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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Everyone,

This is my first post. I've been living in the St Kilda area of Melbourne for 2 years now and my wife and I are very happy here.

I have a question for debate for all of you. I think it will be an interesting perspective for those who are also new to Australia / Melbourne.

Historically I have always had a majority of female friends. I'm a guy, but I'm not very blocky or macho and generally don't like the sorts of things that many men really like. I'd much rather have a long conversation one-on-one and get to know someone a little better. My friendships, male or female, have always been the sort where we get together for dinner, for drinks or for a long walk and just chat for a few hours.

For me this feels very natural and very normal. What has shocked me, and I don't know exactly how standardised this is in Australia or whether it's just the people I've met, is that both men and women in Australia seem to (and I'm of course generalising here) think that men and women can not be trusted to be friends.

So I'm interested to hear whether I'm alone in this experience, and if anyone has any suggestions about how I might overcome this.

I'm incredibly happy with my marriage, and will never do anything to jeopardise that. I understand that many women have had bad experiences with men. It's a difficult thing to bring up in conversation. Saying to a woman "I'm not a creep and I just want to be friends" sounds a bit creepy all on it's own. So how do I (do other men) communicate and build trust so that we can be friends with women? And have any others have difficulties with this here in Australia (Melbourne specifically)?

Thanks for your thoughts!

Al
 

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Hello! I've lived here on the Gold Coast for three years now and my partner is Australian. I very much believe what you are saying about those 'rules'. I just recently came back from Vancouver for my holiday but I had to forewarn my parnter that back 'home' I have a lot of male freinds and they are exactly that: just freinds. It's too bad that men and women don't integrate as much as close freinds as we do back home, and it does make one feel a bit isolated. I just choose not to let it bother me, and if it bother's someone else I let them know that back home this is normal.

Alexis
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hello! I've lived here on the Gold Coast for three years now and my partner is Australian. I very much believe what you are saying about those 'rules'. I just recently came back from Vancouver for my holiday but I had to forewarn my parnter that back 'home' I have a lot of male freinds and they are exactly that: just freinds. It's too bad that men and women don't integrate as much as close freinds as we do back home, and it does make one feel a bit isolated. I just choose not to let it bother me, and if it bother's someone else I let them know that back home this is normal.

Alexis
HI Alexis,

Thanks for your response :)

I'm from Vancouver myself. It's good to have a bit of confirmation that I'm not alone, yet I really want to be wrong about it :)

Not to get too far off topic, but I think it's really healthy that men and women are friends. It fosters healthy communication and understanding. How great is it to have friends of the opposite gender who can help you understand the male or female perspective etc.

Perhaps I should make a bigger point of finding Canadian friends here in Melbourne.

Cheers,

Al
 

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I once knew a girl from Adelaide who said that it's perfectly okay for a boy and a girl to be best friends. At the time that I was friends with her, she had a close friend who was male. I asked her if she had anything romantic with this guy, and she said no, that why do I think like this, and that a boy and a girl can be "just friends". (BS in my opinion)

Needless to say, later, in another conversation with Adelaide girl, I found out that the boy she was "best mates"with wanted to have a full-blown romantic relationship with her, but she did not want this because he wasn't exactly her type. She just wanted to hang out with him, like a friend. But that is not how he wanted it. He eventually developed feelings for her.

He eventually stopped hanging out with her and would leave her hanging when they made arrangements - he'd cancel for better things, or so she thought. What she did in my opinion was egotistical considering the fact that she wanted the benefit of "hanging out" but didn't want the relationship with him. Her friend eventually married, and his wife did not want Adelaide girl in their lives so Adelaide girl had to cut off her friendship with her best mate. Can you believe that Adelaide girl did not understand why the wife did not want her and her husband to continue their friendship?? :rolleyes:

Personally, I agree with the wife! I would absolutely not want my husband to be best friends with a woman - what for?? If you are "incredibly happy" in your marriage, then your best mate should be your other half, period. You should not need anything from another woman. Anything else will bring temptation along the romantic side. Now, I am sorry if I sound offensive or too "conservative" but I have seen too many cases where a husband or wife leaves their spouse because they were able to connect "emotionally" with another friend. And yes, this emotional connection in my opinion is equivalent to having an affair.

So yeah, I think those girls over in Melbourne are doing the right thing, and kudos to them for avoiding trouble ahead of time!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi and thanks for the reply.

Your point of view is exactly the type of thing that I face here is Australia. There seems to be a mistrust of men in general I think, or this wouldn't happen. I'm sorry if this sounds very harsh, but if someone doesn't trust their spouse not to cheat, even if there is temptation, than I think there is something seriously wrong with that relationship.

You used the term "best friend", which I didn't, however, I can't see any reason why a man and woman shouldn't be best friends, but I believe that we can not get all of our emotional needs met by one person. My wife and I have an incredibly good relationship. We communicate better than any other couple I have met, and we work hard on our relationship to keep things fresh and interesting. Having said that, any relationship is hard sometimes and when I am upset and need to talk to someone about it, I prefer to have a female friend who can lend the female perspective on things so that I can better understand where my wife is coming from. My life is enriched by my female friends, and my relationship with my wife is better for it.

I think what happens is that people have bad experiences in the past, and then decide that it's not worth trusting anyone anymore. I think it's sad that we would miss out on the opportunity to be better rounded people by not having friends of the opposite sex. Perhaps I'm very much in the minority in my views here in Australia. I know that in Canada it was never and issue. Perhaps my wife and I are unusual in our dedication and trust to each other, but I had hoped I was wrong about this. I had hoped it was just the people I had met so far who had these views.

I'm very interested in more opinions and thoughts on this.

Al
 

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You know what I think it is? I think it's a Vancouver thing. Male Vancouverites are very on the ball when it comes to shopping and fashion, food and wine! etc and Female Vancouverites are a bit tomboy (skiing/ snowboarding, hiking, fleece, socks and sandals lol). So it just works. Too much testostorone and too much estrogen is a recipe for disaster! Men and woman can help eachother in each of the other's relationship. Almost like getting advice from the source, and both are not afraid to test the 'hormonal' boundries. My best freind is a man and he lives in Canada. He's very attractive to most women but he's just not who I would want to be in a relationship with because we are very different but we work really well as freinds together and we help eachother out.

There is so much mistrust between Australian men and woman it's crazy! Why can't everyone just be freinds? ... I am so Canadian.. sorry!! :)
 

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I think (my personal opinion - I could be wrong) that people who need 'friendships' with members of the opposite sex other than close family relatives to 'get the other perspective' are simply missing out on the very close relationship which a 'conservative' husband and wife have. The 'conservatives' have such a strong bond between them that they can solve their problems between themselves through open communication. And where that is not possible, they still have avenues through other close relatives such as mother, sisters, aunts, grandmother (and corresponding masculine relatives). Usually - NOT in all cases - 'broad minded' is a thinly veiled excuse for keeping the 'door of infinite possibilities' open. Well, its a free country in the end, but the classical relationship 'to the exclusion of all others' is a beautiful thing which provides a deep solace to the men and women who experience it.

I know Australians can have very strong marital relationships, catholicism is quite strong there, and I certainly don't mind if a healthy amount of suspicion/apprehension is maintained towards the opposite gender. Even if the 'open minded' concept was embraced by society as a whole, given the diversity of cultures, the suspicion/apprehension could only lead to a sense of maturity and safety first. And I am quite sure that the attitudes within the younger generation are quite different as long as there is a measure of familiarity (e.g. studying at the same university/school, living close by etc.) involved. And depending on how 'bratty' and 'spoiled' the kids are :p :D
 

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The 'conservatives' have such a strong bond between them that they can solve their problems between themselves through open communication. And where that is not possible, they still have avenues through other close relatives such as mother, sisters, aunts, grandmother (and corresponding masculine relatives).
In my opinion, this is exactly right. I guess it wouldn't be much of a problem if both members of the opposite sex were single, but the fact that one is married and is looking to hang out with single female friends, well that's very suspicious and it raises red flags to the stability of the marriage. A married person should be able to have all of their emotional needs met by their spouse and like lahorimunda mentioned, by his/her relatives. I know I'm posting something that is very unpopular, but why play with fire?

Oh and sorry, but being a "tomboy" or coming from the West has nothing to do with it. I am both and I don't believe this, but I had not always thought this way. The OP is right, it is by experience that most people learn their lessons the hard way. Okay let me add this as an edit: The person who's going to learn their lesson is going to be the OP's wife for being so trusting.
 

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Interesting topic! I am happily married myself, but I have friends (mostly colleagues) who are men. I really don't see a problem with it, and neither does my husband. HOWEVER, I will say that I don't generally hang out with friends without my husband because, well... he's my best friend, so of course I want to hang out with him, too! Except when I want to go see a chick flick :) Or get a pedicure. :)

For my work friends, I make a point of always talking about my day with my husband (good practice in general, for communication), and so he feels like he "knows" these co-workers, too. Three of my work buddies came into town, so we had them over for dinner, etc.

I guess the bottom line is that I trust myself, and I trust my husband. And that's really all that matters to me/us :)

We are old fuddy duddies, though. 41/40 years old, two kids, married 12 years. :) Let it be known that my husband is the one who is 41. hehe
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
You know what I think it is? I think it's a Vancouver thing. Male Vancouverites are very on the ball when it comes to shopping and fashion, food and wine! etc and Female Vancouverites are a bit tomboy (skiing/ snowboarding, hiking, fleece, socks and sandals lol). So it just works. Too much testostorone and too much estrogen is a recipe for disaster! Men and woman can help eachother in each of the other's relationship. Almost like getting advice from the source, and both are not afraid to test the 'hormonal' boundries. My best freind is a man and he lives in Canada. He's very attractive to most women but he's just not who I would want to be in a relationship with because we are very different but we work really well as freinds together and we help eachother out.

There is so much mistrust between Australian men and woman it's crazy! Why can't everyone just be freinds? ... I am so Canadian.. sorry!! :)
Hi Lexyjane,

You know, I think you've hit on something here that I hadn't really considered. That's really interesting. It's a bit generalized of course, but so are my frustrations. I myself am not a really testosterone driven person. My wife is also not super feminine - shes definitely a bit more Tom boy than most of the women here. Very interesting.

So if we take that a step further, I suppose it's actually possible that if there were such a difference, that some people would actually find it harder to resist temptation and thus being careful about having friends of the opposite sex is actually a smart idea. I don't know scientifically if this would stand up to a test, but it's the first explanation that makes any sense to me.

Otherwise I just don't understand where the careful people care coming from. Why can't they just control themselves. To me it's a total mystery.

Thanks. You totally are Canadian!

Al
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Interesting topic! I am happily married myself, but I have friends (mostly colleagues) who are men. I really don't see a problem with it, and neither does my husband. HOWEVER, I will say that I don't generally hang out with friends without my husband because, well... he's my best friend, so of course I want to hang out with him, too! Except when I want to go see a chick flick :) Or get a pedicure. :)

For my work friends, I make a point of always talking about my day with my husband (good practice in general, for communication), and so he feels like he "knows" these co-workers, too. Three of my work buddies came into town, so we had them over for dinner, etc.

I guess the bottom line is that I trust myself, and I trust my husband. And that's really all that matters to me/us :)

We are old fuddy duddies, though. 41/40 years old, two kids, married 12 years. :) Let it be known that my husband is the one who is 41. hehe
Hey there,
Thanks for your thoughts!

Firstly I guess I should say that I agree with you completely. When I talk about having female friends I am not suggesting that my wife be in any way excluded, though sometimes it's nice to chat when my wife isn't around as well, she is always invited. She doesn't always want to join in, but she doesn't feel excluded.

My wife is by far my closest friend and we have an incredible relationship. We communicate better than anyone I have met, are always keeping things fresh and interesting, and Go on wonderful date nights etc.

Having said that, I think it's important for my wife to have friends and myself to have friends where we don't always include each other. We've been together for 12 years now, and I'm still in love with her, but that doesn't mean that I don't want to have meaningful friendships as well. And yes, one can certainly have both!

I suppose in the end what I find the most offensive is that some people seem to think that having friends of the opposite sex is morally wrong and is a signal of something being wrong with our relationship. In fact, for us, it is a signal that our relationship is healthy and balanced and that there is a healthy amount off trust and appropriate boundary setting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I think (my personal opinion - I could be wrong) that people who need 'friendships' with members of the opposite sex other than close family relatives to 'get the other perspective' are simply missing out on the very close relationship which a 'conservative' husband and wife have. The 'conservatives' have such a strong bond between them that they can solve their problems between themselves through open communication. And where that is not possible, they still have avenues through other close relatives such as mother, sisters, aunts, grandmother (and corresponding masculine relatives). Usually - NOT in all cases - 'broad minded' is a thinly veiled excuse for keeping the 'door of infinite possibilities' open. Well, its a free country in the end, but the classical relationship 'to the exclusion of all others' is a beautiful thing which provides a deep solace to the men and women who experience it.

I know Australians can have very strong marital relationships, catholicism is quite strong there, and I certainly don't mind if a healthy amount of suspicion/apprehension is maintained towards the opposite gender. Even if the 'open minded' concept was embraced by society as a whole, given the diversity of cultures, the suspicion/apprehension could only lead to a sense of maturity and safety first. And I am quite sure that the attitudes within the younger generation are quite different as long as there is a measure of familiarity (e.g. studying at the same university/school, living close by etc.) involved. And depending on how 'bratty' and 'spoiled' the kids are :p :D
For us, and perhaps we are quite unusual in Australia, it is not the case. My bond with my wife couldn't be closer, and our friends on both sides help it be even stronger. I'm a better husband because of my female friends. I understand my wife better, and can be a better support. For my wife it is the same.

I suppose it boils down to the relationship. So long as no one feels restricted or not trusted and is happy with the arrangement, than I suppose it is healthy either way.

Would you agree?
 

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For us, and perhaps we are quite unusual in Australia, it is not the case. My bond with my wife couldn't be closer, and our friends on both sides help it be even stronger. I'm a better husband because of my female friends. I understand my wife better, and can be a better support. For my wife it is the same.

I suppose it boils down to the relationship. So long as no one feels restricted or not trusted and is happy with the arrangement, than I suppose it is healthy either way.

Would you agree?
Well, I find myself more in agreement with mbc71 actually. In the modern workplace you can't just erect gender barriers around yourself and act aloof - you'll be out of a job faster than you can say 'conservative' :D So you do have to interact with women, be pleasant, go out for dinner with the office buddies (both men and women)... you know, the socializaing/networking game because promotions don't depend on hard work and/or abilities, they depend on networking? But as mbc71 said, its essential to include the spouse in this so they don't feel left out.

In the case where the friendship is just for the sake of friendship with the opposite gender... well, I can't really understand. In a marital relationship you usually don't have time for any other friendships. After a 9 - 6 job (and lets be realistic, many times you need to work way beyond 6) when you come home your spouse deserves your attention just as much as you deserve hers. If you have kids that takes up an even larger chunk of your time. On weekends you would need to take care of chores left over from the week, find time to go out with your family, visit relatives, and finally relax from the hard work throughout the week. And lets not forget you need to have some hobbies as well. Where would you find time for any other friendships??? :confused2: Because no one will be friends if you just exchange emails/interact on facebook and go out once in a blue moon - friendships just don't work that way!!! They demand a significant chunk of your time. If you say friends help you be a better spouse, well you would need to find the time to find a quiet spot then slowly bring around the conversation to your problems (you can't just be discussing your problems all the time) in ADDITION to everything else you do. How would one get the time for all that? :confused2:
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well, I find myself more in agreement with mbc71 actually. In the modern workplace you can't just erect gender barriers around yourself and act aloof - you'll be out of a job faster than you can say 'conservative' :D So you do have to interact with women, be pleasant, go out for dinner with the office buddies (both men and women)... you know, the socializaing/networking game because promotions don't depend on hard work and/or abilities, they depend on networking? But as mbc71 said, its essential to include the spouse in this so they don't feel left out.

In the case where the friendship is just for the sake of friendship with the opposite gender... well, I can't really understand. In a marital relationship you usually don't have time for any other friendships. After a 9 - 6 job (and lets be realistic, many times you need to work way beyond 6) when you come home your spouse deserves your attention just as much as you deserve hers. If you have kids that takes up an even larger chunk of your time. On weekends you would need to take care of chores left over from the week, find time to go out with your family, visit relatives, and finally relax from the hard work throughout the week. And lets not forget you need to have some hobbies as well. Where would you find time for any other friendships??? :confused2: Because no one will be friends if you just exchange emails/interact on facebook and go out once in a blue moon - friendships just don't work that way!!! They demand a significant chunk of your time. If you say friends help you be a better spouse, well you would need to find the time to find a quiet spot then slowly bring around the conversation to your problems (you can't just be discussing your problems all the time) in ADDITION to everything else you do. How would one get the time for all that? :confused2:
HI There,

Good point in relation to work - I agree that isn't not good business to not socialize with work collegues.

In terms of where does one find time - well that all depends on your situation. My wife and I work 4 days a week each, have no kids, no family in Australia, no relatives, and are able to spend significant amounts of time with friends as a result.

If you have a busy life, and have no time for friends anyway, than it doesn't really matter anyway, but I would argue that many families have time for friends, even if they are encorporated into a busy life. You could, for example, meet a friend on the weekend for coffee, or attend a class together with a shared hobby, or invite them over to the house for drinks or dinner.

It's not about excluding one's spouse, it's about having another interests and people in one's life that add value, perspective etc.

If you don't even have enough time to catch your breath let alone spend time with your spouse, of course one would choose to spend time with one's spouse before all others. When one has time however, I think there shouldn't be a barrier about men or women. Friends are friends, and what gender they are, in my opinion, is errelivant - so long as you trust your spouse. And if you don't.. That's a totally different topic again. Why would anyone want to be with a spouse they don't trust?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
In my opinion, this is exactly right. I guess it wouldn't be much of a problem if both members of the opposite sex were single, but the fact that one is married and is looking to hang out with single female friends, well that's very suspicious and it raises red flags to the stability of the marriage. A married person should be able to have all of their emotional needs met by their spouse and like lahorimunda mentioned, by his/her relatives. I know I'm posting something that is very unpopular, but why play with fire?

Oh and sorry, but being a "tomboy" or coming from the West has nothing to do with it. I am both and I don't believe this, but I had not always thought this way. The OP is right, it is by experience that most people learn their lessons the hard way. Okay let me add this as an edit: The person who's going to learn their lesson is going to be the OP's wife for being so trusting.
What a very limited view.... Why would you be with a spouse you don't trust?
 

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HI There,

Good point in relation to work - I agree that isn't not good business to not socialize with work collegues.

In terms of where does one find time - well that all depends on your situation. My wife and I work 4 days a week each, have no kids, no family in Australia, no relatives, and are able to spend significant amounts of time with friends as a result.

If you have a busy life, and have no time for friends anyway, than it doesn't really matter anyway, but I would argue that many families have time for friends, even if they are encorporated into a busy life. You could, for example, meet a friend on the weekend for coffee, or attend a class together with a shared hobby, or invite them over to the house for drinks or dinner.

It's not about excluding one's spouse, it's about having another interests and people in one's life that add value, perspective etc.

If you don't even have enough time to catch your breath let alone spend time with your spouse, of course one would choose to spend time with one's spouse before all others. When one has time however, I think there shouldn't be a barrier about men or women. Friends are friends, and what gender they are, in my opinion, is errelivant - so long as you trust your spouse. And if you don't.. That's a totally different topic again. Why would anyone want to be with a spouse they don't trust?
Hi. Well, if you put it in that light then yes... friendships just 'happen'. You join an activity group and quite naturally you'll find yourself closer to some people and friendship blossoms. So if you end up being friends with a woman thats OK. But i still don't understand the preoccupation with pointedly having friendship with women :confused2:

So the next question would be why you don't end up making friends with women. And well, I can attest to the fact that the interest most girls have in a guy has romantic inclinations. Seen from the girl's perspective, if she is actively seeking, any time spent going out with guys who are just 'friends' is time wasted. Particularly because other men won't approach her if she is seen around men. This is true all over the world not just in Australia. And believe me, all over the world, the concept of 'platonic friendship' is rather alien. A woman who is broad minded enough to be 'just' friends with you is HIGHLY LIKELY to be broad minded enough to go one step further as well. And if you are an attractive guy (not just in looks, but also in terms of mannerisms etc.) - and lets be realistic, women would want to befriend you ONLY if they find something attractive in you - they WILL drop hints. And then get bored and walk away if you don't pick up the hints. It happens all the time and there is simply no denying this fact. That leaves a very small percentage of men and women who will be just 'platonic friends' with each other.

Btw, you are very lucky to have all that time. Make sure you spend all of it with your spouse... very soon life will catch up and you won't have any time to spare. So make the most of what you have!!! Fond memories is all thats left when you are old...
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hi. Well, if you put it in that light then yes... friendships just 'happen'. You join an activity group and quite naturally you'll find yourself closer to some people and friendship blossoms. So if you end up being friends with a woman thats OK. But i still don't understand the preoccupation with pointedly having friendship with women :confused2:

So the next question would be why you don't end up making friends with women. And well, I can attest to the fact that the interest most girls have in a guy has romantic inclinations. Seen from the girl's perspective, if she is actively seeking, any time spent going out with guys who are just 'friends' is time wasted. Particularly because other men won't approach her if she is seen around men. This is true all over the world not just in Australia. And believe me, all over the world, the concept of 'platonic friendship' is rather alien. A woman who is broad minded enough to be 'just' friends with you is HIGHLY LIKELY to be broad minded enough to go one step further as well. And if you are an attractive guy (not just in looks, but also in terms of mannerisms etc.) - and lets be realistic, women would want to befriend you ONLY if they find something attractive in you - they WILL drop hints. And then get bored and walk away if you don't pick up the hints. It happens all the time and there is simply no denying this fact. That leaves a very small percentage of men and women who will be just 'platonic friends' with each other.

Btw, you are very lucky to have all that time. Make sure you spend all of it with your spouse... very soon life will catch up and you won't have any time to spare. So make the most of what you have!!! Fond memories is all thats left when you are old...
Perhaps I have had a very unusual life if your version of things is in fact the case. I have 6 female friends whom I have known for more than 10 years - some as long as 16 years. There is nothing else sexual going on anywhere in those friendships, and there never has been. All of these women are married, and none of thier husbands have a problem with our friendship. This is my reality and my perspective on life.

I tend to find female friendships more rewarding - that is what my preoccupation with it is. I find many men to be too shallow and too preoccupied with being macho and talking about sports to find friendship with them interesting - thus women, who are willing to talk about deeper subjects and connect with me on a level that i find more interesting, are where my friendships often happen. After having been in Australia for a couple of years I am not making those connections here, and several women have expressed that thier husbands would be jelous and that this sort of thing is not generally seen as positive in Australia, and that is where my questions and this conversation comes from.

The picture you paint is one that may in fact be the reality - I just hope it isn't. What is says is that men and women can't be trusted because they will cheat if given the opportunity, and that both men and women generally don't want to have friends of the opposite sex because all they can think of and/or the only reason they would want to be friends is if there is sex on the horizon.

To me that is completely outside of the way that my wife and I work. I find it almost primitive. Just because we all have feelings and find other people attractive, doesn't mean that we should or would act on those feelings. More to the point, if I had sexual feelings about a friend, and I found myself unable to resist temptation, than I should have the emotional maturity and perspective to either not act on those emotions, or to walk away from the friendship because it couldn't work. If I found that a woman was all of sudden attracted to me and all I wanted was friendship, than again I should have the emotional maturity and responsibility to walk away from that situation.

Otherwise what sad situation are we in? That would mean that any man or women, no matter if they were married or in a relationship, who found themselves in the company of another man or women, would end up being in danger of cheating. That's nuts! Please don't tell me that you feel that most of the human population is so underdeveloped that they are unable to control themselves?
 

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Perhaps I have had a very unusual life if your version of things is in fact the case. I have 6 female friends whom I have known for more than 10 years - some as long as 16 years. There is nothing else sexual going on anywhere in those friendships, and there never has been. All of these women are married, and none of thier husbands have a problem with our friendship. This is my reality and my perspective on life.

I tend to find female friendships more rewarding - that is what my preoccupation with it is. I find many men to be too shallow and too preoccupied with being macho and talking about sports to find friendship with them interesting - thus women, who are willing to talk about deeper subjects and connect with me on a level that i find more interesting, are where my friendships often happen. After having been in Australia for a couple of years I am not making those connections here, and several women have expressed that thier husbands would be jelous and that this sort of thing is not generally seen as positive in Australia, and that is where my questions and this conversation comes from.

The picture you paint is one that may in fact be the reality - I just hope it isn't. What is says is that men and women can't be trusted because they will cheat if given the opportunity, and that both men and women generally don't want to have friends of the opposite sex because all they can think of and/or the only reason they would want to be friends is if there is sex on the horizon.

To me that is completely outside of the way that my wife and I work. I find it almost primitive. Just because we all have feelings and find other people attractive, doesn't mean that we should or would act on those feelings. More to the point, if I had sexual feelings about a friend, and I found myself unable to resist temptation, than I should have the emotional maturity and perspective to either not act on those emotions, or to walk away from the friendship because it couldn't work. If I found that a woman was all of sudden attracted to me and all I wanted was friendship, than again I should have the emotional maturity and responsibility to walk away from that situation.

Otherwise what sad situation are we in? That would mean that any man or women, no matter if they were married or in a relationship, who found themselves in the company of another man or women, would end up being in danger of cheating. That's nuts! Please don't tell me that you feel that most of the human population is so underdeveloped that they are unable to control themselves?
You are making wide generalizations of what I said. Anyway, lets take up your points one at a time.

The friends you have - you yourself say they are from 10 to 16 years back. Probably made during school/university? Those kind of friendships tend to stick. They are exactly the kind of friendships which I said just 'happen'. What you need to understand is that as you progress in age, the people around you tend to move on and their circumstances change. Look at it realistically. You won't see many 40 year old gentlemen being 'just friends' with 20 year old girls. Similarly for 30 year olds. You do realize that for 'deeper connection' there simply needs to be that much more level of familiarity and trust? As youngsters more people are open to experimentation, but as you grow old, its human nature to start getting suspicious of change/uncertainty. I mean lets talk about Canada. Lets say you didn't have those 6 friends and you were to go out and find new friends in Canada. Where would you go and how would you approach this?

The sad situation might just be that you are very different. Most guys won't be able to relate because we are completely comfortable in our own skins and being friends with guys, talking about cricket/football etc. I do know guys in Australia who are simply 'popular' with girls and the girls approach them when they have any problems. But they are in a situation (due to work/education/etc.) where they have the opportunity to interact with women without looking like they are out to find women for friendship. But the friendship is limited to office/school/university etc. As soon as you start talking about going out with a woman WITHOUT your wife being present, no matter what you say or do, society will judge you in Australia. Outside of big cities, Australian communities tend to be tightly knit and many times people know each other very well. In such a setting, if people see a married man going out on dinners with a woman other than his wife... well anyone who doesn't live in a parallel universe can see how that would go. And many times women won't be willing to go through that kind of negative attention.
 

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What a very limited view.... Why would you be with a spouse you don't trust?
I am sorry that you feel that way (your perception of my having a limited view), but it has little to do with trust. It is what is considered to be appropriate and inappropriate.

Lets turn this around: What do you think would be the general reception of the people here if I posted the following on this forum:

Oh, I'm a single woman, and I want to make friends with married men because I find them so stable, so family-like and they are generally employed and mature, but they don't want to give me the time of day.... oh why, oh why don't married men want to be my friend? I am a single woman with a lot to offer as a friend. I don't have any kids or any responsibilities, so I have time to go out and make friends with the married men! Oh and one last thing: If their wives don't trust them, well heck - why would they be with a spouse they don't trust?? :confused:


How do you think people would respond?
 

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And well, I can attest to the fact that the interest most girls have in a guy has romantic inclinations. Seen from the girl's perspective, if she is actively seeking, any time spent going out with guys who are just 'friends' is time wasted. Particularly because other men won't approach her if she is seen around men. This is true all over the world not just in Australia.

I'm sorry, but this here I strongly disagree with! It's actually quite the opposite: Men are mostly the ones who have the romantic inclinations towards women, not the other way around. Men are also quick to leave their marriages for younger, more beautiful women while generally, women are more faithful - and I'm talking centuries of treatment here, not just something that happened a long time ago in a different primitive culture.

Reminds me, has anyone here seen the movie, "When Harry Met Sally?" lol that's what this topic reminds me of...
 
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