. grin

LadyClariceCannockMonty Tue 27-Aug-13 10:04:39

faberge 'But if we carried out a poll of people with long and happy marriages, I very much doubt that many of those people would have had cross gender friendships that weren't part of a couple or a shared friend.'

Best part of two decades for me. We both have friends of the opposite sex. Some are shared, some aren't. We both go on 'lunches, trips out' and have phone calls/email and text conversations with our opposite-sex friends.

As for 'I have a spinster aunt who has male married friends calling to 'blow off steam'. She lost my respect.', is this a Jane Austen novel? hmm 'spinster'? Really? And I wonder if she gives a flying one about your respect.

cory Tue 27-Aug-13 10:09:51

I would say it is exactly my oldfashioned respect for the marriage vows (and before that for the commitment of a longterm relationship) that means I can't see a problem with having meals out or friendly conversations with the opposite sex: I know that the risk that I will give in to an overwhelming urge to throw myself into their arms (even should they happen to want it, which they probably don't) is minimal. I have chosen dh. That's all I need to know.

ViviPru Tue 27-Aug-13 10:12:51

This thread is annoying because there are levels of nuance and differentiation that people are neglecting to acknowledge and are just responding (understandably so given the thread title) based on the simple fact of whether men and women can be friends per se. Of course they can, but that's not the point here.

The crux of this issue is the OP is lamenting her inability to strike up a new friendship with the male colleague, exclusive of his DP and her appreciation that:

most women wouldn't their partners going on an evening out with a female work colleague

Had said male colleague mentioned that he'd love to see X band but his DP didn't like them, then I think it's different. I wouldn't be happy if DH did anything in our (rare) leisure time with a new friend that I would enjoy doing with him too (and that new friend)

blueshoes Tue 27-Aug-13 10:19:29

Cory, I asked because I (and I believe the OP) draws a distinction between longstanding male friends and new ones you make at work after your married your dh.

My dh occasionally meets up alone for lunch or drinks with a few of his colleagues (same trainee batch) or female uni mates. But I have met them in other social situations and happy to leave him to meet up with them separately to talk shop or relive glory days because they aren't all that attractive anyway

The key is occasional. Your example about drinks with a male colleague/friend at a conference, or have lunch with a male colleague at work is fine if occasional. I do that too. But if it is a friendship with a vaguely attractive colleague or schoolrun parent with regular one-on-one meet ups especially if the friendship developed recently, I would be cautious.

"Jealousy" is too strong a word because there is no evidence of actual cheating to be jealous about. I am not naive though.

BTW, no matter how much I enjoy a male colleague's company, I would apply the same restrictions to myself. It is massively disrespectful to my dh to invite gossip by being regularly seen with one male colleague, even if both of us were just innocent "friends".

It is a continuum and no brightlines. But we have to draw our own boundaries. Using emotive words like "unfounded jealousy" is goading and IMO missing the nuances.

LadyClariceCannockMonty Tue 27-Aug-13 10:20:37

'most women wouldn't their partners going on an evening out with a female work colleague'

That's not an appreciation, it's one person's opinion and it's not based on anything useful to this situation. What does she know about her colleague's girlfriend's attitude to opposite-sex friends? Or her colleague's attitude, for that matter?

LadyClariceCannockMonty Tue 27-Aug-13 10:24:06

'I have met them in other social situations and happy to leave him to meet up with them separately'. Happy to?!?! Seriously? People vet their partners' social activities and companions and decide whether or not they're 'happy' for them to go on?

I wouldn't dream of checking out my partner's female friends to make sure I'm 'happy' for him to see them (or to reassure myself that they're not that attractive hmm) and he wouldn't dream of doing the same to me. Because we respect and trust each other.

'It is massively disrespectful to my dh to invite gossip by being regularly seen with one male colleague'. God, I still feel as if we're in 18th-century Bath. Do people really have such tiny dull lives as to gossip about a person being seen with another person? And do people CARE about any gossip emanating from such people?

cory Tue 27-Aug-13 10:27:00

I have no reason to assume that I would be inviting gossip by regularly having lunch with a male colleague. In fact, now you mention it, two of my colleagues (one happily married, the other single) do have lunch together very frequently. They have interests in common, they are good friends, they talk. Noone has ever felt the slightest urge to gossip. It's not that kind of environment.

How do you define attractive anyway? Sounds a bit like teenagers where you have a definite list of where every member of the opposite sex ranks in attractiveness. If I thought dh was checking out my colleagues in terms of some kind of ranking lists of attractiveness I would be seriously bemused. How would he know?

Ime the people who do have affairs are usually not obviously attractive to the onlooker: their one defining characteristic is that they are people who are up for an affair.

cory Tue 27-Aug-13 10:28:34

Come to think of it, most of the "adulterers" I have known have been very plain. Not that it matters.

MrsMinkBernardLundy Tue 27-Aug-13 10:29:24

OP people suggested you ask gf too. you says perhaps you would feel like third wheel.

Would that be so disastrous? You get to see the band. you get to meet his gf and you might not feel like the third wheel.

With partners i generally go by i will happily meet any of my male friends gfs and look them in the eye. i have nothing to be ashamed of. and if my dp has a female friend as long as they will look me in the eye then we are fine. if they start excluding me or won't meet me in first place then i wonder why.

You could also ask someone else to come too. then you will not be third wheel.

Unless you really want to go just the two of you?

ViviPru Tue 27-Aug-13 10:31:13

Good point MrsMink, that I have overlooked.

MrsSchadenfreude Tue 27-Aug-13 10:31:36

I have a male friend that I have known pretty much since birth. We have always been excellent friends, nothing more at all, not even a drunken teen snog. I was delighted when he got married, and was keen to befriend his wife, but she was always extremely "off" with me, and in the end, I just gave up. I still see my friend intermittently for drinks and dinner, but never his wife. Our kids are the same age, but have never met, which I think is a shame. I initially suggested getting us all together one weekend, but he said although he thought it would be a great idea, just to drop it, as his DW "had a real problem" with our friendship. They have been married 25 years this year, and DH and I have been married 20 years... hmm

I also have a good male friend that I met through work, and I now see more of his DW than I do of him, as we hit it off straight away.

Littleen Tue 27-Aug-13 10:31:42

I think it's fine - although easier if both are in a relationship (or just one, and the other respects this fact). Have lots of male friends, although have been errr with most of them, once or twice, in my very hypymanic single phase. But they know it was just for fun, and we're not just platonic friends with the odd flirty comment. (Which I see nothing wrong with, I flirt with everything and everyone) My boyfriend also doesn't mind, as he knows that if I wanted to be with these blokes, I would have got with them when I had the opportunity, and I didn't - I got with him smile
He also has female friends, and his best friend was a girl - although she's now more my best friend than his!

Would however feel weird if he or I made new, single (close) friends of the opposite sex now, because it would perhaps feel like a "back-up" friend, if that makes sense. The ones from before our time together are fine though smile

blueshoes Tue 27-Aug-13 10:32:32

I suppose plain people would invite less gossip.

Our respective offices are bursting with young and not so young but mostly thrusting individuals. I work in the City, if that makes any difference.

cory Tue 27-Aug-13 10:36:11

Sounds a horrible environment, blueshoes. Not like that where I work: far more respect and interest in people as people than in superficial attractiveness and gossip.

SmiteYouWithThunderbolts Tue 27-Aug-13 10:36:46

Hmm, interesting topic, OP. My H has some female friends he's very close to (one was his best "man" at our wedding!) and I have no issue at all, but then again he has one or two that just set off some territorial response in me. I couldn't tell you exactly what the difference is between any of these women, but I do react differently to his friendship with some than others.

I have lots of male friends I'm very close to without being attracted to in the least and AFAIK H isn't at all bothered by this.

I think on balance, YABU. Yes some friendships will cross over into attraction, fleeting or long term, but that doesn't mean that all cross-gender friendships are doomed.

Bahhhhhumbug Tue 27-Aug-13 10:44:53

My DH has lots of female friends , has stayed friendly with all his exes (except first wife, very acrimonious on her part but even with her is on 'civil' terms now). This is mainly because he has lived all his life in the same town so lots of lifelong schoolfriends etc. both male and female. I couldn't be married to him if l was the jealous type put it that way. Always some random woman squealing and throwing her arms round his neck when we are in a pub or whatever. One ex practically mounts him - I just roll mi eyes grin
I have several male close friends who were just friends of his when we met. I have been out with a couple of them to various 'do s' etc when DH cant make it or just doesn't fancy. Albeit with other people in our group present but still have travelled there with them , walked in with them , on our own - yes - a man and woman who are not an item <shrugs>.
I love the fact l can do this and l love having male friends as my first H was very possessive and suspicious and no way could l have so much as walked to the corner shop with a male back then !!

blueshoes Tue 27-Aug-13 10:45:05

Cory, I am also getting stereotypical impressions of the place you work, but to each their own.

LookingForwardToVino Tue 27-Aug-13 10:49:26

I would say yabu...

but then I am about to marry my best friend so maybe that proves your point haha

fabergeegg Tue 27-Aug-13 10:51:54

These threads are always interesting because there seems to be such a militant voice coming out of the mouths of relatively few posters who pretty much take over the threads most times. I don't think they realise they're doing it - or realise that others with different viewpoints tend to turn away after a few posters have been angrily shot down. Why does it touch such a nerve? If you're going to get so cross with anyone who has a different opinion, why not leave the thread? Why stay to make sure that every...last...opinion... to the contrary has been stamped out?

I was interested to hold an unpopular position a few months ago, on a thread that excited this kind of black/white thinking (in that instance it was overseas aid, I think) and it was a bit sad - posters who agreed with my viewpoint kept messaging me privately because they didn't want to be ripped to pieces. That's not how a discussion is supposed to work, you know. Or you can do it if you like, but be aware that it's not an open discussion when a few are prowling around like tigers, making sure that nobody who holds an opposing view is allowed to make a nuanced point. If people who disagree get on your nerves, why not let the thread die?

One technique that I've seen occurring over and over is the habit of a little baying mob forming, then cutting and pasting phrases from unpopular posts in order to discuss it between themselves, often in a humiliating way. Again, I suppose you can tell yourselves this is a frank discussion if you wish, but it does seem to be a cheap way to clear everyone else off the thread as it's so humiliating and alienating to see one's own words over and over with a disparaging one-liner tacked up.

If people here see something beautiful about choosing each other everyday despite having many friends of the opposite sex, then I suppose that's up to them. If it's worked for you for three million years, fine. It doesn't mean there's something wrong with an opinion that it is not fine for most of us, in principle. If you wish to judge married men who won't be cool with accompanying you to gigs because they just don't do that kind of thing, that's your decision. I'd be surprised if such a person would hit it off with you anyway!

LookingForwardToVino Tue 27-Aug-13 10:55:22

I think platonic relationships can only work when one or both parties is not remotely sexually attractive to the other.

wink

blueshoes Tue 27-Aug-13 10:59:56

Haha, LookingForward. Amen.

cheeseandpineapple Tue 27-Aug-13 11:11:44

OP, I understand where you're coming from and as you acknowledge, the title is misleading. I was all set to disagree and say I have quite a few genuine male friends but fact is like most people posting, these are friends from decades ago, ditto for my husband.

I agree that if my husband developed a new friendship at work I'd be a little wary (especially as that's how we got together!) but if he said to me that he wanted me to meet her and join them somewhere, I'd be open to that. But not all spouses will be, so I also understand you're nervous of changing the dynamics with your work colleague. Tricky one. But maybe rather than launching straight into the concert option, how about having a dinner party or organising some drinks and invite him and GF and some other friends so you can meet her casually and then take it from there so she doesn't see you as a threat. Plus if they don't accept a casual fairly impromptu group type invitation it's less of a big deal and you can gauge how receptive he was to the invitation in the first place.

Re other bloke, can you just say to him that you like him but don't want to go on a date and are happy to do things as friends and see if he's open to that?

SilverApples Tue 27-Aug-13 11:13:40

Faberge, it's the sweeping statements that irritate me, 'a man and a woman can't be friends'
The generalisation is irksome, as if those of us who are capable and comfortable with it are either deluded, or not in long-term relationships, or are so hideous in looks and personality that we are safeguarded by our own loathesomeness.
If the posters said 'I'm not happy, I'm not comfortable, I'd find it weird' that would be fine by me. That is their experience, but not mine.
I do mind being made out to be either delusional or a liar because our choices within our relationship are different and we both have friends of the opposite sex without a conflict of interests.
Why the need for everyone to fall in with the OP's line?

cory Tue 27-Aug-13 11:14:08

So why is it that the small handful of posters thinking it can be all right is to be described as a baying mob, while the equally sized handful of posters who do not think it is all right are presumably not a mob, fabergeegg.

Personally, I tend to cut and paste because it makes it easier to see exactly which bit I am responding to. Don't see why that should be humiliating: are you saying that you are embarrassed to see your own words? Why? Was there anything wrong with them?

Blueshoes and I have made roughly the same number of posts on this thread, but coming from different angles- so why am I taking over the thread any more than she is?

I am not trying to make sure nobody holds an opposing view. But I do find it irritating when other posters try to lay down general laws about how life and relationships work for "most of us". How do they know they are the majority?

cory Tue 27-Aug-13 11:15:34

For the record I probably am defended by my own loathesomeness. grin

Don't see that as a problem.

ViviPru Tue 27-Aug-13 11:22:19

But I do find it irritating when other posters try to lay down general laws about how life and relationships work for "most of us".

So do I.

"in our circs"
"I'm not sure about the 'majority' but speaking for myself"
^"more in mine and DH's circs^"

<polishes AIBU etiquette halo>

fabergeegg Tue 27-Aug-13 13:33:13

This is a thread in which people are saying 'I do think/don't think such and such is true because that is how it works for me' - on both sides! It's how a conversation works!

Surely it's taken as read that people saying 'I can't imagine how men and women can be friends because I've only ever seen it end it tears and have now decided that I don't think it's wise' are giving a personal response that isn't meant to be a direct assault on anyone else. It may be irksome but that's how these conversations work and if it hacks you off then why stay? I'm not suggesting we all follow the OP, just that the conversation doesn't escalate simply because someone is bold enough to state a belief that clashes with someone else's personal experience. They're both valid and should both be stated without apology. It's actually just as irksome for a married female poster with male friends to turn to another married female poster without male friends - because she doesn't believe it's a good idea/possible - and say 'Well, you're wrong, because I'm mature enough to do it'.

If you're going to be personally offended by views that seem to penalise your activities, either learn to enjoy the process of explaining your own views and understanding others, or leave because life's too short to post on this sort of thread unless you're specifically look for opportunities to be irritated. If posters are going to wait for an opposing view to be personally offended by, then pounce on it, you do come across as a baying mob. Or premenstrual. Anyway, there's not much intelligent discussion to be had.

Regarding the cut-and-paste-and-then-discuss habit...you don't have to be ashamed of your words not to like seeing this done, as anyone who has experienced it will know. It's disingenuous to pretend you've never seen this done for the sole purpose of initiating ridicule.

And now that I've had my little rant, I expect you all to have a nice time pointing out how patronising you find it when someone criticises your behaviour. Have fun smile

MistressDeeCee Tue 27-Aug-13 14:14:33

Very well said

StuntGirl Tue 27-Aug-13 18:18:44

Quoting sections of a thread is just what happens on online forums...its how we make the conversation flow online vs real life where we can respond to points as they're made.

Jengnr Tue 27-Aug-13 18:29:45

I have loads of platonic male friends.

One of whom I was very close to. He is married, we used to talk a lot, when I was in London we'd meet for lunch.

He's now my brother in law smile

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