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Opinions on male female friendship?
103

mangomuncher · 21/06/2022 09:53

Hi all - asking for opinions on this situation please.

I'm happily married and started a new job about a year ago, which is pretty much my dream job/career. I absolutely love the team and have become friends with them quite quickly. We're often all out for drinks together, group WhatsApp, individual texting etc. There is one man at work who is my age, single and super friendly/smart/funny - overall an enjoyable person to interact with. I do not find him good looking at all. We work closely together and are often emailing throughout the day about necessary work matters. I'd say we were friends & have been for drinks together as a group. A few days ago he expressed exasperation about a work colleague matter that couldn't be discussed over email and I told him to give me a call about it (this would be normal for us).

However he sent a voice note to explain everything to my personal WhatsApp and we've ended up chatting on and off for the last few days, sometimes until 11pmish. Nothing inappropriate at all, sometimes play the messages in front of my DH as they're funny, have mentioned my DH multiple times during the convo. DH unbothered. Does this seem inappropriate? There's nothing flirty at all in the messages but the convo is ongoing. I can't work out if I'm encouraging something I shouldn't be. I guess I usually only develop close female friendships naturally. Colleague is extremely outgoing and chatty to everyone & I'm enjoying the chat because we work in a field that we can't really talk to outsiders about. I'm probably overthinking right? Thanks!

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Watchkeys · 21/06/2022 10:02

If he gives you something to worry about, worry about it. But not until then.

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mangomuncher · 21/06/2022 10:04

@Watchkeys thank you! 😊

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Comvit · 21/06/2022 10:09

I don't think there's anything inherently problematic about male/female friendships where there's something 'anchoring' you together. In your case, work.

If there's no 'anchor', I do find it quite unusual because I think people of both sexes just naturally have more in common with people of their same sex through biology and socialisation.
a bit

Regardless of the colleague's sex, I would find it a bit odd if DP was on the phone to a work colleague until 11pm though.

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User3568975431146 · 21/06/2022 10:10

It's fine. Don't look for problems which aren't there.

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Iamnotamermaid · 21/06/2022 10:15

You are overthinking this. There's nothing wrong with make-female friendships as long as they stay the correct side of the line. Sounds like yours is and you are been transparent about it to DH.

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CharSiu · 21/06/2022 10:17

It’s fine till it isn’t.

I have had a lot of male friends I worked in an environment for a few years where the workforce was only about 10% women so that’s just how it was. However when I became single and again when DH and I had a rough patch it was amazing how some male friends suddenly declared feelings or changed the way they behaved towards me.

So yes it is fine but some of them will given the chance, chance it.

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ComtesseDeSpair · 21/06/2022 10:25

It would be inappropriate if you fancied each other, were discussing things which one usually reserves only for a partner, and were hiding the friendship. None of those things are the case.

If people aren’t supposed to have friendships with anybody they could possibly ever be sexually attracted to, are gay men and lesbians supposed to have friends of the opposite sex only? Are bisexual people expected to remain completely friendless?

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Hawkins001 · 21/06/2022 10:34

Sometimes, a friendship is just a friendship, unless one side or another shows they want to take it further.

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ClaryFairchild · 21/06/2022 10:38

I would treat with caution, because if you edge that little bit too far, and something gets said, it can't be unsaid.

I have male friends, but none that I can't go a few days without contacting, or that I keep texting into the night with. Too close to the line, and I'd rather not risk losing their friendship.

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EarthSight · 21/06/2022 10:38

Sometimes until 11pm? Unless your industry keeps unusual hours, I would consider the fact that the way you think about this interaction might not be how he views it at all. Depends what you want to do about that really.

You say you don't find him attractive.....and.....so? Doesn't mean he doesn't find you attractive. You say that you've mentioned you have a husband....this may not bother him if he, and apparently unattractive guy, thinks he's in with a chance with a woman he finds attractive and he gets on with.

@CharSiu

However when I became single and again when DH and I had a rough patch it was amazing how some male friends suddenly declared feelings or changed the way they behaved towards me

You know, the women on this board often come across as incredibly naive. I would expect this with women in their 20s, or early 20 especially, but with grown women it still surprises me. It's basically the equivalent of a child covering their eyes during hide & seek, thinking that if they can't see you, then you must not be able to see them! Except, this time, it's grown women insisting that because they don't find their male friends attractive, and things are platonic on their part, then this MUST be what their male friends feel as well.

We've all heard of men who misjudge a situation where they think perfectly ordinary ordinary behaviour like smiling is sure sign that a woman fancies them. It's a type of wishful thinking projection. The same can happen the other way around where it's the women wants to think that something is platonic, when it's not quite that simple.

Not saying your friends definitely fancies you OP, and people can have mild crushes or think someone is quite without it being an issue, just presenting a different view.

@ComtesseDeSpair Make a delightful example of the defnesive knee jerk reaction that I've seen a few times, which basically goes 'BUT WHAT ABOUT BISEXUAL PEOPLE'. And???? If you are bisexual or gay, you are absolutely free to figure out what's best for you as you fit. Other people also have that right, and just because it's not in alignment with what you want, doesn't make it wrong.

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EarthSight · 21/06/2022 10:40

Correction - the women on this board often come across as incredibly naive, regarding this particular topic .

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Watchkeys · 21/06/2022 10:40

ClaryFairchild · 21/06/2022 10:38

I would treat with caution, because if you edge that little bit too far, and something gets said, it can't be unsaid.

I have male friends, but none that I can't go a few days without contacting, or that I keep texting into the night with. Too close to the line, and I'd rather not risk losing their friendship.

If something gets said that would need to be unsaid, then's the time to worry.

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Watchkeys · 21/06/2022 10:42

@EarthSight

You know, the women on this board often come across as incredibly naive

Thank heavens we have you here to offer your superlative wisdom.

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ComtesseDeSpair · 21/06/2022 10:45

EarthSight · 21/06/2022 10:40

Correction - the women on this board often come across as incredibly naive, regarding this particular topic .

If OP’s friend propositions her with his penis one day, that’s the point at which she’ll obviously say “woah, dude, not appropriate. This ends here.” Because we don’t blame women for “leading men on” any more, and we don’t assume that OP is going to accept the proposition because she’s a cheat.

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EarthSight · 21/06/2022 10:46

@Watchkeys You're welcome😎

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EarthSight · 21/06/2022 10:47

Because we don’t blame women for “leading men on” any more

Nice fucking try @ComtesseDeSpair , but really, stop aligning me with certain views that I don't have.

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LongPath · 21/06/2022 10:49

Friendships with the opposite sex can be great. The problems start when you find yourself in contact more often than you are with "normal" friends i.e. do you have other friends/colleagues you'd message regularly until late into the evening or when you seek out time to be "just the two of us"?

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ClaryFairchild · 21/06/2022 10:49

@Watchkeys
"If something gets said that would need to be unsaid, then's the time to worry."

And by then you'll have probably lost a lovely friendship... the genie can't be put back in the bottle.

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ComtesseDeSpair · 21/06/2022 10:50

EarthSight · 21/06/2022 10:47

Because we don’t blame women for “leading men on” any more

Nice fucking try @ComtesseDeSpair , but really, stop aligning me with certain views that I don't have.

The point is, calling the OP “naive” for thinking she can be friends with a man comes with the undertone that she’s leading him on by being his friend because she should be aware he’s probably only after sex. It’s not a tolerable insinuation.

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Luredbyapomegranate · 21/06/2022 10:51

Comvit · 21/06/2022 10:09

I don't think there's anything inherently problematic about male/female friendships where there's something 'anchoring' you together. In your case, work.

If there's no 'anchor', I do find it quite unusual because I think people of both sexes just naturally have more in common with people of their same sex through biology and socialisation.
a bit

Regardless of the colleague's sex, I would find it a bit odd if DP was on the phone to a work colleague until 11pm though.

All friendships have an anchor though, and if it’s work or a hobby or just a long association through a friendship group, it might be a member of the opposite sex as much as the same sex.

Anyway OP, it’s fine. Obviously it’s possible he has a massive secret crush on you, but if he rings you to talk about cash flow at 11pm (as my male boss did last night) I wouldn’t automatically take it as frustrated longing. You’d have to be pretty fascinating.

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ImAvingOops · 21/06/2022 10:52

I think this has the potential to become an issue, if only because you are significantly blurring the boundaries between work and home by having long conversations until 11pm. I wouldn't think that was a good idea even if the colleague was not male.
At the moment it's been okay because you haven't hidden anything from your dh but it's like a pp said - it's fine until it isn't.
I think I'd pull back a little and try to keep this to conversation during work hours only, not late into the night and going out only in a group of other colleagues.

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LongPath · 21/06/2022 10:53

ComtesseDeSpair · 21/06/2022 10:45

If OP’s friend propositions her with his penis one day, that’s the point at which she’ll obviously say “woah, dude, not appropriate. This ends here.” Because we don’t blame women for “leading men on” any more, and we don’t assume that OP is going to accept the proposition because she’s a cheat.

There's a whole world of trouble waiting in between friendly colleagues and propositioning with penis

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Lalosalamanca · 21/06/2022 10:54

Nothing flirty yet you think you might be encouraging something you shouldn't. Quite conflicting that isn't it?!
Think you've come here to be reassured youre doing nothing wrong so you can carry on. Only you know it if its an inappropriate relationship. Methinks it probably is, by what you've been saying and the fact you are on here querying it.

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Watchkeys · 21/06/2022 10:56

There's a whole world of trouble waiting in between friendly colleagues and propositioning with penis

What does this actually mean? What 'world of trouble' is there that OP has to worry about, when, if something happens that she doesn't like/want/appreciate, she can simply say no and walk away from?

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ComtesseDeSpair · 21/06/2022 10:57

LongPath · 21/06/2022 10:53

There's a whole world of trouble waiting in between friendly colleagues and propositioning with penis

Then I stand corrected. In twenty years of having at least half of my friends in the male camp, whatever people seem to be cautioning against has never happened to me, so I’m simply assuming it’s the friend having a penis which is a problem.

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