Monday, 23 October 2006

The Delicate Art of Male Friendship


I have some wonderful male friends who mean the world to me. I turn to them when I am broken hearted or need advice or when my car won't start or when I want a good laugh or when I need to watch the Canucks game or when I need to cry. I love these guys. Muchly, muchly.

These wonderful guys, these amazing male friends, are all married to (or as good as married to) my best friends. Maybe I care about them so much because they are an extension of my friends and because I love them for the joy they give to my friends. They are cool dudes and great friends, but they are not single males. Single males are tricky things for me to be friends with.

I don't really have any single, male friends. There are a few guys I hang out with once in a while that I consider friends, but, with all but one of them, I've done some smooching, so in my mind, they don't count. (Wow, that was a long awkward sentence, huh?)

For me, these guys don't count as male friends because the sex thing has played into it, even if minorly. So, there are a few guys who aren't boyfriends (and won't ever be, and that's really ok) but who I don't really consider as "just friends". I'm not completely relaxed around them because that tension is there. Even if it's just flirting and innuendos. I know we've passed a "just friends" stage into something different. And it's good in its own way. It's just not friendship.

At some point a couple of years ago, I told myself to find some male friends I could hang out with without worrying about the whole attraction thing. After failing at the endeavor with a fellow last year, I've managed to start a friendship with a nice guy this year where I don't have to worry about the sex thing. At some point, maybe, we could have been more than friends, but when that point didn't happen, or was passed, I realized it was probably better off that way and that I was happier it hadn't gone that way.

But I still fret. I wonder if the status quo will last or if he'll change. The guy I knew before and I had an awesome friendship starting, but things went... off. Where I felt I'd been clear about my feelings, he felt I'd led him on. I've been wary of male friendship ever since. Once bitten, twice shy they say.

I'm hoping my choice in this new friend is a wiser one. I'm hoping there's no time when he wants something I don't. I'm hoping you don't all write me comments telling me that you married your male friend and I should just "let things happen". I don't want to go there. I really don't. That's the whole point. I want a male friend who is *just* a friend. It's important to me. I don't want to have to worry about romantic feelings with at least one single male in my life.

I know lots of girls who have tons of single male friends. I don't. I know lots of girls who are friends with their exes. I'm not. Single males are a species I don't generally count as "friends." I see them as something to date or someone who does or doesn't want to date me. I want to have at least one male friend who is just that. A male. And a friend. I think it'd be a good thing. I just hope it's a possibility. I think it is.

12 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is totally possible. I used to only hang out with guys, not out of choice, just circumstances, but I loved it. I actually really miss having guys to hang out with because most of my friends are girls now-a-days. I still have my one constant male friend though, unfortunately he lives on the otherside of the country.

I know that men and women can be just friends though and I hope your relationship with this guy stays that way, because frankly I don't know what my life would be like if I didn't have my male best friend to balance out my female best friend. It is something I think everyone should have in their life too. Balance is wonderful.

Did that make any sense or has exhaustion driven me to babbling??

Monday, October 23, 2006 10:01:00 pm  
Blogger Ryan said...

After my last serious relationship I endeavoured to only involve myself in a relationship with a woman after we had developed a successful friendship first.

Since then I've found this has actually proven to be more difficult than I thought.

I mean, I thought by doing this I'd show I was more mature and sensible about getting involved with someone again, yet most of the time the other party might not actually feel the same way.

Instead of discovering more about me in a friendship some have wanted to do this in a more intimate setting by going on one-on-one dates.

And what do you do? Say no, and the possibility of ever being together has just jumped out the window, or say yes and spend 6-12 months trying to discover the real person.

And yet on the flip side, with single women I am friends with there's NO romantic attraction at all.

There's just no in between yet!

Which reminds me of a conversation I had with my sister many moons ago about this. She said that I'd have to be careful about this approach because even if I were successful in becoming friends with someone I was attracted to, by the time I was ready to take the next step she may have slotted me into the "Just Friends" basket and our relationship would never go to where I'd like it to go.

(That flick "Just Friends" starring Ryan Reynolds is hilarious BTW)

So I have to admit V, it's quite a conundrum... as a bloke I wish there were some formula that everyone could use. Do XYZ 4 times and when your partner has successfully scored more than 110 points on the Hommeldinger compatibility test do ABCD and if they talk with you on the phone 5 times before midnight on the day after the full moon that means you can now date.

Voila!

But having said that wouldn't life be soooo boring? We'd end up taking the most exciting element out of the process... creativity.

And without creativity we just wouldn't be able to remember those special defining moments!

*sigh*

Okay... now what your post was about again? LOL

Monday, October 23, 2006 10:05:00 pm  
Blogger Victoria said...

likalia: no, that makes sense :)

Monday, October 23, 2006 10:21:00 pm  
Blogger Victoria said...

Ryan: Sigh.

That's about the most eloquent response I have just now.

But, yeah.

Monday, October 23, 2006 10:28:00 pm  
Blogger Victoria said...

Did I mention the four hours of sleep last night?

Yeah, someone send me to bed already

Monday, October 23, 2006 10:50:00 pm  
Blogger cocoa_no_gogo said...

Only my opinion:
It is almost impossible for men to be just friends with attractive women. No matter how much they try to deny it, men always think about the possibility of sex -- whether that possibility is real or not -- and sooner or later, just the thought starts to get in the way.

It could just be me though. I know lots and lots of people and am fairly friendly, but I have very few friends. I get bored easily.

Good luck, though, b/c I agree with the "balance" thing and think it would be a healthy thing to have in your life.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006 8:43:00 am  
Anonymous Laura said...

You need a gay guy friend. I'm thinking this would solve the inner turmoil problem. Seriously!

Just out of curiosity though, I think I must be missing something. You say you have many male friends who are not single, they are attached to your girlfriends. Why the prerequisite that your male friend be single, if you're not interested in dating him? Or is it just that you want a male friend who doesn't have a connection to your other friends?

Tuesday, October 24, 2006 8:58:00 am  
Blogger Victoria said...

Laura: The gay men in this town are all pre-occupied with their already massive circle of friends to hang out with poor little me! lol I actually don't come across that many gay males in my circle but I have thought it'd be a perfect solution.

I uh.. don't know the answer to your question. I just thought it would be a good idea to have a single, male friend. Why? I dunno. Never thought about it that way. lol

Maybe I want someone to hang out with who's not part of a couple. Being the 5th wheel gets really old sometimes! Plus, it's fun to try to set guys up with chicks they like ; )

Tuesday, October 24, 2006 10:47:00 am  
Blogger Victoria said...

Heya Cocoa, I was wondering what you'd have to say about all this!; )
I tend to feel a similar way about the "just friends" with attractive people thing. It's that possibility thought that makes it not work. I totally agree.

I also know lots of people, but count my friends as a smaller number.

A balance would be good.I'll keep working on it :D

Tuesday, October 24, 2006 10:50:00 am  
Blogger danish said...

Just friends huh... hmmm. It's touchy, isn't it?

I mean... every guy I've dated I've managed to be great friends with, with only a couple of exceptions. And my exes are now my best friends. Weird. @_@ But there is this one guy I met in college who I have no real attraction to in that way (he's attractive though!) and we never went out or anything. It's like magic.

So.... good luck getting your guy friend to be just that. I think you can do it! 'cause really, I love having my buddy and you should have one too. It's wonderful. =) He spots things about other guys' actions toward me that I don't see, looks out for me, is fantastic with advice, and all that good stuff. It's lovely, really.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006 5:23:00 pm  
Blogger Victoria said...

:)

Wednesday, October 25, 2006 6:12:00 pm  
Blogger Victoria said...

OK,I want to be Veronica Mars and Wallace is EXACTLY the kind of male friend I'm talking about. JUST FRIENDS!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006 9:13:00 pm  

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