Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Dear Match.com...

Dear Bitter Amanda,

Being married adds some challenges to friendships. I've have many different friendships from different walks in my life. Now that I'm married when I meet up with my friends I want my husband to be their friends also. This gets tricky when your friends are also married. You hope your husband will become friends with your friends husband, but it's not that easy. Why is this so hard for men? I thought men could make friends easier then women but every time my husband meets my friends husbands they don't seem to hit it off (or at the least it takes a while). I thought this concept would be easy for men, that my husband would make new best friends. How can I make my husbands transition to new friends easier? Thanks Bitter Amanda.

- Frustrated Friendship Maker

Dear Match.com,
This is a tricky one. Male bonding is weird thing. It's almost as if men know when you want them to bond, and refuse to do so easily. A bit like a petulant child, they will bond with those you wish they'd avoid--the guy you hate at work, your ex boyfriend, your father--and when you find someone suitable, they have zero interest. I think it goes back to the idea that men like the chase--when you hand them a new built-in friend, it's too easy. You have to approach this the way you approached him before you were together--play hard to get. Don't force the friendship. 
Men seem to bond over rather silly things--"Oh, you like this shitty, generic beer? I, too, enjoy that shitty, generic beer! Let's drink some of that together and complain about the awesome women in our lives who don't care if we go out and complain over shitty, generic beer! Let's also yell at our favorite local sports team in the appropriate sports vernacular!" You and your friend should do some good old-fashioned nagging while the four of you are together. Nothing bonds men quite so quickly as facing a ridiculous stereotype of women. They'll retreat to whatever spot they can find resembling a depressing "man cave" and roll their eyes about you before engaging in the above conversation. 
Also note that guys making friends often does not resemble women making friends. Women make plans and think of things to do, fill their social calendar in the excitement of a new friend. They hear life stories and tag pictures on facebook. Men are more casual in this regard. You might meet his friend's wife and go on about how great she is and how you're going to lend her that book you talked about! Maybe you'll join a book club together! But not him. You likely won't hear these things--consider it a positive sign if he agrees to all hang out again. 
Solitarily yours,
Bitter Amanda

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