Why would anybody shun same-sex friendships? It’s neither normal or natural to do so. People who do may look upon others of their sex as competitors. If they constantly compare themselves to others of their sex and feel a sense of competition, the potential of a friendship with someone who is either more attractive, stronger, or more competent than they feel they are is remote.
People who have trouble engaging in same-sex friendships also tend to view members of the opposite sex in strictly sexualized terms. In other words, people of the opposite sex are potential targets for sexual conquest and people of the same sex are potential rivals in that conquest.
These people operate very much like male territorial wolves, regardless of their sex. For these male wolves, all of the female wolves within their marked territory are considered possible breeders. The wolf will not allow other males within the territory. He is ever on guard, vigilant against competition from another male wolf. Instead of associating with other male wolves, he is a loner. When he interacts with other males, it is for the purpose of establishing dominance. When he interacts with females, it is for the purpose of breeding or ensuring the females’ continued presence within his sphere of influence.
Whether male or female, these people view themselves and others through the lens of sexualization. They cannot become friends with someone of the same sex because they are always on guard for possible competition from their own kind. They also have trouble establishing and maintaining opposite-sex friendships without attempting to interject sexualization into the relationship.
If these people are male, the overriding problem is lust. Their lust fuels their obsession with women as sexual objects to either be conquered or controlled within their spheres of influence. Therefore, other men set off their territorial alarm. Men cannot be their friends for they see other men as invaders of their territory.
If these people are female, the overriding problem is power and, ultimately, control. Their need for control fuels their obsession to manipulate the men around them through their sexuality. They view other women as threats to their control over the men around them. the presence and influence of other women sets up a jamming field through which their sexuality must penetrate and dominate. Other women are not considered friends because their very presence destabilizes such women’s control over their environment.
Whether male or female, the primary need of such people is control, not friendship. The only same-sex friendships they have will be ones they feel they can control. The man may choose to be friends with another man, but only with one who is not perceived as a sexual threat. The reason for the friendship may be to either talk about women or to gain assistance in obtaining women. A beautiful but insecure woman may choose to be a friend with another woman only after she is assured that the other woman presents no threat to her sexual sphere. The reason for the friendship may be to present herself as physically superior in comparison or to assist in her obsession to control those around her.
These are not successful same-sex friendships. Control should never be the theme for friends. Competition should never thwart friendships.
Authored by Dr. Gregory Jantz, founder of The Center • A Place of HOPE and author of 37 books. Pioneering whole-person care nearly 30 years ago, Dr. Jantz has dedicated his life’s work to creating possibilities for others, and helping people change their lives for good. The Center • A Place of HOPE, located on the Puget Sound in Edmonds, Washington, creates individualized programs to treat behavioral and mental health issues, including eating disorders, addiction, depression, anxiety and others.