Men have a reputation for being emotionally closed off, unable to talk to anyone about problems and feelings until things build up to a fever pitch. Fortunately, this isn’t really true; guys express emotion in a lot of different ways, but most well adjusted adults are able to be at least somewhat expressive.
Much to the surprise of many women, this includes–horror of horrors–actually talking about relationships. However, most men don’t talk to their girlfriends or wives about relationship issues unless circumstances are especially dire. Instead, men do what women do: they turn to their friends.
Guys are very capable of discussing relationship issues with their friends, because in a lot of ways, it takes the pressure off. They don’t have to worry about offending a friend with a revelation about the relationship, and they can vocalize what’s going well or poorly in the relationship without risking any repercussions.
Men are usually much more open, in fact, with friends than they tend to be with lovers. Often, they’re not looking for advice, but simply an open ear. It can be difficult to develop a relationship with a loved one that allows for complete, brutal honesty, and this is certainly possible with a less intimate relationship.
That’s not to say that a man considers friendships to be more valuable in any way than a romantic relationship, merely that it’s easier to deal with one in the terms of the other–just as men discuss their romantic relationships with friends, they’ll often do the opposite and discuss their friendships with their lovers. Talking about any type of relationship is a very healthy and normal way to develop one’s thoughts, and to get a second perspective on sometimes complex issues.
There’s one more thing to note here: women should avoid confronting men if they’ve caused some sort of trouble by discussing a relationship with friends. Instead, urge the guy to tell his friend to keep his mouth shut–but the actual act of talking with the friend is, frankly, none of the woman’s business. It would be done of the man’s business, either, if the situation was reversed.
Modern media tends to give an unrealistic image of human relationships, and in many cases, men and women feel hurt that their partners are discussing intimate issues with friends rather than bringing these issues up privately. Just remember, though, that discussion is the lifeblood of any relationship, and sometimes, your partner’s ability to talk with friends will greatly enrich your romance. Sit back, relax, and don’t worry about it–people are going to talk about romance, and they’ll probably talk a lot. There’s nothing to get hung up on.
Do you talk to your friends (male or female) about your relationships? Post your thoughts in our comments section below.