This is an age old debate that i’m not sure anyone will ever have a solid answer to. I say, you must first evaluate your relationship with your partner. Do you trust them? Next, do you trust their friend? If the answer to both of those questions is yes, then what is the problem? If however you hesitated or said no to either question we may need to explore this topic a little further.
Every relationship is as unique as the two (sometimes, three or four, but i’m not judging) people in the relationship. If you are reading this article it’s most likely because either you have questions yourself regarding this topic or want to prove to your partner why it either is or is not ok to have friends of the opposite sex. Let’s get a little deeper shall we?
The foundation of all relationships is trust. An old saying goes, when trust goes out the door, love goes out the window. Do you trust your partner? I mean really trust them? Do you know without a shadow of a doubt they would never do anything to hurt you or the relationship? Or is it trust that is lacking? Not trusting your partner can make it easy for you to see any friend of the opposite sex as a threat. When you truly trust your partner it doesn’t matter if their friend looks like a super model, drives a bentley and is the picture of everything your partner has ever dreamed of, you know they would never cross that line with them because it is you and only you that they want. When you don’t trust them, any and every acquaintance of the opposite sex becomes your enemy.
You read into every conversation, every text message, every innocent hug goodbye and you blow up. You can’t accept the fact that anything about the friendship is innocent because for whatever reason you don’t trust your partner to have an innocent relationship. If trust is what you are lacking you must rebuild that with your partner in order for you to be more comfortable with them having friends of the opposite sex as well as for you to have a gratifying relationship overall.
2. Personal Insecurities
Another problem many face with their partner having friends of the opposite sex is their own personal insecurities with themselves. Your problem has actually nothing to do with your partners friend. In fact it could be anyone they were friends with and you would still have a major issue because you are the issue. You don’t feel attractive enough, interesting enough, or maybe you don’t feel you are worthy of your partner. You allow your own personal insecurities and issues with your self to get in the way of your partner having friends because deep down inside you wonder if one day your partner will see all of the insecurities that you feel about yourself and leave. No one can fix this problem but you. No amount of compliments, pep talks, or love from your partner can erase insecurities that you feel inside. The only one who can change this behavior is you. You must learn to love yourself fully and take the time to realize that your insecurities could be causing major problems not only to yourself but to your relationship.
3. Past Indiscretions
Did you or your partner cheat in the past? Have you never truly forgiven yourself or your partner? Do you constantly wonder if it could happen again? Maybe your partner had someone in the past whom they said was just a friend, turn out to be anything but. Maybe you did. It’s hard when you’ve had to deal with infidelity in a relationship and sometimes even harder when you choose to stay and work it out. Just because you’ve chosen to forgive your partner doesn’t mean that those feelings of hurt aren’t still there lingering in the back of your mind. Maybe you cheated and you feel like your partner and this friend of theirs may do the same thing you did in the past? If it was you who cheated previously, you have to forgive yourself. If your partner chose to stay with you, they already have. Just because you made a mistake does not mean your partner is counting down the days to get revenge and if they are, that is not the person for you. If your partner cheated in the past, you must remember that you chose to stay in the relationship. No one forced you to. That was your decision. Of course it is hard being with someone who has hurt you but how long will you make them pay for the same mistake? Never allowing your partner to have a companion of the opposite sex is not going to heal your broken heart, nor will it make you trust them. You are simply trying to control a situation you ultimately have no control of. If a person wants to cheat, they will. Unfortunately there is nothing you can do to stop your partner from cheating, if that is what they choose to do. Your job is to trust them and if they break that trust, then it’s up to you to decide to leave or stay. Trying to control them however will not lead to your happiness or theirs.
4. Not trusting the friend
Maybe it has nothing to do with you trusting your partner, your insecurities, or past indiscretions. Possibly it is the friend that you simply do not trust. Is this friend a little too touchy feely? Does your partner and this friend have a romantic past? Does this friend happen to have to call at all hours of the night? Sometimes friends of the opposite sex can really push their boundaries. Unfortunately, it’s not your place to address your partners friend, it’s theirs. If you have repeatedly told your partner you feel uncomfortable with their friend they need to take it seriously. It is your partners job to ensure that you feel secure with the friendship and address any issues you may have head on. If their friend is not able to respect you as their partner, that may be a friend that they don’t need to have.
5. Evaluating your friendship
If you are the one with the friend of the opposite sex, ask yourself a few questions.
- Does your partner know about your friend?
- Has your partner ever met your friend?
- Have you ever flirted with your friend?
- Have they ever flirted with you?
- Do you find yourself deleting messages to or from your friend?
- Do you hide any aspect of your friendship from your partner?
- Would you be comfortable with your friend and partner in the same room?
- Do you call your friend every time you and your partner have a fight?
- Do you fantasize about your friend?
- Can you see yourself dating your friend?
If you answered yes to any of these questions you might need to reevaluate your friendship with this person. If your partner does not know of your friend or has never met them, why or why not? Is there a reason you don’t feel comfortable having them both in the same room, or has the opportunity just not presented itself? If you are hiding or deleting messages or flirting with your friend, you’ve already crossed a line that shouldn’t have been crossed. If you are fantasizing about dating your friend, or being with them you probably already have some sort of romantic feelings for them which isn’t fair to your partner. I don’t believe a person should ever confide in a friend of the opposite sex regarding their relationship with their partner. I view that as being disrespectful and crossing the line. However, maybe some couples see no problem in that. Ultimately you and your partner must decide what you deem as inappropriate friendships, and what you will and will not tolerate and go from there.
Let’s say absolutely none of this is the case. You have a strictly platonic friend who your partner knows of, is comfortable with and you are both secure in your relationship. Why not have a friend of the opposite sex? I personally believe that when two individuals are both secure in their relationship and with themselves individually and their relationship is being respected, there is absolutely nothing wrong with having friends of the opposite sex.
So, do you feel comfortable with your partner having friends of the opposite sex?
Ashley Renee is a soul food enthusiast, sometimes vegetarian, spoken word poet, who doesn’t trust boxed macaroni or cats. keep up with her @ashleyreneepoet on twitter & instagram also check out her website. www.ashleyreneepoet.com