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Any other women have no male friends? do you know why this is?

(67 Posts)
LizLemon007 Sat 06-Oct-12 17:59:30

there some women who have lots of male friends... why is that? I'm clearly not one of them. I have brothers, I went to a mixed school, I'm neither nervous around men, nor am I flirtatious or girly. I've no interest in sport though. I'm not beautiful but I'm not unattractive either. It's always been like this. I have lots of female friends. That's easy.

I'm a single parent, and I am seeing somebody at the moment, but although he's a lovely man and I'm a lovely woman smile I don't think our friendship is as strong as the friendships I have with my female friends. We are attracted to each other and respect each other and like each other.

I've always got on well with my friends' husbands, my x's friends, friends borhters etc.. so I am friendly with men but that's it. I guess at work I was friendly with some male colleagues but again, it was never a proper friendship. Why?

Some people say their partner was their friend first. That's what I'd really like, the kidn of easy companionship in a relationship that you get when your bf is your friend.

Tell me what sort of woman has lots of male friends. Are you one? did you marry a male friend? In which case, does that mean that all mixed sex friendships hinge on one party being attracted to the other anyway?

I do notice that beautiful /particularly attractive women would have a lot of male friends.

lalalonglegs Sat 06-Oct-12 18:08:21

Well, I can't be beautiful/particularly attractive as I've not masses of male friends either grin. I think I just prefer the company of women though, I've noticed that I actively dislike quite a lot of my friends' husbands and partners...

SeveredEdMcDunnough Sat 06-Oct-12 18:15:28

I'm in no way beautiful! But I do have male friends more than female ones.

However they have to be a certain type of man, too - often a bit unusual, the sort who accepts me being how I am, not that I know what that is iyswim - but I am quite a lonely person and sometimes so are they. And they are usually single, too.

Most men who are happily married and 'normal' wouldn't be my friend though they would be polite and pleasant to me.

I would not try and move in on someone's husband. I see that as well beyond boundaries. But if a man is single, I might become close to him.

I think I'm the sort of woman other women see as odd or different (even the men say this but don't say why) and I have always been afraid of having female friends as my mother and sister and other female relatives never seemed very fond of me, while my Dad was always very sweet with me. I think that can affect you for life...when you anticipate or fear not being liked, you generally will give off the wrong vibe I suppose.

So I just hang out with a few odd men, have female acquaintances - I get on with them and have a laugh but we are never around each other much. I did have a best friend who was a woman but she died, and before that, she lived many miles away so that made it 'safer' for me.


Beaverfeaver Sat 06-Oct-12 18:16:05

I have more male friends and find it easier to get on with them.

I struggle with females sometimes.

I am not into sport but mentally I have more masculine type thoughts, however, I dress femininely.

I once did the online test which measures how me/female your brain is and I came out at the same level of masculinity as my male friends.

The analitics at the end explained that I'm am missing key female brain functions such as empathy and some other stuff, which I can't quite remember now.

I do tend to get fed up of females who ate OTT in their giggliness and girliness and can't stand it when women won't try something because they think its something a man should do.

I quite happily will get my hands dirty and fix the car, do the gardening, use machinery etc...

SeveredEdMcDunnough Sat 06-Oct-12 18:18:31

Btw I should add, I don't find women annoying or anything. I'm just really scared of them. I know it's irrational. I spend every moment thinking they are going to start hating me when they find out what I am really like - based on nothing, in particular.

I tend to assume men - well some men - will like me, also with no apparent reason. Just cos of how I grew up I think.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 06-Oct-12 18:19:05

I have a lot of male friends although my best friends are female. I think it stems back to my early schooldays when I was picked on by a lot of the girls, found that whole 'best friend one minute, worst enemy the next' thing ridiculous and found the boys, by contrast, less complicated & therefore far easier to get along with. They were also much easier to manipulate than the girls which I rather liked.... call me shallow. smile DM tells me that I was often to be found organising theatrical productions in the back garden with all the local boys as my willing actors, happily doing any daft thing I asked. (A talent not wasted in my subsequent career!)

Did I marry a male friend? I thought I did until he walked out for someone else. shock Would I risk it again? Put it this way, I wouldn't entertain 'life' with a man that I couldn't get along with as a friend. But yes, I do think that in a lot of allegedly platonic relationships there is a sexual undercurrent.

SarahBumBarer Sat 06-Oct-12 18:23:23

A lot of laddy unnattractive women have lots of male friends too and I'm sure there are lots of types in between who do and don't have lots of male friends.

I have very few male friends and totally accept that I gravitate towards women more than men from a friendship perspective. Really good female friendships are awesome and I am blessed in that respect to have met some fantiastic supportive women at certain points in my life.

I have in my life had two close male friends (other than my DH) but think that this was more because they were the type of men to have female friends than because I am the type of woman to have male friends IYSWIM. In the case of one of the men I did over time become aware that he was attracted to me and we had a relationship which had the timing been better could have been something really special, as you say because of the long term friendship which went before it. In the case of the other man I am certain there has never been any attraction whatsoever. In the case of my DH we met on a blind date so no friendship there either but he is still now without a doubt my best friend and confidant so it does not always have to come from friendship first. I kind of made a decision to be more open with DH than I had in previous relationships - a leap of faith, I suppose.

performancegirl Sat 06-Oct-12 18:28:37

I definitely have more male friends than female. Like someone else said further up thread they are usually men who are a little bit different. I am also aware that other women perhaps find me strange, i'm not sure why but i think they see me differently to other women. I also have a difficult relationship with my mum; growing up i always felt that she loved my brother more than me & i think this has affected the way i relate to women. I was aloso concerned about having daughters for this reason so was very happy to have 2 sons! Should add that I do have female friends but they are mainly lesbians, i bore very easily of girly giggly women. DP was a friend for 2 years before we got together; now he is my best friend smile

hatesponge Sat 06-Oct-12 18:31:33

I went to a male dominated college at university and back then, and at law school/in my first job, I had loads of male friends. However over the years I've found the numbers have dwindled. I now have practically none - they have all dropped me (willingly or at their DP/DW behest) when they got into long term relationships/got married. Or they tried it on with me and I had to drop them. Or I realised I liked them and had to put an end to it for that reason. Either way I've never found male-female friendships work in the long run. Which is a shame.

SeveredEdMcDunnough Sat 06-Oct-12 18:33:18

That's interesting Cogito.

I suppose I have three or four close male friends - one is an ex who is now married but yes, there's still a sexual element to it - he always wants to hook up - we did have a child together and in some ways are still really close but I resist the sex, I just don't see the point to it if we're not together or committed. (yuck) Otherwise we get on pretty well...we have to really.

Second one is someone I can't afford to be intimate with, though he wants to be - he also lives with someone else, and it seems futile and pointless to get involved but we have a good chat and a 'working' relationship without that.

Third person I knew since school, he is odd, has a fascination for women - the more odd and stroppy we are the better - and I am one of many. He now has a girlfriend but still says stupid things like he loves me, blah blah blah. He doesn't. It's just a comfort thing. He's probably gay. Also lives many miles away.

Fourth friend is an absolutely smashing, very beautiful and totally out of my league guy who is resistant to marriage or commitment I think. He's divorced. We are very close at times - we hang out together, with all our children, he asks my opinion on things, we are like an old married couple but we don't have sex. We experimented with it for a while but he always said he wanted to stay friends and tbh it works best that way anyway. Though I do fancy him, I think we're too different for it to work out long term.

LizLemon007 Sat 06-Oct-12 18:44:30

Thanks for all the thoughts. I'd never try to develop an inappropriate friendship with a married man btw! I would be very conscious of boundaries etc...

I guess what I feel is that I'd find it easy and natural to be the friend of men but that that is clearly not reciprocated. men do not want to be my friend. I am fine with my female friends but would like male friendships too. I guess just a bit of balance, a bit of mixed company sometimes (which I'm excluded from being a single parent)

I was chatting to a woman who is like Barbie, and a bit.... of a simple soul really. She has "loads of male friends". wink I bet she does.

SeveredEdMcDunnough Sat 06-Oct-12 18:51:00

It's taken me years to have even the number of friends that I do. It's pretty easy to have men fancy you but to have a relationship with one, that is a trusting and close relationship where you can talk, and do things together and respect each other is a bit harder.

Same with women I guess. I'm just so averse to that as I always think it will go horriby wrong, even if it is going well.

I doubt you are doing anything wrong - I envy women who are able to have close female friends. It sounds so special. I have never really had that.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 06-Oct-12 18:52:16

I think I have a lot of 'inappropriate friendships' with married men unfortunately smile My side of it isn't inappropriate in the slightest - I'm a good girl I am - but I know for a fact that the DWs are unaware that we talk on the phone or meet for supper occasionally. I am nothing like Barbie and I don't encourage them to be secretive but, hey, if everyone liked the same thing & behaved impeccably wouldn't the world be a dull place?

LizLemon007 Sat 06-Oct-12 18:55:25

I wonder why no men ring me up ?? I'm good company! I like men, but I like women too. I do prefer women's company I think, but I miss a bit of male friendship.


SeveredEdMcDunnough Sat 06-Oct-12 18:56:34

I did get close to a married man the other year - thing is he was the only person in the playground I felt safe with as we were new to the school, and both rather awkward.

I liked the easy conversation. I did develop a crush on him but never acted on it and it went away by itself in the end.

I would have felt weird doing anything in secret with him, and he never would have crossed that line with me.

I think if you are very careful not to let anything happen - even as far as an emotional affair - then it's Ok to have a passing crush on someone, as long as you recognise that's all it is and dismiss it and actively prevent it causing any damage, never disclose it etc. I far prefer his wife to him, now I know her smile

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 06-Oct-12 19:01:41

Why do no men call you? It's complicated. Most of my male friends are from way back so we first connected as kids when the boundaries between male and female are a lot more blurred and no-one has any expectations or baggage. Adult men meeting adult women is always such a loaded thing unless you're thrown together in some sort of activity like a job or a hobby. Even then, if everyone is single there's a lot of scope for misunderstanding. If he has a female partner of some kind, they may be reluctant to make a new female friend because they think there will be jealousy.

panicnotanymore Sat 06-Oct-12 19:04:35

I was bullied by girls as a teen and it coloured my view of women. Ever since then I have had mainly male friends, and only a few select female friends who I have got to know very slowly and know inside out. Those women are friends for life, whereas the male friends tend to be a bit more transient, as their relationship status does have an impact. Single guys are easy to be friendly with, as are some coupled up guys. Those in a very new relationship or with a jealous partner will drop their female friends for obvious reasons.

It is easy to make male friends if you have something in common - work, the same gym, that kind of thing. It can be awkward if you are single as they may get the wrong idea. I also think that with all male/female friendships there is an element of attraction. Nothing to act on, just a vague pull, and friendly flirting.

Beaverfeaver Sat 06-Oct-12 19:13:06

To add, I find men a lot more reliable as friends.

It's my birthday (and I will cry if I want to), I asked all my closest friends over two weeks ago just to come for a loal curry and see some live music tonight.
All my girlfriends have let me down at the last minute, so it's just me and the boys.

Also: I was best friends with my DH at 12 years old. We were inseperable.

LizLemon007 Sat 06-Oct-12 19:13:32

I think that's it cogito. I'm never 'thrown together' with men. Not any more anyway. Looking back to my mid 20s when I shared a house with a whole load of other people roughly the same age. Two of them were men. I managed to stay in touch with one for a fair while. We had worked together in Ireland, then met each other by chance in London, then both ended back up in Ireland again! We always get on like a house on fire when we met up, but each time I would text and be the one to say, lunch? and he'd text back and say *sur name, how are you!' He is a good guy. But I felt like I was chasing him because although he was happy to meet up, he never, ever initiated the meeting up.

Dragonwoman Sat 06-Oct-12 19:14:26

In my experience most men do not want female friends. (Alot of men don't even want male friends!) They will stick around only if they are attracted to you & there is a vague hope one day you might shag them. As soon as you or they get a serious relationship they melt away and will only interact with you in an 'aquaintance' sort of way.

I know I sound bitter, but it's from experience - my own and female friends of mine.

LizLemon007 Sat 06-Oct-12 19:16:11

That is my experience too tbh.

BertieBotts Sat 06-Oct-12 19:20:10

I wouldn't worry about feeling you're "chasing" someone, they might just be rubbish at getting in touch!

I was "friends first" with DP, but he isn't a friend in the same way a female friend is. I don't know how it's different - I mean, I've always been able to talk to him easily etc - it just is.

Dragon I think a lot of men think like that but definitely not all.

SeveredEdMcDunnough Sat 06-Oct-12 19:20:31

It's funny but my close friend does seem to really want a woman around.

I've met his folks, he always wants my opinion on things he's doing or planning, we cook and wash up together, look after each other's kids and when he has a social thing planned, it's always me he asks round to help him host, or get it ready so often people assume we're 'together', because I act like I live there - but then he doesn't introduce me to people, either. It's quite confusing.
And the sexual attraction goes both ways but we're both afraid of it getting awkward again so we steer around it.

Sometimes it's like he doesn't know me - he goes off somewhere, I on't know where he is or he doesn't bother to text for ages - but then he will initiate a lot of contact for a while. I think he feels kind of safe with me as I am so afraid of commitment too.

VeritableSmorgasbord Sat 06-Oct-12 19:23:12

Used to have male friends but then went through maternity leave/children (obviously)/toddler groups etc and found for a while that all my friendships were with women as we quite simply had more to talk about and if I talked to my male friends at that time it was about gender politics, where they came off rather badly I suppose.

LoveHandles88 Sat 06-Oct-12 19:50:04

I tend to gravitate towards men as friends (not necessarily close friends, but friends all the same), simply because I feel like they judge me less than women. I have no proof if this is true, but that's how I feel. If going out in a large group of either men or women, I would always choose to go with the men.
I am generally quite a flirty, chatty, loud person, and often say what I mean without thinking. Not all of my male friends are close friends, but I have a couple of really good male friends, that I wouldn't want to be without.
I have female friends too though. Each friend brings something different to my life, and different views, whichever gender they are.
The things they all have in common, is that I don't have to put on a front with them, they all care about me, they don't judge me, and I trust them completely. These are the most important things, not their gender.
I have 6 really close friends. 4 women and 2 men.

Bubblegum78 Sat 06-Oct-12 19:57:14

I'm in no way amazingly attractive (passable IMO) but I have honestly found that almost every boy/man I became friends with wanted more than friendship.
I just got fed up in the end and stuck to female friends.
I do have male colleagues who I am friends with in a round about way, but again, they expressed more than a platonic interest so I was put in a position where I had to make myself clear and now it's fine.
I have never found men more honest than women TBH?
Women either like you or they don't, whereas men pretend to be friends but have hidden agendas ahem.
My hubby isn't particularly insecure but he has admitted he does feel threatened by other men ocassionally. Luckily he doesn't make a big deal out of it or be difficult with me.
I do find now though that what male friends I do have usually bring their relationship problems to me. Lol. x

Tressy Sat 06-Oct-12 20:24:29

Bubblegum, same here. The only male friend I had that lasted any length of time before he wanted more was someone who was very unattractive to look at. I enjoyed his company for quite a while but eventually it went the same way.

I even had a male friend who was gay, even he turned a bit one night grin.

Tressy Sat 06-Oct-12 20:28:10

I remember saying this on here years ago that 'men don't spend much time with women they don't fancy', got told I was ridiculous. Mine you mnet has changed a bit since then.

Adversecamber Sat 06-Oct-12 20:47:01

I look every inch a teeny tiny woman but I like sport and was always quite tomboyish especially as a child. I like men as mates and have a couple of really good male friends , I find men annoying once they become lovers.

ErikNorseman Sat 06-Oct-12 21:31:45

I don't have any male friends. I have brothers who fulfil my 'male company' need and I do get on well with stbxh and we are 'friends'. Otherwise the only male friend I have had (proper friend rather than uni mate type) was a housemate and that's why we were very comfortable together and didn't fancy each other. I don't even see him anymore.
I like women's company more tbh. I'm happy to socialise with partners of friends but they aren't real friends to me. It doesn't bother me a bit!

ErikNorseman Sat 06-Oct-12 21:36:51

I agree with dragon. When I used to work with varied men, any who were interested in me as a friend always seemed to end up in a compromising position at some point. I have worked in a female dominated professional for 8 years and was married for 6 anyway so I don't really know if that applies as much in your 30s as it did in my 20s.

riverboat Sat 06-Oct-12 21:49:05

I have a lot of gay male friends...I think this comes down to a combination of random good friends from school turning out to be gay, and also the fact that I worked for quite a while within an industry wherein the vast majority of men were gay.

In terms of straight male friends, mine fall into three categories: partners of my female friends, guys who I was friends with at school (though actually there's just one guy I would still count as a good friend in this category) and male colleagues/ex-colleagues who I also socialise with in certain friendship groups.

But I wouldn't say I have any really close straight male friends. Close gay male friends, yes. Straight male friends who I socialise with, yes, but I'm not really close to any of them. It's quite interesting now I come to think about it.

Casting a mental eye over my female friends, those who have a lot of good, straight male friends generally share a hobby/profession with them - two that spring to mind with male friend entourages are a friend who's really into her local football team, and another who's into gaming.

Dragonwoman Sat 06-Oct-12 22:02:47

I did have a close male friend who stuck around - reader, I married him! But again that confirms my theory that close male/female platonic friendships don't exist I'm afraid. wink

Bubblegum78 Sat 06-Oct-12 22:26:03

Me too Dragon, I met my hubby at work! :-)

RobynRidingHood Sat 06-Oct-12 22:38:41

The majority of my friends are male. I went to an all girls school. Women are (massive generalisation) bitchy, spitful, untrustworthy, bullying conrol freaks. I don't mix with them if I can avoid it - unless they are like me and view most other women the same way. I would point out I do not find any of my male friends in anyway sexually attractive - and most of their partners are boring, vacuous, bitching, spiteful gossips who you would never give a confidence to.

I have pseudo relationships with woman, but I don't trust them nor confide in them.

Men are much more simplistic in relationships. My husband was and is still my best friend, my equal and my lover. Even if he does play golf grin

Tearoses Sat 06-Oct-12 22:39:29

Do you have brothers - or sisters?

I find girls with brothers tend to have more male friends, myself included.

LizLemon007 Sat 06-Oct-12 23:05:52

I have brothers. no male friends though!!

LizLemon007 Sat 06-Oct-12 23:13:37

I went to a mixed school too.

RobynRidingHood, that is a really sad post. What age are you? you project on to all women the attributes of a few school girls? And you have 'pseudo' relationships with women shock

BertieBotts Sat 06-Oct-12 23:26:41

I have no brothers but have male friends grin

(Well actually I do have one but he is about 15 years younger than me, so doesn't really count in the learning-how-to-interact-with-males thing)

LizLemon007 Sat 06-Oct-12 23:30:17

Maybe when you're married it's easier. when you're single, I think men fear/expect it's not a friendly thing...

SmellsLikeTeenStrop Sat 06-Oct-12 23:38:11

I have mainly female friends. Now that I have DCs, most of my friends are other mums that I've met through school and at toddler groups, and tbh most of their husbands are right bloody twits. Mr 'I'm going to play on my x-box the minute I get home from work and ignore my wife and DCS'. Mr ''I'm a 40 odd year old and have tantrums if I don't get my own way. Mr ''I spent my paternity leave indulging in my favourite hobby and didn't lift a finger to help my wife with the new baby' oh and how can I forget Mr ''buys expensive computer items but begrudges his wife a new pair of winter boots when her old ones are falling apart'.

There is no way I could be friends with such selfish and entitled twunts. It's all I can do to be civil to them.

Tressy Sat 06-Oct-12 23:46:25

I have a brother and get on well with him but there are things I would never open up to him.

Also think it's sad that some posters don't like their fellow females. I have great female friends that I've known a long time. We don't live in each others pockets but will always be there for each other.

Dryjuice25 Sun 07-Oct-12 01:51:35

I find that women around my circles ime don't like me around their husbands or maybe its just me. Or the male friends were hoping for sex!!!!!

LizLemon007 Sun 07-Oct-12 09:31:51

~Smellsliketeenstrop, I hear you... i put up with all of that crap and more before i left. and I only left because of the extent of it. I know if it hadn't been as bad i'd still be there so I'm GLAD now that it was as bad as it was.

there are a lot of selfish fhaters/husbands out there. and it's very very rare that I envy any of my married friends their relationship. I think I have one friend who I think 'she has a really good marriage with a decent man and they are friends too''.

TheKettle Sun 07-Oct-12 09:51:48

Gosh this topic has really made me think about my attitudes to men. And I'm not comfortable with what I've discovered shock.

I haven't got any male friends now. When I was young I did have male friends but it turned out that they fancied me and weren't actually friends. They were just trying their luck but in what I saw as a predatory way - trying to trick me into thinking they really cared about me as a friend when they just wanted to shag me... I should add that was 30 years ago, and I do think that things have changed now and it's easier for two people of the opposite sex to be genuine platonic friends.

I am very much a girls' girl and love the company of women. I'm saddened by the comments from posters who don't like other women. The women in my life - both friends and my mum, grandma, aunts, cousins, have always provided tremendous support and brought great happiness over the years.

Now for the bad things that I've realised since reading the thread....

I think I'm guilty of objectifying men to a large degree, as I see males as sexual partners rather than friends material. I've never stayed in touch with any exes after the relationship ended. I never saw the point if we were no longer shagging. It wouldn't occur to me to seek male friends. I have to say that I don't like this mindset. If a man told me the same thing about women I would think he was vile. Perhaps I think this way because of those bad experiences with predatory males when I was young. Also it may be a generational thing? (Not meaning to offend anyone of my age group who has positive platonic relationships with males.)

Anyway thanks for starting this topic. It's given me a lot to think about and maybe I should now be more open to a friendship with a man although I'm not sure where to find one!

LizLemon007 Sun 07-Oct-12 09:58:45

Same here TheKettle, and what prompted this thread is that somebody recently told me that my next 'venture out there' (dating /relationships) should be with a man who was a friend first. His actual advice was 'marry your best friend' but maybe that is advice that only works given to a man. It doesn't sound like bad advice but................. confused It made me question a few things.

I know there are men out there who are good company and I am questioning why it is that other women have male friends. I don't want to make it seem like having a man for a friend is an achievement per se! as perhaps the reason I have no male friends is that I have high expectations from friends? like you the women in my life have been a great support and are great company too!

SeveredEdMcDunnough Sun 07-Oct-12 10:19:14

See I really don't understand my close male friend in the light of this.

He doesn't seem to have any sort of agenda - he is afraid to be intimate with me as it implies something more than what we have, I suppose. But he is very sweet with me and keen to spend time together. He just doesn't want anyone to think I'm his girlfriend - maybe he is a bit ashamed of me? I don't know.
I often feel like I'm his 'other half' as we are so comfortable together, sitting around, he lets me sit watching him work at the computer and doesn't mind this - consults me on purchases - we do DIY projects together etc.
And there is a physical closeness too, but now it doesn't go beyond a touch here and there or a kiss on the cheek.

It is almost like he is my brother or something.
I miss him when I don't see him, he seems to miss me too.

But he isn't just hoping for sex iyswim - we have tried that, and though it was nice, it made it complicated. I don't think he's gay either.

Charbon Sun 07-Oct-12 11:56:00

How about turning this on its head and asking why you're defining the sex of the new friends you'd like Liz? In other words, what extra qualities do you think a man would bring to the party, that a woman could not?

People are just people after all.

I too find it sad that some women find female friendship difficult, but I think for those who do, it's worth some introspection. If you regard women as competition for men's attention, harder to manipulate, or as a whole sex characterised by a set of faults, then it's not surprising that some other women will sense that and back away.

Similarly if you regard men in general as being providers of sexual ego boosts, easier to manipulate, or unable to relate to women without a sexual agenda, then you're potentially missing out on some very good male friends, while only befriending those who reduce you to your sexuality, are somewhat stupid, who like keeping secrets from their female partners and enjoy your collusion with that.

LesleyPumpshaft Sun 07-Oct-12 14:22:58

It's funny, because I used to be a right tomboy and have mostly male friends in my late teens to late 20's. As I approached my 30's I noticed that I had less and less patience for most men. I now find a majority of men to be very annoying and prefer female company. I think a few bad experiences with men and discovering feminism was a big factor! I also suspect DS's dad hasn't helped my feelings towards the male gender.

I met DP at work, so we were never friends. Tbh as far as I'm concerned my partner doesn't have to be my friend. It's a totally different relationship. I don't have sexy intercourse with my friends. grin

Mumsyblouse Sun 07-Oct-12 14:36:24

Perhaps some of you are thinking about this the wrong way around: many men don't seem to have close friendships of the emotional depth/strength of some female-female friendships. In other words, in research, men have less friends in general, and the depth of the friendship is different (may be based on hobbies/topics rather than life/emotions).

This is a massive-generalization, and I do have male friends who I have been emotionally close to, but I've found that a) they don't need an infinite amount of these and so when they have settled down, they have tended to drop this emotional side and b) they tend to open up to friendships when their relationships are in difficulties. The exception to this is male-female friendships based on hobbies or shared interests, my husband has several of these, he also has a few female friends who lean on him occasionally, but in matters of emotional stress, he would rather cut off his right arm than phone a male or female friend and chat about it. If we have problems, he tends to tell no-one. I don't think he's unusual and it fits with the research.

So, wondering about why you haven't got lots of good but platonic male friends is probably the wrong way to view it. Unless you meet a lot of men, or have a hobby in common, men's natural tendency to have fewer deep friendships, plus the social taboos around this make it relatively rare.

I also think that many of the people describing their male friendships on here explain exactly why they can be problematic: they sound like relationships (there's a sexual or companionship element) or they are with married guys who keep it a secret (there's some secretive, risky element which makes the friendship fun). Not many people have written about their really close but totally straightforward not sexual ever open with their partner friendships, that's because they are quite rare.

znaika Sun 07-Oct-12 16:51:12

I have mostly male friends,largely due to my work- sort of consuming and very male dominated. Most of them are single. I have a few wonderful long running female friendships, which I really value, but I haven't met many women I really gel with since my late twenties.

I though havinf a child would mean I would meet lots of wonderful women, but I have made too many fairweather friends, through baby and toddler groups. I was treated unbelievably shittily by many female friends when DH died, literally just dropped, followed by sniping and bitching about various decisions I made in the aftermath (none of which affected them). My male friends, however, were protective, supportive, kind and there for me. No weird sexual chemistry - just looking out for someone who they care about. As a single mother, I freuqently feel like a pariah and have often been left out of social engagements. I long to meet women like some of the people on here, but where are they all?

Charbon Sun 07-Oct-12 17:01:20

Those friendships aren't rare in my experience Mumsyblouse and while I agree that men are socialised not to share feelings and build emotional bonds with friends, I don't think it's a biological difference, or 'natural' for it to be that way. I think it's very sad and isolating for men to suffer that socialisation, but fortunately plenty reject it and have more than superficial friendships with men and women as a result.

In my experience though, men like that are more evolved in all sorts of other areas too. They don't see women only as potential sexual partners and they don't lie to their own partners about their friendships with other women. I've got several male friends; some are school/university friends of over 30 years standing, some are former and existing work colleagues, some are fellow hobbyists and some are fellow parents. None are secret friendships and for those who've got female partners, I've usually liked those women very much or made friends with them myself. Similarly, my male friends like my partner and some have become friends with him too. I think it would be a very impoverished existence if friendships had to be restricted to only 50% of the population.

LizLemon007 Sun 07-Oct-12 17:01:59

charbon very good question. I guess other people's conservatism (IS THAT a word?) is rubbingn off on me. Society's two by two ness is making me feel at a loose end and I decided earlier this year that I need 1) more single parent friends and 2) to maybe meet somebody (a man).

I know your female friends can be affectionate to you but it's kind of different, not continual for no reason in particular. Also, when all your female friends are at home with their husbands, I have felt that the only way to fill that lonely void is in that predictable way, meeting somebody of the opposite sex, but also, I do want a bit more affection, sex, hmmm.... actually I am very open to meeting more single parents because I would like to have a circle of friends who don't rush back to their partners and not send so much as a text message for 60 hours at the weekend!! So to be honest I'm quite 'easy' men or women can keep me company. But I'm conventional and if I am in some sort of a relationship with a man it has more boundaries, expectations...

sades101 Sun 07-Oct-12 17:08:34

I'm not into sports at all, I'm not 'beautiful' but I'm not unattractive either, I have mainly male friends with one best friend that's a girl. I don't know if it depends on the girl but, I have always had male friends. Probably because I feel slightly threatened by females sometimes. It feels like girls try to compete with me and I find it tiresome, so just opt out of it all lol. Me and my partner are friends and have a laugh I take the piss out of him a lot and generally have that playful piss taking attitude with all my male friends so dont know if that has anything to do with it? xx

Charbon Sun 07-Oct-12 17:09:47

Znaika although I don't think it's as powerful and universal as the male socialisation I've just referenced, I think some women are socialised to regard women as competition, so they see unattached women as a threat. Again, those women are missing out on a great source of friendship and I'm really sorry you've experienced that sort of behaviour, especially after suffering a bereavement. Can I suggest a feminist group, where you're unlikely to meet women who behave like that?

Charbon Sun 07-Oct-12 17:16:26

Sounds like you might want lots of separate things Liz - which is great! A couple relationship with a man involving sex and friendship - and closer friendships with more like-minded men and women. BTW, I also get frustrated when I meet up with a couple of friends in particular who can't seem to spend even a few hours without being in contact with their kids or their partners, so I share your pain! grin

Strawhatpirate Sun 07-Oct-12 17:16:40

I don't any male friends at all. Not even one. I think its because I was brought up by dm and dgm with no contact at all with twunt of a father. I find it impossible to talk to or relate to even some of the things dh comes out with seem really alien iyswim. I'm plainish amd quite geeky/hippyish looking and seem to fill a kind of 'eccentric friend role' in my friendship group. I went to an all girls school so had no contact with boys there. It was a local

sades101 Sun 07-Oct-12 17:17:02

also girls don't seem to take my piss taking as well as men do... not ALL girls, the ones that do take it well are my friends smile and the ones that give it back are my even better friends!! I recently suffered with severe anxiety though so it feels as though my only friends are my partner and my newborn lol, but I'm happy with that :P

LizLemon007 Sun 07-Oct-12 17:21:36

I feel a bit threatened by some women some times, but that doesn't mean that men will fill that void and be your friend!

I have low confidence though, and I sometimes over analyse what women might be thinking,might be feeling, so I know that more confident women than I am don't end up analysing an interaction in the same way. There are about 5% of women who threaten me, and the rest all seem very warm and approachable. But it's funny, quite quickly after meeting a woman she seems to fall into one or other camp. ON my side, or confused a condescending wagon determined to keep you at a distance! they're rare thankfully.

Strawhatpirate Sun 07-Oct-12 17:22:34

I don't any male friends at all. Not even one. I think its because I was brought up by dm and dgm with no contact at all with twunt of a father. I find it impossible to talk to or relate to even some of the things dh comes out with seem really alien iyswim. I'm plainish amd quite geeky/hippyish looking and seem to fill a kind of 'eccentric friend role' in my friendship group. I went to an all girls school so had no contact with boys there. It was a local tradition that when the boys school had a half day they would travel en mass to our school gates to jeer at us and call us all dogs and slags. I always remember being literaly terrified by this! It was a bit like dawn of the dead accept with mini sexists instead of zombies!

In my teens and twenties I developed a close circle of friends most of whom were male. As the years have gone by I have had many friends come and go of both sexes, but these friendships have lasted and I am friendly with their wives now as well. When we all meet up we all talk for hours and about all sorts of things. However in between it's the wives that I chat with by email and maybe ring up, I rarely email the men apart from when we're all arranging a meet-up. Sometimes we all exchange a bit of collective banter by email. I also meet the wives alone occasionally, but never the men. Although there has never been any hint of sex/romance between me and any of the men, there is still an invisible line in that we don't talk or meet privately. When we got married and had the DCs I only had one person I could ask to be a bridesmaid and the same person to ask to be a God mother, because pretty well all my friends were male (no sisters on either side either).

Nowadays I have plenty of male colleagues and acquaintances, also DH's friends but I wouldn't really describe any men that I have met in the last 15 years or so (ie since meeting DH) as friends. Again, there's that invisible line. Whereas I now have a really close set of female friends from work, ante-natal class, school gate etc.

SummerRain Sun 07-Oct-12 17:40:22

I tend to get on far better with men than women. According to the men in question when asked a few years back it's because ' you're not a girl summer, you're just one of the lads' hmm

I find women more difficult, there's always an undertone, always a slight competitive edginess, they're never as relaxed ime. Most men in compassion tend to say what they think and move on, with women it's more subtle and I'm not very good at subtle.

Dp is my best friend, I've never had a female best friend. Even with lots of women I know I tend to find conversation easier with their husbands.

SummerRain Sun 07-Oct-12 17:41:18

Comparison... Phone fail

Mumsyblouse Sun 07-Oct-12 17:51:10

Charbon, I wasn't trying to say no men have deep friendships, of course they do, and I still have good male friends from my school days, 30 odd years later. My husband also has good male friends from the past who he still sees, though they tend to be more colleagues and perhaps more superficial now. However, research shows men have less intimate friendships than women, and fewer of them, so women having fewer male friends is not that unusual.

Doing the things you have to do to pursue a friendship, such as go round to someone's house, phone them a lot, is difficult to do in the context of male/female conventions, you could easily look like you were coming on to someone, especially out of a work context, so I don't tend to make any new male friends these days, even though I have male colleagues who I get on very well with, and 20 years ago in student days, we may have been friends. My male friends are longstanding, we worked out years ago what the attraction was or wasn't, but they have turned into 'nice to see every year or two' and they wouldn't be the first I would call in an emotional crisis, even though they would always help.

Most of my friends don't have new male friends they've made since about the age of early-thirties, once you start pairing up and not hanging in a gang, one on one new friendships are harder to develop and maintain, I think.

FateLovesTheFearless Sun 07-Oct-12 17:56:55

I have male and female friends. A few more male than female but I am on a college course where I am the only female so it's friends with males or nothing! grin

I do tend to get on better with males, probably because I was brought up by my dad and had three brothers, plus went to a tiny school where the majority were males.

ItsAFuckingVase Sun 07-Oct-12 23:02:38

I have male and female friends, and value them for different reasons.

My sense of humour is far more in tune with my male friends, and we have lots of shared interests, which for me tend to be more masculine. My female friends are great for having a giggle, a natter etc.

There is no cloak and dagger situation with my male friends, we're all just mates.

Brodicea Mon 08-Oct-12 09:56:06

I have male and female friends too: probably slightly more male friends. I think it's down to the fact that I am really into music and play guitar.
I don't think my male friends only want to be friends with women because they secretly want to sleep with them: we all hang out with our partners, they have other female friends. However, I think that there can sometimes be a bit of flirtation when drunk, but TBH not as cheeky as I would be with most of my female friends!
In short: maybe you would make more male friends if you happened to have a 'typically' male interest. And there will sometimes be a smidgen of tension, but it will pass.

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