I noticed this thread hasn't been active for a while.
So there's a question that's been on my mind for some time: whether gender matters in a friendship. This isn't 100% related to relationships, but I thought it fits this thread. I originally posted it on Reddit but also wanted to hear the opinions of my fellow TIF'ers.
I'll preface this by saying that I'm a guy who is open to friends of either gender. From what I've heard from most people, gender has no bearing on friendships. However, there have been issues that only come up when the person I interact with happens to be female:
* Shortly after starting my second job, I introduced myself to a girl who had also recently joined. We mostly talked about mundane subjects, such as where she went to school. A minute later, my boss pulled me aside and told me that I should stick to group conversations (as opposed to talking to someone one-on-one) in order to remain "professional." Though he didn't say it was because she was female, he never brought this up when I had similar conversations with male co-workers.
* We invited another family over for dinner a few years ago. Their daughter "C" (who is very close to my age) had planned to come but bailed out at the last minute due to school-related matters. I then posted to her Facebook saying that we missed her and that we should find some other time to catch up. After word got to my mother, she told me to be careful when posting these things because "C" might think I'm interested in her, which wasn't the case.
* There are two other families that we often get together with - let's call them A and B - that still have kids living with them. Family A has a daughter slightly younger than me while family B has a son who is a few years older. When I asked whether family A's daughter was home on our last visit, my mother told me to be careful because she might get the wrong message that I'm romantically into her. She never brought up any concerns about being mistaken for gay when I asked about family B's son.
* There was a guy at my last job that I came to know fairly well. I even invited him over to my house once. Though I've managed to build a strong rapport with a few female co-workers since then, I never felt comfortable asking them to hang out in our personal time, especially considering that they were all in relationships.
I know most people will say gender doesn't matter in a friendship, but I can't help but feel that it does have an effect on how people perceive social interactions. Thoughts?