I was never the type to roll with a clique, but I always had my share of a few of close friends. Unfortunately, some time after high school I started to view female friendships as a very disposable part of my life. I could try to rationalize why I have dozens of male friends and no girlfriends because girls are catty and jealous and blah blah blah, but the truth is I don’t have a huge selection of male friends either. I can definitely see why some women feel more comfortable investing into friendships with males over females.
How did I get to this opinion? In my past I have been done dirty by many females. I’ve had the “Houdini” friend who pulled a disappearing act whenever a bit of male attention appeared in her life. I’ve also had the “Anything-You-Can-Do-I-Can-Do-Better” friend who mistook our friendship for some kind of competition that until this day I’m not sure what prize was rewarded. And let’s not forget “All Drama All The Time” who made me feel more like a therapist and defense lawyer than a friend. I definitely have my flaws and I haven’t always been the perfect friend, but I actually made an effort to be, and I don’t feel like I can say the same for many of my prior pals.
As a result, I’ve become an honorary member of the Drake “Trust Issues” club and at 27 I am just re-learning how to be a good friend and regaining the patience and understanding that’s required to maintain a friendship. That’s not to say having a friendship with a male doesn’t have its share of challenges. There’s that awkward moment when you discover that what you thought was a platonic friendship was only a clever ploy to wait until your defenses were down so that he could make his move. There’s also some things like guy code that you will never understand no matter how many of their interests you may share. So while I’ve had plenty of male friends, I wouldn’t say they properly served as a substitute for the few great feminine bonds I had a chance to experience in the past.
Nonetheless, I’ve always felt like I relate better to men at times. At parties I always find myself bored as the women gather to discuss those hot earrings Evelyn was rocking or the latest episode of The Real Housewives of Where Ever, or to conspire and cackle about another woman who decided not to come and talk about how “corny” she is. Midway through those conversations I could hear Jay-Z’s voice echoing in the back of my head, “This can’t be life,” and find I myself wandering over to the dudes where the conversation is never plastic or forced, but just about having a good time and some jokes without anyone taking it personal or leaving with their feelings hurt.
Before I start dodging the stones that will get thrown let me clarify that I don’t believe ALL chicks behave this way, but in my own personal experiences many of them do. I’ve found myself for some time avoiding not just female friendships, but all friendships. Although I am definitely an advocate for women learning how to be comfortable by themselves and function independently, after I learned to enjoy my own company, I discovered I needed to learn how to be comfortable with enjoying the company of other women. Like Khadija Allen advised in her recent piece, 8 Reasons Why Having Girlfriends Is Important, I missed having someone to shop with that actually had some insight on what I was purchasing and could tell me whether I looked fabulous or like a fool. I wanted someone to take shots with and vent about relationships.