Childhood friendships are the gateway to learning the qualities of a good friend – dependable, trustworthy, having our backs, keeping secrets, and are emotionally supportive. These friends are never forgotten, become our best friends, and for women last a lifetime. High school graduation ends many of these friendships especially for men who go to college; enter the service, or move – while those who remain have developed lifelong friends.
The men who leave choose new friends similar to their childhood friends, but rarely have best friends due to the emotional investment needed as men tend to show less emotion (except anger) than women. Prior to marriage they have acquaintances rather than friends, they call them buddies , usually are co-workers, financial equals, and the friendship is based on common interests – often sports or hobbies.
Women always have best friends, look for childhood habits in new friends, depend on them for emotional support, and share the joys and sorrows of life together. They refer to their friends as girlfriends, always communicate, go out together, and have few acquaints.
This difference between men and women often creates a conflict in a marriage. Women feel these buddies are troublemakers and a bad influence on their husbands. Men perceive their wife's girlfriends as distractions who know too much about their personal lives. This conflict is alleviated when the husband becomes acquiescent and befriends his wife's girlfriend's husband.
Friendships are important for men and women even though they seek different outcomes. The differences are insignificant as each one gains either a friend, buddy or acquaintance which touches their lives.