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Friendships with the opposite sex?

From: One of the Guys

Thank you dear readers for your great feedback and comments on our last post. Although some of you cited examples of pockets of men walking together, the consensus seems to be that men do not in fact walk together much, unless they’re at work. Most of you agreed, it’s not the walking piece that’s uncomfortable, it’s the talking piece that COMES with the walking. Many men just aren’t that comfortable opening up with other men.

But let’s continue this discussion of friendship for a bit and talk about some other types of friendships.

My wife is my best friend. I cherish our relationship. But I also am thankful for my other friendships with men and women. Not having to rely on my wife to provide me with all my emotional support only nurtures our relationship. My friendships actually energize and rejuvenate me, and that positive energy is something I bring to my relationship with my wife and kids. And frankly it’s a lot of pressure to be the “all and everything” for your partner. I think too many women bear that burden.

In previous relationships I would often put friendships on hold for a while. The giddiness of the new relationship was partly to blame, but also my fear that the new person might get jealous if I went out with THE GUYS, or THE GALS. But after a while this just did not sit right with me. I decided that I am who I am, and that includes all my friends.

But having friendships outside our main relationship is a delicate balance for sure. It’s a question of WHY do we have these relationships? And that is often what causes strife in the primary relationship.

Friendships can provide pieces that are missing in a primary relationship, but really they should enhance them or complement them. And since I discussed friendships with GUYS in the last post, I want to focus more on friendships with members of the opposite sex.

For me, my friendships with women provide me with new perspectives. If I have a question about something that’s going on in my life, I love hearing their opinions. I also think that conversations with women are just different. They digress in different ways, and they meander to and fro in more circuitous routes, which I enjoy. But these friendships don’t replace the deep connections I have at home, otherwise that would be a problem. Like I said, this is where people run into trouble.

When I see a man and a woman together, and if they’re relatively the same age, I usually assume they are together in some capacity; I mean romantically. It’s my first gut reaction. So I assume when I’m out with a girlfriend having coffee or lunch that people might think the same thing. And that’s why I rarely have dinner with a girlfriend because I don’t want to give people the wrong impression, especially people I know. Dinner usually connotes romance. That’s why I always tell some of the single GUYS, “Forget coffee, just ask her out to dinner, and that way if she says yes, you both know it’s a date.”  So dinner for me is something I avoid if I’m out with a woman friend. I just would never want to represent my family or wife in a potentially embarrassing way. (Well, sometimes it’s not possible. Just ask her about the last party we went to. But I digress.)

Having friendships outside of a primary relationship is important, but we must be sensitive and aware in order to do this. So for me, my wife knows all my friends. I made a point of introducing her, so she could not only know who I’m hanging out with, but also know these people are not a threat to her at all. In fact, she is now friends with some of these people, which is very nice.

Friendships help me see the world from many different viewpoints. And these deep connections have helped me evolve, and will help me continue to evolve through the stages of my life.

What about you?

Do you have friendships outside of your primary relationship?

How do you feel about friends of the opposite sex? Is it possible?

How do you feel about your partner having friends outside of your relationship? And what about with members of the opposite sex?

Any other thoughts about friendship?

Feel free to answer none, one or all of these questions.

We’ll be discussing this more on upcoming podcasts.

47 Comments on Friendships with the opposite sex?

  1. That can be a touchy subject with some couples and in regards to having friends of the opposite sex and being jealous of your partner who has them, I think it largely depends on how much you trust your partner. Speaking as a man, I do think men have sex on their minds more often than women… so when they are around friends of the opposite sex (women, in case you didn’t catch that 🙂 and they’re with them for whatever reason, the possibility of of a sexual scenario between them popping into a guy’s head is usually inevitable. Especially when they’re attractive to them. Now… will the guy cheat? That depends on how much willpower they have and how much they love their partner. Speaking for myself, as really, only I can and not of others since I’m not a mind reader -I admit I’ve had sexual thoughts about a few of my wife’s friends when we’re around them. I tell her about it at times and she laughs. That’s how honest I am… not to mention I feel kinda guilty about it. Do you know why she laughs? Because she knows me well enough after 21 years of marriage that she knows I won’t cheat on her with these friends. They’re just thoughts. It’s when those thoughts turn into actions that you have to worry.

  2. I always found guys to be my best friends, but that ended when I got married. Even when I used to have lunch or coffee with a guy friend, there was always a bit of sexual tension. I don’t want to tempt fate, so I don’t lunch with the guys anymore. Anything that needs to be discussed can be done so easily with my husband, who is the ultimate friend. And probably the worst time to meet with a “friend” is when you and your partner are trying to work through something. Both sexes can be vulnerable.

  3. @Kelly………….I agree with you. Trust plays a huge part in what is okay in a relationship. I like your honesty with your wife. She seems very laid back about it all. And of course she trusts you.

    @Ask Cherlock…………I agree. If there’s sexual tension it may be best to not tempt fate. But I still feel that friendships with the opposite sex can be managed within the context of a marriage or relationship. It takes a lot of trust as you know.

  4. Never been a problem in my marriage. My wife is still close friends with EVERY boyfriend she ever had, and the numbers are legion. We’ve always moved in a big social circle, have a lot of outside interests, and probably spend as much time with other people as we do with each other. We’ve never lived the traditional, insulated life.

  5. My boyfriend and I both have platonic friendships of the opposite sex. Granted, out of a perverse sense of loyalty, I have purposely stopped hanging out with my guy friends since I”m in a relationship. Interestingly, they have to, now that they are all married or otherwise committed. We’re still friendly and I know I can still go to them with a real problem, but we’re not tight.

    I think Harry had it right: Men and women can’t be friends because they guy wants to sleep with the girl. I think, to a large extent, that’s true and not one-sided. Whether the other side consents to the sex/romance determines whether it will become an awkward morning after or a long-lasting friendship.

  6. @Nothingprofound……….Sounds like a very trusting relationship. I like it.

    @Faux Trixie………..I think if I guy wants to sleep with a girl he can’t really be friends with her. And vice versa. But that’s not always the case. Sometimes it truly is platonic and well worth keeping!

  7. Oh shit!

    My husband WOULD SHIT AND DIE if I said I was going for coffee with a guy friend. Granted once I got married all my guy friends kinda dropped off the map.

    I have a hard time with guy/girl friendships, because I HONESTLY think that NO MATTER what there is ALWAYS some sort of sexual tension.

    I had a guy friend all through High School. Loved him!! Great guy. My best friend Lexi, him and I were ‘The Three Musketeers’ I know right? How fucking gay, we were 17 give me a break. Anyway, we never had ANYTHING romantic besides the occasional flirting that everyone does no matter how old you are. One day senior year, I dropped him off at his house after school and… well, I wont go into details!

    But it was like WHAT THE FUCK???

    I’ve never had a ‘friend’ relationship with a man, because it always ended up that someone was out for SOMETHING. Even some of my BEST friends husbands have come on to me. I think men are incapable of have female friendships. Sorry GUY.

  8. Friendships are very important. I agree that those in long term commitments should also have friendships beyond each other. Some people need a whole bunch of friends. I happen to just need one or two life long friendships to satisfy me. But what I really enjoy is having a bunch of acquaintances. Socializing at parties. I get a bunch of social satisfaction at work too. With that being said, I would prefer to go on a walk ALONE any day of the week over a walk with a friend/acquaintance or coworker (with the exception of my partner, & life long friendships). Sorry, but true!

  9. @Ash…………I think it depends on the people. For example, I have two older women friends that I get together for coffee on a semi-regular basis. They send my kids cards/presents on their birthdays and are friends with my wife too, although I was the original connection. There is no sexual tension at all, but I love hanging out with them. You need to start wearing baggy clothes and that might help. On second thought, don’t do that! 🙂

    @GoGo………….No need to be sorry. That makes sense. Getting some space to clear your head is always a good thing. I don’t need a lot of friendships I just happen to have a lot of them.

  10. loved this post! friendships with the opposite sex are so sticky. i think they are fine as long as the friendship doesn’t become more important than the primary relationship. as long as it’s enhancing and not threatening the primary relationship. if it becomes more important than i think that’s a clear indicator there is something wrong with the primary relationship. and while we can’t be all things to our significant other we must be the most important.

    i would be totally fine and would encourage my husband to have more friendships – male or female. i do think it’s healthy to gain new perspectives and mix up the fun a little. i don’t think he likes that i have this benefit with some of my friends. i also think men tend to be territorial and not as open to friendships involving the opposite sex. but i think it’s good that you introduce your wife to your girlfriends and involve her somewhat in those relationships.

    and yes, one does assume that a male and female who are together in public are romantically involved. i don’t think there is a general acceptance of friendship of the opposite sex. people are always looking for something juicy or controversial and love the gossip that is generated by seeing someone who is hitched possibly involved with someone else. so i think it’s smart that you avoid dinner for the sake of sparing your family reputation but i also think it’s a shame that you can’t. i wish people were more open-minded and less petty like this.

    ps: can we be friends?

  11. @Patty Punker……….These are great points. People aren’t open minded really. I try to be, but even I find myself wondering what the real story is when I see a man and woman together. What’s the dirt? What’s the gossip? I annoy myself when I think this way because it’s basically rubbernecking.
    ps. I thought we were friends?

  12. HAHAHA!!!

    Well played fuckers!!!! Yes I suppose baggy clothes MAY help… But I enjoy being shamelessly whistled at by construction workers, so that’s a NO GO!!!!

  13. A podcast? How cool!

    I agree with you-it’s important to have other friendships, and with both sexes. It is touchy just how close those friendships get. There’s definitely a line you have to be sure is never even hinted at crossing. I like that you don’t go out to dinner with girl friends. Even though your wife might be ok with it, you’re showing respect for her by keeping the wagging tongues at bay.

    I have many male friends and my fiance has a lot of gal pals. I think it helps us better understand each other. Like you, we know each others friends so they know exactly who we’re hanging out with. That way there is no question or cause for concern.

  14. I had to take some time to think about this because I don’t have monogamous relationships in the first place. Also, I’m not currently in a relationship, so it’s hard to talk about something when all you have to refer to are relationships that ended up NOT working for one reason or another.

    All of the friends I have, I’ve known for 10 years. We’ve been with each other through our very best times and through our very worst. We might not all see each other every week, maybe not even every month, but we’re all still a very important part of each other’s lives. I don’t know if I could tolerate someone coming in and telling me that I can’t talk/go out with people that are closer to me than some of my blood relatives. I would never ask someone I loved and trusted to do that. To me, that would probably just signal that this is not someone that I would want to be with on a long term basis.

  15. @Ash……….That makes sense to us. At least you’re not invisible. Far from it!

    @Date Girl………….There is absolutely a line that shouldn’t be crossed. It’s all about respect. Sounds like you have that with your fiance.

    @Lovy…………..It’s a signal of some sort of insecurity or trust issue. I agree. And it took me a while to get to that place for myself. Where I said, “This is who I am and these are my friends. And if you don’t like it, see ya.” Now that doesn’t mean I did what I wanted and wasn’t sensitive. I’m all about trying to understand how the other person is feeling, but I was no longer willing to compromise myself. There’s a middle ground in there some place. I’ve found it with my wife, but it took a while.

  16. Do you have friendships outside of your primary relationship? – Yes, I had a ton of friends: male, female, lesbian, gay, old, young, retards, intellectuals, achievers…

    How do you feel about friends of the opposite sex? Is it possible? – Before I became a motionless ascetic, I found it hard not to get attracted to my attractive female friends. Maybe things will be different when I make new friends in the future. Of course, I’m talking about like 100 years into the future when I reincarnate as a humanoid robot.

    How do you feel about your partner having friends outside of your relationship? And what about with members of the opposite sex? – Neutral.

    Any other thoughts about friendship? – 99.99999% transitory

  17. @Ryhen………By then, gender might even be a non-issue. We’ll all be some sort of combination of man and machine….or woman and machine.

  18. Do you have friendships outside of your primary relationship?

    Of course. Though I really don’t “hang out” with friends after work, unless you collectively count the parents in my son’s Scout troop when we’re camping. Most of the friends I have, male or female, are either (a) coworkers; (b) folks I’ve met or kept in touch with online; (c) Scout moms and dads; or (c) mutual friends.

    How do you feel about friends of the opposite sex? Is it possible?

    I think so. Why not?

    How do you feel about your partner having friends outside of your relationship? And what about with members of the opposite sex?

    I think it’s healthy. I don’t care if they’re men or women. So long as it’s not romantic or sexual, I have no problem at all with it. Look, if I didn’t trust my husband completely, there would be no basis for a relationship in the first place. I’m pretty sure he feels the same way.

    Any other thoughts about friendship?

    Friendships are less important than family, but too important to impose arbitrary “rules” on them. Whether friendships with the opposite sex are possible when you’re in a committed relationship largely depends on just how committed YOU are, and how secure and self-confident your significant other is. A little pang of jealousy is sweet, but really – it gets old. Once it moves into distrust, it’s a relationship killer in my book. To me, it means something is deeply, fundamentally broken already – and that has very little to do with any friend.

  19. Okay, I’ll try to say everything i’m thinking and I hope it’s intelligible. (It’s been a rough couple of days.)

    First, I know people who DO have outside friends, but for the most part it’s couples. “Hey, Lise, let’s have Dan and Barb over for dinner and a movie.” On a couple to couple basis I think it’s fine. The guys usually end up talking guy stuff and the girls end up talking about how the guys mystify them. (LOL)

    Second, like I said before it may be nice for your guy to have a girl friend he’s known forever to get a female perspective on the dumb shit he’s about to pull (ROFL, sorry). But then I’m thinking….maybe not.

    Affairs start (whether you trust the person or not..it’s really irrelevant) when two people create an emotional bond. How does that happen? When you begin discussing the troubles of your heart. You share problems, you lean on one another, you trust one another and boom. No matter what you think about your wife, there’s now a new relationship there. If you’re having problems with your wife, and talking to this other woman about it then suddenly you’re bonding with woman 2 and she seems so much easier, because you’re getting along, you trust her, she’s there for you…. Why bother staying with your wife and working to figure out whatever is wrong? (Yes this goes for women too.)

    So, I’m back to thinking….no. Or…only with gay members of the opposite sex…something that can’t “accidentally” develop into a sexual relationship. Something that obviously will not go further than friendly advice and companionship.

    There’s that old saying:

    Why tempt fate?

  20. And yes, it’s taken me this long to respond because it is a very open infected wound. Please be gentle.

  21. @Holly……………Yes, once you’re in the distrust phase something is already broken. Thanks for all your thoughts. Nice to see you again.

    @Elisa……….We want you to feel like you can say anything. That’s what this comment section is all about. I think I may have misspoken. I don’t really discuss specific issues I might be having with my wife, but more a broad sense of things. I’m looking for perspective in general. (Things I should be more sensitive about. Things I should be more aware of. Etc.) Those are the kind of things I mean. Because I agree with you, once you say something you can never take it back, so I very rarely if ever, complain about my wife to anyone but her, and that’s not too much either. Also, I agree, if there’s any sexual tension at all, it’s probably best to not tempt anything, but for me, I know where my head is at. Even if I was attracted to someone, I’m not going to be doing anything. And a close friendship is not something I take lightly. And even more so, my marriage. Thanks for sharing.

  22. I’ve seen it happen again, and again. In fact, I can look at a couple and predict where they are headed just by their actions regarding friendships.

    The woman starts nosing around for “friendships” (attention) facebook ,work, or cocktail hour. She is not getting it at home, she has crying babies instead, rather than working and talking with her partner more she gets away. Next thing you know, she has a guy who is “just” a friend. Nothing more (of course, the nerve to think so), she is standing in the corner at her families house several HUNDRED miles from HIS families home Thanksgiving day, texting said “friend” all afternoon. Then a year later decides she is just not happy and wants a trial separation. A month later a divorce, a month after that? What do you know she is dating her “friend”. TWO YEARS later still dating her friend. And if you really think about it..what kind of friend is he really that he gave her attention and friendship that ended up with two small girls (babies) being children of divorce and losing their Dad.

    This is just ONE instance. I’ve seen it all over Facebook and neighborhoods. I personally, at 28, did it too. He was just a friend, ya riiight. Now, I know better. You can be friendly but not friends.

    Unless they are gay, then it can happen. But otherwise, something could develop and it’s best not to risk it. Just my two cents.

  23. * Do you have friendships outside of your primary relationship?
    Yes indeed. Even though I am not in a relationship right now, I have always been able to balance my time well between my relationship and friendships. But, it helps when the relationship person gets along with my friends!

    * How do you feel about friends of the opposite sex? Is it possible?
    I do believe its possible, and maybe even essential. My father has several woman friends, and, much like you, my mother knows who all of them are. Moreover, my mother has several man friends and my fathers knows all of them too.

    *How do you feel about your partner having friends outside of your relationship? And what about with members of the opposite sex?
    If I cant trust that person, then I dont belong with them. And, if I am jealous or nervous, than maybe its MY own insecurities creeping up and I need to take a look at that.

    * Any other thoughts about friendship?
    For me? My friendships are The Most Important Thing to me next to family. In fact, I consider some of my friends to be family. I have both male and female friends and I love being able to get different perspectives on issues.

  24. My best friend is a guy. Has been since high school. We’ve had our issues with him wanting more of a relationship, but then he realized we were totally not for each other and have been fine and friction free since. We’ve been best friends for as long as I can remember and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

  25. I have always had male friends and have never even dated anyone who had a problem with that. I also think it’s okay for men in relationships to have female friends.

    It’s important that both partners are really okay with it. I’ve had friends who say it’s okay, but it really isn’t and they suffer.

    Truth and trust are crucial.

  26. @Angelia……….Facebook is a dangerous place, but really only for people who are already “looking.” Then I agree with you. Typically the people that do that stuff already have some serious issues with their current relationship. Most of my friendships are with people I was friends with a long time BEFORE I met my wife. They just were part of my personal baggage.

    @Meleah…….Friends for me make life richer. But they don’t come before family, although some of them are almost like family.

    @Cassie……It’s cool both of you were able to make the transition. That’s not an easy thing to do.

    @Chris J…….Yes…TRUST!!!!

  27. Because of my job (commercial real estate) I’ve had several friends who are men and we’ve remained friends, some for 30 years of my career. You always have to be careful as to how you look if you are in public for what you say is correct most people will assume the worst, I always ignored it as is was part of my job and when they became friends we both always just took it as part of what we’d expect from people and their busy minds. Many times if the friendships became personal we’d get together with our spouses, and often my husband would become friends with them as well. So there is no easy answer because these types of relationships may not always work for all couples. On the other hand my husband is an ultra marathon bicyclists and during his career, he’s crewed for women where he’d be with them with a full crew for Race Across America which from beginning to end entailed over two weeks so that’s when I get to tease him, however, in general both our opinions are if your going to stray it will happen, use good judgement and great values and you can do well giving each other plenty of space, it works and it’s fun my husbands’ gone away for a month when he traveled Alaska and the Yukon on his bike and I loved the freedom and was happy when he came home to me….. Hope this helps…I’ll continue to be back even when the blog is closed…

    Dorothy from grammology
    grammology.com

  28. @Dorothy………….Your comment is very helpful. There are many ways to have a successful and happy relationship. It’s good for people to read about successful relationships that do have a good amount of freedom in them. A little space can often reaffirm that you love the person.

  29. Enter your comments here…
    I agree with Kelly – can be a touchy subject.

    Also no matter the longevity of the friendship and how comfortable your partner is with it – don’t push it and definitely don’t do any late night chats (even just staying beyond your partner retiring for the night) and NO getting drunk together.

    We are only human and so even with the best of intentions, better not to tempt fate buy putting yourself in a compromising situation.

    On the whole I think now it is best for guys to have guy best friends and ladies best friends who are also ladies. However having friends of the opposite sex at a further distance out can also be really helpful. Thankfully I have usually had a couple of gay friends so have had the best of both worlds – a guy in a girlfriend or visa versa!!!

  30. @Cathy………….It’s a delicate dance for sure. I like to have friends of both sexes because it just makes life more interesting, but we all have to keep things in check, and remember what’s most important, which is our immediate families, including our spouses/partners and children. Thanks for your thoughts.

  31. So I LOVE having male friends (I’m female). Some of my best friends are male. I have no problem keeping it platonic. I think it’s good for both sexes to have opposite-sex friends.

    Ooops, I didn’t know about the dinner thing being always a date. Ruh-roh. For me I draw the line at whether or not it’s “dutch” (or we take turns buying lunch/dinner/movies). That kind of signifies (to me) a guy isn’t looking for me to be a GF.

    That said, you seem to be among the rare group of men that can be just friends. More than a few of mine were not able to maintain a friendship with me once they finally believed me when I said I didn’t want anything more. It’s sad to relaize someone you thought was a friend was really just hanging around hoping you’d change your mind about having sex with them.

    Also, I had a BF who was way too close to his female friend and shared very intimate details of our relationship, or secrets about me. There are some lines that shouldn’t be crossed. He was an ass, though.

  32. @Kernut………….Yes, maybe I am. Or maybe I’ve just chosen friends I’m not attracted to in that way. But either way, the guy that hangs around hoping something will develop is more often than not kidding himself. And the woman. And I agree with you, there are some things that should never be shared. Once you cross that line, more often than not regret sets in. And then you wish you could take it all back. I don’t get into that kind of stuff.

  33. Wow what a thought provoking post… lets see

    Do you have friendships outside of your primary relationship?

    I have a small number of friendships I can count on one hand that I consider to be one of the most important parts of my support network (my partner and our relationship would be the first). My wider network of friends is not that much bigger now but the quality is much better than it was previously (I did a huge overhaul and had a major restructure a couple of years ago).

    How do you feel about friends of the opposite sex? Is it possible?

    I think friendship is friendship, gender doesnt really matter although I am probably biased since most of my friends are male. For me, I’ve always found my male friendships unfussy and uncomplicated but dont get me wrong, they can have just as many dramas as anyone else.

    I guess its just the comfort of being great friends without all the emotional intimacy that female friendships seem to be so good at (something I’ve always had trouble with but am working on). Interestingly, my close friends I mentioned in the previous question, are childhood friends and are all female so go figure lol.

    I have no romantic interest in my male friends, they are more like brothers and I couldn’t imagine being romantically involved with any of them. Not that they arent great boyfriends or anything but its more that I just cant develop those kinds of feelings for them.

    It takes me a long time to begin to trust someone so in the last few years my friendships have tended to be slow to mature but I feel better when I can get to learn a person.

    Thanks for the interesting post, I had not thought of some of these things before so i appreciate the topic.

  34. Sorry I’m late to the party here… I missed that your link changed from what I had on my blogroll. (since corrected.)

    Outside my original best friends from high school (with whom I’m currently visiting on vacation) all my best friends are women. It’s been that way for quite some time, and that’s something that a prospective relationship would have to understand. I will not drop friends just because someone new comes into my life.

    I’m sure people have gotten the wrong idea when they’ve seen me having lunch or hanging out with a female friend after work. Fortunately, I pretty much don’t give a shit what other people think.

    Like I tell Pinky, if I was going to date them, I’d have been doing it long before you came around. I admit that I’ve been lucky that she understands.

    At some point, I’m going to have to do a post on my former Work Wife (former, because she left the company.) (For reasons completely unrelated to me.)

  35. I have always had male friends and have never even dated anyone who had a problem with that. I also think it’s okay for men in relationships to have female friends.

    It’s important that both partners are really okay with it. I’ve had friends who say it’s okay, but it really isn’t and they suffer.

    Truth and trust are crucial.

  36. @Lola……………Interesting that you find your male friendships unfussy and uncomplicated. My female friendships are pretty much that way too. The one thing I’ll say is, if there’s drama in the friendship, there may be something else going on beneath the surface that one person is afraid to admit or share. Thanks for your thoughtful comment.

    @Bluzdude…………I couldn’t agree more. Maybe the key is to have an understanding spouse/partner. I guess we’re both lucky in that way.

    @Steve……………..Trust is the piece that is so important. But people have to open to trust. It takes time to build.

  37. “Friendships can provide pieces that are missing in a primary relationship, but really they should enhance them or complement them.”
    That first bit is why I would ALWAYS get jealous of female friends when I was in a relationship. I know the jealousy isn’t healthy either, though. I actually don’t like the ‘rules’ of relationships that center around what you can’t and can do with the opposite sex. it’s ridiculous to me to think that your SO should be your everything.. that’s when things become unbalanced and turn into problems. of course, i say this now, coming from my single unattached state of mind. who knows how my emotions will whack out when/if i get into a relationship. for all i know, i might be the same jealous insecure girl.. i hope not.

    i think it’s cool that you respect your wife and her feelings. i was pretty uncomfortable with female friends yet my ex still went out to dinners one on one with female friends. really bugged me…

  38. @Floreta…………..The bottom line is respecting the person you’re in a relationship with. That doesn’t mean you have to compromise everything to make them feel comfortable, but two people need to talk about things and try to work out something that feels good to both parties. It’s all about building trust. For some people that takes time. However, from my experience, I always used to think I was the jealous type. But as I dated more I realized that certain personality types pushed my buttons. I learned a lot from them, but I was never happy. When you’re ready, you’ll find the right type of person for you. But honestly, what you’re doing now sounds damn interesting! So enjoy!

  39. So I’m a little late to this party…
    I’ve had experience in this area. On all kinds of levels.
    I have guy friends, I love my guy friends, sometimes they are more fun to be with then my girlfriends (don’t tell the girls I said that).
    So I can’t possibly be a hypocrite and have a problem if my guy has female friends. And it doesn’t bother me. Until…
    I’M never invited to do things with them. Their conversations are private…calls are taken in another room or stepped outside. Tons of texts and giggling and never sharing the joke.
    Or I never meet them at all.
    That’s a problem. That is not respecting me. And it WAS a problem. And somehow he made ME feel like the bad guy in that scenario.
    Notice I’m using past tense here. 🙂

    I like what you say about it…dinner is more intimate and I love the respect you have for your wife. Including her IN the friendship and being sensitive to appearances. That. Is. Great.
    Go forth. Teach others. Spread the gospel.

  40. @Stacy………….Your points are right on……”I’M never invited to do things with them. Their conversations are private…calls are taken in another room or stepped outside. Tons of texts and giggling and never sharing the joke.
    Or I never meet them at all.” Those are huge red flags that a lot of people ignore. It’s good that you didn’t. (See our question/answer)

  41. Jason Love // July 21, 2011 at 9:16 am //

    If you start dating someone and your partner has a longtime friend who is the opposite sex i dont think its fair to tell your they can no longer be friends with person. I think thats out of line. I do believe that when your in a relationship the dynamics of your outside friendships should change. THere must be boundaries. Friendships can be limited to texting, facebook,emails, or even phone calls. but as far as the one on one interaction i’m not having it, it’s not necessary. I don’t believe its a necessity for a guy to take someones g/f out to a movie, or dinner whatever etc… if its a group event fine. Intimacy was meant 2 be shared between partners, at the same time Intimacy is not limited 2 sexual activity. So when your having dinner with the opposite sex this is in fact intimacy… I say yes for opposite sex friends, but a line must be drawn… To all the women out there Would you get Naked or try on clothing in front of a guy friend? this is why opposite sex friendships can not be weighed the same as same sex friendships. Anyone agree with me?

  42. @Jason…..you make some good points. Yes, we would agree with you. Read our latest post on the “Ask the Guys” page, Friends with the opposite sex: Am I just jealous.
    Thanks for your insight.

  43. @Elisa…you’re absolutely right…”whether you trust the person or not..it’s really irrelevant”.

    What you need to ask yourself is, can I really trust MYSELF to be friends with the opposite sex? Do I have the skills, experience and wisdom to walk the fine line when emotionally I feel positively energized around my friend when my primary relationship is heading south?

    Many times when a primary relationship NEEDS to end, it doesn’t. It’s extremely difficult and emotionally hard to leave someone after many years. It’s always been easier to leave when there’s someone waiting in the wing.

  44. @Grace…..thanks for adding to the discussion. Great insights!

  45. i think that friendly relationships with the opposite sex which can gradually grow into them being best friends is formed 4 various reasons.It is a good thing because in that way they can share different views on topics and there’s trust and no envy

  46. @Chloe…Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  47. My boyfriend of 2 years has been best friends with a girl since grade school and swears up and down that nothing has ever happened. He has always described her as kind of a pain in the ass, high maintenance woman, but that she has a heart of gold and has always supported him and been a great friend, but nothing more. I believed him…until she came to visit us and he completely ignored me and catered to her every need. She’s married and lives in another state. I came over to his house one morning to find them in bed together, which I thought was inappropriate (now, I understand the couch is uncomfortable but seriously?), and he was in his boxers and she was wearing his pajamas. He took her out to a steak dinner one night while they were here, then they stayed out bar hopping all night. I had a race the following day I had asked him to come watch and they showed up 30 minutes after it was over because, “she just had to stop and get herself a pumpkin spice late.” I have a guy friend who I call and chat with every now and then, but now that I am in a relationship, if I visited him I would never sleep half naked in his bed (we have always been platonic, aka nothing whatsoever has ever happened between us, but I have shared a bed while camping due to lack of space elsewhere). I would also not put him before my boyfriend. I don’t know if I am being overly jealous, or if this situation is inappropriate. She does live in another state, so it shouldn’t matter right? I just don’t want to spend the rest of my life watching them hang all over each other laughing about their inside jokes from long ago while I sit awkwardly in the corner. Thoughts?

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