A few years ago, after I graduated from college I read an article in a Women’s Health magazine about having boyfriends. The article talked about how many women in their twenties either lose touch with their guy friends from their school days or fail to maintain their male relationships when they begin seriously dating someone they like.
The article caught my attention because it pointed out a real fact: that some if not most women do not have many boyfriends later on in life. Once we graduate from college we tend to move on to the next phase of our lives. Sometimes we do remain close to an exceptional few friends. But, how many of these friends are actually men?
Since reading that article I also questioned how many boyfriends I actually kept after finishing college. The answer was none. None of my close male friends kept in touch much. We simply in my opinion were either not close enough or busy doing other things. This, however, was not the case when compared to my close girlfriends whom I stayed in touch with and vice versa. But, sharing same-sex experiences makes a big difference.
Having only a handful of male friends in college I never thought too much about the maintenance of our friendship. We were simply classmates, club-mates, or they were my girlfriends boyfriends. Some of them were single and some of them were not. Some of them I liked and some of them I did not. Nevertheless, I would say I was fairly close with each of them.
Looking back I think that me leaving Boston had the greatest ripple effect on my old guy connections, and led to us falling out of touch. But, truthfully, that was okay for me. I didn’t think too much about losing touch with my boyfriends because our friendships were really limited. While we hung out, studied together, and even went to clubs we really didn’t stay up-to-date on each other lives after college. By mutually not following up we fell out of touch. Today, most of these male friends I am reminiscing about are still my Facebook friends. However, they are ghost friends to me in a sense. While Facebook and other available connecting tools have opened up a wide array of communication means for friends to stay up-to-date in each others lives, my male friends and I still did not.
The article did not mention why female boyfriend relations fail when communication means are becoming limitless. I imagine it left out this part because beyond communication it is the individual’s sole choice to want to stay in touch. That being said I believe that my old male friends and I amicably chose to stay in touch from a distance or through mutual friends. As mentioned I remain in touch with many of my female girlfriends from school. Even though we do not talk everyday or even every month we do always make time to catch up with one another.
Even while attending graduate school just two years ago I made new boyfriends and quickly fell out of touch with them once I graduated. But, I never got as close to these male friends as I had with my old college male friends. Being a young adult with an interest in not only making friends, but relationships with people who would support me, I decided to be selective with new male or female friends I was making. In doing so I felt less stressed about having artificial friendships.
Since graduate school I have made an effort to stay in contact with my grad school boyfriends. But, not as much as I thought I might. For one thing I lost many of my grad school friends contact information when my old cellphone died. Secondly, I fell out of touch with many of them due to ‘a more than just friends’ feeling received from them. Finally, since I started dating more seriously, I wanted to respect my current boyfriend by choosing to interact with my old grad school male friends less often. While my current boyfriend does not want to hinder my relationship with my former friends whom I have known before him, he would be irked a little if I hung out with them alone.
Nowadays, I am contempt with staying in touch with my all of my old boyfriends from a distance. Not due to my current boyfriend feelings, but really my own. At the end of the day those who are there for me, who reach out to me, and who care about my daily life are the people who I am most close with. These people are my current boyfriend and my best friends. My former boyfriends, however, are not and never grew into being really close friends with me. I know that this is not the case for all females. Some females do have really close male friends. For me, the only close boyfriend I need right now is my current boyfriend. That’s enough for me.
So now if I am asked how many male friends do I really have, I say just one. My current boyfriend. I say this because he is the closest male friend I have right now who cares about me and is in my life. So if I am asked again whether I would like to have more male friends I would say off-course. I would say off-course because making new friends, whether male or female, is one of the best joys in life.