Saturday, August 16, 2008

Female/Male Relationships

We all have people in our lives, as friends, business associates, professional contacts and the everyday people that cross our paths that we greet but never really know. We need people in our lives to survive emotionally, physically and for companionship.

Good or bad they are in our lives for a reason, a season or for life. They can enrich our lives, but can also cause complications - especially in the female/male friendships. Female friends are great, I'm just not interested in any of the superficial things that many women are, like fashion, gossip and the cattiness that often goes with it. Thank goodness, not all women are like that, or I wouldn't have many friends! I love my female friends, it's just that I can have totally different kinds of conversations with men.

Misspoken words, misunderstood comments and mixed signals can mess up the best of relationships. A lot of these can be worked out with a little effort over time and if both sides are able to be honest, open minded and level headed in the process.

Men tend to work out there differences fairly quickly, with little communication.

Women need to talk it out and fully understand where things went wrong so that we can learn from the situation and move on to healthier relationships and not make the same mistakes.

Men and women sorting out their differences together can be a nightmare! The male figures a few quick words will fix it and then you move on and can't understand why the woman needs more discussion. The woman can't understand how the man can just let the whole thing drop without analyzing what happened, yet he can watch the sports channels analyze the same game play over and over and over.

We really are wired differently!

When a relationship hits a bump or a landslide, I want to know where it went wrong. Was this building up for awhile? A miscommunication? Can we find a way to work it out? Is the relationship able to be repaired? Is it worth the effort?

Trust is a huge issue for most women, myself included. I don't trust easily. I never have, but when I do trust you, I will slowly open up to you. If that trust is broken, it is really hard to regain it. I've had more than my share of friendships gone sour. I've also had to walk away from a few friendships that had just been irreparable and that hurts like hell. A couple of them lasted more than 20 years. Friendships from my teenage years that became betrayals in confidences. We tried to talk it out, but our lives had just become too different to find a common ground to rebuild.

I've never been married, nor do I really want to go there. It's not that I don't enjoy men, I do, I just don't know if I'd have the tolerance and trust to put up with one on a full time basis! I know everyone says it would be different if the right one came along. Maybe it would - but I really think I'm better off single in this go around at life. Maintaining a friendship with a man is hard enough, let alone anything more intimate.

Being "friends" with a man can get really dicey. Odds are, at some point someone is going to want more or "think" that the other one does and it's going to get messy. It gets even more complicated if one of you has a significant other. The last thing you want to do is cause a "problem" in that relationship.

Every spousal relationship is different and has it's own set of acceptable behaviour. Some are comfortable with their partners having friends of the opposite sex through work or business but draw the line at spending time with those people outside of that environment even for coffee or lunch. Some encourage friendships in general as long as they remember that "what is good for the goose is good for the gander"! A lot of it depends on the level of trust and communication between the couple.

One man I knew many years ago was watched like a hawk by his wife. He had never strayed but her previous husband had and she just didn't really allow herself to trust again. I understand that. I also understand that not all men or women cheat, but it only takes one betrayal to destroy a trust.

I've met some wonderful men over the years that I would like to have gotten to know better, not necessarily on a romantic level, just on a casual or social level. I could never knowingly be the "other" person in a relationship. Odds are if someone is willing to cheat with you, they will cheat on you.

If there are issues in the relationship, find a way to deal with it that doesn't involve the feelings/heart of a third person. Get counselling, work things out or divorce.

Life happens and feelings can change and do develop, It is critical to keep the lines of communication open and be specific about where the boundaries are. If they are crossed inadvertently or deliberately you have to speak up before things get out of hand. Staying quiet can destroy a good friendship and a spousal relationship.

I can't speak for all women, but I'd really rather hear the truth - that the person has/hasn't feelings - than wonder if it was all in my imagination. Telling a friend that there was nothing between them to "protect" the persons feelings is a cop out! I'd much rather know that the feelings were real and can't be pursued. Either way can hurt and I understand why the cop out is often used. It's easier than dealing with your own feelings - especially for a man. Being hurt by any friend sucks but I'd still rather be hurt by the truth than a lie. I don't want to wonder if it was all a game, if I was being used or if we were even really friends in the first place. I'll take the truth over the shadows of doubt any day.

Being honest may hurt me, but I'll survive and I'll respect you more for telling me the truth rather than what you think I want to hear or a lie. The lies eat away and no matter how hard you try, they do come back to bite you.

So here is the bottom line. We all need friends. Good friends are hard to find. Even casual friendships take work. I may get the odd telepathic sense, but I can't read minds. You have to tell me where your boundaries are and what you want or don't want. Don't change the rules without telling me. I expect my friends to be open, honest and truthful with me and themselves. Doing that will earn my respect, love, loyalty, trust and friendship.


1 comment:

videonick said...

Well put. What can I say?

Communication is so very important.

Keep the good posts coming.