While men sometimes appear to be cryptic in their romantic relationships, they tend to seek opportunities for having conversations with their friends.
Ana Isabel Jiménez Castro
Psychologist, practitioner at Coomeva Private Healthcare.
Some academics including anthropologists, sociologists and psychologists have conducted in-depth studies on an ongoing issue among couples: while women often prefer the intimacy of closed-in spaces during times of reflection, men want to be out of the house, to go out and think, to see the world with the tranquility that comes with fresh air and they want the company of a friend.
Psychologist, Ana Isabel Jiménez, recalls the statement from the well-known book written by John Gray, a psychologist from the United States, titled Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, “This means that both ideologically and hormonally, men and women are different. Men and women are designed by nature to operate differently which also includes the energies inside us that make us different.”
The anthropologist from the United States, Helen Fisher, has claimed that women are gatherers and that men are hunters. Jiménez explains Fisher’s theory, “This means that men are more general in nature, are objective and think in the long term. As women, we are more precise and specific, we are about color, shape and detail. Men hunt for the herd and women gather and focus on the color of the fruit, which was an indicator of whether it was good or not. This is why we like detail and focus on the little things. Men, on the other hand, are not like that.”
These differences among genders are reflected in friendships. Many times it is difficult to explain why men can be silent in relationships, or why they want to resolve everything by going out for long drives or having a beer with that friend that the wife is sometimes jealous of. Men prefer to go out with their best friend or go for a walk, and many times women prefer to be in controlled environments.
It is sometimes thought that men have difficulties opening up to conversation with people, and that the macho culture of men where they take on all the challenges that life throws at them is stronger than their need to relate to another. Jiménez explains that this is not true, “I believe that it isn’t that difficult to have friends. Men have friends and they say that they are like brothers to them, they go through a lot together and share many things with each other that we wouldn’t accept as women. When there is betrayal in a male friendship, however, there are very few ways to repair it, and what is left is hurt.”
Problems tend to arise among couples when the man wants to go out with his best friend to play soccer or to watch the game of some remote team from Europe. It is good to keep some common grounds, however. Psychologist, Luz Amparo Salazar explains, “It is always good to maintain your friendships. It is all too common for a newlywed to push their friends away and become possessive with their partner. Keeping certain spaces private where you can breathe is important.”
Ana Isabel Jiménez believes that sometimes problems arise when men want to go out with their friends because, “As women, we want our partners close by. It is recommended for both men and women to have their own spaces. Men sometimes need to crawl into their man cave, while women may want to talk, and when men don’t talk, we think he is upset. Men spending time with other men help them to release specific hormones which helps to stimulate their erotic side and makes them want to be with their partner. As women, we feel welcome when we are on the same wavelength. Time among men and women are important, but so is time spent with others as a couple.”
Friends are some of the best catalysts for wanting to return to be with our partners. After exchanging a few words, playing sports or sharing a few beers, one returns to their roots, to what is important, the same as women do.
2 outings a week with friends helps contribute to the well-being of men according to a study from the University of Oxford in the United States.