Are men so socially inept that we need a word especially for close heterosexual male friendships?
I watched a couple of films this weekend, one which was entitled a “ Bromance” this may be a new term to people, it is certainly a fashionable concept swept across from America. The film in question was entitled “I Love You Man”, it follows a guy who proposes to his girlfriend then finds he doesn’t have a best man and has never had a best mate. The film then follows his quest to make friends with men, hilarious in parts, brilliant in others but hopefully quite farfetched.
I have yet to meet a man who doesn’t have male friends but I can see how it could happen, men are now far more likely to have women platonic friends than say the eighties, think misguided concepts ala Harry met Sally, men and women who were “just “ friends just didn’t happen as often.
It could be possible that men who spend their spare time surrounded by women might turn round one day and wonder where all their male friends have gone. Women are inherently better at being social, we tend to remember birthdays and organise parties, women are more likely to phone just for a catch up, and we are more gregarious naturally.
People now move more often, we are likely to move to accommodate jobs; we are likely to go to university miles from our homes. As we move across towns, counties and countries we lose friends along the way. When someone new starts in our office or moves onto our streets women are most likely to befriend them. Men don’t go out of their way to nurture, men are more insular creatures, and dare I say men can actually be quite lazy where women can be nosy. In a work environment women still tend to be given the organiser roles, Christmas party? Staff whip around? New baby arrived? Leaving do? Women historically have been seen as better equipped to organise these social activities, often given the task even when they have a myriad of other more important jobs.
Men are also now likely to leave home at a later age, this is often due to financial reasons, rent being such a huge amount in relation to starter salaries. These men are spending more time with their mothers and losing that period of studentdom where they historically would have lived with male friends eating, dressing and behaving badly.
With all these factors and more men are changing, when I interview women and ask what they want in a partner they often say a “masculine man” not macho but really male. These women are capable of changing tyres, light bulbs and fuses yet they still want a man who is equally capable.
We now have metrosexual men, men in touch with their feminine side, men who love having female friends, sharing more traditionally female hobbies; look at what’s become “sexy” in the last few years, cooking, gardening, home decorating, this is an era when David Beckham and get away with wearing a thong or a skirt !
It is wonderful that men are more open more relaxed in female company but I wonder how many of us would like to be in a relationship with a man so in touch with his feminine side that he is in danger of losing his masculinity. Would you be happy in a relationship with someone who wanted to stay in when you’re having girly nights in? Do you really want a man who can discuss hair products with you? If you share all the same friends, hobbies and interests what is there left to discover about each other, where is the breathing space?
Everything as usual needs a balance, men and women are different and should be different, equal but each having strengths and qualities to add to a relationship.
Relationships that work best often have an element of freedom to them. Having your own friends and shared friends gives you an outlet, gives you a second opinion, and gives you room to breathe and often time to miss each other’s company.
I think men need male friends, not to drink with until they fall over, visit pole dancers and belch with, more that they need the space and company of other men just to, well be men.