Building a Better Bloke

Chick buddies

Posted in Female friends by Sam de Brito on October 20, 2009

By Sam de Brito

It’s hard to overstate the benefits of having lots of female friends.

Aside from the obvious advantages of them belching less and looking hotter in shorts than your mates, women buddies seldom drop a solid in your bathroom, help you avoid fashion disasters, give you insight into the screeching jungle that is the feminine mind and they’re a great way to meet other chicks.

One of the great flaws of Aussie blokedom is that for a lot of men, their closest female relationships are with women they’re either related to or they’re having sex with.

I’m sure there’s plenty of guys out there with close female friends but rest assured there’s lots of other men who struggle to see chicks as anything other than someone to lie on while they’re having a root …

Male friends are enormous part of my life, but the problem is we all have rather similar attitudes and upbringings, so we share a lot of the same blind spots.

My chicks friends, well, they’re straight onto me about indiscretions, misogynism, bad manners, flatulence and over-confident driving in the wet.

They’re a great moderating influence, particularly if you didn’t grow up with females who were strong or contemporary (nanas are great, but they’re often more out of touch with what women think than blokes).

As my mate Thomas says: “I have two boys. I’d love them to have a sister, just to introduce concepts to them like tenderness, gentleness — and on the flipside, learning that girls don’t have to be treated like princesses or put on a pedestal.”

“Failing that, it’d be great for them to have solid female friends to grow up with — it’s hard to get all the above by osmosis if the only thing getting through the membrane is ‘must have sex, must have sex.'”

The great tragedy of break ups is that when the sex stops, the friendship usually goes the same way — a real shame considering you know each other so well.

On the other hand, you also run into problems when you want to jump on your female friends.

Of the women I’d call confidantes, I reckon I used to want to put half of them away.

Still, it doesn’t mean I don’t love and respect them.

This is an extract from the book Building a Better Bloke.

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18 Responses

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  1. sceptic said, on October 20, 2009 at 8:35 am

    This post addresses one of the great conundrums (in my mind) of modern society – is it possible for men and women to have a purely plutonic relationship.

    As you yourself said “Of the women I’d call confidantes, I reckon I used to want to put half of them away.” And I’d hazard a guess that the other half wouldn’t have minded having a crack at you.

    And how many guys with girlfriends have had the argument that the random bloke your missus just met isn’t ‘just a friend’ and the invite to catch up for a coffee definitely has ulterior motives.

    But the million dollar question – and the one I haven’t been able to answer yet – is whether this underlying sexual dynamic is actually an impediment to a true friendship, or just something that needs to be navigated through the course of that friendship…

  2. mg said, on October 20, 2009 at 12:33 pm

    I count alot of my “girl” friends as close mates… it can be done
    None of them are past pursuits or desired fields to plough… It all comes down to whether they are into the things you are into!

  3. Ash Simmonds said, on October 20, 2009 at 2:32 pm

    Sceptic – sure it’s possible. It’s not always long-lasting – it’s funny looking back at various chick-friends, many who seem to disappear back into the void once you or her starts seeing someone, but the ones who are still keen to hang out despite you or her being involved are the ones that make great friends in the long-run.

    A lot of blokes are too insecure to let their gf hang out with another bloke – and vice-versa, but it’d be nice if folks could get over the whole genitalia thing and just spend time with people who’s company is worthwhile.

  4. amr said, on October 20, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    I have an ex who I am in business with even after a long term relationship and some rocky time post relationship time. Guess it can work but does have it’s moments like any business relationship. Any conversation over a coffee generally starts about a work related topic before broadening in topic. So yes ‘friends’, but not close anymore. Not sure for how much longer it will go on either as we are still ‘financially joined at the hip’ which makes a few things rather awkward/difficult.
    I do have a close chick buddy, someone who I used to work with to whom I made my intentions clear way back because she is funny, damn hot and a really good honest person, but she wasn’t interested. No problem, kept working together, became good friends and still are. She says I am the only person she knows that she can call at 3 in the morning to talk to if she needs someone.
    Don’t know what that really means……but happy to help her out.

  5. Richard said, on October 20, 2009 at 7:22 pm

    I read somewhere once that a guy should always try to have at least 6 female friends who he’s not trying to bang. I think it was 6. The theory is that, if you do, you’ll never be short of sex.

    Think about it. Half a dozen rational, reasonable women (depending on how you choose your friends, of course) who are all prepared to vouch for the fact that you’re a nice guy. One or the other of them will always be trying to set you up with one of her mates who’s just become single, or asking you round for dinner to make up the numbers. What’s great about it is, there’s no pulling or pick-up involved. You just have to be a nice guy.

    On the other hand – I’m not sure it really is all that healthy to hang onto friendship with chicks that you’ve got a thing for, just because it’s all that’s on offer. I did that too much when I was at school – playing the reliable friend, listening to their boyfriend troubles and all the time hoping that the boyfriend would die and the relationship would one day, unexpectedly, blossom into something more meaningful. With tongues.

    In my experience at least, it doesn’t.

  6. shevek said, on October 21, 2009 at 12:20 pm

    Yes I totally agree with this post – I grew up with 2 sisters and I reckon this has really helped me in adult life to see women as people and put away the pedestal (to an extent).

    And yes keeping female friends is a great entree to single women – the problem is having women friends you dont want to sleep with….

  7. Trueblueoz said, on October 21, 2009 at 12:32 pm

    I know for myself there I have had very few close females friends, or partners for that matter. Grew up with two brothers, no sisters. Played a lot of sport and worked in a very male dominated industry for most of my teens and twentys. So I now find myself unable to build any sort of relationship with the opposite sex friendship or otherwise. I now work with a lot of women, and stuggle to relate to them at all. Of course the fact they all have families, children and the once Australian Dream of a house, and I don’t doesn’t help. It truly feels like they are another species altogether and one I will probably never have much contact with.

  8. Rick said, on October 21, 2009 at 4:22 pm

    I seem to have a lot of female friends. Only thing is I don’t really want to have just female friends. So many of them tell me I’m a nice guy, easy to get along with and they feel relaxed (not judged or anything) around me, but none seem interested in a relationship.

    Maybe I don’t ask enough? But when I do I seem to lose them as friends. Suddenly can’t comprehend that I might still want to be friends with them. I certainly didn’t start the friendship thinking it would go to a relationship but seems to be how they see it.

    I guess I’m the friending type.

  9. Tim said, on October 21, 2009 at 5:59 pm

    Yes, but it does seem to happen to me a lot.

    I had to start turning my mobile phone off at night so I wouldn’t get SMSes from one person who just wanted too much.

  10. Pointy Arrow said, on October 21, 2009 at 11:15 pm

    Isn’t the term ‘misogyny’ ? This is my no.1 gripe about aussie men – the fact that many of them can’t see women as enough of a fellow human being to have a friendship with, with no expectation that it will lead anywhere…. But whats even worse is when men pretend to be your friend and then try it on… I would dearly love to have some male friends who I could hang out with as mates, but for some reason all the male friends Ive had, who were single, wanted more, and when I declined, withdrew the friendship. It was sorely disappointing, and the end result it that I’m now super-wary of becoming friends with men now, so fear of a hidden agenda…

    • The General said, on October 22, 2009 at 1:41 pm

      It goes both ways. Recently I have been talking with a girl which started out friendly, we both got really drunk at a party, I kissed her and later asked her to “hang out” as she put it.

      Asked her out, then accidentally invited friends, went to revert to just us and she said no.

      I think we have put each other in the “friends” category, I hope. There’s been next to no contact since. Even my best mate who knew all the details (and her, as a friend before me) was surprised.

      It may be because I organised everything through text message though…

  11. Mike said, on October 22, 2009 at 12:48 am


    Stuck in the friend zone brother.

    Next time you meet a women who you think may become just a friend be the cheeky, naughty guy from the start. Don’t have to be sleazy, don’t have to come on to her just lets her know your a man not a ‘ emotional tampon’ as the saying goes.

    I have a woman friend who I have been ‘friendly’ with for 18 years and probably will for another 18. Neither us are cheating on any body (well not at the moment anyway) and are the best of friends. We know we will never live together but can go out and have fun and talk on the phone for hours and occasionally when the moon is a touch blue we get together for great sex. Communication and honesty is the key to all relationships.

    • Pointy Arrow said, on October 23, 2009 at 11:44 pm

      Thats not a friend, thats a FB masquerading as a friend!!! The question is, why are so many men against friendships with females that don’t lead to ‘great sex’ or FB/FWB status. Its like a lot of men don’t actually like women and wouldn’t have anything to do with us if we didn’t have holes you wanted to plug. Sadly, I’ve met too many men like this. Its a really depressing thought for me, as there have been heaps of guys I’ve thought we great human beings, who I wasn’t attracted to physically, yet for so many men this signifies crushing defeat. Why must you men so often equate your manhood with whether a women will sleep with you. Sometimes the chemistry just ain’t there, its not like we women can help it if don’t desire you…its that sort of magical je ne sais quoi that we have no control over…

      • Ash Simmonds said, on October 24, 2009 at 12:32 am

        Pointy Arrow – completely agree.

        Too many guys worry too much about being “stuck in the friend zone” – the point is though, having chicks as friends who you can treat as you treat guys is fantastic – equal opportunity – which means I’m not going to try to sleep with you no matter what kind of genitals you have.

        There are so many people out there – why stuff up what could be a great friend (which is hard to find) by trying to push things?

        Sure – if you 100% know this person is for you, go ahead and do all you can to make it happen.

        Otherwise – a lot of the women guys want to shag but blow it with could have been decent friends – who because they find you to be a decent guy, may in turn introduce you to 10 other women who are sick of not being able to find a decent guy…

        You don’t have to pretend you don’t find a friend attractive – people love unloaded compliments, there’s a million ways to be genuine about making a girl feel good about herself without a subtext that relates to sex. Possibly the best thing you can do to learn this stuff is have a gay friend and observe how they connect with women.

        Yes, connect.

  12. Bill said, on November 4, 2009 at 5:09 pm

    Pointy:- “Its like a lot of men don’t actually like women and wouldn’t have anything to do with us if we didn’t have holes you wanted to plug. ”

    That is a fantastic line!

    In my experience I have found it easy to have friendships with women when they are single but when they get a boyfriend I’m left by the way side as they get wrapped up in the new man. Fair enough for the “honeymoon” period i suppose but then being invited along to something as a ‘3rd wheel’ with the new boyfriend watching me like a hawk… it becomes too uncomfortable….

  13. Sam in LV said, on November 10, 2009 at 9:19 am

    How do you become friends with a woman without finding yourself in the unenviable position of just being someone she can unload her troubles on. “You’re such a good listener.” yuck! Of course not all women are like this, but any man who’s tried to be in a non-romantic relationship with a woman has been in this situation at least once.

    • Ash Simmonds said, on November 10, 2009 at 11:59 am

      Gosh man – forget genitalia, why would you want to deal with anyone who just wants to use you as a bitching board?

      The only people I’d let have a moan at me are folks I’ve been friends with for years cos I know they have more substance to them and they’ve earned my attention, so once in a blue moon when they need a drink and a rant I can be there.

      I’m not sure why anyone would want to spend time with people new on the block who whinge, much rather spend time with folk who really dig life and have positive stuff to bring to the relationship.

      Sure – we all made those errors in our younger days when we’d just met a girl and loaned our shoulder cos they had something to moan about and you thought you might get somewhere – just gotta hope you didn’t do it too many times before learning that if you meet them like that you’ve pretty much set things up.

      *IF* you’re in the situation where there’s a new girl “with issues” but you really dig her, rather than being a doormat and indulging her neuroses by listening and nodding and attempting to give advice (which most don’t want), do something completely different with her to get her mind off the funk.

      Avoid long drinking sessions, dinners, movies – all of these things allow too much time to think and talk about problems – and indeed often remind them of why they’re moaning. Do stuff a bit more fast-paced, some of the simple and corny options are bowling/pool/hiking/guitar hero, simple fun things that are easily accessible and easy to abort if stuff is still too heavy.

      I can’t think of any great relationships or friendships I’ve had that started with drama or deep and meaningful stuff, they were all based on a mutual pursuit of fun, and eventually you either get closer or you don’t, just don’t force it.

      Nobody automatically has the right to have you as anything more than a fair-weather-friend in the early stages, they can buy their own damn umbrella.

  14. vb said, on November 12, 2009 at 11:59 am

    I have a few close male friends. One of them I’d known for years; we grew up together. I used to hangout with him and his girlfriends, go on adventures, then one day he cut me off, didn’t say why. It devastated me, I still miss him – he was like a brother to me. I think the reasons for his behaviour are firmly stuck in the old fashioned way of not expressing anything. Its a pity because great friendships are precious.

    So I think guys can have female friends, but its society that brainwashes them into thinking otherwise.

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