- Gender and Relationships
12 Things That Happen When You Grow Up With A Close Male Friend
We first met as young children, during his summer holiday stays at his Grandparents. Their garden backed onto my families. Have early memories of him and his sister jumping the fence to come and play. He then moved permanently, we shared a class for some eight years, worked together and I lived just up the road from him. We even ended up studying in the same city for University. He was part of my family- who thought highly of him also. This post details the personal changes that happen and how your friendship changes as you grow up (from a female perspective).
1. Quizzing one another to find out about friends and other individuals in your year group. Awkwardness when he dates one of your friends, this awkwardness intensifying when they break up.
2. They all of a sudden tower over you. Happening virtually overnight, the top of your head making a convenient arm rest for him.
3. Amusement at the sharing of relationship advice. Hearing them talk about girls instead of the usual takes some getting used to (was fun though and handy). Him scoffing at who you like because he actually knew them, well had a strong opinion at least.
4. Their voice breaking and when they phone, initially not recognising who is speaking. Holding yourself back from commenting or trying hard not to look surprised when an odd noise or high pitched squeak emits from them.
5. Strange thoughts creep in to your mind that you might like him as more than a friend, these are quickly dispelled. What a confusing, hormonal time puberty was.
6. Being much nicer to one another than you used to be and his becoming a bit protective of you. Such as- not letting you walk home alone. Protectiveness manifests itself in you by worrying about him doing as you do when young- getting drunk, smoking etc. Trying to persuade him to not do the latter (but always keeping him company when he had his morning cig before the school bus arrived, standing down-wind of course).
7. The posters of scantily clad women that appear on the walls of his room and eye aversion from them whilst playing the PlayStation. It strikes me now as a fairly odd thing to be embarrassed about.
8. Finding out that he is the very worst and most distracting study partner to your stress induced disdain. Last four years of school involved lots of revision- he continued to have a relaxed attitude to it. Being torn between wanting to spend time with him and the need to revise.
9. Start hugging one another goodbye and to greet if you've not seen one another for a little while. In childhood and early teens the only contact would be his pretending to push you down the stairs at school whilst holding onto the handle of your school bag.
10. Smelling him before seeing him and asking yourself, does he bathe in Lynx? The dominant scent of teenaged boys, particularly the secret smokers!
11. People annoyingly ask if there is something more going on. This had never been an issue when you were younger. When hitting a certain age in teens it seems that romance was the foremost thought on fellow classmates minds. Though adults would ask also, oddly (teasing) parents. He'd spent so much time in the family home for the last however many years, how could anything happen? Remember how embarrassing it was when people made accusations.
12. Aspects of their physical appearance changing such as facial hair appearing. It being odd to see a person you've known since he was a small child become a man. In terms of appearance it was also noticeable that more care was put into it. Coinciding with when dating came into play, he'd have his hair gelled and his clothes would be more carefully chosen.
To this day, I enjoy male company on purely a friendship basis. Find that I often have more in common with men and like that they are generally more straightforward. Had some bad experiences in the past with girls and women. That has made me quite wary and easily intimidated by them. I am fortunate to have some very lovely female friends, however.
Many people don't think that adult friendships between men and women can actually work. I really do beg to differ where that is concerned. Many people say that it cannot work due to attraction coming into it. Society seems to make it a lot more difficult and in adulthood, there are so many other issues to contend with, nothing is so straightforward. It is noticeable and pleasing to see that current young people are much more open-minded than their predecessors and see people as individuals. They may be a bit vocal about it, but that is all they have known. I find that the culture of social media can sometimes contribute to selfishness and ignorance.
All in all, as long as you are on the same page, see one another as JUST friends and most importantly are not keeping your friendship a secret from loved ones (partners) then it can work. The length of time you've known a person has an effect too. In those cases, those friendships- the feelings towards them are more accurately described as being brotherly.