How Men And Women Treat Friendships Very Differently

May 2, 2018  |  
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Gettyimages.com/Mixed race couples on a day out at seaside having fun.

I’ve always had about an equal mixture of male and female friendships, but the truth is, I’ve just managed to get closer to my female friends. Women just develop friendships differently than men do. We get close quickly. We like to share a lot about ourselves. We’re more social than men, so, we’re more likely to invite someone to accompany us to the farmer’s market or a movie. My male friends—though I love them—always have a little more of a boundary up. And honestly, that’s not necessarily the wrong way to go. There are plenty of times I wish I’d put up more boundaries in friendships—I could have avoided some sticky and awkward situations. There’s no right or wrong way to do friendships, but I can definitely tell you that men and women handle them differently. Here are the different ways men and women approach friendship.

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Women will comingle the groups more

My boyfriend doesn’t like to comingle his friend groups. He has this group of friends over here, this other one over there, and he doesn’t want to have them all over for a BBQ. He’d rather see them on separate nights.

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We text daily updates

My girlfriends and I text each other every single day. We’re always sharing little updates on our lives. I have one male friend who sort of does this with me. Meanwhile, my boyfriend just waits to see his friends in person to talk.

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We make actual phone calls

Oh, and female friends love phone calls. We’ll call each other up, just to pass the time, when we’re walking our dogs or sitting in traffic. I’ve noticed that’s a time the men I know prefer to just be alone with their thoughts.

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We need to talk things out

My boyfriend has been upset at his friends—of course he has—but he hasn’t really told them. He’s just sort of let it go. I don’t understand that at all. Female friends need to hash things out. If our friends upset us, we need to get coffee and talk about it.

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We have friend breakups

Women have friendship breakups. I’ve had a few, and all of my friends have with other women, too. My boyfriend has never had one. His male friends have no idea what I’m talking about when I mention a friendship breakup. If men don’t want to hang out anymore they just…stop sending invites or replying to them.

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Men can have activity-based friends

My boyfriend has a friend with whom he watches basketball, one with whom he talks about work, and one who is his double date/double couple friend. These are the limited ways in which he interacts with these guys and it doesn’t vary.

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Men don’t need to share all values with their friends

Men don’t need to check off as many boxes in the “What do we have in common” survey to befriend a man. It’s okay if they have varying views on things like politics/to buy or adopt a dog/fidelity and more. But women can be thrown off if a female friend has a very different view on a major topic.

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Women need friendships that are total and absolute

Women don’t really have activity-based friends. We need friends with whom we’d feel comfortable in any setting, talking about anything, and going anywhere. If we wouldn’t feel comfortable traveling with a woman, we may not want to simply go to Yoga with her. We are sort of all or nothing like that.

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We can judge actions that don’t affect us

Countless times I’ve had a male friend tell me that a male friend of his was cheating on his wife or girlfriend and…it didn’t bother him. He felt it had nothing to do with their friendship. Let me tell you something: between female friends, if one woman does something questionable that doesn’t affect her friendships, her friends still judge her for it.

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We catch each other up more

Women give the play by play on what’s been going on in their lives since the last time they saw each other. We go week by week, and make sure our friends have all the updates.

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While men stick to the reader’s digest version

Men keep the catch up to the reader’s digest version, skipping over fluff content and only disclosing the truly life-changing updates. They do this so they can move onto the activity (the watching basketball/the talking career stuff).

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Women like plans

When my girlfriends want to get together, they want to do an activity. We like to go to the farmer’s market, find a workout class, check out a flea market, see a play etc. If we’re going to get together, we always ask, “What will we do?”

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Men are happy to sit, drink, and chill

When my boyfriend gets together with his guy friends, they just meet at one apartment with beer. They don’t need there to be some plan. In fact, I’ve noticed they specifically hate logistics.

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We get closer faster

Women friends get closer fast. We share a lot of intimate information quickly. We’ll spend a lot of time with a new friend rapidly. We have new BFF’s within a month.

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But men have more lifelong friends

Men get close much slower but, for that reason, they don’t need to have friend breakups. They pace themselves, so they don’t accidentally get close to someone they later learn they don’t like. They may have fewer friends, but they’ll have friends they’ve known for decades.

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