WOMEN & MEN FRIENDSHIPS

1033.gifWomen have intense close friendships, men tend not to have that according to Professor Dunbar, the Psychologist Professor at Oxford University. Professor Dunbar found women view best friend relationships in between sisters and soul mates. Men tend to see theirs purely in terms of the convenience. He came to this conclusion by exploring how people’s friendship circles changed when they left school for university. So what determined original friendships or whether they survived long-term? Did women make effort to talk more to each other on the phone as explored? And did “talking have any absolute effects on mens’ relationships at all? For men it was doing stuff together that held close friendships together. Doing activities like going to a football match or the pub for a drink, playing five a side was more meaningful to men. They made effort if was such an activity.” He looked at the differences between the sexes and said women clearly have much more intense close friendships than men. Men tend not to have that sort of relationship but they tend to have a group of four men they do such stuff with. So relationship is much more casual. With men it is out of sight out of mind. They just find four more guys to go drinking with.”The cast of Channel 4's university-themed sitcom Fresh Meat The cast of Channel 4’s university-themed sitcom Fresh Meat. This will be familiar to any woman who has had both the pleasure and disappointment of close male friend particularly in their twenties and thirties. At first, things are wonderful. Life is full of great catch ups, and laughter over pints of beer. They listen to your woes and you help them with their woman problems. It is the friendship neither knew needed. Only then, something changes. They start a new relationship. They move to a new postcode really not very far. They get a new job with a ready-made social life. They get a new flatmate. Whatever the change they suddenly have the new set of replacement ready and can’t seem to find the time to meet you for that coffee. You, naively, keep trying. You call them, you send jokey pictures and do exactly what you will do if that was a girlfriend growing distant: bombard her with the attention you wish she was showing you. Except with a male friend, it just does not work. Whether it is nature or nurture, most men simply do not view friendships in the same way as women. Gender is hardly the issue it is practical problem of how much time and effort they put into a platonic relationship. As the study says, there’s always another drinking buddy around the corner. Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis in Friends with BenefitsJustin Timberlake and Mila Kunis in Friends with Benefits. Men reading this may feel unfairly judged. So I put it to a colleague and current male friend let’s be honest, the second we stop sharing a desk, I will never hear from him again. “Some of my best friends are women,” he says vaguely. When I ask if the effort he made with friends is comparable to that his girlfriend makes with hers, he begrudgingly accepts that he could not spend hours on the phone with his pals of either gender. He lost count of the male friends who have disappeared over the years. Often, it coincides with the arrival of a new girlfriend. But contrary to popular interpretation, it is rarely to do with that new girlfriend’s jealousy. As one former male friend charmingly told me: “I have to hear all my girlfriend’s emotional stresses now. I don’t have time for yours.” With male mates like that it is probably no surprise all efforts go into his female friendships. And now academics backed my choice.tmg-article_default_mobile

Steps To recover friends

  • Stop pre-empting: Sometimes we are anxious when we do not need to be and it creates conflicts with friends in our heads. Your friend may be sitting thinking the same thing; not think anything is wrong.
  • Do not be consumed by guilt: Often you feel guilty or embarrassed you did not make contact for a while. This is what is getting in the way, try not to hold onto these feelings.
  • Face conflicts that arise: If your friendships is worthwhile you should be willing to fix them, ask what has gone wrong, what their position may be to work  solution.
  • Set objectives: Once you have discussed the issues don’t let them drag on, make a decision to move forward and set practical ways of keeping in touch and letting the other know you care.
  • Find positive aspects: Friendship may take on a different form with distance allows space to see things objectively. You may be able to help each other more, to make use of the distance when you can.