Valentine’s Day is one of those very awkward days that really highlights the current state of your love life. If you’re in a happy, committed relationship, it can be a wonderful time to celebrate with soppy cards, heart shaped chocolates and teddy bears covered in romantic slogans. But if you aren’t, it can leave you feeling a little... empty. If you aren’t getting red and pink colored gifts from a significant other this Valentine’s Day... don't worry, all's not lost!
I wanted you to remember that you don’t always need to get your male companionship from a boyfriend. Sure, having a boyfriend is great but so is having fantastic male friends. Think about it, you’ll have someone there to make you laugh, to cheer you up with silliness when things get tough and to give you another perspective on life, forever.
So how do you go about making some male friends? Here's 6 simple tips to get you started:
Try something new
If you’re trying to widen your circle and you want some new guys in your life, then why not look for some mixed gender activities in your local area. A good start would be team sports. Try out something like dodge ball or football and nowadays even mixed netball teams are becoming increasingly popular. If you pick something that you’re already interested in, then you’ll have something in common with your new mates as a start. Now is the time to try that thing you’ve been putting off for far too long.
2. Utilise Social Media to your advantage
If you’re struggling to find something to do to bring new people into your life, then why not use social media to your advantage. See what all your friends are up to and wrangle an invite if it sounds interesting, or put out a group message to a bunch of friends and acquaintances suggesting an activity. So many of us have Facebook friends we hardly ever engage with. Even if only one or two people get back to you, these could be the new male friends you have been looking for!
3. Break the workplace barrier
It can be scary to bring your place of employment into your real life, but sometimes it can make every aspect of your life that little bit easier. Even just suggesting a casual drink after work with a few people can bring down this wall, opening up brand new avenues. Plus, you’ll already have so many common workplace stuff to talk (complain) about, giving you something to discuss right away.
4. Embrace the Differences
If you get a group together or even just a single male friend, don’t expect them to do the things you enjoy doing with your girl friends. They might not want to be a shoulder to cry on, they probably don’t want to over-analyse every single problem either and it’s highly unlikely that they’ll enjoy shoe shopping... but hey, embrace that. Have a different kind of fun with your male friends, take a break from the norm, you never know what you might find out about yourself.
5. Have a sense of humour
Guys bond differently from women. If anything, they maintain their friendships by mocking one another and fooling around with each other. If they start doing that to you, it means you’re in with a good chance of sticking around forever. Take the ribbing in good nature, and if you can do it back to them then even better. They won’t be offended, they’ll respect you for it!
6. Be clear about your intentions right away
If there is no sexual chemistry between you and your new male friend, then make sure they understand that right away. You don’t want your friendship to be torn apart later by mixed signals. Hang out in groups more than you would do so alone. Don’t be overly affectionate and send the right signals to ensure they know your barriers. Establishing these boundaries right away saves an awkward conversation down the road.
And always remember the possibility of love...
You can't talk about friendships with guys without first considering the fact that it might turn into something more. In fact, spending so much time with someone in a no pressure environment, seeing their good and bad sides before love gets involved and creating a slow burning but long lasting love can often be the basis of a very successful relationship. Of course once that barrier has been crossed it’s impossible to go back to the way that things were, but sometime this risk (hopefully, a calculated one) can be worth it, if you're sure he’s ‘the one’. Hey, it worked for Harry and Sally...