Can men and women be friends, and other mysteries…

If you’re asked the question, can men and women be friends?, what’s your immediate response?

I’d say Yes. But, apparently, when men are asked, they generally say…No. Are we women deluding ourselves?

I find this a tricky question. I want to believe that men and women can be friends…that there isn’t always some underlying intention that men want to sleep with women.

I struggle with this. I have some male friends that are a part of the personal growth work that I do. It has been a great experience with them because while they do acknowledge the impulses they feel, they are also aware that they don’t have to act on it and that there is value in female friendship.

I had dinner with one of those male friends tonight. We initially connected over music…I can’t remember how long ago…maybe, a few years ago? We’d generally see each other in passing and have only recently started messaging a bit more.

He gave me some feedback tonight that his experience of me is…(this is what I heard him say, anyway)…that I’m a bit standoffish. That he felt like he has tried to reach out to me but that I’ve been a bit unfriendly. I tried on what he was saying and I can relate to how I do that.

I find that, I do tend to hold most men at arms length…men that I’m not interested in anyway. I’m scared that they only want to sleep with me, when my intention is to be friends. I feel muddled about things…like there are various layers to my interactions with men, most of them not very integrated and healthy.

a) I look for approval and acceptance from them vs looking to myself for it; owning who I am exactly as I am and letting go of worry if they like me or not

b) I am worried that they’ll want something from me that I don’t want to give (sex) and if I’m too friendly, I feel like I’m giving the wrong message and that is the ONLY thing that they want from me

c) related to part (a): if I do get into a relationship, I worry that I won’t catch myself when I’m looking to them for validation and I end up becoming quite needy

I read a quote that said something to the effect of: BE the person that you’d want to date. Aka…don’t wait for someone else to love you as you are…love YOU as you are. xo

*M

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