Many months ago I began to write about the subject of being friends with men. The topic intrigued me, as I have many close friends, people who I love and care about, people who know they can count on me for anything and on whom I know I can depend for the same. Most of these friends are women, gay men, or the husbands of women friends.
Over the course of my adult married life I had developed professional friendships with many men, but realize that I never developed close friendships with heterosexual men in spite of the many I know.
Now I am attempting to consider friendship with a former lover and attempting to develop friendship with another man whom I dated, liked, but with whom the romance never ignited. Aside from the obvious discomfort that comes from disentangling and disappointment, one of the greater questions is what these friendships might look like. I know what friendships with women look like and feel like; the same goes with gay men. I am aware of the risks, the boundaries, and the rewards.
But in a non-romantic friendship with a straight man I think I am clueless. Spending time with several new men over the past year has reminded me of both the delights and agonies that happen because of fundamental differences in wiring between the sexes. Raising a son was and continues to be a constant reminder of the joy of male-ness, and male energy.
I was reminded of all this after reading an article in today's NY Times Magazine about the "Platonic" category on Craigslist. Reading it confirmed that I am not the only woman looking to form friendships with the opposite sex which have nothing to do with sex. But putting this into practice is another thing entirely, and I suspect it warrants a "Caution" sign!