It’s hard to make a good male friend.
When I was younger, I used to have many friends and I was able to say anything to them and laugh about everything with them.
But as I’ve gotten older, it’s been harder to make a good friend. I almost thought I never would again.
Then Selman came along.
I met Selman in an intensive German course I took last fall.
On the first day of class, both Selman and I arrived early and we began to talk after he sat down next to me. He told me that he was from Guatemala but had recently moved to Germany because he had had a child with a German woman and he wanted to be closer to his child.
I thought that that was honorable of him and by the time the teacher
called the class to attention, I figured I had made a new acquaintance.
But then something happened.
As the class progressed, Selman and I began to bond. We both found humor in the same things and this seemed to bring us together.
For example, when another student in the class asked the teacher a mildly stupid question, Selman and I looked at each other and snickered. We also exchanged a smile after the teacher
made an off-color comment.
We continued to bond on the second day of class.
We spent the entire 45-minute break together, talking about things both important and insignificant and by the time the week was over, it had become clear: I had again made a good male friend.
It was, in fact, possible.
So I guess it’s only fair now to ask why. Why was I able to bond so
well with Selman?
Well, for one thing, Selman truly listened to me when I spoke. I got the sense that he truly cared about what I had to say and really wanted to know more.
We were also able to laugh about anything together – the smallest thing could get us going – and he wasn’t scared to discuss his vulnerabilities with me.
You know, it’s funny. The qualities that drew me to Selman were
similar to those that would draw me to a mate.
I recognize that that may sound kind of strange, but it may help explain why making a good male friend had been so difficult for me. I needed it to be like love.
And we all know love is hard to find.
Chad Smith is a freelance journalist and English teacher who is originally from Queens, New York. He now lives in Hamburg, Germany. Some of his hobbies include swimming, chess, reading and photography.
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