Seeking expert counseling is a sign of strength. A personal relationship with a caring professional is proven clinically effective.
At age 9, boys don't understand about the adult attraction between men and women. He doesn't understand that marriage should be between men and woman (at least in your country) and he thinks that it is more of a commitment of friendship, as he has for his friend.
Your son needs more mother/father role modelling in books and games and in stories about families with mothers and fathers.
He needs more boy oriented toys and he would greatly benefit from joining a football or other boys team to learn to become more rugged.
Rather than tell him that he is being girlish, which may make him too self-aware, give him positive support.
Here is a wonderful book that will give you the detailed, day to day guidance that you are looking for. You can order it from amazon in the uk, or elsewhere.
Click on the link and you will see more about the book and how to order it online.
Your son will be fine. With a little encouragement from you, and hopefully positive support and encouragement from his father, he will be find.
Elliott, MAE, LPCC, NCC, CCMHC