Friday, 23 January 2015

Real Men Have Real Women Friends

I’m a single male seeking a single female. I’ve been in solid relationships that have ended for a number of reasons. Life goes on and so do our hearts. The baggage I once thought I would carry from these relationships got lost on an Air Canada flight somewhere along the way. But the one piece of luggage I never want to lose is the one full of my closest friends: male and female.

This past holiday season I was asked a number of times by family and friends, “Why don’t you date so and so? You guys seem really close.” I tell them that having that person as a friend means more to me than anything else.

I dislike the phrase people give to these friendships, calling them “platonic relationships.” As if the lack of sex in a relationship between a man and a woman defines the relationship in some way! Real men have a side that only those of the opposite sex actually understand. Women have a remarkable way of pulling information from any man. I embrace this effortless characteristic from all my close female friends and open up to them whole-heartedly. My closest female friends know more about me than most people in my life. In return, I listen, and for the most part, I know when to offer my own advice. That’s a healthy and dependable friendship if you ask me.

Don’t get me wrong; just like in any relationship emotions can get in the way at times. Heck, at some point along the way, you will probably fall in love with your female friends. But when you both communicate those feelings, the friendship develops. Leaving those thoughts to live in your head like a dirty fantasyland can be harmful, but by communicating them you can become more open with each other than ever.

Reasons to have close female friends when you are single:

  • Women find a way to highlight your best characteristics, which builds confidence and inflates ego just enough.
  • They don’t mind when you show emotions (even cry) in front of them about your ex, even if it’s your ex’s best friend and you’re in a bar at a table surrounded by other guys you’ve never met (yup, this happened). Somehow, having her there not judging you makes it okay.  
  • Consensual cuddles that do not need to turn into intercourse. Sometimes men just want to watch Netflix under big warm blankets while eating a big tray of nachos, too.
  • They don’t actually care if you haven’t shaved in a week or have a hairy back.
  • A hug from a friend is nice; a good hug from a friend with breasts is better.
  • They will never let you date their close friends, to avoid the messy aftermath that’s sure to follow. Unless it happens naturally, then they encourage healthy communication.
  •  A female friend you can travel and make plans with means you will see more and do more than you ever thought you would. Face it, they are just way better planners than we are.
Reasons to have close female friends when you are in a relationship:

  • They understand the complexities of relationships better than we do. Heed your friend’s advice for anything that may confuse you. Usually a conversation with a female friend can help form the best channel of communication between you and your partner. 
  • They won’t hesitate to tell you when you are in a toxic relationship and will help you form a blueprint for escape. 
  • If they are friends with your partner as well, they will give you great insight on what gifts to get them, because sometimes us guys are not great at reading those obvious hints. 
  • A partner that genuinely accepts your close female friends as her own and doesn’t mind when you want to have a date night with one of your friends, is one surefire sign they are a keeper. 
Women and men are at a level playing field and men like me work with, live with, play sports with, network with and socialize with women all the time. Chances are, you’re no different. I questioned writing this post as I find it unnecessary to have to make the distinction between male and female friends.

However, the best thing I’ve learned while putting this post together is that when the right woman comes along that steals my heart, not only will she have to be a close female friend herself, but she will have to accept that my other close female friends are a big part of who I am. They are friends that I enjoy spending time with, whether it is through a long-distance Skype conversation, seeing a movie or having a beer


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