A few weeks ago I blogged about TV friendships, specifically the Meredith/Christina friendship, and in that post, I raised some questions about whether this type of friendship was realistic because really, even though I desire a friendship like that I have NEVER seen something even remotely similar in my life.
Laura commented that she had seen 2 examples in her life of this type of friendship. BUT. They were friendships between guys.
Her comment sparked a thought process for me and I started to wonder if perhaps boys are better at friendship than girls.
Now I’ll be honest. There are some things that I LOVE about guy friendships (I’m talking specifically guy and guy friendships and not guy and girl friendships – that’s actually another blog post) and there are some things that I don’t particularly like about them. Maybe that’s a bit harsh so perhaps I should say that there are some things within guy friendships that I wouldn’t be OK with.
I have thought long and hard about the real differences (that I have noticed) between male friendships and female friendships. This is what I came up with:
They have no drama in their friendships – possibly because they don’t share their deepest secrets. There is minimal emotional intimacy and they are simply not interested in the details. I often think that men talk AT one another rather than TO one another. The other day my DH visited an old friend of his. He came home and told me that his friend M and his wife V had a baby a couple of days prior to that. So I asked about the baby. This was the conversation:
DH: M was about to start renovating his house but now that there is a small baby they are going to wait a bit. V says she’s not going to have strange people making dust and noise in her house while she’s on maternity leave trying to catch up on sleep during the day with the baby.
Me: A baby? When?
DH: Last week.
Me: Well, is it a boy or a girl?
DH: I forgot to ask.
Me: Did you see the baby?
DH: Yes. “ It” was sleeping in the car seat.
Me: So did it look like a boy or a girl?
DH: I don’t know. It looked like a baby.
Me: Well, what is the baby’s name?
DH: I don’t know, it never came up!
Me: So I guess if you didn’t ask for the baby’s name in order to at least GUESS the gender then you wouldn’t know WHERE V had her baby or what it weighed or anything? Because really, I would love to get something small for the baby and send them a card but I’m going to feel rather stupid if I say “congrats on the birth of “IT”.
DH: You would be guessing correctly. I’m sure they wouldn’t have a problem if you didn’t get anything. They have loads of stuff for the baby. I saw a lot of flowers and gift bags in their lounge.
ME: So what colour were the gift bags? Was there a lot of pink and flowery heart stuff? Because that may mean that they have a girl?
DH: I don’t know.
Me: So what did you and M speak about if the baby’s details never came up in any conversation?
DH: We had a beer. We spoke about this and that.
Me: What is this and that? You have to tell me. It’s for research purposes.
DH: (he’s now rolling his eyes) Work and renovation stuff. And M’s new car. You know, this and that.
Seriously people. Can you imagine women not asking these questions to other women? He actually didn’t know the gender of the baby or the baby’s name and it honestly didn’t bother him. Apparently it just never came up!!!
The point that I’m trying to illustrate here is that they don’t go out of their way for the details. They talk about STUFF. But not intimate stuff. OR heaven forbid, their feelings!
They tend to bond over shared activities. They play golf. They watch the rugby. They go fishing. They cycle. I think that their conversations revolve mostly around “doing” of things and not the “feeling of things” hence the lack of emotional intimacy. Also, there appears to be ZERO judgement. I have never heard of any boy judging another boy’s wife for not breastfeeding. Or choosing a c-section. They simply don’t care. I think that girls can learn A LOT from that.
There is a lot more emotional intimacy and support and way more sharing – (face-to-face around a table as opposed to side-by-side catching fish in silence or whatever). They cry together and share their deepest secrets with one another. This is excellent but not always, because it has the potential to cause drama. I have seen friendships end because of this sharing/over-sharing. Women know how to hurt one another because they often have a keen sense of one another’s vulnerabilities. Ultimately, women are emotional beings and this usually comes into play. Men simply don’t get close enough to one another to have this kind of drama in their friendships.
They tend to bond over having shared or similar experiences (i.e. new moms or recently divorced or being a mom of a special needs kid or whatever) as opposed to bonding over shared activities.
To be honest, I often envy male friendships mostly for the low maintenance aspect and the lack of intensity and drama. And for the lack of judgement. It is because of these factors that I believe that men probably are better at friendship than women and I honestly believe that women are their own worst enemies. Having said that, being a person who requires WORDS OF AFFIRMATION in order to feel loved, I probably would NOT survive as a guy in friendship.
Do you think that there are huge differences between male friendships and female friendships?
What other significant differences have I left out?
Do you think that boys are better at friendship than girls?