Friday, July 13, 2007

The Case for Man-Lationship Trouble

The other day, I was listening to 91ZM and heard one of those pop psychology "sign" lists that are mildly interesting. This one piqued my interest, especially considering the order in which the "reasons" were presented:

Signs your man-lationship may be in trouble

Now is a good time to examine your friendships and see if they're worth continuing. As we get older, even the best of friends can drift apart, and priorities and expectations can change.

According to New York Psychologist Adam Lynn, here are some signs you might want to consider ending a friendship:

He doesn't help you move

Guys do each other favors to express how much they care about each other. If your buddy is always too busy to help you, the friendship may be in trouble.

He calls you only when he's down

If the friendship is no longer a two-way street, and your friend only calls you to complain about his life, dump him or start charging by the hour.

He never hangs out anymore

Men base friendships on the things they do together. If your buddy no longer finds time to do things with you, the friendship may be in trouble.

His jokes aren't funny anymore

If he only talks about the "god old days" and still acts like a drunken frat guy, while you're moved on with your life, your friendship may be on life support.

He lies about small things

Guys base relationships on trust. When that starts to fade, so can the friendship.

He talks about how much more he earns

If your bud gets a higher-paying job and rubs it in your face, the friendship could suffer.

Your girlfriend thinks he's an idiot

"Women judge relationships by whether they're socially appropriate," says Lynn, "so she'll be able to tell right away if the only thing holding your friendship together is the past."

I was very interested to know why the last one came last. I would have thought that a new girlfriend would have been one of the biggest strains on any relationship, and probably the most common one too. But on this list, it appears almost an apologetic tag on, an "almost never" happenstance.

I also noted that, while more money is a no-no, rubbing sporting success in a friends' face is fine, as is anything else to do with sport, even with the bloody consequences supporting different sides in a sporting event can cause (albeit in extreme cases).

And finally, perhaps because these are 'men" relationships we are talking about here, the solution proposed to the symptoms of a (possibly) disintegrating friendship seems to be that one should actually to hasten that disconnection and end it as quickly as possible. Is this because men aren't supposed to be able to talk about these kinds of things and sort out their differences and discomforts rationally?

I am no great sage on the laws of human nature, but for me it is interesting to note the "male stereotpes" that come through in lists like this that are supposed to be compiled ostensibly to help people. Perhaps most people can be reduced to stereotypes and that this list is actually highly accurate. However, I choose to believe that I, personally, fit somewhere outside that square - for better, or for worse.

Verdict: Choosing not to examine my relationships that closely, just in case...


Not Kate said...

I don't think that list is exclusively about man-lationships. A lot of those would ring true for a woman-lationship too (though there'd be an additional 50 items or so, given the complex nature of our species).

Given the first one, me and you have solid man-lationships with Sam (and Fish)..... I am a super-house-mover-helper, as are you.

R said...

Care to put said list of 50 items together for my edification? [A challenge!]

Anonymous said...

All my man-lationships must be in trouble - the day I could finally pay movers to help me move house rather than having to call in my friends was a happy day indeed.

Although I move (on average) every 18 months, so that might put a strain on my man-lationships. I am ooking forward to staying put after the current move for longer :-)

Anonymous said...

That should be 'looking' not 'ooking'... :-)

Anonymous said...

r, any chance of you being here for a long extended holiday around november next year to help us move? i had no idea you had such a talent!