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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'.

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