In the old days, men used to be out working and most women stayed at home, and the only way they could get together was with romantic and serious intentions. This ancient belief still holds true to the old-fashioned idea that men and women can’t be friends.
In the modern world, women work with men and they share a lot of similar interests. Even if it can get dicey, men and women can successfully become good friends. In fact, research shows that it is actually healthy and beneficial for these friendships to exist.
The famous book from the 90s «Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus» states that most common relationship problems between men and women are a result of fundamental psychological differences between the sexes – which explains the analogy of men and women belonging to different planets.
People’s tendency is to believe that men and women can’t be friends, blaming the sexual tension or the mistrust that tortures many couples when a significant other becomes «friends» with someone of the opposite sex.
Part of this trend stems from the media. Every time we watch a movie or a TV series we expect the protagonists to be on the road to romance.
To give a more real-life example: I am single, and every time I publish a picture on social media with someone of the opposite sex, I get a thousand messages from girlfriends asking me who is the guy!
Why? I can’t have guy friends?!? Don’t mind if I do!
Part of the reason is cultural and somewhat gossipy, but in the end, it all boils down to the thought that a man and a woman together in a picture have to be more than friends.
During psychotherapy, it was a recommendation that I made more guy friends.
It is easier for a woman to confide in a guy friend when the friendship is indeed authentic because a guy has a totally impartial and unbiased view, due to the fact that there is no gender solidarity.
A guy will always be able to give a woman objective and practical advice, as well as accurate explanations as to why things work out a certain way in relationships from the male perspective.
In other words, he will be able to tell you what your partner will never tell you.
Broken-hearted women will gang up and point out at men as culprits most of the time.
If your guy friend makes a negative remark about the guy you are dating, he is most likely a scumbag. If, on the contrary, he stands up for him it’ll be supported by arguments that only guys will be able to understand, and perhaps you should think hard before dumping him.
When all the above conditions are met, this guy friend is usually gay.
In my experience, it is very hard to reach a flawless friendship with a straight guy.
There is always a guy friend (ex-beau, colleague, classmate, friend) willing to listen with ill intentions, the important thing is to be aware at all times of the signs to not be caught off guard by any «surprises».
I have a guy friend like the one I am describing and he is straight. We have known each other for many, many years, but we have yet to meet in person.
He has listened to me through my divorce, breast cancer, marriage problems, motherhood, my move to Colombia, my frustration with dating in a macho nation… You name it!
Thanks to him, I’ve been able to understand many things about men and this has allowed me to know them better.
He is a good friend and an excellent listener and wants my best interest, but he has made it very clear that, if I’d allow it, he’d like to get into my pants.
He has told me that he has helped a lot of married women (friends, ex-girlfriends, colleagues) get through snags in their marriages.
He calls himself an «intimacy coach».
His «therapies» are virtual in nature. He never gets physically involved with any of his «patients». Even if the patients want to meet him, he abstains from in-person meetings.
I am positive he is very good at it because he is a very loyal friend and a good person.
I was curious to know what was his motivation to do this, so one day I asked him.
He said he always had a vocation of service and, because he didn’t pursue a career in law enforcement or became a priest, he took advantage of that calling to help women facing roadblocks in their marriages.
It’d be interesting to know what his story really is, how the relationships with these women start, and what drove him to become this sort of female «whisperer».
Which brings me back to the theory that men and women can be good friends. Is it foolproof, though?
Recently, he’s been telling me that he wants to meet me in person. I wonder why he wants to make an exception to his golden rule of no in-person encounters and meet me of all people.
I am not interested in anything but his friendship, but knowing that he is attracted to me, makes me a little nervous and apprehensive about the rendezvous.
What do you think I should do?