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I (male in my mid-20s) recently found a girlfriend and another really close female friend, which I highly value in my life. I found that I can openly share my feelings with both of them, and after doing so I realised I never talk about such things with my close male friends.

It always felt odd to me telling them that I enjoy spending time with them and value them in the same sense I do with female friends. I have found that I can share my feelings way better with my female friends than with my male friends.

How can I let my male friends know I value them, their company and the things we do together or have in common? I feel like if I tackled this the same way as with my female friend and girlfriend, it is perceived the wrong way.

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For me, it has been very easy and well-received to tell them what's on my heart when we are drunk. If any of you has insecurities with male-friendly affection (bromance), specifically mention that your feelings aren't romantic. I think they will understand what you mean because they probably feel the same.


When I was young, my brother and I were basically the worst enemies. Fighting, hating, ignoring each other, mocking, insulting... you name it! Then when we left the family house, all of this calmed down.

After some years, one day we finally met randomly at a bar when both were a bit drunk. A lot of buried feelings came out and we had a heartwarming moment of reconciliation, excuses and forgiveness and mutual understanding. Since then we are a lot more friendly with each other and don't have a problem with each other anymore.


About friends. I have a big group of friends that became very important to me at one point in my life, and I told them a few times how important and cool they were for me, while being sober. We were eating all together at a big table and I made a kind of "I have an announcement" moment. I said something like:

Guys, you really are an amazing gang and I'm very happy to have you in my life.

It was a bit embarrassing, a bit "cliché", a bit funny, but definitely it was positive for everyone. They might not start a discussion about it and brush it off immediately, but they will understand what you said.

On a more private, one-on-one basis, for some friends it happened when they were very drunk and spilled the beans:

I ******* love you man, you are awesome.

Or

You are a really cool friend.

And things like this.

A lot of it comes from trivializing the word "love", showing that you are not shy to use it in a friendship way: sharing love, spreading love, showing love.

Physical contact like hugs are also good. If you never had hugs and love-sharing with your male friends, don't rush at them with 110% affection, start with a little bit, high-fives are more comfortable than hugs at the beginning. Normalize friendly love and affection, if it feels not normal for them.


Don't express too much: to repeat I love you 6 times to your male friend might bore them. Guys will understand when it's clearly explained once. Girls might like to expand, talk and discuss a lot about your reciprocal feelings and blabla.. guys will not want to complicate like this. Make a simple, fair, understandable statement, like "I love you man", and the other guy will express the reciprocity. After this, it's better to leave it at that, avoid misunderstandings.

"I love you" is also very general. There are probably more particular things you can say to different friends, here are some examples:

"It really makes my day to spend lunch with you"

"Working with you is great"

"You are very interesting to talk with"/"You are a great listener, I feel like I can open-up with you"

"It's so damn cool to FINALLY meet someone that likes the same movies as me !!!!!"

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This might sound either stupid or obvious, but to put simply, don't just say it, show it. You can invite them for a meal, offer them a beer or whatever, but actions speak louder than words. I know it works for me, and I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one.


Invite them over
I don't think you need to justify why you are inviting friends over, but if they ask this will make it even easier : tell them you are inviting them because you want to thank them for who they are. Wether you invite a single person for a weekend at yours, or an entire group of friends for dinner, the choice is up to you, just do what you do best with them and what seems the more natural to you.


Offer them a drink or a restaurant
Depending on your budget, you can invite them at a local bar or at a restaurant. You can invite your friend(s) and say something along the lines of :

Hey, what about getting a drink together ? I'm inviting you.

Or maybe something less clumsy but that makes it clear that you are paying. Men are often a bit oblivious about details (I know, I am) so making it clear from the start could avoid some confusion and awkward moments.


Any kind of event
You can invite them to the movies, a music festival, a gaming convention, a water park, anything you like to do with your friends, show them you want to do something with them, and make it about them, make it about you being together more than you going to that event and they'll notice even more that you value your friendship. Organizing something requires some time (depending on what you organize, of course), so taking this time for your friends could get valued by those who know it is time consuming, and appreciated by the others.


As to how to invite them, don't make anything too out of the ordinary, a simple text could do the trick, or if you want to make it a little bit fancier, next time you're with them you can say something simple, like :

Hey, I was thinking about trying out this new bar the other day. Wanna come and join me? This one is on me.

  • 6
    Can you add more about why this answer is a good idea? How can the OP show they care about friends? How do they approach asking them for a meal or offering them a beer? It's certainly true that actions speak louder than words, but what we look for in answers here is the details in the how, what, and why. Can you tell us a little bit more about it? We're not asking for a whole book, but maybe a few sentences answering these questions. Thanks! – ElizB Mar 26 at 22:40

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