Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Anthony Buono

5/22/2009 (6 years ago)

Catholic Online (

WASHINGTON (Catholic News Agency) - Women have an uncanny ability to make friends and be a friend. A good way to put it is that women are, by nature, inclined to care. Specifically, women care about people. They intuitively are capable of entering into the inner reality of human beings. This makes them capable of friendship.


By Anthony Buono

Catholic Online (

5/22/2009 (6 years ago)

Published in Marriage & Family

Women have an uncanny ability to make friends and be a friend. A good way to put it is that women are, by nature, inclined to care. Specifically, women care about people. They intuitively are capable of entering into the inner reality of human beings. This makes them capable of friendship.

It does not surprise anyone that women make friends with other women so easily. They show interest in each other. They enjoy the sharing of personal information. They pursue with sincerity knowing more about the person behind the external presentation.

Men, on the other hand, are primarily interested in the outer world. By nature, men focus on the "what" more than the "who" in life. Of course, I am not saying that men don't have the ability to "care." I'm only pointing out that women have an easier time at friendship than men do. Men get to know each other through actions rather than conversation. They do not sit down and start sharing what's going on inside or their likes and dislikes. They just act, and they talk within situations, and knowledge about that man is revealed as he goes along. That is why men are much more transparent than women. You can know what a man is thinking or what he wants because he externalizes himself. Women keep things hidden inside and are hard to read externally.

Why is this so important to consider? It is because in dating relationships and in marriage, there can be an overstressing by women to have a man be their "best friend" at a level that is probably unrealistic. I'm all for friendship in courtship and marriage, but the friendship required for marriage needs to be defined and understood. It cannot be understood to mean that a woman will be getting someone she can converse with anytime she wants and about anything.

To really get to know any person, there must inevitably be spoken conversation. The reason is that you can never "really" know what someone is thinking or experiencing at the personal level, or why they did something, unless they speak about it. Actions may very well reveal truths about a person, but actions do not provide all the information about the whole person. So men do have to talk and be able to make conversation with a woman. He can't just be too shy and not a talker at all.

By definition, a person is a being who acts. So what someone does speaks about who they are. However, as human beings, we have a fallen human nature that inclines us to sin. And, in fact, we all sin every day. Should our sinful actions be what defines us as a person? It would be unfair to do so, because everyone is entitled to the freedom to fall from grace and be forgiven and given another chance.

How we recover from these falls tells much more about the person. Obviously, someone who keeps doing the same things over and over again is probably unlikely to stop doing them. So actions should be judged over time, rather than in moments.

This is the courtesy men desperately need from women today because men are more action-oriented than women. Therefore, men are prone to do more stupid things than women. Men need the benefit of the doubt from a woman if he is ever going to risk the level of friendship that women want.

Women have to understand, however, that men typically do not "need" the kind of deep friendship that women want. This is why it is important for women to have close female friendships. There are needs women have at the friendship level that should not be expected from a man. I realize that there is an ideal in modern marriage that a man and a woman be best friends, but this must not distract from the practical aspects of the vocation to marriage in the eyes of God. The two become one flesh, but not one person.

There will always be two unique individual persons in a marriage, which means the personhood of both will always be developing and forming. The friendship bond in marriage provides love, security, sacrifice, and interest in the other's good and welfare. In this friendship they cannot help but grow closer together.

But it is impossible for a man to fulfill a woman completely, nor a woman to fulfill a man completely. First and foremost, only God can completely fulfill any person. That's a given. But also, people need other people to continue making them the whole person they are called to be. Some couples have terrible problems dealing with what the other does outside of themselves.

There is a possessiveness that makes them hate when the person they are dating or married to does something without them or doesn't tell them everything they expect to hear. They feel betrayed because they believe that true love means you do every single thing together and only share everything with just that one person. They also do not like it if anything they talk about together is shared with anyone else.

This is not what marital friendship is. Friendship does not mean possessing every single bit of information about the other, nor doing every single thing together or else love is not true or real. There are couples who do happen to have that. But many good couples have ended their relationships because they didn't have this. And that is wrong.

Women will find it difficult to find a man who desires to tell her everything and wants to do everything with her. Some men might be like that but most are not. Men definitely have to open up more to women, but women definitely have the need of a friend they can open their heart to; to talk about everything.

Typically, women find this in another woman. That's why there are so many happy marriages where each spouse has their same-sex friends. These friendships outside the couple enhance the person and make them better spouses to each other.

Women must not put so much pressure on a man to be a conversational friend they need. But men do need to talk more to women. Women need to have conversation. They need to know what's going on inside. Many times a man does not even know himself enough inside to share himself. Women must be patient about that.

Don't give up on a good man who defines who he is by his actions. Just because he does not talk as much as you would like does not mean he would not make a good husband and father. Make sure you have friends who make you a better person, and take that betterment and bring it faithfully into dating and marital friendship.

* Anthony Buono, married with seven children, lives in Virginia. He is the founder and president of and He also has a blog,, that gives advice to Catholics on dating, courtship and marriage.


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'

Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2015
That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated.
Evangelization: That with a missionary spirit the Christian communities of Asia may announce the Gospel to those who are still awaiting it.


More Marriage & Family

'Baby Jesus': Crying newborn discovered abandoned in church nativity scene Watch

Image of


A newborn baby was found abandoned in a New York church nativity scene. Just hours after entering the world, the church's custodian discovered the full-term infant wrapped in purple towels crying in the Queens' Holy Child Jesus Church's nativity scene. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading

Couple heartbroken after doctor performs abortion without mother's consent Watch

Image of Dr. Rifaat Salem is being sued for malpractice after implanting the wrong embryo into a woman, then aborting it without the mother's consent (KTLA).


When David and Melissa Pineda had trouble conceiving, they turned to Dr. Rifaat Salem for fertility treatment. Following the implantation of embryos, Melissa was called in for a check up. What she wasn't told was that she had been implanted with a stranger's embryos ... continue reading

5 unbelievable times children taught us to be better human beings Watch

Image of People aren't born cold-hearted. They learn how to respond to situations from their friends, family and society as a whole.


Children are bundles of energy and their perspective are so new and original we can't help but be surprised by what comes out of their mouths -but what about their actions? LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - There are thousands of children around the world who offer ... continue reading

'Bring Back the Holidays' campaign promotes family values Watch

Image of T.J. Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods came together to launch a Bring Back the Holidays campaign.


T.J. Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods have joined forces to launch a "Bring Back the Holidays" campaign to support family time around the holidays. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Each year companies compete to provide the best Black Friday "door-buster" sales earlier ... continue reading

7-year-old shows compassion to hate-crime victims in touching act of kindness Watch

Image of Seven-year-old Jack Swanson donated his piggy bank to the Islamic Center of Pflugerville in Texas following hate crime (KXAN).


Following a hate crime at a Texas mosque that involved smeared feces and torn pages from the Koran, seven-year-old Jack Swanson decided to donate his life savings of $20 to help. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The hate crime included torn pages from the Koran and ... continue reading

The shocking thing a New Jersey mall is doing this year with Santa Watch

Image of Cherryhill Village Mall has gone from offering children free sits on Santa's lap to charging $35-50 for photo and video packages, with no 'free' option.


Cherryhill Village Mall, located in southern New Jersey, has decided to offer photo and video packages for families who bring their children to see Santa. The catch? Families must pay an entrance fee of $35-50, with no free option for those with children who don't want ... continue reading

Mother's heart breaks when 3-year-old ginger son asks 'Why don't people like my horrible hair Mummy?' Watch

Image of Noah Gilbert, 3, was bullied on a public bus for having red hair (Mercury Press).


Southampton mother, Lauren Russel, witnessed her 3-year-old son being bullied by teenagers over the color of his hair. Furious and heart-broken, Russel took to Facebook to write an emotional message asking users to spread awareness of bullying and to show her son that ... continue reading

Blind 7-year-old banned from using walking cane at school Watch

Image of Seven-year-old Lily-Grace Hooper was told she could not use her walking cane at school, despite being blind (David Hedges).


A Brussels primary school banned a blind seven-year-old girl from using her walking cane at school in a shocking move after claiming she could trip other students or teachers. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Lily-Grace Hooper had a stroke when she was only ... continue reading

Toddler burned to death in oven: Shocking story of severe neglect Watch

Image of J'zyra Thompson was found burned to death near the oven in her home, where she was left unsupervised with three siblings ages three to five (Facebook).


In a heart-breaking and gross display of child endangerment, 19-month-old J'zyra Thompson was found burned to death near the stove in her home Tuesday morning.  LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Thompson was left alone with three siblings aged three to ... continue reading

UPDATE: Two policemen shoot and kill Autistic boy strapped in carseat Watch

Image of Jeremy Mardis, 6, was shot and killed by two officers who did not know the boy was strapped in the front seat of his father's vehicle (Facebook).


An eyewitness has come forward to describe the encounter between Christopher Few and the murder of his 6-year-old son, Jeremy Mardis, at the hands of Marksville officers. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Mark Jeansonne, Few's attorney, viewed bodycam footage from ... continue reading

All Marriage & Family News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • St. James Intercisus: Saint of the Day for Friday, November 27, 2015
  • The Miracle Prayer HD Video
  • Prayer For Courage HD Video
  • Bet you've never seen a space rocket do THIS!
  • UPDATE: Did the U.S. military actually know they were bombing the ...
  • Happy Thanksgiving Day: Give Thanks with a Grateful Heart
  • Daily Readings for Friday, November 27, 2015

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Daniel 7:2-14
2 Daniel said, 'I have been seeing visions in the night. I saw that the ... Read More

Psalm, Daniel 3:75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81
75 Bless the Lord, mountains and hills, praise and glorify him for ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 21:29-33
29 And he told them a parable, 'Look at the fig tree and indeed every ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 27th, 2015 Image

St. James Intercisus
November 27: James was a favorite of King Yezdigerd I of ... Read More