Can Men and Women ever just be friends?
And anyway, Why would a guy even bother having female friends? What would they possibly have in common?
Now, for a lot of guys, they’re just not used to viewing women as anything other than a romantic or love interest. They don’t believe that women have anything to offer men other than their bodies.
And to this, I would say that yes, there are lots of women other there that really haven’t bothered to develop their personality in any way.
There are plenty of girls who, for whatever reason, their identity is overly wrapped up in how they look, there’s no depth or substance to them and besides from being pretty to look at, they’re really quite boring.
I think a lot of guys AND girls would tire of someone like this. But obviously, not every girl is like this, not by a long shot.
So what if you met a girl and you thought she was cool. She was intelligent, easy to talk to and fun to be around, but for some reason, you’re not available as a romantic option for her. Maybe you’re already taken or you’re taking a sabbatical from women, it doesn’t matter. The question is, can you just be friends with her?
Well, yes and no…
Now, I’m gonna do something that I usually wouldn’t do, and that is quote Rollo Tomassi. Because I honestly think Rollo’s got it spot on here:
The reason men and women cannot be friends is because we both hold different concepts of friendship that we base on our same-sex friendships. Men are far more accommodating of female behavior they would come to blows over had their male friend done the same.
I really respect Rollo Tomassi’s work. I don’t always agree with what he says and I really wish all his YouTube videos weren’t 3 hours long, I’d probably watch them if they weren’t, I mean who the hell has three hours to sit and watch a vodcast, but whether or not I agree with him on any topic, I respect the level of thought and introspection that he puts into his work. He’s an iconoclast and a free thinker, and I respect that.
In his blog titled “Intergender Friendship” he makes this statement:
Even if you can legitimately make the case that you aren’t now, or weren’t in the past, attracted to your opposite sex friend, your other intimate relationships will still modify and/or limit the depth of that friendship.
This is the nuance that is missing from a lot of the discussion surrounding this topic of whether men and women can be friends.
Yes, of course, men and women can be friends. I have many friends who are women. However, as Rollo states, the depth of your platonic friendship will always be dictated by the fact that you will need to treat your female friends differently to your male friends.
You will need to take into account the feelings of romantic interests that come along in your life and the fact that women are generally just more sensitive and more emotional than men are.
For example, you are not going to be able to call your female friend a “cunt” and have them laugh it off. Trust me, I know from first-hand experience…
In my book Here Be Dragons, I write about a heated discussion I had with one of my female friends. Now, for context, I have known this friend for over 20 years. We have never hooked up, I’ve never had a crush on her, I don’t think she’s ever had a crush on me, we’re more like family than friends.
Anyway, I had a rather heated discussion with her regarding women hitting the wall around the age of 30 or so. Now, I spoke to her the same way I would speak to my male friends on the topic because as far as I was concerned at the time because she’s just a friend, I will treat her the same as any of my other friends, be they male or female. Just because she’s a girl, doesn’t mean she gets special treatment.
However, the conversation ended up making her cry. And as soon as she started crying all the other people at the party (we were at a birthday party btw) leapt to her defence and started questioning me about why she was crying. So I told them straight. I had a conversation, it got heated. She couldn’t take it and got emotional and started crying.
And this is what got to me. All of these people, guys and girls started telling me that I should treat my female friends a bit more tenderly than my male friends.
And yes, while this sounds like “pandering to the female imperative”, it is really just human biology, and I daresay that if it wasn’t this way, then men wouldn’t like it. Let me explain…
As I’ve stated in other videos when men get together they tend to spend a lot of time breaking each other's balls and giving each other shit. And we don’t like it when a guy can’t give his mates shit. Now, this isn’t “toxic masculinity” as feminists would have you believe, it is an essential part of male comradery and bonding. When we are breaking each other’s balls we are testing the strength of our male friends because one day we may need them to stand up for us. And if they can’t stand up for themselves, how can we expect them to stand up for us?
On the flip side, women don’t have this imperative to test the strength of their friends. They instead use their time together with friends to bond and strengthen connections. They might be terrible behind the backs of their friends but they’re being nice to their faces. That’s the fundamental difference here.
And that’s what Rollo Tomassi is trying to say when he states that men and women can’t be friends. Yes, you can be friends, but you’re going to have to act differently around your female friends than you are around your male friends.
The depth of your relationship with your female friends will also be hampered by the natural sexual tension between you.
If you are a heterosexual male and you develop a deep friendship with a female, chances are it will either develop into romance if both you and her feel the same way, or you will be left pining with unrequited love.
This does not happen with friendships of the same gender. Heterosexual males can have deep relationships with other males without it ever spilling into romance.
And that is the difference.
So yes, it is possible to have female friends, up to a point. Just make sure that the type of relationship you have with her is on your terms. Don’t ever agree to be just friends with her if you honestly want more than friendship with her.
And yes, it’s extremely beneficial and healthy to have females and males in your friendship group, especially if you want to meet other females, because girls are generally friends with other girls…
But just be aware that yes, if you want to remain friends with women, you’re going to have to treat them differently to your male friends, and you’re going to have to act differently around them. Your female friends, no matter how much they try to tell you they’re “just one of the boys”, they will never be just one of your “guy friends”.
Now, I’m not saying that you need to change your behaviour drastically to the point where you don’t even recognise yourself anymore, you might just have to cut back on the locker room talk a bit, for example
It’s about introducing nuance into your sub communication. It’s about sensing the lay of the land and calibrating yourself to know what's appropriate and what's inappropriate to do and say within any given context.
There are no hard and fast rules here, I mean some of the women I’m friends with went to prissy and expensive high school and did deportment school and everything and they still talk like sailors, so, like I always say you just have to play what's in front of you.