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" ...phobia of female friendships..." has this ever happened to you?

(68 Posts)
btfly2 Wed 01-Mar-17 22:45:49

I found and article talking about some ladies that never felt comfortable around women to be friends with. Some stories about isolation or bullying in the childhood or teenager's years scarred them until today and the idea of being sorrounding by a group of female companion feels like a horror movie for them.
Sometimes I feel similar but then I try to overcome it for the sake of my children and try to be friendly with other mums or in different situations where a group of girls gathered...but tbh is such a bloody hard work that I always find my house is a castle, my husband and my kids my world and I don't need anything else! Though not completely true, I think it would be really nice to have a nice bunch of girls to be part of and feel loved and supported. Anyway in my case and in my forties still going solo most of the time and with no female friendships on sight. Is only me?? Can you share your experiences so I don't feel I'm the crazy one! Thank you!

TrollTheRespawnJeremy Wed 01-Mar-17 22:53:42

I think the only way that you can be part of a 'nice group of women' is to be open to it.

People who dwell on past experiences or perceptions tend to be very closed off and don't give good vibes and so don't get invites.

I'm speaking as somebody who didn't have any female friends as a teen etc but who now has a couple of fairly largish steady groups of female friends in my 30s.

Openmindedmonkey Wed 01-Mar-17 23:00:31

Hi btfly2,
Thats really interesting as I've been in a similar situation for most of my life, with the classic teen bullying scars too.
It changed in my mid-40s when I gave up work (health issues) & was forced to slow my life down in every way.
I have some close female friends but do still find it difficult to open up to them, I often feel I need to keep my distance, the 'real me' is hidden away. Consequently I rarely go out socialising, preferring daytime / early evening chats based around the kids, or on fb messages etc.

Logically, we are neither utterly crazy nor the only 2 in the world like this...
Until someone else joins - cakebrew

btfly2 Wed 01-Mar-17 23:05:48

Thank you both, I appreciate your answers and after all if I have mumsnet then it means im not all alonesmile

PussInCoutts Wed 01-Mar-17 23:23:07

I have this to a degree, women can be so bitchy and behind-one's-back it's unbelievable.

(Just AIBU as one of the examples! Although I just posted a bit of a bitchy comment myself after being egged on by some bitchiness)

Some women are excellent friends. Others, not so - very good at pretending and using you, then stabbing you in the back. I have autism so am perhaps highly susceptible to typical woman underhanded tactics as my social awareness and frankness are more similar to that of a stereotypical man.

Women to women friendships are irreplaceable as long as you pick the right friends! I am slowly learning, too.. I definitely will not trust women in the future just because they're other mums or mums of my DCs friends or whatnot... I've had way too many nasty schemes happen in the past few years following my divorce and women who I thought were my friends being manipulated against me by ex husband, and then in turn scheming against me.

How boring it must be to be a bitch! To not experience true friendship and connection, and just to use people.

PussInCoutts Wed 01-Mar-17 23:25:23

As for your question on feeling normal, I have about 4 true female friends, although only one of them lives locally, so in general I spend most my social time with DP and DC and our pets grin

It's probably not 'normal' but then I don't care, I like my own company and would rather have one true friend than any number of fake friends..

WatchingFromTheWings Wed 01-Mar-17 23:43:14

I always got on better with boys than girls in school and it's the same now with colleagues in work. I was always the quiet one in school and would often hear female friends bitch and moan about each other behind their backs. As a result I'd never have trusted any of them in a way that best friends should.

As an adult I've had one close female friend but we've grown apart due to me moving (to put distance between myself and EA ExH).

downwardfacingdog Wed 01-Mar-17 23:51:16

Yanbu to not want other friendships outside of your family if you're OK with that. My DH is the same. He gets on with people at work, sports etc, but has no desire to socialise outside the home. Yabvu to group all women together as a homogeneous group not worth bothering with.

Shoxfordian Thu 02-Mar-17 06:51:00

I think it's a shame you feel that way as in my experience having lots of close girlfriends is really important. I had my friends before my boyfriend and I know they'd be there for me if we broke up.

I think you should be open to making friends too. Maybe try having a coffee with a couple of the women from the group and see if you get on or join a meet up site and find some other friends.

I love my girlfriends and I find their friendship and support completely invaluable. I hope you can find something similar if you want to

BillSykesDog Thu 02-Mar-17 07:27:01

I have always had a mixed group of male and female friends who socialise together and don't divide ourselves off into 'the boys' and 'the girls'.

I'm not keen on the politics of female only friendship groups either, but I suspect this has something to do with the fact that people who rigidly stick to their own sex for friendships and for a friendship group tend to be a certain type of person with a certain type of outlook that just doesn't gel with me and so have always avoided them.

I have observed though, that when things go wrong in these groups it has the potential to turn really, really nasty. I've seen at work groups like these just turn on a member and make their lives hell for the absolute pettiest of reasons and it seems to be pretty unusual for members of the group to stand up against this if the others start doing it. They often seem to be very sheep like groups who won't go against the group tide even if it's going in an unpleasant way. Even with really quite mature women it can get a bit mean girls.

I choose not to get involved and socialise in mixed groups or 1-1 with women.

skerrywind Thu 02-Mar-17 07:33:56

I'm a happy sociophobe. I do have meetings with ( female ) friends, but only coffee once a month or so. the women I mix with are empowered women who enjoy seeing others empowered.

I don't like parties or social events.

OH is the same.

clothespeggy Thu 02-Mar-17 08:04:47

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

deloresclaiborne Thu 02-Mar-17 08:11:06

im in my forties and dont have any close friends through choice, i dont trust anybody, been stabbed in the back too many times. ive got dp and my kids and family and im happy with that.
also when i was in school i was from a poor back round so i never had the latest gear and didnt fit in with the 'popular' group.
ive now got a nice house ,learnt to drive good kids and basically built up my confidence to think i am as good as anyone else but whenever theres a night out at work or someone ask for my mobile at work i freeze up and the shutters come down i make excuses no to go and slide back into my shell it takes me a while then to be myself confident self again

btfly2 Thu 02-Mar-17 08:26:32

So sad that many of us feel like this.
Shoxfordian I think you're lucky and I'm glad for you, I wish I could say the same...
What a paradox women need lots of support in the different stages of our lives and turning against each other it doesn't make any sense at all but most of the time is that exactly what happens. Sometimes even our own mother can act as an enemy.
It's a pity.

Shoxfordian Thu 02-Mar-17 08:29:40

I'm sad that you feel like that btfly2 but there are good women out there; you could make good friends still, don't give up!

heron98 Thu 02-Mar-17 08:30:23

I hate people who say "oh I don't get on with women".

It's so dismissive and usually based on completely fallacious stereotypes of female behaviour.

Some women, like men, are unpleasant, rude, mean. But most are flipping ace.

Why write off 50% of the population?

fairweathercyclist Thu 02-Mar-17 08:32:02

Bit strong to say you hate it. People can only speak based on their experience. I am not generally keen on female bosses, I find men are easier to deal with in the workplace. It may be sexist to say so, but it is my experience.

Sunnysky2016 Thu 02-Mar-17 08:36:18

I'm the same so you are not alone

MyBeloved Thu 02-Mar-17 08:40:25

clothespeggy - wtf? shock

ConsideredThought Thu 02-Mar-17 08:41:32

How old are you OP? Obviously you don't have to answer as it may out you, but the reason I ask is I'm guessing you're in your 20/poss early 30s? If so, I think you still stand a chance to get over it. The reason I say that is I was horrifically bullied by girls, and left school with no friends - the bully saw to that. I had a deep mistrust for all females because I'd seen the subtleties, backstabbing two-faced ness, and I'd quite frankly lost the will. I much preferred boys because for the most part what you see is what you get. They're not all that good at bitching so felt safer. Plus I did a lot of outdoorsy stuff with my brother so felt I was more in tune with the boys than girls and their dolls, dresses, and makeup.

But over the years I worked in predominantly female environments, and met some beautiful people. I began to see the person rather than what sex their body is in, and now I've got some really good friends. I trust them and think they know me better than my husband, which is saying a lot because i never dreamt I'd be able to say that.

I'm in my 40s now and some of my best female friends are relatively new (met them about a decade ago when I was about 35). But we're tight and we support each other, a kind of sisterhood. And I like that. So if you're yet young, you'll be able to get over it. Time is a good healer and there are some lovely people out there, regardless of their sex.

Bloopbleep Thu 02-Mar-17 08:47:37

I don't have any female friends as I have so little in common with the ones I meet. Sadly tho it's frowned upon to be friendly with the dads at school and my old male friends all have partners who aren't keen on m/f friendships.

my experiences of female friendships may not be standard and I'm sure I'd get flamed for daring to talk of them here but sadly it relates to all the stereotypes so many are desperate to claim don't exist.

BipBippadotta Thu 02-Mar-17 09:02:54

I wonder if it's something more to do with groups. My closest friendships in adulthood have been with women, but they've been individual friendships. I can't bear socialising in groups, really, at all - no matter who's in them. Don't know why.

daisychain01 Thu 02-Mar-17 09:14:55

This thread resonates! I'm very much more guarded - especially new friendships - these days.

I've learned that my weakness was to always take people at face value, and think the best of people, but ignore the red flags.

I have recently been hurt by someone I thought had the potential to be a good friend, they came across ultra friendly, trying to involve me in a few activities, but some very early warning signs made my "bitch-dar" antennae twitch so I pulled back.

Whether or not I was too hasty, who knows, the fact is I stopped myself getting hurt any further. Self-preservation.

There are parallels with romantic relationships - someone who "friend-bomb" too early on, often have the ability to cause real emotional harm. Just because they are a woman and it's a platonic friendship doesn't change that.

daisychain01 Thu 02-Mar-17 09:20:37

btfly there is nothing wrong with solo. Having experienced the alternative, I would much rather be solo and self- fulfilled than being made miserable by poor quality friendships that can grind you down.

btfly2 Thu 02-Mar-17 09:22:50

Heron98 "I hate people who say "oh I don't get on with women". Well, I was talking only by personal experience. No need to hate though.

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