EveryDad does research, so here's a good read from the Wall Street Journal's Jeffrey Zaslow entitled, "Friendships for Guys (No Tears!)." I liked it because it talked about why male friendships are inherently different than female relationships. That sounds like a "duh!" statement along the lines of Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus stuff, but it makes some good points.
The EveryDad has often had some interesting conversations with the EveryMom after returning from trips to visit with buddies. As is expected and not unwelcome by any means, the EveryMom will ask the typical questions: "How are things with Kevin? What did you guys talk about?" My answers are usually eerily like this commentary from the great Jerry Seinfeld:
Or, as Zaslow puts it:
Or, as Zaslow puts it:
A woman from Wisconsin wrote to me recently to say that she effortlessly shares intimate feelings with her friends. That's in great contrast to her husband. He recently went on a fishing trip to Canada with four longtime friends. And so she wondered: What did they talk about for a whole week? She knew one of the men had problems at work. Another's daughter was getting married. The third man has health problems. Her husband said none of those issues came up. She couldn't believe it.
She told him: "Two female strangers in a public restroom would share more personal information in five minutes than you guys talked about in a week!"
I'll not have seen my buddy in a year and topics include: memories of high school football (yes, we're all that guy), interesting movies we might have seen recently or want to see, or, shocker of shockers, what we're actually doing together that instant. And that's the key--we're doing something even if it's just watching TV.
Zaslow cites a research subject describing it thus: "Our conversations deal with the doing of things rather than the feeling of things," calling to mind the contrasting image of women at "book clubs," at lunches, or even on the phone talking about fears, insecurities, important events in peoples' lives at any given moment, etc.
Hence, while a woman's friendships are face to face, men's relationships are side by side.
This is nothing to shy away from as we derive great strength from those interactions and they're awesome. It's also valuable to model those relationships for our children as well as acknowledge the differences both for the everymoms out there and for the everydaughters. We can teach them about the interactions that are most valuable to us while acknowledging their needs and attempting to meet them as best as we can.