Men and their money became a subject of study for me after many years of dating and many years in the workforce and, more importantly, after many years of having male friends.

It took many years to understand how men value money. It took a few more years to learn how men value their friendships with women. Then, after a friend, I vowed never to “keep” a friendship with men ever again. I learned that my male friends were even cheaper to me than my boyfriends.

Differences between men and women

My understanding of men and the differences between men and women took me many years to fully understand. I grew up in a time when men and women were just beginning to be friends, which did not imply being lovers as well. Friends were friends. Many years ago, she believed that men and women could be friends and therefore did not have to be sexually involved to support each other. I thought they could be friends and therefore not lovers. Friends meant comrades in arms willing to share in the struggles and rewards of each day.

My friendships with men typically developed through mutual acquaintances, men from work, or men I had dated but never had a romantic encounter with. They were the ones I enjoyed being with, but not the ones I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. They were the men she was intellectually compatible with, but not necessarily socially compatible. These feelings were often true for both them and me. We just hadn’t connected on all levels.

I also tended to befriend a few chosen men after one or the other of us found ourselves on the losing side of a previously romantic relationship and thus were more interested in mending a broken heart than starting a new flame. . We commiserate and talk about our past relationships with members of the opposite sex, probably as a way to heal our wounds or as an attempt to understand where we have failed so that we can do better next time. We share details about our past experiences, our past relationships, and our hopes for a better future. I thought we were compatriots in search of ourselves. I have since learned that this is not the case.

Friendships and Money

I’ve since learned that even in platonic relationships, men associate money with everything. They define themselves with it and it shows how much money they spend on themselves and on others. It’s easy to find out how high one ranks in a relationship with a man based on how much money one spends in the relationship. This is easy to understand when dating a man; shows how much you spend on dinner. It is easy to understand as a wife; shows how much he spends on the wife compared to how much he spends on himself. It took me longer to understand how men use money with their friends.

Men understand that this is a relationship with other men and they understand it in relation to women. The problem is that women have a different understanding of how men value money and therefore how men spend or share their money to define how important someone is to them.

Men, for example, will buy their male friends a beer to show how much they care. They will buy you a ticket to a soccer game if they consider you your best friend. They will bring a six-pack when they arrive at a friend’s house, but never bring a bouquet of flowers when visiting a friend, even when they arrive for a free home cooked meal. They will buy dinner for a friend, but only go “Dutch delicacies” with a friend. They are careful not to give a romantic gift to a friend. Men rarely give gifts that go beyond bringing a bottle of wine to dinner or a six-pack of beers for an unannounced visit. Beer is for them. This is done assuming I don’t have their favorite brand stored in my fridge when they choose to stop by and share their current girlfriend issues with me. It never occurs to them to bring me my favorite drink. It never occurs to them to ask me to dinner, just so they can talk. The men I have been friends with have been especially careful not to buy me a gift. A friend was even rude enough to borrow money from me to take a woman he had just met on a date. He was interested in her and therefore wanted to impress her. He needed my money to do it. However, this same “friend” had never taken me to dinner despite the many years I had known him and the many meals he had prepared for him.

After getting a quick loan from me, this particular “friend” called me to let me know how their Saturday night date had gone. He was a conversationalist and spoke most of the time whenever we saw each other or telephoned. He talked all night, all day and called several times a day to talk. Sometimes he would call me five times a day just to keep me updated on his day.

One day, he called me to tell me about the “wild weekend” he had spent frolicking in his room with the girl he had taken out for dinner. He talked for hours and told me how dinner became an all-weekend event. I heard how pretty she was, how old she was, how many siblings she had, and even how good she was in bed. He was very much in love with this particular woman and her many hours in her bedroom. He spent a whole night telling me all about it. He was short on cash after his divorce and this was the first woman he had hired since his wife left him. That is why he needed a loan. He had spent most of the weekends with me talking about his ex-wife while I made him dinner and rented a movie for us to watch. The new woman was now the topic of conversation, rather than the ex-wife. I was happy for him. It wasn’t until many months later, when I needed to borrow money from him, that I understood the difference between how men value relationships with women versus how women value relationships with men.

Borrow but refuse to lend

It took months before he really understood the truth about this particular friend. It happened when I called to borrow gas money, waiting to receive an unemployment check, which was when I had planned to pay him back. While on the phone, he asked me why I needed him and proceeded to tell me that he was too busy to help me because he was taking his “girlfriend” to the supermarket. The new “girlfriend” was the same woman I had borrowed money to take to dinner and the same woman I had spent the wild weekend in bed with. After learning that I was calling to borrow a couple of dollars, he told me it was not a good time to call and asked me to call him back later. He was even arrogant enough to suggest that I might be more frugal with my spending.

Cheap advice

His suggestion that I could be more frugal with my spending was the final straw. It was the last straw because these words were from the same man who used to spend most of the weekends with me eating my homemade meals, watching movies that I had rented and coming home with “aid packages” that I had prepared. He used to cry on my shoulder for his divorce. I heard all the stories about his marriage, his divorce, his ex-wife, and even all the ex-girlfriends. I knew everything about him. He had even heard all his stories that most wives hear from their husbands. This was the same man who could talk more than any woman I have ever met. However, now that he had a new “girlfriend”, he was too busy to speak. He was escorting her to the grocery store. How nice. He never accompanied me to the grocery store.

Post-divorce behavior

Now, months later, after his divorce was final and he had a new girlfriend and a new job, he no longer had time for myself. He no longer needed my friendship and he even gave me money advice. Previously, he was quite interested in moving in with me to become my new roommate when faced with homelessness; however, years later, when I needed a place to stay, he wouldn’t even let me into his apartment. His explanation for this particular change in behavior was because, as he explained, “he didn’t think his preacher would approve of a single woman in his apartment.” He had found Jesus.

He was amazed and angry. This was a man I met at work. We had shared similar jobs and had worked in the same company. He used to call me more often than a telemarketer trying to make a sale. Furthermore, he was the one who spoke completely. This was before meeting and marrying his second wife. I was the “friend” he was looking for after the second wife sent him packing. I was the friend who listened to his stories, listened to him cry, listened to him. I was the friend who was there for him. I was the friend who bought him a home cooked meal, a shoulder to lean on, and someone who would hear the same sob stories over and over again.

However, this is now the same person who did not let me into his apartment when I had already been there several times. I was even the one who fixed the living room furniture for her when she had to replace the conjugal home with a one-bedroom apartment. He was overwhelmed with the new place and just couldn’t cope with the idea of ​​where to put his furniture. I understood. I helped her fix her furniture, waited while she plugged in her TV, and tried to make the new apartment feel like home. I was devastated. I understood. Help. I consoled myself. I was there for him. Needless to say, he and I are no longer friends.

Friendship ends

After my friendship with this man ended, I vowed never to have another male friend. He was tired of hearing their groans about their broken marriage only to see them spread their wings with the next new flame. He wasn’t jealous of his relationships with other women because he hadn’t wanted to have a romantic relationship with them in the first place. I got tired of hearing their stories while I was still cooking. However, when they got back on their feet, they would always find money to have a new woman on a date, but it was still too cheap to buy me a meal or to thank me for the effort I put into helping them heal. They didn’t want me to get the impression that they were dating me, so they were careful to explain to me that if we were going to have dinner together, I had to pay for my own travel. It wasn’t so much a question of money; it was a matter of appearance. They didn’t want to fool me. Separate checks meant separate lives.

My male friendships seem to end when they no longer need a friend. They never worry that you might need a friend. My male friends disappear quickly after finding a “friend” who will give them “benefits.” The new friend generally provides the sexual benefits of the relationship and therefore ranks higher on the priority scale as to where she will spend her time and money.

The moral of the story, it seems, is that men and women cannot really be friends. They think differently with competing interests. Without romantic or sexual motivation, most men are content with the emotional support they receive while bonding with men at work and therefore time and money are once again the scales used to determine whether the relationship is worth more than the time spent nurturing it. that. There is always a cost / benefit analysis for each relationship.

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