You had to know that when I wrote about Harry and Sally, this topic would come up…

Can men and women be friends?

In my younger days, I had a decent amount of male friends.  At one point, my Husband was just a guy I played tennis with.  But these were my single days. As time went on, and relationships were gotten into, my friendships with men withered away.  At this moment I have many male acquaintances- men that my Husband is friends with, the Husbands of my friends, people I converse with in the lobby of my building….but these are not people I do things alone with, or have anything other than pleasant, short term conversation with.

Male friends.  Well, there’s SF. He’s a friend from college.  I’m friends with him.  But he lives in San Francisco.  We communicate entirely by email. And we have been in the “friend zone” since we were 18- never once did we ever consider dating or anything else.  As to the other male friends, the few that I hang out with- well, to be fair, they’re all gay.

Have I made a conscious decision to not have male friends? Not really.  My time is valuable.  I really don’t have time to socialize much, so I have a little knot of people that I see.  These people are ones that I have commonality with, that I trust, and that I can talk to.  At this point in my life, the people I am closest to happen to be women.

Does all this personal experience mean that men and women can’t be friends?

I’ll start with “No”, because I’ve obviously been friends with men before.  But does being in a relationship kind of make you rethink friendships?

Let’s think about my Husband for a second.  He belongs to a ski club and has a lot of female friends. I don’t have a problem with him having female friends, but I know a lot of wives don’t feel the same way.  These wives make sure they are at every ski club meeting (happy hour) and even though they hate to ski, they show up at the ski events.  Am I to conclude that most women do not want their partners to be in friendships with women?

Guess what? It’s write my blog Thursday. (it’s funny- I really don’t plan “discuss” topics, but more than not- they end up being on Thursdays)

so:

  1. Can men and women be friends?
  2. Can you only have friendships of the opposite sex when you are not involved in a relationship?
  3. Do people have the right to not want their partner to be in a relationship with a member of the opposite sex?

Discuss:

38 thoughts on “Men/Women/Friends

  1. My best friends have always been women. My wife knew this when we were dating and still married me. It hasn’t changed after marriage. Part of that is due to me working in an organization that is mostly women. I’m in a book club with all women. My wife knows all of them and is OK with this. I think she would have the right to say no to a friendship if Iwas going out alone with one female friend exclusively or if I had a female friend I didn’t want her to meet.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. First off she trusts you, which is necessary for a good relationship, and as stated, you’ve been aboveboard with her about interaction. I think it can happen. I don’t know how often it happens

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  2. 😀 I have a feeling this post could prompt some 😉 fascinating comments! I’m single so I guess I can’t comment on the skiing analogy HOWEVER I’ve spent my whole life an engineer working in male only environments, and I’m here to tell you whether apprentices or married men all ALL they talk about is women they work with, harmless banter? I know of an affair! But whether said married men would go one step forward I doubt it……………….. their chat is working class bs and they enjoy opposite sex friendships no more…… oh AND their wives would kill them!

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  3. I agree with you. But mostly for the time part. What do I have time for. And my husband having female friends? Not worried. He has a personality that people instantly like… And if they wanted to “steal himfrom me”- they get all his annoying habits,etc. too.

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  4. I’ll use the example of my friend Reshaud. We became friends via work as stagehands (which was a male dominated field, so I had lots of guy friends). I was in a relationship with someone at the time, but when that relationship ended my women friends were a great source of strength and love; the guy friends were a sort or comfortable safety (in other words, the women helped carry my pain and heal, the guys helped me to not distrust all men just because one asshole had physically abused me).
    Reshaud is still one of my dearest friends, some 12+ years after we first met. We would still be hanging out having lunch and playing Marco Polo at Burlington/TJMaxx/Marshall’s if we didn’t live so far apart.
    Sunshine has never had a problem with my guy friends, and I’ve never had a problem with his (admittedly few) female friends. Maybe it’s because of the 12 steps and the work we’ve done to heal ourselves after our addiction, maybe it’s because we’re old farts, I don’t know. I just know that we seem to be evidence to support the idea that adults can have friendships that cross gender lines (as well as racial lines, religious differences, sexual orientation, and any number of other lines that are food for thought for different blog posts LOL)

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    1. I agree with you. I’m not sure how many people actually feel that way. I can’t I,shine ever telling my so, no, you can’t be friends with X. But I don’t know how many people feel that way

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  5. I’ve always preferred or ended up with more guy friends than girls. I am not a girlie girl and have trouble relating to those who enjoy shopping, salons, and home decor ( what IS Pinterest??) . But I think it can become problematic . I’m married and if I’m not happy at the moment with my husband, it’s easy to spend too much time talking with my guy friends and that can lead to more of a gap in communication. So , yes, I think women and men are often friends, but it takes consciousness and being careful to watch for signs that things might be getting into the danger zone and the willingness to step back. But for the most part, I love hanging out with guys. They are funny, not so uptight, and I feel less threatened by judgment around them.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes. If you use your opposite sex friends as therapy from marital problems I totally see your point, because yoire communicating with the wrong person. Relationship issues should be discussed amongst the individuals, or with an impartial observer. Great commemts

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  6. I have a very good friend from college who I have traveled with without my husband or his wife coming along. He’s like a “girlfriend” to me. My husband doesn’t feel threatened at all and his wife And I are good friends from college too. People in my family think it’s weird that I travel with My male friend (we only have traveled together to see other friends from college). But I can’t care what they think…as long as my husband is okay with it, it’s all cool.

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    1. Totally agree. As long as both partners are good with it there’s no reason why you can’t. That being said, many people don’t like the idea of their partner having friends of the=opposite sex. I’m good with it, but other people…not so much

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  7. Like you, I have a male friend from high school days, but we rarely see each other. I stayed with him and his wife several days last year. My husband has female friends through the volunteer work he does, but I don’t think either of us has an opposite sex friend that we just hang out with. Not that either of us would mind, it just doesn’t happen. Making new friends is harder as you get older, I think.

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    1. So funny you just said that. I just read a blog about a woman saying how much harder it is to make friends as you get older. I made two new friends nds this year and it’s really actually surprising

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  8. Can we say trust issues? I think you can be in a relationship with members of the opposite sex, but if your partner has a problem with one in particular you might want to look at the reasons: does it take away the limited time you have with him/her; do you share things with the other person that you don’t share with your partner; are they constantly subjects of conversation between you. I think it really depends on the people involved and their ability to keep it in the “friend zone”.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Funny you should write this, because this very issue has come up with my husband and me. He says, “No! Never can men and women just be friends.” I agree with his logic, that of ‘if you’re sober in a room of alcohol, you’ll eventually drink.’
    Problem is, I like guys as friends. I don’t honestly have any at the moment (like you), but find them much more interesting than the females I talk with most often.
    My real question is whether men always consider sex when a female is involved (the straight ones, obviously).

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    1. The sex question is the one that stymies me too. Because the guys I know, well, they’re always thinking about sex. I think the friend zone has to be firmly established, and yeah, I wonder if someone is very attracted to someone else, if it’s possible to be friends

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      1. I would say, “No.” For me, the main indicator is whether you’ve ever crossed The Line in your feelings for the person.

        I’m stymied because I DON’T think about sex with the ones I consider friends but am assured by my husband that THEY are thinking about it.

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  10. I have a best guy friend who I grew up with and we’ve maintained a close friendship. Both of us are now married with kids and our spouses are the first in 20 years to not have problem with our friendship. It makes life and the friendship easier when both sides are fine with it and get along great.

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  11. My husband has always had female friends. He was raised with three sisters and gets along well with women. I have male friends from high school and we keep in touch through FB, but I really don’t have men I hang out with.

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  12. Well I think I’m in the minority here but I’m going to say I don’t like to have male friends. Sometimes you can’t avoid it because you’re in a situation and you become friendly and theyre special people that you can’t just kind of put up the wall with. But my first impulse is to put up that wall. I doubt it would cause trouble today, but in the past men friends almost never wanted to be just friends it seems to me. As for Leo having women friends, he has some acquaintances he likes to hang out with at work. I don’t care for it but it’s his life so I don’t feel like I can complain. I think it was Marcel Proust who said that if in a marriage there was no danger of adultery the marriage was over. I think that means that if no one wanted your spouse, you got trouble. So to me being nervous about friends of the opposite sex is normal.

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    1. Very interesting comment. I didn’t know the Proust thing, but that’s very interesting. FYI, I wrote a blog about 10 days ago about why men and women might not be able to be friends

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