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03 Feb 2004

Female finds it difficult to be friends with males
Dear CyberShrink

I am a 22 year old female. i went to an all girl catholic school up unitl Std 7 when our school amalgamated with the boys school next door.

i think that all girl/boy schools create a tension between the sexes which makes the relationship between them a flitatious one. i don't think they ever really learn that boys and girls can just be friends because they haven't been exposed to the other sex enough.

i think that i have this problem. looking back at my relationship with boys over the past 8 years, they have been rather flirtatious. Even with the boys i have regarded as my "friends". this thought just occured to me very recently. i think i struggle to just be firends with boys. and i have noticed that guys i consider my "friends", actually end up falling for me, and the friendship dissolves because it can never be the same again if i don't express an interest back to them.

i think that i expect boys to either be attracted to me or not attracted to me, as opposed to just being friends. i just recently became aware of this because i find that i am rejecting males as friends and turning to my female friends for fun and friendship.

does this make any sense to you or am i going off on some crazy tangent here. i'm just having a hard time lately relating to boys. i used to have a lot of male friends. in fact, i used to be "one of the guys". but those guys either had a thing for me, or i wasn't interested/couldn't find anything to relate to the other guys about because they weren't attraced to me. i think that i'm only interested in guys who are keen on me. that's not healthy.

i even find that i'm not interested in hanging out with my boyfriend's friends. i find them boring - all they talk about are cars, property, businesses etc. i don't even try to make an effort to be friends with them.

if i try to do my own psychoanalysis, i think it's because they're "unavailable" to me because they are friends with my boyfriend. and therefore, i'm not interested in them because they're not interested in me.

i think this is a serious problem. i can't spend the rest of my life unable to communicate effectively with males without being a bit of a flirt. this certainly won't go down well areer-wise. my being flirtatious is not an issue - i'm just very friensly, but not to the point of being slutty. it's a very subtle flirtation, if you know what i mean.

i have even lost friends because my females friends think i'm flirting with their husbands/boyfriends. and i have lost male friends because their wives/girlfriends feel threatened by me. i don't think it's a major behavioural problem that i have because then people in my life who are close to me (i.e. my sister, my best friend, my boyfriend) would mention to me that i flirt too much and that i should try to tone it down or anything. that's why i say it's such a subtle thing. there's no way my boyfriend would put up with overtly flirtatious behaviour. but now i feel an aversion to trying to be friendly with my friends husbands/boyfriends because i think i subconsciously fear the same thing happening.

this is a problem for me. how can i unlearn this behaviour. How do i change my attitude towards males? how do i learn that you can have a male friend and it can purely remain friendship without any attraction whatsoever.

i hope that you understand my plight and can give me a bit of guidance. what do i do? please help me?

Thanks
JRM

PS I'm not attracted to women.
Answer 395 views
Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

Dear JRM,
Certainly you can unlearn this behaviour pattern, in counselling and perhaps, if available, Cognitive-Behavioural Psychotherapy (CBT ). often, there's a degree of low self-esteem, that pushes one towards making every contact with the opposite sex a sort of test of your attractiveness, and relating to people only on the basis of how much they fancy you. ( "Go on, George, admit it --- do you (a) Love me, (b) Love me Profoundly, or (c) Adore me eternally ?" )
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.
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