Throughout my life, I’ve always made and kept friendships with women (…and gay men… and lesbian women while we’re on the subject!) very easily. This has always been fine because I never felt like anything was missing from my life not having friendships with straight men. Unfortunately, I kind of think this habit of seeing people as “women are for to make friends” and “men are for to date” has become a bad habit. Now that I’m in the working world, I’m having trouble being friendly with male co-workers, and my new boss is a man and I really feel the gulf between us. My old (female) boss was a mentor with whom I’d regularly go to happy hour and meet up with on weekends here and there.
I’ve had a few straight male friends in my life, but every one of them has been disingenuous about wanting to just be friends. They either eventually try to hook up with me, stop talking to me when they get a girlfriend, or pick a stupid fight with me once I get a boyfriend. Now that I’m engaged I have zero straight male friends, and I’m pretty bummed about that.
I think that maybe I don’t know how to be friendly with a guy without him interpreting it as being flirtatious, or getting the wrong idea. So especially around male co-workers I think I act awkwardly overly professional, which just creates this big gulf between us.
I see women all the time who are able to be friends with guys, and it makes me feel like I'm doing something wrong. If anyone has any advice on how you can be friendly without it coming across as romantic interest I would really appreciate it!