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Home Bot CategoriesPeopleCoffee Break HAS YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH MALE FRIENDS CHANGED AFTER MARRIAGE?

HAS YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH MALE FRIENDS CHANGED AFTER MARRIAGE?

by wowmagazine

How open are you to the idea of having a best friend of the opposite gender?

Shivanee: Gender is secondary for me when it comes to friendship. It’s the individual and the common wavelength that matters. Again, I truly believe that you don’t choose friends; it just happens.  Majority of my friends are males. I share a very close bond and a sense of protection in many ways with them. Friendship traits in men and women are naturally different. However, the individual that you are fetches and defines your friendship. 

There exists gender stereotyping over cross-sex friendships. Cinemas and movies also have fueled this conception. I am a strong believer that true cross-gender platonic relationships do exist like any other relations. I have a lot of male friends, some since my childhood.
Shivanee Thapa Basnyat
News Editor & Presenter, Nepal Television

Siwangi: I don’t think a friend is firstly decided based on the gender. I am totally cool with having a best friend of the opposite gender.

Sandhya: I have always had friends of both genders so I see no problem in that.

Sudipa: I am very much open to having a best friend of any gender. I see friends beyond gender.

Itchya: I am very open to the idea of having a best friend of the opposite gender. Even if my partner has a girl best friend, I won’t mind. All three of us can hangout together. I would have one more friend too. We should understand that s/he had a social life before and may have friendships formed before they met us.

Does the relationship with male friends change with marriage?

Shivanee: Now this entirely depends on the kind of individuals that you, your partner and your friend are. Also, the environment that you live in has an impact on this equation. Hetero-normative assumptions have historically socialised us to consider men and women as romantic partners. Unfortunately, this gender stereotyping still prevails, although it is gradually changing. There are people who are rigid in their thoughts and tend to endorse the traditional gender roles. Since, an individual’s priorities and lifestyle gradually change with time and age, friendships are bound to evolve. You might not be meeting or greeting all the time but the relations, given they are true, never change in essence. If a friend does not understand these transitions then s/he never was one. 

Siwangi: I actually didn’t have a lot of male friends before marriage so in my case, I got closer to a lot of my husband’s male friends after marriage and now they are my best friends too.

I actually didn’t have a lot of male friends before marriage so in my case, I got closer to a lot of my husband’s male friends after marriage and now they are my best friends too.
Siwangi Pradhan
Fashion Designer

Sandhya: No it hasn’t. I think it’s important for you and your partner to trust each other completely and have open communication. Then, there is no reason for you or him to feel uncomfortable about hanging out with male or female friends. That’s exactly the case with me and Aabhushan. Our relationship is built on trust and understanding so I am comfortable being myself around my friends.

Sudipa: For me, my relationship with male friends hasn’t changed after marriage or because of marriage. Instead I have gained more male friends after marriage. My husband’s friends also became my friends.

Itchya: My relationship with male friends hasn’t changed at all even after marriage.

Does having male friends bring insecurities in your marriage?

Shivanee: The status and quality of understanding between the couple is detrimental to this. Marriage is not a one dimension thing and as with every other relationship it needs constant nurturing. The ability of an individual to draw a line between priorities and needs helps both partners. Sometimes even if a person is understanding but the other partner fails to create an ambience of trust, this will impact the overall behavioural dynamics. My spouse has always understood me more than myself. The level of understanding he offers is of great comfort. Insecurities have never been an issue at all and I am grateful. 

Siwangi: I don’t think it brings any insecurity to the marriage like I said I am closer to more male friends now than before.

Sandhya: Not at all. My husband and I trust each other so there are no issues for both of us in having friends of the opposite gender.

I think people used to think earlier that the only male you knew closely would be your husband or male relatives in your family, but times have changed. Thank god for that. It’s completely and absolutely possible for people to be friends without the intent of dating each other.
Sandhya KC
Media Personality

Sudipa: Having male friends shouldn’t bring insecurities in marriage just because the other person is the opposite gender. If there’s any insecurity as such, the couple should have a conversation about it and try and see where the problem is. Insecurity should nowhere come from a place of possessing the other person. I think the other person is as human as you are. 

Itchya: Because of the type of partner I have, having a male friend has not brought any kind of insecurity to our marriage. He is very understanding.

As a working woman, how do you deal with male colleagues?

Shivanee: We are part of this society and so are not spared of personal beliefs and gender roles. Majority of my colleagues are men. Fortunately for me, I have never had to deal with any major issues at the work place. Almost all of my male colleagues have always offered support, trust and co-operation. More so, during trying times they have been the ones to have my back. The right people always offer a sense of protection. Also, the office itself has a greater role in enhancing the relationship between colleagues and families. Occasional retreats and socialisation helps a lot. 

Siwangi: I deal with them professionally like I deal with my female colleagues. There is no difference as such.

Sandhya: With grace and dignity. As a woman in this society, it is ten times harder to get something that a man can easily get. So, I always put my best foot forward, assert myself and get my work done.

Friendship should be a place of your choice and comfort you share with the other person and how you feel with the other person and not defined by gender of
any sort.
Sudipa Pathak
Civil Engineer & Fashion Model

Sudipa:  I work with people below my age group to much senior male colleagues. I am more comfortable with people my age group or people with similar mindset. During work, I have many times realised that even with an educated bunch of males (grown in the realm of patriarchy) the testosterone sometimes takes over the rationality of having a respectable logical conversation with a female and actually listening and comprehending (many times they don’t). When I have been on the receiving end I have always made sure that I have my say. 

Itchya: Belonging from the beauty industry, we have more female colleagues than male colleagues. However, I don’t think there is a certain or different way to deal with male colleagues.

Some people still believe a male and a female can never be friends. What do you think? 

Shivanee: Unfortunately, there exists gender stereotyping over cross-sex friendships. Cinemas and movies also have fueled this conception. I am a strong believer that true cross-gender platonic relationships do exist like any other relations. I have a lot of male friends, some since my childhood. Regardless of so many changes that each of us have undergone, the foundations remain intact. Although, I fell in love with my friend and got married to him later, this does not mean every friendship has a romance quotient. 

Siwangi: I can’t change another’s perception but I don’t think it’s a big deal. Male and female can be as good friends as the same gender.

I think attraction is just a very natural part of human behaviour. One might find someone attractive, but that does not mean s/he is going to act on those feelings. You can definitely be friends with the opposite gender while finding them good looking.
Itchya Karki
Esthetician

Sandhya: I think people used to think earlier that the only male you knew closely would be your husband or male relatives in your family, but times have changed. Thank god for that. It’s completely and absolutely possible for people to be friends without the intent of dating each other.

Sudipa: Friendship has a large spectrum to it, be it with the opposite gender, caste, race, religion, colour, ethnicity, wealth, power  etc. Friendship should be a place of your choice and comfort you share with the other person and how you feel with the other person and not defined by gender of any sort.

Itchya: I think attraction is just a very natural part of human behaviour. One might find someone attractive, but that does not mean s/he is going to act on those feelings. You can definitely be friends with the opposite gender while finding them good looking. However if they are being friends for the wrong intentions, they can probably never be friends.

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