Tag Archives: relationships

Can men and women be friends?

men and women photo

Can men and women be friends?

Can men and women ever be just friends? The movie, When Harry Met Sally, is one of my favourite films and it set out to answer that question. However, there still seems to be an ongoing debate around this topic.

According to one new survey, the answer is a straight no. Social network MeetMe polled 6,500 of its users and found that more than half of people said they have fantasised about sleeping with their best friend of the opposite gender. What’s more, nearly 40 per cent (four out of 10) reported actually having slept with said best friend, while two thirds admitted they would should the opportunity present itself.

Despite these numbers, the truth may not actually be so ‘cut and dried’. It depends more upon how men and women define friendship.

Women clearly have more intense close friendships whereas guys tend not to have that” according to Prof    Dunbar .
Evolutionary psychologist Professor Robin Dunbar, at Oxford University, found that while women view their best friends as something in between sisters and soul mates, men see theirs purely in terms of convenience. He came to this conclusion by exploring how people’s friendship circles changed when they left school for university.

Girl’s friendships tended to last longer when they made the effort to talk more on the phone to each other. Talking had no effect on the boy’s relationships at all. Theirs was stronger by doing things together, like a drink at the pub or going to a football match.

“Women clearly have much more intense close friendships. Guys tend not to have that relationship. They tend to have a group of four guys that they do stuff with. That is much more casual. With guys it is out of sight out of mind. They just find four more guys to go drinking with.”

This will be familiar to any woman who has had both the pleasure and disappointment of a close male friend – particularly in your twenties and thirties. At first, things are wonderful. Life is full of great catch ups, and laughter over pints of beer. They listen to your woes, and you help them with their woman problems. It’s the friendship neither of you knew you needed.

Only then, something changes. They start a new relationship. They move to a new postcode (really, it doesn’t have to be far). They get a new job with a ready-made social life. They get a new flatmate. Whatever the change, they suddenly have a replacement for you, and can’t seem to find the time to meet you for that coffee.

You, naively, keep trying. You call them, you send jokey pictures and do exactly what you’d do if a girl friend was growing distant: bombard her with the attention you wish that she was showing you. Except with a male friend, it just doesn’t work.

Whether it is nature or  nurture, most men simply do not view friendships in the same way as women. Sex is hardly the issue – it is the practical problem of how much time and effort they are able to put into a platonic relationship. As the study says, there’s always another drinking buddy around the corner.

Men reading this may feel unfairly judged but when asked, many men will admit that they could not spend hours on the phone with their friends – of either sex.

With male mates like that, it’s probably no surprise that many females put all of their efforts into female friendships and now the academics seem to have backed that choice too.

Mandy X

Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/life/men-women-can-never-friends-sex-has-nothing-do/

Relationships and commitment


romance photo

Relationships and commitment

There’s a myriad of reasons why relationships fail. Tears were shed on the proverbial couch today by Simone. She wants commitment, she wants marriage and her boyfriend doesn’t seem to want the same things. Time and time again I have witnessed this with my clients (and in my personal life). A woman likes to label the relationship, a man doesn’t. Relationships and commitment can always be a tricky area when expectations are mismatched.

In my opinion, if a man keeps coming around (this could apply to women too) then there should be no great need to define the relationship. Especially not for the first year anyhow. Once a woman tries to define the relationship and mentions the dreaded “C” word, the man invariably starts feeling trapped. He conjures up images of financial responsibility, of losing choice and this frightens him. I am referring to men here but this is becoming more common with women too.
If a woman leaves him to feel free, a man will be much happier to keep coming around. Then suddenly, it will gradually dawn on him that he enjoys being with his partner…he will grow fond of having her presence in his life and might perhaps even fall in love with her.
So, sit back, relax and see the bigger picture. As long as things seem to progressing in a good direction then all should be well in your world..
No one likes pressure and you’re more likely to get what you want by behaving in a laid back manner.
Trust me – it works

M x

Photo by DanGrebb

The best relationships


happy man and woman photo

The best relationships

What sets apart average relationships from the best relationships? Staying in a sub standard relationship is common although this will inevitably lead to unmet needs and resentment over time.


Talk and talk and then talk some more. Always express yourself in an assertive way. The more you ask for what you want and practise reflective listening, the better your relationship will be. Communication is a two way street.

No playing games

When we don’t talk and ask for what we want, we tend to find other less obvious ways to get our point across. This can emerge in the form of passive aggressive behaviour. Any behaviour designed to manipulate is dangerous for a relationship. A straight forward, honest and open approach is the healthiest way to behave in a good relationship. Be assertive and don’t assume you know what the other person is thinking. Ask if you aren’t sure.


Don’t allow the relationship to go stale, The best relationships enjoy fun and relaxed times. Monotony can get in the way and the mundane can bring about boredom. Keep it interesting.

Intimacy – Sex!

Sex keeps a relationship fresh and connected. It is the glue that binds a healthy relationship. If sex has dwindled, ask yourself why. Sex in relationships does change at times but as long as both partners are happy with the frequency, a relationship can still thrive. Problems arise when one partner feels they are sexually frustrated and this is where good communication and compromise helps.

Best friends

Being great friends provides a fantastic solid framework for the best relationships. Relationships built on sexual attraction alone don’t fare as well. Know each other, like each other and respect each other – a brilliant combination.


Two people with different backgrounds are bound to disagree from time to time. Learn to compromise and you will be able to navigate the tricky times when there is conflict. Learn to be flexible and have empathy for your partner and compromising will be a doddle!

Relationships take work. No one is perfect and negotiation will be a constant companion in a good relationship. Those who are able to adapt and give out love and compassion even when the relationship isn’t always in a good place will find they stay in longer lasting and fulfilling relationships than the average. Long may love last!!

Mandy X



You teach others how to treat you


conversations photo

You teach others how to treat you

Whether you are passive, aggressive or assertive, you teach others how to treat you. Doing nothing still sends a message to others.  For example – if you meet someone for dinner and they turn up half an hour late. The way you react to their lateness will send a message to the other person. If you ignore it, the other person will consciously or unconsciously make a note that you don’t mind them being late. If however you make a joke of it and let them know that you don’t like being kept waiting, it is less likely that they will keep you waiting in the future.

We inadvertently give off messages to others all the time, showing them how to treat us. When we allow unreasonable behaviour or abusive behaviour from others, we are in effect, giving them the ‘green light’ to continue treating us in the same way.

If you want to be treated with dignity and respect, make sure that you are assertive and make a point of telling someone what you will and won’t accept when they cross boundaries.

We are constantly testing others, even when we don’t realise it. Others are testing us too. Develop a strong solid core, know yourself well and you will be able to withstand manipulation from others. Make sure you know what your boundaries are and what you will and won’t accept from others and you will find your relationships a lot easier to deal with.

Mandy X