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Can Men And Women Really Be Friends


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in america almost every single one of my good friends is male. i can call them up to chat, drop by their place, go hang out together in public, talk to them about their girls and vice versa- never crosses the line into a relationship. i just happen to connect really well with men whereas i find most women (in the US anyway) to be catty and competitive. so coming to thailand i find it really hard to deal with this mentality that "if i can't <deleted> you, then talk to you for what?" (i have actually had thai guys say that to me!) i find that relationships with men here become really confusing because even when my intentions are platonic, the guys think i am after more, and if they find out i am not, they just drop me like a hot potato. do other women in thailand manage to have good friendships with thai men? do thai women? just wondering if it is the guys i am meeting or if it really is a thai thing.

Whether being woman or man, having close, personal and platonic friends of the opposite sex has (also) to do with hormones and genes.

A lot of women as well as men do have close friends of the opposite sexgender, especially in so called Western countries.

In Eastern countries is might be 'watched' as not done but that has more to do with culture and religion.

I can imagine that having close friends of the opposite sex is aboslutely NOT DONE in Islamic culture/society.

In my own case, happily married, I have more close female platonic friends than male but they are also friends of my wife.

However I don't have any close female friends in my wife's country since we don't live there and I don't speak the language.

On the other hand, macho men will consider having platonic female friends as being 'pussy' and not done, but.......that's their own problem, isn't it ? :o

LaoPo

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I find this to be an interesting subject. I guess because I've been in the same situation most of my long life. During my corporate career in America, 90% of my comrades were men. Then I thought it was because of mutual work relationships. Yet even now, my best buddies...email and others seem to be men. Guess I just can't get excited about stuff most women are interested in. So now I have a very young gorgeous Thai true love plan to live out my life with him. Have visited three times in 13 months, and discover also that my good buds in Thailand are also 'men'. They are friends of my love and they come to me for advice, support, etc. I want to have some Thai girlfriends..cause soon I hope to move there to stay. But have found that most guys in our circle our more outgoing, work at English, and are just more accepting. Because of respect for our relationship, (I think), I have never had a problem with any guys hitting on me. y love is so much younger anyway. But I'm not ugly and I do love to relate to all people. Am sure Thais love me for many reasons...including my real or imagined 'money'. But I treat everyone the same...am not a BIG spender.but guess I act young and feel that way. So in Thailand I feel accepted quite a bit everywhere, but am still trying to figure out how to be accepted by gals as well as guys. Have met a couple of nice gals my recent visit, but still they seem to stand away and not open up as much as the guys do. Anybody have any explanation for this? I sure could use some advice.

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A few posters have confirmed what I suspected from experience: that some Thais are very jealous of their farang partners talking and laughing with farangs of the opposite sex.

I usually try to defuse situations where I perceive fear and jealousy by talking equally with the Thai partner (usually a woman). However, my basic Thai and some women's lack of English is a real barrier in establishing communication and trust.

I also feel some resentment when I see good natured farang male partners being given sour meaningful looks because they have dared to acknowledge the presence of a western woman in an elevator, doorway, or wherever.

It is a curly question to know how to react in these situations. I will not give up my western values about human rights and freedom to talk to whoever I want, yet I do not wish to generate bad feelings or strife between Thai-farang couples.

I am sure that improving my Thai langauge skills and being fair in these situations will help, but wonder if others also experience these barriers to friendship and how they deal with it?

My feeling is that Thai norms apply with interactions with Thais but western norms apply in interactions with westerners. So I will adjust my interactions with Thai men to avoid the appearance of impropriety in Thai terms, but I won't do that with a western man, married to a Thai or not. Many western men's Thai wives/gfs have learned to understand the western way of doing things. I think it is up to the husband and wife to deal with this matter. If the Thai wife remains jealous, that is her and his problem and I'll take my cue from him -- if he avoids contact with western women for fear of making his Thai wife/gf jealous, well so be it; his loss. If he continues to relate to western women in a normal (in western terms) manner so do I and leave his wife's reaction to him to deal with. Of copurse, I try to maintain cordial relations with the widfe as well if possible.

Interestingly I have noticed that the husbands of women who are extrenmely, excessively jealous do indeed tend to stray and often end up leaving her for sonmeone else. Whether the jealousy was because the woman knew what her guy was like, or whether the jealous became a self-fulfilling prophecy, who knows.

With Thai men, though, I quickly refrain from anything that seems to get a negative reaction from the wife/gf. On more than one occasdion I came to realize that a Thai man had an ulterior motive in what I had thought was a perfectly innocent interaction only when I encountered the wife's frosty reaction -- she knew what was afoot and I didn't.

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If my gf had a male friend I would hunt him down, unless he was gay ofcourse

Only macho and insecure men would give that answer... :o

LaoPo

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I find this to be an interesting subject. I guess because I've been in the same situation most of my long life. During my corporate career in America, 90% of my comrades were men. Then I thought it was because of mutual work relationships. Yet even now, my best buddies...email and others seem to be men. Guess I just can't get excited about stuff most women are interested in. So now I have a very young gorgeous Thai true love plan to live out my life with him. Have visited three times in 13 months, and discover also that my good buds in Thailand are also 'men'. They are friends of my love and they come to me for advice, support, etc. I want to have some Thai girlfriends..cause soon I hope to move there to stay. But have found that most guys in our circle our more outgoing, work at English, and are just more accepting. Because of respect for our relationship, (I think), I have never had a problem with any guys hitting on me. y love is so much younger anyway. But I'm not ugly and I do love to relate to all people. Am sure Thais love me for many reasons...including my real or imagined 'money'. But I treat everyone the same...am not a BIG spender.but guess I act young and feel that way. So in Thailand I feel accepted quite a bit everywhere, but am still trying to figure out how to be accepted by gals as well as guys. Have met a couple of nice gals my recent visit, but still they seem to stand away and not open up as much as the guys do. Anybody have any explanation for this? I sure could use some advice.

Highlighted sentence does infact explain it acording to what i have been told, Thai males can easilly accept a Girl as a friend into their "group circle" as long as she is in a relationship with one of them......if she is single on the other hand and especially if alcohol is involved that situation can actually change radicaly in the blink of an eye.

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It all comes down to trust. I can sleep in my bed with a female friend and know that she will not cuddle up to me, and i can do the same with a male friend... of course if there is sexual attraction i shall instantly make him sleep on the floor.

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Indeed a very interesting topic...

I think it is possible that men and women can just be really friends. I have make friends here in TH (foreign and Thai) , but I must admit that its harder to actually have good friendship with Thai men. In my experience, its probably the language barrier. But of course I have met 2 Thai (male) and they're good really friends of mine now.... The problem that I only experienced is with their Thai gf's (jealous about nothing!!?!)

Anyhow, I think that men and women can have a complete platonic relationship. And it is up to both concern parties whether they want to cross certain boundaries...

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  • 14 years later...

Very interesting. It certainly got the girls talking. My experience . Young, I was spending 6 months a year on Phuket. My boyfriend , Thai, was very nice, educated and spoke English well. All his friends were great company, and as they loved to fish, we’d take food with us and hang out on the rocks all day, and sometimes evenings.It ended because the ex wife turned up and was very nasty. She even wrote to me threatening all sort of awful things. I cut the relationship off completely and instantly even tho he was very upset. There was no question of him moving away from Phuket and I didnt have much choice knowing what the ladies could be like. It hurt me a lot. Once everyone realized it was over , things changed. One very good male Thai friend kept trying to get me in bed , nicely not forcefully. I did not want to and I knew his wife, we fell out over this, he wasn’t friendly any more where we’d been the best pals. I managed to sort it out, and as he had a restaurant I went as often as I could and made a point of being friendly to him and talking and eventually things went back to normal. Luckily I got on well with his wife too. Other advances were made by the same crowd, which made me feel cheap, as I couldn’t help wondering what they really thought of me. Anyhow , apart from one who got too pushy it all ended well. Like everyone above , I had and still have good male friends. I moved away from Phuket after a few years , and have never had male Thai friends since, tho I get on well with the ones I know. The one feeling I get is that Thai men are a bit in awe of foreign girls so don’t behave naturally. 

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