Posted in Mental Health, Self Esteem

The importance of friends of the opposite sex

Of course it is always important to have friends and it is the sign of a well-balanced individual who has good or close friends of the opposite sex. I don’t just mean acquaintances or facebook “friends” you met once at the party of your cousin’s boyfriend’s sister but genuine friends that you can confide in, spend time with and who can help you to get over a break up.

The ego boost can be phenomenal to have somebody telling you that (for example) you are an amazing person, that they admire and like you and want to spend time with you. Because we tend to have more same-gender friends, there is almost something more carefully selective about opposite sex friends. I have always felt that there is a level of honesty with same sex friends that is rarely matched. And of course when they tell you that you have attributes and qualities that are attractive to a gender to which they belong, that makes it more tangible than when coming from a same-sex friend.

When Miss X came back into my virtual life last year, it was at a time that we both needed somebody to talk to. Despite that she too was low after a difficult year, we immediately settled back into familiar patterns. Even though we’d barely spoken most of last year and durng 2010, it felt as though we’d never stopped talking. She picked me up when I was low and felt I had nobody to turn to.

The biggest ego boost was that she genuinely cared, we messaged each other several times per week. Here is somebody I like and admire, who makes me laugh, somebody with whom I have so much in common. And then she insisted we finally meet up in 2012. That happened last month and I’m pleased to say that seeing us together you wouldn’t have believed that we’d never met before.

Talking to her, meeting her and doing lots of interesting things with her has been a big help through my break-up and I hope she feels the same way about her difficult period. Though I harbour secret romantic feelings for her (something I need to address some day I know) if nothing else ever happens I know I have a good and loyal, caring friend who makes me feel good about myself.

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Author:

I go by the name of Frank Speaking. My blog "In the Mind of Men" (former name Chin Up, Chest High) started out as a chronicle of my mental health recovery. Now it is a forum where I discuss issues related to male mental health.

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