“A friend is one that knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts what you have become, and still, gently allows you to grow.” – William Shakespeare. Most friendships typically form for the same reasons, such as shared interests, support, and companionship. Sometimes friends can even help you with fighting illness or depression. While they can also be there to comfort you in your time of need and be there for the happiest parts of your life. However, the type of relationship appears to differ between male and female best friend relationships. While differences between male and female best friends are noticeable, the similarities are salient. When focusing on characteristics, advice, and the activities you share with one another.
Not surprisingly, female friendships tend to be more dependent on face-to-face contact, are more emotional, include the sharing of thoughts and feelings, and include more support. Friendships between males tend to be more side-to-side rather than face-to-face. Males tend to value relationships that include shared activities, are less intimate, and transactional. There are also gender differences in the manner in which males and females form and sustain friendships. Another key difference between male and female friendships include the frequency of contact, investment in the friendship, and types of personal challenges/issues discussed during the friendship. Unlike women, men often do not feel the need to discuss all the changes in their lives with a friend or a need to say in touch. Interestingly, men can go extended periods of time, months or even years, without having contact with a friend, yet still consider the other person a close friend. In contrast, if a woman does not have regular contact with an individual she views as a close friend then she is more likely to assume they have grown apart, is no longer interested in the friendship, and assume the friendship is over.
Although, male friendships tend to lack intimacy, they are less fragile than female friendships. Men are more likely to bond by engaging in shared activities, such as sports (side-to-side), while women tend to bond through the disclosing of secrets, talking, and spending time together (face-to-face). It should be noted, men tend to make friends easier as they do not question the motives of the other person or feel the same pressure to disclose personal information to maintain the friendship as women. While men may not share their inner-most feelings with their close male friends, studies have shown they are more apt to share these feelings with a wife, girlfriend, sister, or other platonic female friends.
Although these differences do not apply to all male-male and female-female friendships, this provides a general idea of how male-male friendships differ from female-female friendships.
Regardless of the type of friendship you are in, it is important to identify what you are looking for in a friend. By identifying what you need and want out of a friendship it can assist you with determining if the person you would like to be friends with can provide the type of connection you desire.