I grew up in a household of men who love women. They love women as partners, and as friends, and as people. While my father gave himself and my brothers the unfortunate moniker of “girly-guys,” his point was taken. All three of them have always felt more comfortable hanging with women, being friends with women and working with women than they have with men. This is not to say they are womanizers nor are they less masculine than their counterparts. They are all, in fact, terribly committed, monogamous men who are with partners who, to varying degrees of success, have had to deal with all of the women in their men’s lives.
If you suspect that you fit into the anti-stereotype of the male gender, then read on and discover what your stumbling blocks are on the road to successful romantic relationships.
We all know the stereotype of the “typical” male. They aren’t very emotional, or at least cannot (or don’t want to) express their emotions, and like hanging out with their male friends, enjoying such rituals as watching or playing sports, poker nights, strippers, and generally talking shit. Their circle of friends are generally guys they grew up with or guys they have met at work or doing other manly things, such as sports teams. Most guys know their male friends fairly well, but they aren’t big on heart-to-hearts. If they have been wronged by a friend, they are more likely to just stop talking to them than they are to call them on it and hash it out.
If you find that friends’ suggestions of watching an afternoon of football or having an all-night poker tournament do not appeal to you, then you may just fall into the category of the anti-stereotype. The anti-stereotype male is generally not into the testosterone laden activities that are laid out as “manly.” They have a lot of female friends based on the fact that, for the most part, they would rather have meaningful conversations than talk about the trivial. They are interested in how people tick, and interested in talking about their ideas and theories. While there are dudes out there that you will meet who are also interested in these things, they are probably also surrounded by female friends, simply because women love to talk, and will indulge in long, drawn out conversations about almost anything. They also have an opinion about almost anything.
The other bonus of having a lot of female friends is that female attention is just more fun than male attention sometimes. Even if it is just on a friendship basis, it is nice to have women who want to spend time with you, who value your opinion, and who will give you insight into how the feminine psyche works. Friend or more, it’s always good for the ego to have women around.
If your preferences run against the stereotype, it eventually raises a few questions. What is it that you are missing out on by not engaging in the usual ‘guy’ fare? Why is it that other guys seem to love doing stuff that you find incredibly dull? Why do you prefer to hang out with women than men? And most importantly, what we will discuss here, how does this impact your love life? Because let’s face it, just because you hang out with girls on a friendship basis does not mean that you are looking to get some any less than the average Joe. You just may be a little too close to the prey sometimes.
There are several qualities in the anti-stereotype male that will draw women to you. You tend to understand how to relate to women a little better. You can listen to their problems and offer advice without sounding like you are impatiently trying to solve everything for them. You also are less likely to engage in stereotypical behaviours (e.g. fanatical sports fan, going to strippers) that women find kind of immature. Finally, when you have female friends, their friends are likely to befriend you as well.
Because you have more female friends, you have more access to women (i.e. their friends). One of the things that draws women to you is that you are non-threatening. This is to say that because you have women as friends, you don’t have that immediate predatory vibe that many really overly testosteroned men have. Some men cannot project any vibe other than the one that says they are trying to bed you. You have the opposite problem. You are so open and non-threatening that it can be difficult to get women to see you as a sexual guy. This is not an insult! Women value emotional intimacy on a different level than they value sexual intimacy. When they say that they don’t want to ruin the friendship with sex, they really mean it as a compliment. In women’s world, friendship lasts longer and is more meaningful than sex.
That said, your biggest enemy, and I probably don’t have to tell you this, is the friendzone. Once women have placed you in the “friend” position, it is difficult to break through that barrier into the “dating” zone. My best advice to you is this: if you have a female friend or two, and you want to meet possible dates through them, don’t hang out with them and their friends as a group. The more you hang out with women in groups, the more they are apt to consider you “one of the girls,” and consequently, not a dating option. Instead, ask female friends to set you up with their friends. They will have a good idea of who might be good for you (especially based on your past track record). While set-ups may feel uncomfortable to you, meeting women as a potential date puts you in a dating context right away. If you guys don’t click, then feel free to befriend her after the dating doesn’t work out.
If you find that you are used to treating women as friends, you might find that you are putting the wrong vibes out there. Ask your female friends what it was about you that put them in the friendzone and what you could have done differently to give them the impression that you were interested in dating them instead.
As a man who treats women with a certain amount of respect form the get-go (due to your exposure to hearing how a woman wants to be treated), there will be certain types that you will be vulnerable to. This is not a reflection on you so much as it is a reflection on your safe nature. Watch out for really needy or damaged women. Because you are used to listening to women, make sure that you don’t end up with someone who only talks about and worries about herself and her dramas. You deserve attention as well. Also, watch out for manipulative, mean women who will be jealous of your female friends and try to isolate you from them.
Finally, beware the non-sexual love affair. This can take two forms. The first is the female friend that you are secretly, or not so secretly, in love with. You will watch her be mistreated by boyfriend after boyfriend, certain that she will eventually realize that it has been you all along. Wake up. Life isn’t a John Hughes movie and she will likely never realize that you are meant to be together. The second is the long term, comfortable relationship you find yourself in that has no passion left, if there ever was any. True, passion will fade over time, but it shouldn’t go away completely. If it does, find out why, because people need passion and sexual intimacy in one form or another to keep a feeling of closeness and excitement in the relationship.
If you are the type of man who bucks stereotypes, try to find women who are also off the mainstream. Look for independent women who are secure enough to recognize that your female friends are not a threat, but a sign that you understand how to be friends with women. Use your female friends to meet new women and listen to their tips about how to keep them interested. Women complain about stereotypical male behaviour all the time. Be there to give them an alternative choice.