Make me a platonic babe-magnet
August 28, 2008 9:04 AM Subscribe
I’m a girl. I have zero problems being friends with men. I try to be friends with other women, but they're not having it. I’m doing something wrong. What is it?
posted by zoomorphic to Human Relations (51 answers total) 66 users marked this as a favorite
I promise I’m not one of those girls who brags about how she can only relate to boys. I have extremely close friendships with three women (one dating back to elementary school, one from high school, one from college) and I talk to them for hours on the phone every week. But none of them live in New York, and I’ve found that my current social circle here is made up entirely of men. I love my guy friends, but I’m dying to talk to an actual female.
First, I’m not a tomboy. I live almost exclusively in dresses, I hate sports, I’m fairly analog about technology, I have no patience for machismo, and I’m unapologetically feminist. While I’m open to meeting lots of other interesting women, I’m certainly drawn to people of either gender who are politically aware, funny, confident, and caring. Naturally we’re not all those things all the time, but for the most part, I want to be challenged and engaged.
Whenever I float a “Hey, let’s hang out,” invitation to guys, they accept, and thusly we are friends. Ta-da! And maybe the uncertain element of boy-girl tension piques their interest, but for the most part, I think we’re both just looking for something platonic. When I say the same thing to women, I am gently, tactfully rejected, or it just never works out after the first get-together. I know part of this is due to the fact that people can smell a desperate plea (however couched in casual conversation) and feel repulsed. For all I know, when I say, “Hey, let’s get a drink after work” what they actually hear is, “I am sick of talking about Gossip Girl and sexism in the media to men who don’t care, please please please be my friend before I go insane.” Which is probably sort of off-putting.
But! I think it’s also that girls might vet friends differently than guys. Maybe I’m rusty when it comes to talking to girls I don’t know, and I’m employing the same guy-befriending tactics on them, and it’s not working. I am literally at a loss to figure out how women meet and befriend each other after college. How do you convey that you want to meet up sometime without weirding someone out? I’m a girl, dammit, I should know this! Re-teach me, please.