7 Reasons Every Woman Needs A Really Good Male Friend (PICTURES)

smiling couple
smiling couple

Strictly platonic male friendships can be somewhat of a challenge once you leave university and move onto long-term relationships - but don't be so keen to jettison your male mates just yet.

Just like your female friends can be the bedrock for emotional stability, experts suggest that male-female friendships can be an essential part of a fulfilling social network.

The tricky part, of course, is how to avoid a When Harry Met Sally situation, to stop it from spilling over into a romantic one.

Relationship counsellor Cat Williams says women need to be honest with themselves about what they want from the friendship, before encouraging a man to get too close.

"The ultimate success of all relationships boils down to how they make us feel about ourselves. So how they influence or affect our self-esteem.

The author of Stay Calm And Content: No Matter What Life Throws At You adds: "There are several obstacles to having a strong platonic ‘cross-sex’ friendship, namely mutual sexual attraction getting in the way, unrequited attraction, sexual tension, possible feelings of power inequality.

"Be clear from the beginning that ‘crossing the line’ into a sexual relationship is not on the cards, either because you are not attracted to each other, or because you are already involved with someone. You can make it clear you see your male friend as a ‘brother’ or family member."

Eve Menezes Cunningham of the Feel Better Every Day Consultancy adds that having male friends can also help you find a healthy relationship, if you're single.

“I've had several clients who said they wanted to meet someone but who, it turned out, thought very negatively about 50% of the population.

"A good male friend will help you keep your opinion of men high enough to attract a good one in a more romantic capacity.

"Knowing a good man (or ideally, more) as a friend will help stop you stereotyping and sighing 'men!' They, just like us, are not all the same. No matter how many times your heart may have been broken. And he may be able to introduce you to his sexy and equally good friends.”

Here are 7 more reasons to cultivate male friendships.