Conditional Friends of the Opposite Sex

1) Age old question: Can heterosexual men and women be just friends?

2) Another question: Should people in committed partnerships have friends of the opposite gender?

3) Interesting one: Can two people who’ve been sexually active with one another be just platonic friends?

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I’ll answer Yes to all three questions with a disclaimer: it depends.

Depends on how we define “friend” and “friendship,” conditions within those relationships, and how our partners feel about them.

4) Can a man who is still hoping for a romantic relationship with a certain woman be “just friends” once she becomes seriously involved with someone else?

Maybe. If he can compartmentalize, or get over his feelings. It takes time.

From a woman’s perspective, I wouldn’t want my significant other to be “friends” with someone who was pining over him – and still hoping for a chance to get in his drawers.

So how do you tow the line in these situations? How do you respond to the “friend” who responds with negative comments when they find you’re now in a relationship, and their chances with you are slim to none?

To me, it’s pretty simple. One of the traits I look for in friends – well before I would even consider someone a friend – is supportiveness. I need people who can be genuinely happy for me regardless of their own ego or circumstances, because even on my worst day I can inspire others and cheer for their victories.

If you’re entertaining me simply because you’re hoping to get something from me, or use me as a resource, you’re not a friend.

If you’re disgruntled about my happiness, It’s time for you to go.

If you tell me I’m crazy for taking a risk on love and that you have no interest in ever meeting my partner, I question your sincerity. (Yes, this is a real response I received from someone I’ve known over two decades.)

I have no male friends who I’ve been sexually active with. They’ve fallen off the radar for one reason or another. I see no reason to hold on to toxic, unhealthy, or unfulfilling relationships.

And as much as they might irk the hell out of me, I wouldn’t attempt to influence or dismantle friendships that were in place before me — unless my intuition alerted me to a potential problem! After all, the entire world doesn’t revolve around me – and having a healthy partnership requires managing insecurities.

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Related: Ladies – Our Male Friends Have Motives

What do you think? How would you respond to the questions presented above? Do you have any stories about past or current partners having close friends of the opposite gender? What about new friends? Are they really a friend if you can’t meet their significant other?

What if your partner was jealous of your already-established friendship and wanted you to end it?



Categories: Advice

Tags: , , , , ,

10 replies

  1. Assuming no lines are crossed, I’ve never had any problems with the concept of maintaining friendships with the opposite sex that were in place before either partner came into the picture.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for chiming in. I think it’s healthy for people to maintain healthy relationships outside their union if, like you said, boundaries are clearly set and no lines are crossed. And on a basic level, those friends should meet the tenets of whatever your definition of friendship is. Realistically, in some cases we wind up choosing for whatever reason.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. As usual, I find myself in agreement with both of you. I’ve never had any major issues with beginning and maintaining platonic bonds and friendships with any of the women in my life. Like Artesia mentioned above, as long as no lines are crossed (on either side) and everybody’s on the same page, then there should be no “issues”.

    I’ll admit, though, that long ago, I was a knucklehead and showed my posterior a couple of times with my ex (that whole trying to “win her back” phase), but after taking a good, long (and hard) look in the mirror – and also realizing we were much happier without each other – I decided the right thing to do was to just go do my own thing and let her do hers. Strangely enough, some ten years later, we make **better** platonic friends than we ever did as lovers. Growing up had a lot to do with it. 😉

    All four questions can be answered with “Yes” … provided both individuals are rational, reasonable, understanding, and mature adults.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Balanced response as usual! Lol. I like the story you told. Yes, maturity and setting aside ego can go far in maintaining friendships. I remember I was “just friends” with this guy I was in love with. Because he trusted me, I was one of the first people he confided in when he got this woman pregnant. Upon hearing the news, I was devastated! But guess what – my love affair with him was over and I could really appreciate him as a friend – until he got flakey. Sigh. Also, I think it’s better in partnerships that these friendships are out in the open versus secret. Takes trust.

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  4. When you put it depends then of course men and women can just be friends. Generally speaking, that’s never the case. If a guy is friends with a girl he either banged her or tried to bang her. A lot of guys try to play the friend role to get closer to women thinking that will work and it never does. Some women try to act like they don’t know this but they do. Women know which men want to bang them. I always tell women the real test of your “friendship” is to call your male friend over and try to sleep with him. You know he’s going to hit it especially if you are attractive. If she’s not attractive, this can still work because the thirst is always real. I didn’t have any female friends with I was in the dating game and I don’t have any now. I have women that I’m cool with but we’re not friends. We don’t even talk like that so I can’t say hey that’s my friend.

    I would need to meet any guys my significant other said they were friends with. I can tell what the deal is because of my 3rd eye of game. I know how to interact with women I want to get with and women I have no interest in. My girl doesn’t have any male friends so I don’t have to worry about this. For guys you just have to investigate the situation. If you are still in the dating game and some girl says I don’t like being friends with women just charge her to the game. She’s just looking for attention and or banging a few of those guys. Either way not something you want to put stock in.

    If you’re a guy and you are friends with a girl you want to get with just STOP! That’s not what men do. You as a man need to go after want you want in life. If she’s not interested then just move on. What would be the point of being her friend? You want to hear about her new dude?

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    • Lol. “We don’t even talk like that. ” You are hilarious. I agree with you for the most part as far as male friends hitting it if you let them, however, I have male friends I’ve made thru business (my trainers) who I’m pretty sure would NOT respond positively to my advances – no matter what their egos told them. We don’t talk like that either unless it’s related to training, but they are supportive, trustworthy, good people. I’ve met their wives/ girlfriends. We’re friends. Not all guys are just out to bang Reema – some can control those urges. Having said that, I’ll reiterate, I’m uncomfortable with my guy having female friends, but he had a life before me.

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  5. Yes. I do believe friendship is possible with the opposite sex but to a certain extent. Too make a long story short….If you was sexually active in the past with this person….it may be difficult for your new mate to trust that it has ended. It could possibly happen again. Ijs

    Liked by 1 person

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