Best female friends
A man cannot easily discuss his latest romantic interest with his best male friend. He discusses her with his best female friend. Only his best female friend – his female buddy – can interpret and analyse the new girl’s behaviours and advise him on what to do next. Only a female friend can alert him to typical female games, manipulations, flirting techniques and pathological behaviour.
Who is this female confidante who shares his inner secrets? Perhaps she is an ex-lover or perhaps she has always remained a platonic friend. Whatever the case, she now holds a key position in his life. Men value loyalty. When they put their lives on the line on the battlefields, they need to know that they can trust their friends – their comrades and allies – therefore they really put a high premium on loyalty. They are as loyal to their female friends. Woe to the new girlfriend who criticises the female buddy, or who experiences and treats her as a romantic threat. Remember, the female friend is in his tribe, and he will protect her. They are “Brothers in Arms”, not “Lovers in Arms”.
Most new girlfriends do not understand that they probably need the female friend’s stamp of approval, before he makes a serious commitment to the girlfriend. Men have wisened up to the fact that friendships endure much longer than romances. Therefore they treasure their female buddies. Usually a man has one serious female confidante and then a few female buddies.
When women fall in love, they tend to neglect their friends and spend most of their time with the new boyfriend. Men do this to a lesser degree. He may not be able to stay away from the new romantic interest at first, but sooner or later, he needs his girl buddy to touch base, catch up and compare notes. Men do not reveal everything to their romantic interests, but they do share almost everything with the girl buddy.
Understandably women may find this girl buddy a threat. I ask these women: “Do you not have a male buddy whom you discuss your boyfriend with?” Of course they do. And their boyfriends may not like this, at all, but we all have to cope and live with it.
The best buddy is the one who visits you in hospital, who helps you move, accompanies you to the vet when you have to put down a beloved pet, drives you home when you had too much to drink, gives you advice on the car or cell phone you should buy, or which flowers suit which occasion, and tells you when you are getting fat. Sometimes they gym together and go for a beer.
There are rules though. It’s not fair for buddies to refer too much to “the good ole times” and thereby exclude the newcomer, especially not if the buddies happened to be lovers before. The role of the female buddy is to make the male look good in the eyes of his new girlfriend. A true girl buddy will give the new girlfriend a chance, if she thinks the girlfriend stands a chance of making her male friend happy. If she suspects the new girlfriend is going to harm her male friend – no chance – the claws come out.
Just as men will sincerely protect their female friends and warn her against dating an ass, so they should value the advice of their female buddy re their new girlfriend, who may be a feisty vixen or a “broken-wing” in disguise.
It does happen sometimes, that both genders realise that the best buddy is actually the person they have been in love with all along. Friends for life can become partners for life too.
Best buddies aside, there is still the matter of territory. It’s acceptable for best buddies to hug when they greet each other, but it’s not acceptable to hold on to each other. The new romantic interest has a place reserved right next to the man, but she need not cling to him to claim him. Men do not like other men to trespass on their territory either.
One woman recalled sharing an apartment with her boyfriend’s sister when they were students. The boyfriend had a key to the abode. One evening she was sitting on the couch in the living room next to the deacon, who had the Bible open on his lap. Her boyfriend came in through the front door. He walked straight up to the deacon, lifted him by his tie and said: “And who the f*** are you.” “I am the deacon,” said the petrified man. “Oh,” replied her boyfriend, replacing the man on the couch and then retreated into her room.
The deacon picked up the Bible and fled out the door. “What were you thinking!” she confronted her red-faced boyfriend. “It has to do with territory,” he explained. “I don’t like any man coming near you, not even a male relative of yours.” The friendship with his sister has lasted a lifetime, the relationship with him did not. Years later, she became good friends with his wife though. Women are not lamp posts to be marked with urine as territory. (Some women do the same to men!)
Men do have this sense of territory. Many men who break up with a woman and who clearly no longer want her, still resent a new man on the premises. “Metaphorically speaking, I used to park in the driveway, now I have to park on the pavement, and there is another car in the driveway. I don’t like it,” said one man. Some men reserve the parking, by just giving her enough attention to keep her feelings going, but they never park the car. They might want to get back to her one day, but now is not the right time; or they think they may still find someone better, but they don’t actually want her to move on and they know they can’t expect her to wait. So they just reserve the parking. Ha!
One young man also proposed to his girlfriend. His plan was that he would marry her but she had to stay on in her brother’s home, while he went off to live and work in another town, until he could afford for her to move in with him. “No-go,” said the Big Brother, in the man-to-man talk. “You can’t reserve my sister like a table in a restaurant and only turn up over weekends and I must fit the bill. If you can’t afford her, then you can’t marry her.” The young man was being dishonourable. He could not claim territory and then ride off into the sunset. Leaving his brother-in-law to pay for the upkeep, would not provide an incentive for him (or her) to really work hard to afford marriage.