Ask a Bro: Why Can't we be Friends?

I'm the opposite of those girls who say, "I don't get along with women," or "I hate girls, they're too catty." My friends are almost exclusively female and it's been this way since the beginning of time.

Jul 9, 2012 at 4:00pm | Leave a comment

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Not my friends.

"I think you have too few guy friends or something," said Roman, my only straight male friend, on Gchat the other day. I had asked him whether he was OK because his punctuation looked hostile. Apparently dudes don't convey affection or approval using exclamation points, as I am wont to do. 

"I have no guy friends," I said, omitting him from the head count. Also excluded: the gay man in my life who strips down when he enters my apartment and camps out on my couch in his underwear eating noodles. He also updates me throughout the day about his bowel movements in exquisite detail. I don't know any straight dudes who would replicate this relationship with me except for maybe a boyfriend.

I'm the opposite of those girls who say, "I don't get along with women," or "I hate girls, they're too catty." My friends are almost exclusively female and it's been this way since the beginning of time. But Roman's observation got me thinking about the lack of platonic straight dudes in my life and how I might be missing out.

As I've mentioned before, I ended a 6-year relationship close to a year ago, one that prevented me from meeting other straight men, and I haven't befriended many -- or any-- since then. For the record, this isn't an "every guy I meet wants to sleep with me so we can't just be friends" card. I simply don't know how to make new bro friends.

So I asked some dudes around the office to weigh in on how to befriend one of their kind:

"It's better when it starts when you're dating one of my friends." -Chase, 24

"Watch when Harry Met Sally." -Madeline (not a bro), 24

"If I think through the girls I've been friends with, they're usually non-judgmental and laid back. Easy to get hold of and fun to talk to about anything." -Dave, 25

"You are so setting me up to sound like a sexist. The question INVITES sexist-sounding answers. But perhaps the best policy is, befriend straight males who are already taken in a situation that makes you totally non-threatening to his girl and it has to be someone who you're pretty sure you'll see around because like it or not, exchanging numbers is a loaded gesture at least at first." -James, 26

"Befriend them the same way you'd befriend anyone, which is different for everyone." -Michael, 32

"U gotta ask a GF who has guy friends, not a guy. But generally, I'd say through other friends." -Thor

***

Good point, Thor. Do you have platonic straight dude friends? How did you meet? I'm fascinated.