Boy friends

I just watched an episode of Naked Josh on Showcase. This is a great show, very clever writing and some interesting dissection of our sexuality through the artistic vehicle of the sexual anthropology course that Josh teaches. There’s always some tidbit of truth tucked in there somewhere.

This episode dealt with flirting, but the thing that struck me was the closing scene. Josh and Hunter, after a misinterpreted flirtation, settle into a friendly brunch at their “favourite place”, having coffee and playfully trading sections of the newspaper. There’s still a sexual tension between them, but at this point, they’re just enjoying each other’s company as friends. I watched the scene, and realized that I miss male friends.

I’ve had two really close male friends in my life. The first, I met in university, even shared an apartment, and was very close with him for a number of years. Right up until he had an affair with my husband. Stupidly, at the time, I blamed my friend and forgave my husband; I haven’t spoke with my (ex-) friend since then. In retrospect, I should have ditched them both, since I put up with another several years of my husband’s bullshit before I walked. My friend’s excuse at the time: we’d “grown apart”, as if that was a good reason to hop in the sack with my other half.

The other, still current, male friend has been amazing for me over the years. He helped me survive my divorce, my move to California and back to Toronto. We hung out together, just hung out enjoying each other’s company like the scene in Naked Josh. He comforted me when I called him in the middle of the night when I couldn’t sleep. I helped him pick furniture for his new house. For a time, we worked for the same company, and I still do some work for them so we always have work stuff to talk about.

Then, relationships happened. Funnily enough, my friend introduced me to my boyfriend, although never thinking that we would get together. Obviously, I started spending quite a bit of time with the boyfriend, but I don’t do that to the exclusion of all others, so I still make time for my circle of friends. I do have less time for my friend, and we also feel a bit weird about discussing anything to do with my relationship, since the boyfriend is his friend, too. We still found time to do things together: dinner once in a while, or shopping (being a metrosexual, it’s his favourite activity). Then, I introduced my friend to his girlfriend, again, not imagining that they would get together. Now, it seems that most nights he’s at her place, and the ones when he’s not, the boyfriend’s at my place. The four of us do get together, but she’s just a casual acquaintance of mine, so it ends up with most of the conversation being between my friend and I.

I miss spending time with him, just the two of us. I miss being able to talk to him about relationships. I even miss shopping with him. Are male-female friendships destined to change when one or both of the parties gets into a relatioship? Are these friendships just a place-holder for relationships?

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