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Thread: Anyone Struggle To Have Female Friendships? Anyone Have None?

  1. #1
    Gold Member mylolita's Avatar
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    Anyone Struggle To Have Female Friendships? Anyone Have None?

    Hio enotalone!

    Feel like a dork asking this, but all my life I have had such trouble maintaining or mostly just finding/developing true, deep, honest friendships with other women.

    It's crazy because when it comes to men, I get on with them like a house on fire and everything is easy and flowing and great. No problem there. But, any women out there struggle to understand women??? I find myself constantly asking why? Why do they do this? Why do they gossip?!? Whhhyyy?!

    Anyone go without close female friendships? What is it like? Or, do you think there is great value in them and a girl needs other women around her to share those girlie times where you need a glass of something and some female chat?

    I am coming across very butch here - please, I am quite the opposite, I am quite a girlie girl in a lot of ways apart from, I fall flat here in the friendship department.

    What am I doing wrong? Other women are very interested and very quick to befriend me, they really seem to like me at first, and then they get to know me, I invite them into my home, they get to know my husband, my baby, I feel like this might be a true potential friendship and then they either ditch me, talk about me behind my back, get into what feels like a competitive situation with me or just down right use me and take advantage of the fact I am very generous, constantly throw parties, provide dinner, drinks etc. I just don't get it.

    I had a best friend for 16 years. In the end, we had a huge argument, I was supposed to be her bridesmaid and see her walk the aisle in a few months and we had an explosive argument where she outright told me her and her other very new, fickle (to me) friends had all talked badly about me and I just felt quite angry and heart broken. Also, a bit sorry for them. I knew right there and then after hearing that, regardless of the other problems we had, that how could I stand there and support her on her wedding day after knowing how she really feels? I sent the dress back to her. We've never spoken again.

    Any advice on this weird subject? Anything appreciated.

    I used to think it was all my fault, now, I'm just second guessing. People seem to be so self-involved and to be taking themselves so seriously these days. I feel like I was born in the wrong era.

    Can't make any true friends since junior school.

    Lo x

  2. #2
    Platinum Member DancingFool's Avatar
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    Heh...I've always had an easier time being friends with guys. I mean since I was little. However, I do have a handful of very close female friends and have always had female friends as well. Yes, I do feel that there is a big difference in how men and women interact and I've always felt a need for girl time even if I make friends more easily with guys.

    That said, I do stay away from girly girls and connect better with those who are more tomboy'ish for lack of a better word. Yes, a lot of women are catty, competitive with each other, gossipy, etc. BUT there are plenty who aren't like that. It's ye olde you can't choose your family, but you do choose your friends. So when it comes to female friends, I am picky. My old circle from college aside, other women I've become close with I've met doing hobbies that I enjoy that aren't necessarily girly. Kind of a like minds drawn to like hobbies thing.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member IAmFCA's Avatar
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    I have struggled, and in recent years, have been making improvements.

    This was not very flattering to myself when I started to unpack it! Here goes... for me, this was a mosaic of patterns/skills/traits, not a linear one.

    1) I was sexist. Not on purpose. I assumed men valued power, risk taking, and exploration. I assumed women valued comfort, reliability, and predictability. My values aligned more with what I presumed were male-oriented values. As a result, I was more comfortable being open and present when in male company. When in female company, I was more guarded and more expectant of rejection. This may still be true; I am working on it; maybe I am past it.

    2) I was judgmental. Women who looked or behaved a certain way triggered a set of assumptions within me. In men, I tolerated a broad range of traits. In women, I required a set of tells that signaled to me that they would accept me. If they were too conformist, I presumed I would be rejected, struggle to find common ground, etc. While that may be the case, it often isn't the case at all.

    3) Friendships require a certain degree of reliability - men and women value this, because it confers a low risk profile to their friendship investment. Well, being predictable is not my strong suit, in the normal sense of the word. My days vary, my schedule may change midday. I travel with minimum of preparation. I am very predictable in my unpredictability. My friends need to know how to connect, but I don't offer many handholds. This, I need to solve. Trying to find more ways to create repeat behaviors, but not there yet.

    4) Some of my male friends were friends with me because they put the effort in, and I went with it. They may have had ulterior motives, who knows. I decided to choose one woman, then another, etc, in whom I wanted to invest. I decided to date them, basically. (Not really, but that is my best analogy.)

    5) To maintain friendships, I have to get past the enjoyment of things, and into the deeper meaning of things. To learn to manage conflict, to assert myself, to still express attachment while also behaving in a way that respects my own needs. This turned out to be a set of communication skills.

    6) I need to be comfortable in my own flawed skin. I recently was friendly with a new acquaintance; she then ignored me completely at a recent event. Shrug; that tells me she was interested in my contribution to the team, and not my individual presence. I get that. It no longer intimidates me, but it once would have. I do not need her approval, and I did not bother to reach out to say hello. She saw me there; she was focused on her own path. That is okay by me.

    These have been my impediments/skill developments. Is it similar for you? It remains something about which I need to be intentional, and vulnerable. Occasionally, I take my lumps and keep it movin.

  4. #4
    Platinum Member maew's Avatar
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    I strongly value both women and men as friends for different reasons. At the end of the day I appreciate the emotional connection I get from my female friends. It did take me a long time to figure out the type of relationship I wanted and to cultivate friendships that were really meaningful to me. What I came to realize was that women highly value the sharing of emotions, feelings, and secrets in order to feel connected. They want to know that it's safe and okay to get vulnerable with their friends and expect their friends to do the same. I had to learn this the hard way many times before I actually built the relationships I have today. In my experience, male / female friendships are less emotional and that sort of vulnerability is not expected or even necessary in order to build a friendship.... which may make it easier to build and maintain but perhaps less satisfying in the long run.

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  6. #5
    Platinum Member figureitout23's Avatar
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    I always say: donít trust a woman without female friends.

    That statement has literally never failed me.

    I deleted the rest IMFCA wrote my thoughts way more eloquently.

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    I think you are choosing the wrong friends.

    The first time a new friend gossips about another one of their friends, I move on- if they are talking about them, they are talking about me. If they are flaky, I move on. It can take time to develop good friendships, but it is well worth it. Most women do not gossip about their friends.

    Where are you meeting people?

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    I really like Iamfcaís analysis especially about being sexist. Also reliability is crucial to me and itís my strong suit. My biggest impediment to making new friends are people who claim to want to make new friends but donít want to put in the effort to make a plan and follow through - or to reschedule reliably if there is an emergency. Iím fine with tentative plans and not fine with enthusiastically stating that she wants to make a plan and then proceeding to be vague or nonresponsive - waste of my time. Iím fine with cyber friendships but not with flakiness if the person expresses interest in making a plan.
    I value both my male and female friendships and have always had male friends.

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    Originally Posted by figureitout23
    I always say: donít trust a woman without female friends.

    That statement has literally never failed me.

    I deleted the rest IMFCA wrote my thoughts way more eloquently.
    Interesting perspective. Why is that?

    I believe the opposite!

  10. #9
    Platinum Member melancholy123's Avatar
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    I had plenty of girlfriends when I was in school and into my 20s but not now. That's ok with me as most women drive me nuts with whining and complaining about what is wrong in their lives, including their male partners, yet wont do anything about it. I much prefer the company of guys, the ones I know are open and we can talk about anything. We can hang out and it doesnt turn sexual. I like the relaxed feeling around guys that I dont get with most women.

  11. #10
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    Originally Posted by dias
    Interesting perspective. Why is that?

    I believe the opposite!
    Iím going to ask you the same, dias. Why do you believe the opposite? Just curious.

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