It is said that ‘men are from Mars and women are from Venus,’ owing to how they tend to see and deal with relationships differently. This also applies to friendships. How women nurture friendships differ from how men tend to behave in their friendships.
We make friends with people who share common interests with us or have similar ideals and philosophies as us. You may have heard or seen through experience that male friendships are more laid-back and female friendships are more intimate. Are these views true? Do women prefer few, yet intimate friendships? Do men like to hang out in big groups?
Let us explore the male friendship vs. female friendship and find out who wins the battle.
Male Friendship vs Female Friendship – The Key Differences
The mental, emotional, and psychological make-up of males and females is different and it shows in their relationships, including friendships. Young boys might show their strong bond of friendship through shared activities such as playing video games together and young girls might talk about shared experiences.
Friendship is a bond needed by every human being irrespective of their gender. Many times, the way —males or females show affection and love—is dictated by societal norms and expectations.
Below are a few key differences between male friendship vs female friendship.
1. Face-to-face vs side-to-side connection
They want to feel supported and connected and prefer direct face-to-face contact. Females want to talk about feelings and share personal details and hence prefer to meet and talk in person.
Male friendships, on the other hand, are more transactional and men prefer shared activities over talking about their feelings. Men tend to prefer and value friendships that are side-to-side such as doing activities together such as watching a game of football or going to a concert.
2. Way of dealing with arguments
Men deal with arguments and fight differently than females. There might be arguments and heated discussions, but men tend to find a solution and move on.
Women might tend to hold a grudge for days and the situation might get escalated. The hard and bitter feelings might linger on for a long time in the case of female friendships.
3. Dependency on friends
Generally speaking, women feel that spending time together with friends is important and might be more dependent on friends. They stay in close contact with each other.
Whereas men might be more independent in friendships and might be fine with not staying in touch for long or not discussing everything in detail with each other.
Men tend to have a more direct and straightforward approach to communication and women may use the indirect and subtle approach when it comes to communication. Hence, when it comes to a male and female platonic friendship, there might be issues in picking up hints and other communication-related things.
4. Handling humor and insults
From the very childhood, young boys like to tease each other, tickle each other, and use humor and slight insults to strengthen their bonds of friendship. Women tend to be more sensitive in their needs and they tend to think about the other person would feel and hence don’t use humor and insults frequently in friendships.
The general idea is that female friendships are more intimacy-based than male friendships. Women tend to share their very personal details and experiences with their female friends and tend to value the emotional connection more. Women tend to be more understanding and supportive to each other and are more inclined to forgive the other person in case of conflicts.
It is not the case that men do not value the emotional connection, but their way of sharing things with each other is different. Male friendships are more casual and laid-back. It has been observed that a man might open about personal details to a platonic female friend more than to a male friend.
6. Dealing with flaws
Men tend to be affected by their competitiveness in their friendships and go on head-to-head challenges. Women tend to be more judgmental. These differences might not apply to all friendships and the general idea of friendship also differs from person to person.
7. How they deal with less frequent contact
Compared to women, men are okay with days of no contact or less frequent contact. As men do not feel the need to discuss things in detail, they can sustain prolonged periods of silence from their friends.
Whereas when women don’t keep in touch with each other for a prolonged period of time, it might be assumed that there is something wrong or that the friendship is strained.
8. Dealing with pressure in friendship
Men tend to keep their friendship on a more casual level and there is no pressure of sharing things with each other. Disclosing personal information and discussing emotional needs might be important in female friendships and it could add to the pressure of constantly staying in touch and sharing things.
9. Strong emotional attachment
Staying in contact is necessary in female friendships for a strong emotional attachment. Females prefer quality over quantity and meeting and discussing things face to face is necessary. Women might not hang out in large groups and would prefer a rather intimate conversation with a couple of friends.
Men might prefer hanging out in large groups and discussing things that are related to daily life or shared interests, but they might not crave an emotional attachment. This could also be a result of societal norms and gender expectations. Due to these norms, men might find it difficult to express themselves more openly.
10. Engaging in shared activities
Men tend to engage more in shared activities than women. Women might prefer conversations to doing things together.
Women are more likely to communicate with their female friends over social media, texts and calls. They are also more likely to depend on their friends for motivation and support. They are also likelier to find out time for friends from their busy schedules.
There have been several studies determining the difference between males and females and their behavior in friendships. Yet, why male and female friendships are so different is unclear.
Although the differences mentioned above may not apply to all male and female friendships, there is one common thing necessary for all friendships—connection. What do you want from a friendship and what are you looking for in a friend is an important question to ask yourself.
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