They Boost Your Social Life
Sure, this one is obvious if you’re single and looking to meet a man — the more guys you know, the more likely it is that one of them, or one of their friends, may be someone you want to date. But, this benefit isn't exclusive to single ladies. We’re speaking in generalities a bit here, but men tend to be more action-oriented, while women are more inclined to focus on feelings. Translate that to the real world, and it means that a lot of female-centric brunches can end up disproportionately filled with gossiping and complaining, warns Marni Battista, an L.A.-based life coach. We’re not claiming that guys don’t gripe about stuff, too, but we are saying that members of a mixed group are less likely to sit down for a three-hour feeling session than they are to, say, give it a go at the pool table in the back of the bar.
They Can Help Your Career
You don’t need to read recent career best sellers like Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In or Debora Spar’s Wonder Woman to know that men and women approach work differently. And, even if your office is primarily female-dominated, knowing how a guy would approach a similar situation can help give you perspective, says Stacy Kaiser, a psychotherapist and author of How To Be a Grown Up. “Broadly speaking, women can get caught up in the emotions behind decisions. They’ll wonder why their boss didn’t praise a memo or if a colleague is mad at them when she didn’t say hello at the coffeepot. Generally speaking, men are more action-oriented and better at figuring out what steps you need to take to get what you want." And, again, these are broad generalizations, but there's something to be learned from informing your approach with a variety of perspectives. You don't need to behave like a man to get ahead, but given the earning gap between males and females in many industries, it's helpful to understand how a man would behave in a situation as well as how other women would conduct themselves — and then make your decisions from there.
They Make Your Relationships Better
It may seem like staying close with guys when you already have a partner is playing with fire, but that’s not the case, according to experts. “You’ve likely heard that [men and women] can’t be just friends without friction, but that’s not true,” says Kaiser. “And, having a male perspective about how men tick can help you understand what’s going on in your guy’s mind.” Plus, knowing you can trust each other around members of the opposite sex keeps jealousy at bay when it matters. Here’s why: If you and your guy don’t ever hang out with members of the opposite sex, it’s can be easy (and tempting) to categorize all men as potential romantic partners only. But, changing that perspective can be pretty powerful. If you start to view the guys who come into your life as potential friends instead of men who must be avoided in case they cause problems in your relationship, you can start to preempt and even circumvent some of those jealousy issues that would crop up otherwise.
How to Get Them
There’s Tinder and OkCupid and plenty of friends willing to set you up with a potential significant other, but what if you really do just want to be friends? Here’s how to meet a few good men, no recreational-kickball sign-ups required — unless, of course, that's your thing. In which case, go forth.