Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Just friends...really??

I have read many self-help books
about recovering from divorce...
and not repeating mistakes!

Many suggest friendships
with the opposite sex..
the premise being;
you come to know how to relate..
set boundaries..
communicate..
without all the confines and pressures
that a romance brings.
In addition men give woman different insight
and perspective
and visa versa..

I have not had male friends since high school!
not really..
a few mutual friends of my ex husbands
during our marriaige..
and I consider the husbands of some
of my good friends, my friends too...
But, not chat and relate and even hang out friends.
so the idea is great...
but where do you start
and how?

There are two types of men.
single
and
married.

single men are not that interested in friendship,
at least not when they are
approaching me for a date, it seems.
married men..
well,
theres a whole other issue.
because naturally there are boundaries
and me being single
causes natural insecurities
no matter how light
or surface the friendship might be.

So,wheres a girl to go to make male friends..
and is that an oxy-moron?
Some people say it is.

But, it matters to me
because I am just not ready for romance.
and while I am told
I will know when I am ready
I am pretty sure
I will fight it pretty hard.

But, what I want
is to learn and understand from men..
that are not wanting something from me,
or hiding something from me.
I would like to learn
who I relate too..
who I do not.
I would like to learn to speak my mind,
in positive ways with men,
something I struggled with in relationships..
within the safe confines of friendship.

I would like male friends.
I see the benefits..
I want the insight..
I want the experience...
but, I seem to be limited
in my choices

who will be just my friend..
or can be my friend..
or even should, I guess.

Is it true?
can men and woman just not be friends?

11 comments:

  1. Ah Debbie,

    It all boils down to character doesn't it....sigh. Sometimes the outer wrapper doesn't reflect the package inside.

    Have a great day tomorrow sweet lady!

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  2. I am widowed and have man friends and I found it had nothing to do with my decision or even their decision......in all honesty it depended on their wives, if the wives didn't mind their changing a tap or fixing an electrical outlet then we became friends.....if a wife didn't like it, well it just never worked. Thank heaven I had some very secure girlfriends who not only trusted their husbands but trusted me as a loyal friend.......:-) Hugs

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  3. I think you can be friends with a man providing you both just want friendship. If one person wants more then that is when it gets complicated and to difficult to maintain a friendship.

    Next you have to meet male friends in the same way you may meet a female friend. Through work, school, hobbies, gym, church etc.. Most friendship are formed by common interests.

    If you make a male friends who is married and the wife feels threatened then that is the wives issue not yours, but I understand how this hinders friendship on many levels as everyone is then on edge.

    I have male friends from work as I am the only female in my team and have not work with another woman in the last 7 years. Down side is I need to talk about motor bikes and boys stuff first to bond but the boys are really cool and very funny.

    I have 2 married male friends I met through my photography hobby. I actually go on weekends away with these 2 married men, along with another single girl. There is no romantic interest between any of us. We all love photography and get along famously and have a great time in each others company. I think wives of the 2 married men actually enjoy that we take them off their hands for a while and give them some time to themselves :)
    The actually ask and suggest ideas for up and coming weekends.

    For me personally I struggled with the concept of making new friends (male or female) in the early days of my divorce. I've leaned just to be myself and friendship happen over time, to expect nothing and that friendship from with people you least expect.

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  4. Oh the continual quandry! *sigh* I hear you...and there is no easy answer. I think Bernie said it well--it depends on the wives...either that you hang out with gay men! (chuckle) But then again...fun, but not the same.

    I've kept my friendships with men in "safe" zones....work, neighbors, sometimes church...places you can talk, but it's understood nothing more. And being close to absolutely blunt from the start that I wasn't dating. At. All. lol

    I enjoy your writing and your thoughts so. Complexity and honesty...so real.

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  5. I have friends who are men. Of course I am married and not looking for anything else besides friendship. Many of these friends are friends because of what we are doing: church choir, school functions, etc. Most of them are married too which is why our friendships work....

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  6. It all depends on the wives. Well said Bernie.

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  7. Some can, Some can't. I think we should all go into a relationship with the friend intent and then if something happens, good, if not, then we have a new friend!

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  8. What sort of hobbies do you enjoy? You can go to meetup.com to find a group with similar interests and go from there. But it also comes down to you. YOU have to be able to see men as friends vs. someone to date or someone to avoid. They just are.

    Good luck.

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  9. There are plenty of single men out there for you to be friends with. You will not receive the frienship you are looking for from a married man whose first commitment is to his wife and family. If you do becaome friends with a married man and develop a crush on him which often happens, especailly if you are feeling ready for a relationship. Nothing good will come of it in the end. Someone will end up getting hurt.
    The problem is that we chose friends that we are compatible with or admire. The point is that you are attracted to them in some way. It is only natural that with a man this could develop into more feelings. Wth a married man it could develop into a disaster.

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  10. anonymous- I am going to take a guess that you are a married woman who is concerned about her husband! I say that because that's how I would have reacted! I lived both sides of this coin! I did not choose to be single...I also watched my husband cross lines with friends! BUT, I have come to own my part in our demise! I have come to understand that my jealousy (even when warranted) caused great rifts!! I placed even the 'innocent' friendships off limits and caused him to desire them more. NO grown man OR woman likes to be told what to do or feel like a child! However, I completely agree that friendships between married men and woman are different then between those with no attachments! Boundaries are different. NOT always because something might happen but instead to protect the integrity of the relationships they are already in!! I believe first and foremost in marriage- But, I don't completely agree that there is always a CRUSH involved. I have a few male married friends..I admire them , like them..learn from them, respect them..but just because I am single does not mean by virtue of them being men I crush on them!!:) I also feel some credit has to be given to the fact that a woman being single does not make her so ready for a relationship that all men should be aware...When I enter a relationship it will not be with someone unavailable. I lived the other side of that...anyway, its a deep issue! One I have lived both sides of! I feel a blog coming on.....hee hee!

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