All Articles Tagged "male friends"
In recent years, I’ve managed to accumulate more male friends than female friends and I noticed another change taking place alongside this change: my dating life and relationships were getting better. Why? Because the plethora of men in my life were teaching me—either through their actions, which I observed regularly, or through their direct advice to me—a lot of valuable lessons about the male species. I became not only better at luring in the men I wanted, but weeding out the ones that, in the past, would have wasted my time. Here are the top gems of knowledge my guy friends have given me.
Do tomboys ever grow up?
I was wondering this while reading this article, which has less to do with tomboys and more to do with gender and identity issues. However the headline at least got me thinking about what impact my childhood friendships had on my ability to develop relationships later in life.
Growing up as the nerdy girl whose interests and hobbies didn’t always align with the typical pre-teen girl, my friendships were mainly limited to the opposite gender. I wasn’t the kind of tomboy, who climbed trees and played full contact football. In fact, after seeing the limpness of my throwing arm the boys decided that football wasn’t exactly my forte. But I did rock hard with low-key games like G.I. Joe action figures (which was a lot like playing Barbies but without the hair braiding) and Super Mario Brothers on Nintendo. And as a loyal watcher of “Thundercats” and the original “Transformers” series, I was astute enough to hold stimulating conversations with the fellas about all the important and relevant plot points.
My popularity with the boys in the neighborhood always caught the suspicious gaze of the girls. One day they surrounded me and while finger waving and neck rolling, interrogated me about what I had against the girls. I shrug and said, “all yall do is talk about each other and boys all day. The boys play and talk about other stuff.” The ringleader, a portly brown skinned girl who was way bigger than her age would suggest, wanted to know what this other stuff was. I told her, cartoons, sports and games. She reminded me that they played games too – Barbies being one of them. “Yeah but whenever I play Barbies with you, you always steal my Barbie clothes and shoes.” I always had a problem with being mouthy. Needless to say, portly girl didn’t like being called a thief, especially when some of the girls in her inner circle were cosigning, “uh-hm, it’s true. You do steal Barbie clothes.” I still wear the battle wounds till this day.
Of course, the stakes changed when we started getting older. My tomboyish exterior and knowledge of all things Saturday morning cartoons, was no longer appreciated. The stakes were higher. Boys didn’t want friends instead they wanted to be around girls that looked like women. Likewise, I was on a search for boyfriends not friends that were boys. For the first time in my young life, I was actively seeking out friends of the same sex. Our friendships became part commodore, part strategy in our mission to attract the attention of the opposite sex.
But now, in my thirties, things are balancing out. There are lovers, there are boys that are friends and if you are really lucky, there are boy lover/friends. Yet the relationship with the same gender remains perplexing. Throughout my life travels, I regularly hear from fellow women the difficulty in forming and maintaining friendship with other women. There is too much jealousy and backbiting and stabbing, they say. I’d rather be “one of the guys” than to be one of these “catty, beyotchy” girls, they say.
I need some advice. I’m currently single and I’m thinking about being single for the next ten years. I’ve had my heartbroken really bad and it makes me want to give up on trying to have a boyfriend or a significant other. People say that seems highly unlikely since I’m only 23 years old and I have the rest of my life ahead of me. Yet, I feel like this is what’s best for me in this stage of my life. The last guy put me through so much I honestly can’t do it again. I wanted to know your thoughts. Do you think I should spend the rest of my life collecting cats and sitting at home alone? Or do you think I should give it another try?
At first glance, these out of the ordinary situations look like cause for a storm in a relationship. But they can actually be what brings a couple closer. Check out the benefits of all things bad…
You know how it goes: Girl meets Boy, who appears to have all the qualities in a potential mate. Girl and Boy calls, text and hang out to get to know one another. Girl likes boy and girl thinks Boy likes her too. However, after a few months of great conversation and casual flirtation, Girl is wondering why Boy hasn’t advanced the relationship any further. So Girl puts on her woman pants and ask Boy if this attraction is mutual. Boy, flattered (so he says) tells Girl that while he thinks she is cute and great, he is just not emotionally ready for a serious relationship. Instead, Boy just wants to be friends with said Girl.
Ahhhh yes, the dreaded “friends” zone. A horrible phrase used, in most cases, to cover a wide range of meanings and offer just as much confusion. See, this is my bad. I have been here before -more times than I care to have been or even admit. I should have learned by now to never become emotionally exclusive with a dude before he fully commits. But I got the lesson now and hopefully, I won’t be bound to repeat it again.
But what do I do now that I have put all this energy into building this great rapport with this guy, who despite his lack of interest in a relationship is not a bad dude? I mean, we have lots in common and get along great. Perhaps by being his friend, he’ll one day come around and change the way he looks at our situation, right? Wrong.
I know that somewhere deep down inside of us, we think that if we stick long enough with a decent guy, who says that he is not ready for a relationship, and provide for him the compassion, understanding and in some cases, physical affection he needs, he will turn around and profess his love. Just like in the movies. But real life is not a fairytale script starring Sanaa Lathan and Taye Diggs. And one of the lessons I was taught many, many bad “friendships” ago was that once he has defined his relationship with you, no amount of nursing would change that.
Are you a woman with a ton of male friends? They come in handy right? Nothing like being able to peer into the mind of a man who (presumably) is not trying to get into your pants and might be able to offer you some solid advice about your man issues.
Do you have male friends who are JUST friends and have never been anything more than a friend? Has your friendship with a man ever negatively impacted your romantic relationship?