I was that girl.
The one that would say, “I just….get along better with boys.” I was a tomboy and hung out with mostly dudes and other tomboys. When I was a bit younger, say 12-17, I did have mostly guy friends and as far as we were concerned, we were only friends and that would be as far as it went.
I have had a couple of disheartening experiences with men lately. I would treat them like friends, act like their friend, let them know that I was not interested in them and got a few bad reactions. One started being disrespectful and rude, another acted like a gentleman, and another wouldn’t take the hint and continued to believe that I liked him and treated me like someone he was dating. Each of these experiences made me think, “Maybe, I can’t be just friends with men anymore.”
As I have mentioned in other blogs I got more “conventionally attractive” as I aged. When I made guy friends as a young tomboy, I was just another dude. But as this new girl, men no longer treated me like “one of the boys” and it would be harder to maintain an actual friendship with them. I would develop a fear that they considered me as more than their friend and I would learn this lesson the hard way quite a few times. The need for fulfilling female friendships became more and more necessary.
This is especially hard, maybe, because it is much easier to be friends with someone that wants to have sex with you. They agree with you more often, you suddenly have so many interests that you share, they are just such great listeners, and sometimes they are nicer without you ever needing to say or do anything that warrants that response.
My latest run-ins with men lead me to believe that it’s not men I should be avoiding but women that I should be embracing. In other words, facing my fear of letting a woman “in.” For whatever reason, I have built so much fear and anxiety around it and I believe that this is the true cause of my heartache with men.
From the age of 12 to present time, I have struggled to make friends with females. I think it stems from a fear of the “pretty girls” in school. I believed, all of those years, that I just got along better with men when really, I was scared to be friends with females. If the females were especially pretty, smart, and “cool” I avoided them completely. They felt different, and foreign to me. I felt unable to identify with them, and I wasn’t exactly wrong. We did have very different realities. But as I have matured, I have seen this ugly belief for what it really is- a limiting fear that is holding me back from developing loving connections with other females. I have always been afraid that females would hurt me so I steered away from platonic relationships with them. It wasn’t until recently that I got real with myself. It wasn’t just about enjoying a male’s company, it was about being intimidated by women.
With that being said, I have started to take chances in that arena. If I like a girl- I think she’s smart, cool, or stylish, I tell her. I tell her I’d like to get coffee some time or go on a friend date. I’ve also started nourishing my existing female friendships. (I know some really great females already, I don’t need to hunt down new ones.) What’s really important about all of this, is that I got real with myself about why I was inclined to hang out with men. I had to admit that it was easier to hang out with men for reasons that weren’t necessarily positive or growth inducing. I had to admit that it wasn’t about making male friendship and more about avoiding female friendships.
I have heard time-and-time again that, as a female, the most important friendships in your life will be your female friendships. The females (old and young) that support you through break-ups, school, work, disagreements, achievements, failings, discriminations, and everything in between- will be the glue of your life. That is why the ladies that consider themselves “one of the guys” should make time to reconsider why we reject female relationships and the ugly beliefs around it. We are missing out on something really sweet and the sooner we begin to cultivate those relationships, the better.
I do believe that friendships of all types are important and that friends should be welcomed regardless of the genitalia that separates them.
I’d love to here your thoughts on male/female relationships and the dynamic I mentioned above. Leave a comment below and let me know how you feel!
-The Curvy Broke Girl