HOW "DURABLE" ARE YOUR FRIENDSHIPS WITH GAY MEN

  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Mar 15, 2008 7:41 PM GMT
    So, I'm curious (as usual).. I have had long term friends in my life.. mostly straight who I still keep up with. Two who I knew from 1st and second grade... a couple from elementary school, high school and several from college and graduate school....... I'm used to long term friendships.

    Gay friends are more recent, and I do have several long term (based on the limited time I've been out), but I seem to notice that there are more that "come and go" into and out of your life. I've noticed it with others.

    And we all have our own definition of "friendships". I'm talking about personal, good, "in depth" friends, not some social acquaintance.

    So.. question.. Have you had the same experience? Do you have long term (5+ year good quality friendships) with other gay men?
    For me this is important and its part of the reason I am on this site...

    Is this my imagination or do gays not connect the same way straight friends do?
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    Mar 15, 2008 7:52 PM GMT
    Gay men seem to operate on whether or not a friendship will lead to sex, more drama, or some sort of lopsided benefit...

    That said, I've never had a friendship with a gay guy last for more than a month or so.
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    Mar 15, 2008 9:01 PM GMT
    I have a good number of friends - both gay and straight. Many of my friends are guys I've met in the following places........college, my alumni assn., work places - past and present, gym, neighborhood dinner and wine clubs, and through other friends. I even know guys from my Episcopal church. The gay friends that "come and go" in my life were not friends but just acquaintances or one-nighters. We have all (or at least most of us) had our fair share of those. They serve their purpose - fuck buds is what they're called sometimes. I don't find any real difference between straight and gay friends with respect to longevity. Geography (moving from one state to another) has put a strain on some of my friendships - but I made new ones in my new state - and most good friendships survive a move like mine - as long as we make the effort to get together as often as possible.
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    Mar 15, 2008 9:05 PM GMT
    I've got several VERY good gay friends. Most of my true friends are gay. The ones that are behind me whenever and have will be there when I need them. These type of friendships definitely exist. Hard to find, but they're out there.

    I guess it all depends on how and why you meet people. If you meet gay guys only for dates, then it's going to be much harder to find the lasting friendships. I usually meet my best friends through other people and they are friends from the beginning without any weird sexual tension.
  • puttputt

    Posts: 254

    Mar 15, 2008 9:05 PM GMT
    In my experience, gay friendships remain stable as long as both parties are single. Most of the gay friends I've made just lost touch after they got bfs.
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    Mar 15, 2008 9:13 PM GMT
    dood saidGay men seem to operate on whether or not a friendship will lead to sex, more drama, or some sort of lopsided benefit...

    I dunno, I tend to think that those factors would keep a friendship from enduring.

    That said, I can count on one hand the number of deep, long term friendships with gay men that I have been able to establish & maintain over the years, and it's not for a lack of trying. The things that we all have in common seem to be 1) we met online (I'm not much of a bar fly), 2) we weren't looking for sex or some other tangible benefit from each other, 3) we had some shared interests, 4) we lead pretty stable & drama free lives, and 5) we accept each other completely--flaws and all. Unfortunately only one of them is local, but we're the best of friends and I wouldn't give up our friendship for anything. Relationships come and go, but good friends stick around, in my experience.
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    Mar 15, 2008 9:13 PM GMT
    I will have to think about this for a while to see what percentage of my friends are straight, lesbian, or gay, but I would guess that it is equal or nearly so to the percentage of those groups in the population as a whole. My longest-term friendship I have is with a gay man. We were never lovers, although we lived in the same house together for a while. Also, I have lost a lot of my old gay friends to AIDS. At one time I had a friendship with a transsexual and also one with a bisexual man, although I lost those friendships over the years of too many moves. I do not really see a difference between friendships with gays and straights, although, I guess if you start a friendship with another gay man by landing him in bed that could colour your relationship with him.
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    Mar 15, 2008 9:17 PM GMT
    Just one, here. Going on four years, now. Otherwise, my experience echoes that of several other posters. I don't have much in common with most gay men, and I have a low tolerance for what often appears to be flattery, insincerity and/or inauthenticity. My own fault, probably. Too picky for my own good.
  • zakariahzol

    Posts: 2241

    Mar 15, 2008 9:18 PM GMT
    Most of my friends outside of work are gay. My friendship with my ex housemate (who is gay) have last nearly 20 years. We seem to have more in common (except political view). Even now that he have move and live in another states I still keep a close friendship with him . Another gay fellow I meet during my dancing days in gay club back in 1995 also lasted until today . We always go for vacation together and I really enjoy his friendship. I have no straight friend that last this long. We just dont have much to talk about.
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    Mar 15, 2008 10:19 PM GMT
    I have lesbian friends. I can't seem to connect with any gay men on a friendship level. I always seem to get fake, plastic, tan too much bitchy guys who i wouldn't trust as far as i could throw... and if I can't trust you then i don't want you in my life period.

    my bestfriend.. pic of her hugging me in my profile. shes a lesbian and what we have is rare. I think its quality of quantity.
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    Mar 15, 2008 10:55 PM GMT
    HndsmKansan saidSo, I'm curious (as usual).. I have had long term friends in my life.. mostly straight who I still keep up with. Two who I knew from 1st and second grade... a couple from elementary school, high school and several from college and graduate school....... I'm used to long term friendships.

    Gay friends are more recent, and I do have several long term (based on the limited time I've been out), but I seem to notice that there are more that "come and go" into and out of your life. I've noticed it with others.

    And we all have our own definition of "friendships". I'm talking about personal, good, "in depth" friends, not some social acquaintance.

    So.. question.. Have you had the same experience? Do you have long term (5+ year good quality friendships) with other gay men?
    For me this is important and its part of the reason I am on this site...

    Is this my imagination or do gays not connect the same way straight friends do?


    I think it is your imagination. I think men connect with men the same way, gay or straight. I have long term gay and straight friends that have never had anything to do with what they look like or if there was sex.

    Having said that, I have had many many gay men become friends with the understanding that it will always be ^just friends^....but have lost them when they admitted to me that they want a sexual relationship too.

    Remember that if you believe something, it will usually turn out that way. Painting a broad stoke about gay friends can become a self fufilling prophecy.....and another example of how we beat up on oursleves...(perhaps another example of internalized homophobia?)
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    Mar 15, 2008 11:17 PM GMT
    I've got quite a few long-term friends, and the bulk of them are gay. Just this past week, I drove two hours to be there for a gay friend who lost his father rather suddenly. We've known each other for 8 years.

    Another friend, well, let's just say we "grew up" together. We became friend when we were both in our early 20s and man did we have some raucous times together! I am, as he puts it, his "gurl." We're going on 10 years now.

    I've got another gay friend I've known for 16 years and I know that if I told him I really needed him he'd be in within the day. He and I have been through a LOT and that's one friendship I will go to the grave with.

    And lest I leave out one of my more recent friends, I have a great lesbian on my roster that I've known for about 4 years now.

    There are lots more but these are the ones that I would count as my very closest. There are friends I picked up from my husband as well as those that I've only met in the last 5 years but you specified 5+ years.

    Incidentally, all of these people are now scattered around in different states from me. But yeah, I've had no problem getting lots of significant and long-lasting gay friendships.

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    Mar 15, 2008 11:33 PM GMT
    You have partially answered your own question/statement. Some of the straight people you have known have been there for a long time (grade school). I have friends, straight and gay, that I have known for 8+ years. I get the feeling that the people that make longer lasting or more meaningful friends are a little more self reflecting. They tend to look below the surface.

    I can see an issue possibly with gay guy friends. Sometimes guys are so desperate to find a boyfriend that the minute you fall out of that category, you fall to the wayside. Maybe also single people or gay couples without family or children can be more mobile and tend to just move away and lose contact. I know some guys that once they start dating someone, have no time for friends. You don't seen them that much until the new relationship burns itself out.

    With friendships, sometimes you have to make yourself available and be willing to pick up where you left off. Being a sincere person of depth and compassion will bring people back if you leave them with pleasant happy memories. Everyone wants to know someone cares. Sometimes our desires for friends or boyfriends can be our own worst enemy because it can make us demanding or needy. Don't make that mistake and take it easy and you will be doing well. And don't tell yourself you don't have much in common with other people. Usually there is much more you have in common with your fellow man than you have in difference. See people with the eyes of your heart.
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    Mar 15, 2008 11:45 PM GMT
    This isn't fair. Introverts cant make and hold on to friends like extroverts. And yet this makes it seem like that's bad.
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    Mar 15, 2008 11:51 PM GMT
    I had to think about this, but in fact most of my really close friends are almost all straight. I don't think there's any pathology behind this, and I've gotten very friendly with a few guys on RJ recently--guys I know I'd hang out with if there weren't, oh, 2000 or 3000 miles separating us. But I guess because of my interests in life, it's been mainly straight people that I've met socially and become friends with.
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    Mar 15, 2008 11:56 PM GMT
    People are individuals, so generalities like these don't really work.

    I have had gay friends who did just use it to network to sex. These friendships don't last very long. I have gay friends who are just that, friends. They are fantastic.
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    Mar 15, 2008 11:57 PM GMT
    My best friend and "twin" is gay, but we have been friends since we were 7. My current roommate is also gay, but he is absolutely not the typical kind of gay guy. We get along amazingly well too. Other than those two, I do NOT get along with the majority of gay men. I just annoy the FUCK out of me.
  • farfle

    Posts: 105

    Mar 16, 2008 12:01 AM GMT
    I've had many enduring friendships with other gay men, although many of those friends have died now. One of the last of the survivors has been my friend now for over 35 years. Another lesbian friend I have known almost 50 years. Another straight friend, also female, almost as long.

    Some friendships last a lifetime; most do not. People grow and change and their lives move in different directions. It is quite normal for people to grow apart as their lives change. There are several people still around who I used to call friends but I would consider only acquaintences now. Not that anything happened to end our friendships, we just chose diverging paths.

    Sometimes its because people refuse to grow up. I know one guy who still parties and behaves like he did 30 years ago. Sorry, but I've moved beyond that stage in my life now and don't need to be hitting the bars every night getting drunk.

    I don't really think there's any difference between straight friendships and gay friendships. In either case, finding the lifelong friends is rare, and they are truly people to be cherished.
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    Mar 16, 2008 12:08 AM GMT
    Caslon saidThis isn't fair. Introverts cant make and hold on to friends like extroverts. And yet this makes it seem like that's bad.
    I don't understand what you are saying
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Mar 16, 2008 12:56 AM GMT
    ActiveAndFit saidYou have partially answered your own question/statement. Some of the straight people you have known have been there for a long time (grade school). I have friends, straight and gay, that I have known for 8+ years. I get the feeling that the people that make longer lasting or more meaningful friends are a little more self reflecting. They tend to look below the surface....,....





    Excellent answer, the kind I was looking for and I totally agree with.....
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    Mar 16, 2008 1:00 AM GMT
    Caslon saidThis isn't fair. Introverts cant make and hold on to friends like extroverts. And yet this makes it seem like that's bad.

    I sort of get what you're saying, here. I suck at approaching people, but I definitely light up when others approach me. Been that way since I was little. I don't agree, however, that introverts can't hold on to friends. Actually, it seems to me to be the opposite. Extroverts have a much easier time making new friends, so they don't necessarily feel the need to cling to those friends that they already have.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Mar 16, 2008 1:01 AM GMT
    shambles said[quote]


    I think it is your imagination. I think men connect with men the same way, gay or straight. I have long term gay and straight friends that have never had anything to do with what they look like or if there was sex.

    Having said that, I have had many many gay men become friends with the understanding that it will always be ^just friends^....but have lost them when they admitted to me that they want a sexual relationship too.

    Remember that if you believe something, it will usually turn out that way. Painting a broad stoke about gay friends can become a self fufilling prophecy..... [/quote]



    I'm inclined to disagree with this answer, especially with the beginning. Gay friends use the "we're gay"
    as a means to a friendship.. straights many times have similar hobbies, interests or experiences to bring them together.... as can gays, but I think the "we are gay, lets hang" can be a reason for an initial friendship. The last comment.. I don't believe it will or won't (be a lasting friendship). I hope it will, its more of an observation not a belief.
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    Mar 16, 2008 1:20 AM GMT
    Most of my best male friends are straight, but that may be more due to my geographical and societal region than anything. What I have realized since coming out however, is that I appreciate my straight male friends a lot more than I used to.

    I think the fear of losing friends because of sexuality is a fear that every gay man has. For this reason, my friendships with supportive straight men gain a whole new depth. To know that they are willing to buck societal norms and accept me as I am endears them even more to me. There's not much better than talking to a "straight mate" about relationship issues and knowing they're totally comfortable.

    On a side note, before coming out, I was afraid to befriend other gay men. The fear of gaydar can be overwhelming. I'm sure this affects the friendships of a lot of closeted individuals.

    Just observations, not totally related to the question, but definitely factors in friendships.
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    Mar 16, 2008 1:31 AM GMT
    ruck_us said[quote][cite]Caslon said[/cite]This isn't fair. Introverts cant make and hold on to friends like extroverts. And yet this makes it seem like that's bad.

    I sort of get what you're saying, here. I suck at approaching people, but I definitely light up when others approach me. Been that way since I was little. I don't agree, however, that introverts can't hold on to friends. Actually, it seems to me to be the opposite. Extroverts have a much easier time making new friends, so they don't necessarily feel the need to cling to those friends that they already have.[/quote]

    I dont mean introvert like shy and a wallflower. I mean introvert like needing to withdraw from people to "recharge the batteries." Extrovert recharge by being around people.
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    Mar 16, 2008 1:42 AM GMT
    Caslon saidI dont mean introvert like shy and a wallflower. I mean introvert like needing to withdraw from people to "recharge the batteries." Extrovert recharge by being around people.
    That is an interesting definition of introvert. I tend to draw energy from people to the extent that I have to get away (just for a few hours or day) or I get overwhelmed sometimes. Still that may have little to do with your ability to bond. Bonding I feel has to do with the ability to look beneath the surface and "connect" like I was saying.