Opposite Sex Friendship

General discussion about relationship issues.
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Heligan
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Opposite Sex Friendship

Postby Heligan » Tue Jan 26, 2010 8:53 am

My lack of male friends is really starting to do my head in; I think its a general issue for long term single people especially after a certain age.

I always had malefriends in my twenties, and even into my thirties (but I was starting to lose them to Significant other jealously and family commitments by then)... but now it a noticible problem.

A few years ago I tried to start up a friendship with a man, but it got all weird because he thought I was interested sexually and I hadnt discivered asexuality by then and just kind of flailed around going 'I dont know if I fancy you or not'- and not even in a demisexual roadsign 'possible incoming sexual attraction' kind of way- just a void.
I think this experiences has scarred me, because he didnt let-it-lie, he became convinced and I became feaked out... alternated between thinking I was broken and repressing stuff (surely he was sure because of something I was doing!) and being freaked out because the situation just kept reminding me I was probably going to be alone in a romantic sense, forever... which despite being demiromantic (aromantic as default, but can be romantic to few far between specific people) I still wasnt a particularly happy about because well it does look as if it can have a potential for being kind of bleak... and childless (which I think Im coming to terms with- but it used to be very difficult for me to see that kind of future).

During this time I lost a few more male friends to marriage and jealous spouses, and in the end the couldnt let-it-lie guy got married too... not seen much of him since and have yet to even meet the wifey. So I think its safe to say, we aint even trying to be friends no more.

So now Im without a real male friendship, by this I mean someone I can expect to talk to a few times a week and say stuff that is personal and confidential. And Im starting to think Im never going to have this again, mainly because I dont want another bag-of-worms, and am scared of making the first move on male acquaintances in case its percieved as a come on.

I dont know why I need male friends, I know men have a different way of looking at things to women and its nice to have that perspective thing... but even so why is it doing my head in to this degree? Why cant I just accept the way things are?
"We only half live when we only half think." Voltaire (1694-1778)
‘Life has no meaning a priori … It is up to you to give it a meaning, and value is nothing but the meaning that you choose.’ Jean-Paul Sartre

disjointed

Re: Opposite Sex Friendship

Postby disjointed » Thu Feb 04, 2010 10:18 am

I know in some respects hel that as you've pointed out the older you get the harder it becomes to find opposite sex friends.

There seems to be a void between 30-50 upto 30 it's okay to mess around ..after 30 most seem to get married/in a long term relationship and as such then move onto thier own life and yes jealousy or wishing to avoid confrontation of a jealous partner is something most avoid.

don't know why but it seems past 50 people think you do not do things anymore so almost all standards drop and people are viewed as harmless..crazy i know

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Heligan
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Re: Opposite Sex Friendship

Postby Heligan » Sat Feb 06, 2010 7:35 pm

only 10 years of isolation to go then...LOL
"We only half live when we only half think." Voltaire (1694-1778)
‘Life has no meaning a priori … It is up to you to give it a meaning, and value is nothing but the meaning that you choose.’ Jean-Paul Sartre

disjointed

Re: Opposite Sex Friendship

Postby disjointed » Mon Feb 08, 2010 12:00 pm

i know it worries me..being 46 in age but 12 in intellect i have a huge quandry

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Pamcakes
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Re: Opposite Sex Friendship

Postby Pamcakes » Wed Aug 04, 2010 10:37 pm

I have recently sort of lost my best friend to a very controlling, manipulative girlfriend.
I had no romantic interest in him (I am dating a childhood friend of his - my best friend introduced us - and the three of us are basically an ultra-close trio), but nevertheless she has vetoed our petnames for each other (claiming it's "inappropriate and hurtful"), our cuddliness with each other, and she even breaks into his email to respond to my emails pretending to be him, to tell me to go away and that he doesn't want to be my friend, anymore (and I get really upset, until I find out it wasn't actually him).
He knows about the latter, and he's tried to break up with her a couple of times, but somehow never manages to.
I know at least once she has threatened to hurt herself, when he tried.

I just don't understand - why would anyone want to interfere in their SO's platonic friendships? And then, why would anyone want to keep someone in a relationship they wanted out of?

Between dealing with her psychoness, and worrying about him (because of her psychoness), it's really, really stressful. :-(

P.
...trid fo eripme ym, lla ti evah dluoc uoy dnA

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KAGU143
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Re: Opposite Sex Friendship

Postby KAGU143 » Thu Aug 05, 2010 4:33 pm

Just reading your post makes me want to go find this bothersome female person and give her a good ol' talkin' to. For starters.
Geeze ...what a piece of work. *eye roll*
I don't know if it's much consolation, but hormone-based infatuations, which is what it sounds like your friend is suffering from, will usually fizzle out in less than 2 years. I know it isn't much help, but try not to be too upset with him. He will come to his senses eventually. Just hope that it's sooner rather than later, and that he doesn't do something foolish in the meantime, like marry her. Even that wouldn't be the end of the world, but it would need a lot more money and paperwork than a simple, "See Ya."

Face it. She's afraid of your influence over him. Jealousy and fear are two sides of the same coin, and they cannot be separated.
If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all.

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Pamcakes
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Re: Opposite Sex Friendship

Postby Pamcakes » Fri Aug 06, 2010 8:51 pm

Oh, she's admitted to me via chat that she's insecure about me. I guess it could be kind of flattering if it wasn't so...nope, no, nup, nuh-unh, nyet, it's still crazy and uncool.
I just don't see why her insecurities have to be my problem, or used as an excuse to oppress him. :/

P.
...trid fo eripme ym, lla ti evah dluoc uoy dnA

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Pamcakes
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Re: Opposite Sex Friendship

Postby Pamcakes » Tue Aug 17, 2010 12:00 am

Now she's sending me hatemail. How's this?

"I've seen enough
of your tricks and bullshit to know for myself what kind of person you
are and frankly I would never trust you. attentions whores like you
disgust me. So of course I don't want to see [boyfriend] falling for that
crap just s so many others have.

they all wake up in the end and see you for what you really are."

Her appalling English, not mine. You'd think from this that I'm a terrible person, right?
The thing is, none of this even reflects my real flaws. She's pulling all of it out of her arse.
Attention whores (sic)? I have a real problem with shyness. :-/ Just one example.

P.
...trid fo eripme ym, lla ti evah dluoc uoy dnA

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KAGU143
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Re: Opposite Sex Friendship

Postby KAGU143 » Tue Aug 17, 2010 7:54 am

I would really have to bite my tongue in your situation, because my honest response to that kind of crap would be pretty ... well, erm ... blunt, to put it nicely.
This is the control freak who tries to get her way by threatening suicide, right? Or at least, some sort of self harm. ... same basic premise.
And that makes YOU an attention whore HOW?? *rolls eyes*

You could try to use logic with her, but somehow I think it might go right over her head.
*meow*
If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all.

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Pamcakes
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Re: Opposite Sex Friendship

Postby Pamcakes » Tue Aug 17, 2010 6:33 pm

Not much to do when someone mentally unstable unequivocally hates you, unfortunately.
This has been going on since January, and I have already tried reasoning with her multiple times. I don't think logic is really her language.

P.
...trid fo eripme ym, lla ti evah dluoc uoy dnA

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debiguity
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Re: Opposite Sex Friendship

Postby debiguity » Sun Oct 03, 2010 6:12 pm

I've found the best way to have male friends is to become friends with established m-f couples. My primary friendship is often with the woman, but sometimes it's a pretty even split, and if nothing else I do enjoy the friendly rapport I develop with the male half. It is not at all the same as having a close male friend, of course.

I did recently lose a very close male friend to his new relationship. I don't know if it had anything to do with her direct interference, though it was really clear that she was getting ever more controlling of his free time (which obviously he was complicit in), especially with regards to his internet time. i.e., they had to always be doing something together when they were actually together. So watching a movie together is good, him getting online while they're hanging out is not acceptable. I wonder, now that they're living together, how does he manage to pay his bills, if he can't get online? :D

It was strange, because she seemed fine with him coming down to visit me (we live about 5 hours apart) one weekend, or so I assumed, but I never heard from him again after that weekend. So maybe she wasn't okay with it.

Sad, but not unexpected, it had been coming on for months.

Pamcakes, regarding the woman breaking into your friend's email...did he put a stop to that? I just don't get why he would not change passwords / make sure to never stay logged in / open a new account that she didn't even know about... if he didn't take serious steps to put a halt to her behavior, I'd have to see him as complicit, to a certain degree. It is too bad he's stuck on someone mentally unstable.

Interestingly, I've had this happen also with female friends in new relationships with men who are apparently threatened by any type of outside friendship. One of them cut my friend off from almost every friend she'd had. It was painfully sad to watch, and she was blind to it. Makes me think it's not so much about opposite-sex friendships as it is about controlling relationships?

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ily
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Re: Opposite Sex Friendship

Postby ily » Sun Oct 03, 2010 7:24 pm

I'm surprised I haven't yet responded to this thread, because I've definitely had problems maintaining friendships with "the opposite sex" (which I put in quotes because I'm not a gender-binary fan). I'm female, and I haven't had a close male friend since I was in elementary school. I have quite a few male acquaintances, but I'm pretty sure all my "RL" friends are female. I've tried to bring some of these acquaintances up to friend-level, but usually they just don't seem interested in a closer friendship. Sometimes they're just wanted to date me, but this has only happened 2 times. My lack of male friends always confused me, because I wanted gender diversity among my friends, I am not very feminine, and it's not like all my interests are typically "girly" things. Whenever I'm in a mixed-gender situation, it's always women who approach me, talk to me, and are nicest to me. I talk to everyone basically the same way, regardless of gender, age, or any other variable. Maybe I need to change my approach somehow when I talk to men, however, I have no idea what to change it TO, and obviously I want friends, male or female, that I can be myself with. So, basically, I don't know.

disjointed

Re: Opposite Sex Friendship

Postby disjointed » Mon Oct 04, 2010 2:13 am

some of my best female friends have been those who I have had a relationship with rather than not

my bestest ever friend is my ex wife..when in the u.k. i quite often stay at hers and her partners place...although ipods earphones at night are a great help..and sometimes I stay at my ex ex g/f's also

the problem I have is with women I have yet to have a relationship with in that thier expectations seem so much higher

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ghosts
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Re: Opposite Sex Friendship

Postby ghosts » Mon Oct 04, 2010 5:40 am

Maybe this is kind of odd, but the majority of my friends are guys (& I'm female). It's been this way for quite awhile, too. It's not that I don't get along with other girls, but I think it's just because I hang out in places & do things that generally have more guys involved. Girlfriends generally aren't an issue at all, unless someone starts dating a psycho girl, which has unfortunately happened.

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KAGU143
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Re: Opposite Sex Friendship

Postby KAGU143 » Mon Oct 04, 2010 12:03 pm

It would be nice if there were some sort of concise and accurate instruction manual available for women who want to have male friends. I have been reasonably successful with it, myself, but it hasn't been easy, and the honest (and somewhat amusing) truth is that I eventually had to approach it as a learning project and STUDY the subject, because I sure wasn't making any progress trying to figure it out by myself. I think I probably read about two dozen various self-help books. Some were total garbage, some were better, some (most) had little bits of good information mixed in with a lot of useless filler. The only parts which I eventually accepted as probable truth were the relatively few points where they all agreed.

I learned a lot of things that surprised me; some were rather dismaying, and others were like ... "d'oh!" moments, where I had been seeing the truth all along and not recognizing it.
This all took place about 30 years ago so I have no idea which books they were. All I can say is that I found out that men and women ARE very different, in some very deeply ingrained ways, in the thought processes that they use to interpret the world around them. The public and personal social pressure to conform to society's expectations is HUGE, and no amount of wishful thinking can ever completely free a person, male, female, or other, from that never-ending influence.

In our own, smaller corner of the world, where asexuals hang out, things are complicated by the fact that a surprising number of asexuals do not fit the standard binary gender descriptions. This is true of both the men, the women, and the various "trans" or androgynous types. --> Gender-wise, asexuals are all over the map!

I haven't said a single useful thing yet, have I? :P
I have been EXTREMELY hesitant to even attempt to breach this subject. I started thinking about doing it on AVEN way back in 2004, and I completely chickened out. For one thing, it would be very long, and, for another thing, I don't have any sort of official qualifications whatsoever. After all, who am I to offer advice about dealing with men? All I have is a lot of observations that I have tested and proven over the years, and I don't think that a single one of them is even original.

What do you all think? Should I make the attempt? It would be a long time before I could post it. (maybe weeks.) 'Not that it would be novel-length or anything like that, but just that I do a lot of editing and re-writing even on little posts, and I would need to find a LOT of time to put together a serious post that I would feel comfortable with.

Well ... and then there would be the amount of time spent trying to get my brain to boot up. (Hey brain, what do you MEAN, "file not found" ??!!? *headdesk*)
If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all.

Isaac
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Re: Opposite Sex Friendship

Postby Isaac » Sat Oct 09, 2010 12:22 pm

My closest friends are female, single and lesbian.

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amyb
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Re: Opposite Sex Friendship

Postby amyb » Sun Oct 24, 2010 2:23 am

Makes me think of the time, recently, when an ex from 10 years ago contaced me on Facebook. He just wanted to say hi, but then his wife messaged me, calling me all sorts of names and saying I was a crazy ho wanting to "steal her man." Um, no, not at all. He and I were unhappy together as a couple because he was sexual/romantic, and I was neither. But apparently just saying "hey what's up?" isn't allowed, because he's a guy and I'm a girl. None of our conversations (which I'm sure the wife read) could be interepreted as either of us being interested in the other.

Throughout my life, most of my friends have been guys. I'm a tomboy, always was. I'm "one of the guys," despite being a girl. Still, in many cases, potential friendships have been annihilated because people think I'm wanting something other than platonic friendship, and this saddens me. I don't flirt with mhy guy friends, and I tell them I'm not interested if they flirt with me. But as I get older, it seems like any talking to single guys (or even nonsingle guys) is interpreted wrong.

It think it's partly jealously on the parts of people's SOs; they think everyone is out to steal their partner, and not everyone is. It's also just an accepted thing that a lot of people spend their time looking to get romantically involved with people, and that makes it hard when you're just wanting to be a friend, people misinterpret it (whether the person themself, or other people). That's why I was always more comfortable making gay guy friends, because I knew they weren't interested in me, and I told them I was not interested in anybody, including them. It seems like every time I meet a guy that is a cool potential friend, either he thinks I want him, he starts flirting with me, or his SO bans him from talking to me. It's saddening.

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Re: Opposite Sex Friendship

Postby Sally » Sun Oct 24, 2010 9:11 pm

KAGU143 wrote:I haven't said a single useful thing yet, have I? :P


Well yes, you have, but I'm too old to remember what it was! :drool: (Ooo, apparently that's a drool and I meant a laugh. I don't know these Apos emoticons yet.)

Oh yes, speaking of talking about it on AVEN...there have been so many genderist, well, really one annoying genderist thread lately, I don't think it would go over well.