How to begin this article? Can men and women be just friends? Can my partner have a close friend of the opposite sex? Not really and NO!
Men and women have lots of opportunities to interact with one another in workplace and social settings therefore it is inevitable that people of the opposite sex will find common interest and connection with one another that is likely to evolve into friendship.
These friendships don’t generally pose problems unless one or both parties in the friendship are in an exclusive intimate relationship with someone else.
Truth of the matter is if that friendship is not handled properly, there is strong potential for it to become a threat to the intimate relationship.
What defines an exclusive intimate relationship isn’t just sex, it’s an emotionally intimate bond that allows for trust and vulnerability between two people. Creating an intimate bond with someone requires making them feel safe, loved, and cared for in a way that prioritizes your relationship with them above other relationships.
Breaking that bond doesn’t require a sexual act with someone else. It can be broken by creating a bond with someone else that interferes with the trusting intimate bond you have with your partner. That’s why it is widely recognized that affairs can be physical, emotional, or both.
When people become close “emotional ties” are created and emotional ties are dangerous. Couples sometimes fight and disagree on certain things but it’s normal. The problem arises when your partner confides in this friend who will so happen to understand something that you don’t. At this point your partner will let their guard down and allow things to happen with this friend.
Boundary lines begin to shift and before you know it’s inappropriate. In most instances this friend begins to lose respect for you because I mean your partner is giving them the idea that you are problem, you are not understanding and they do.
When someone you have an intimate relationship with objects to an opposite-sex friendship, don’t be quick to assume that it is jealousy stemming from insecurity. Partners with high self-esteem will not tolerate the disrespect of poorly handled opposite-sex friendships. This is a sign of their emotional intelligence and their understanding of what is required to maintain an intimate bond.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying people of the opposite sex cannot be friends. They can be but there are levels to it, there are boundaries that should be put in place so it does not shake your intimate relationship. Here is what you can do to avoid this type of toxic friendships especially if you are seeing someone:
- Never prioritize an opposite-sex friend above your intimate relationship.
- Don’t hide activities with your friend from your intimate partner.
- Don’t insist that your partner also be friends with your opposite-sex friend.
- Don’t engage in flirtatious behaviour with your friend in front of your intimate partner.
- Don’t form inappropriate opposite-sex friendships.
- Don’t call your intimate partner jealous or crazy.
Would I be comfortable with my boyfriend having a female BFF, hell NO and I would not allow the same to happen from my end. I mean, what’s good for her must be good for him and two is company, three is a crowd.