Post # 1
I was thinking this after reading another recent post. I’ve always struggled with opposite sex friendships–they never seem to be able to stay friends level for me (unless they’re my gay guy friends). And I’ve been working hard to accept that isn’t the case for everyone. For example, my hubby who had and has several close female friends. I really appreciated the girls that just accepted me and made me feel part of the friendship, too. And I still have issues with one who I simply don’t think has the pure heart my husband thinks she does.
So with my experiences and others’ posts: are any of you the female friend (single or not) with a guy in a relationship? What do you do to help his SO feel comfortable, if anything? What can she do to make YOU more comfortable? Do boundaries and hang out times change? What is reasonable to you? Do you think “friends first”? (I don’t–I think dating, yeah, friends first. But as soon as it’s an official relationship or the word girlfriend enters the picture, the SO should be the priority). But I really would love to hear input and learn how to handle this better myself!
Post # 2
No, I am not. I’m more like you. I’m not a huge believer in truly platonic friendships between hetero men & women. In my experience there is always some air of sexual energy within them. It could be faint or it could be strong, it could be one sided or both. But always present.
I don’t discount the idea that a true platonic friendship does exist somewhere, but I think it is the exception & not the rule.
DH and I do not have close friendships with the opposite sexes.
That’s just me. Others will feel very differently.
Post # 3
I think that I was… one of my best friends is male. We never dated but my mom always thought we would. We were there for each other during bad breakups and bonded. He’s now married with baby #2 on the way. When he first started dating his wife I think I was more worried about how she would feel about me than I needed to be. Shes lovely and I chat with her now as often as him and we always get together as couples. But at the beginning I could tell either he/she was hesitant and he never picked up or responded to msgs after work hours once they lived together. I think he was likely doing this to spare any drama or arguments but I really don’t know, we’ve never talked about it.
On the flip side, FI has a friend who is also an ex GF and she does make the effort to be friendly but I’m not a fan… She’s also getting married this year and since our engagement and her engagement a few months later she has been less present. I’m still 90% convinced she would have dated FI again if he was so inclined but he’s never had the interest. I trust FI but there was a time where I questioned him and my own insecurities but I must say it’s been better since she found a man haha
Post # 4
deedee2016: My best guy friends are currently single, but one of them was a in a long-term relationship for awhile. Maybe it was because I was in a relationship, so I understood how the girl might feel, but I was the one to “pull back” a little (not a ton – we were all in the same friend group). I had to remind him that it wasn’t “friends first,” but HER first.
For me, I worry that when my guy friends do meet the right girl, she’ll dislike me/not trust me just for my gender (hopefully, the fact that I’m married will help).
The SO should definitely be the priority. The SO can also help, though, by welcoming the platonic friend instead of automatically viewing her with suspicion. I want my friends to be happy – if you make him happy, I already like you! I want a chance to be friends with the girls they fall for, as well.
As for boundaries – imo, a healthy platonic relationship already has those, so they shouldn’t need to change much. But, yeah, the friend does have to understand that there are new demands on his time/attention.
I remember going with DH’s mom to pick him up from college, where he had some close platonic female friends. They were going on about missing him, and I almost felt bad that I was “taking” him away. I said something to that effect to one of his friends, and she immediately said I shouldn’t, that he was my SO first and their friend second. To this day, that girl is still one my favorite of his female friends – she just always seemed very respectful of our relationship. I think if both girls respect the other’s friendship/relationship with the guy and are willing to get to know each other, it can work just fine.
Post # 5
Yup, I am. One of my best friends is a guy who I actually met because he was a good friend of my ex. There was a very brief fling between us before I met my fiancé that I think is the reason we are able to be friends now. No wondering or anything just a “well, that didn’t work. Better as friends.” I’m not sure we would’ve been able to be where we are now if it hadn’t happened though. My fiancé is AMAZING about our friendship but I am also extremely open with him about it. My friend has told me recently though that all his girlfriends have hated me (never met any of them).
Post # 6
I have to say it honestly depends on the people. I have a few guy friends who I’ve known for years and they’re married and have kids and whatnot and we’re friend and it is what it is.
On the other hand, I had one relationship where he hated the idea of me having male friends, and took it upon himself to get rid of them for me (but it was ok for him to have female friends… double standard much?) anyway, long story short, the relationship ended, and slowly I started repairing my friendship with my friends.
So while everyone wants to think that any relationship is “the one” and will last forever, what happens if it doesn’t? What happens if all friends from before the relationship either partner had to give up? If all that is left is “couple friends” who are they going to side with after a breakup? A divorce?
I had a friend once who felt like once a couple was a couple, they couldn’t have single friends, male or female (as in her husband wasn’t allowed to continue being friends with his male friends who weren’t married). Once they had a kid, they didn’t have friends who didn’t have kids anymore (I don’t mean setting those aside, I mean a flat out “we have a kid now… we can’t be friends anymore” attitute). Which I thought was extremely overboard.
Like I said, just due to my own personal experiences is why I feel the way I do. Even now my FI will mention “hey is it ok if I go to such n such. So n so will be there (meaning any friend or even acquaintance he has who is female). Right now we live in different states. So sure, I could tell him no, but how to do I really know? For me, not being so “no you can’t… you have to live in the house and never leave it” makes me feel like I have control. But at the same time, I want the freedom to be friends with my friends (like I said, that comes from having my friends who “weren’t good enough” taken away from me and discarded and threatened [my ex threatened them if they were ever even near me or spoke to me that he’d… well, you get the picture]. I realize now that was the beginning of a very abusive relationship, isolating me from family and friends.
Post # 7
I am. I have had this friend since middle school. My friend’s now-wife was really hesitant to accept me at first – we have really different personalities and would not be friends of our own accord. She rarely said more than one or two words to me in response to small talk. I thought she was a bitch, but it turns out she’s just shy and we are so different that it was hard for us to understand each other at first. I think she found me overwhelming and I found her underwhelming so we never really hit it off.
In college, when they first met and were casually dating, I crossed the line once by going to my friend while upset about a boy. I don’t think he ever told her and neither did I. Nothing happened and never ever would (girlfriend or not), but I wouldn’t be thrilled about another woman choosing to vent to my DH about heartbreak.
Now that we are all married and settled down in the same town, I go out of my way to engage her instead of my friend. We have done a couple of “girls night” things and when we want to make plans with them, I always text her and we work it out with scheduling and whatnot. I try to limit my texting to my friend out of respect and because I want to improve my relationship with my friend’s wife. I interact with her on social media a lot and never him. I try to buddy up with her when we are all together so it’s like we are friends and the boys are friends, rather than that her husband and I are friends and our spouses are there lol.
It’s been working so far and I’m really happy – I don’t have a lot of girlfriends in this town so I’m working on being closer with her.
Post # 8
Yup. I have a few really great guy friends that are purely platonic. I guess beyond being nice to their SOs, I’ve never really thought specifically about how to make them comfortable. And I’ve never felt the need for them to make me comfortable. Its never really been an issue honestly. I just view it the same way as when my girlfriends get a new SO – awesome, I’m glad your happy and can’t wait to meet them. New SO = automatically part of the group with my friends.
Post # 9
Absolutely. I get along well with guys and have numerous purely-platonic guy friends.
What do you do to help his SO feel comfortable, if anything? If guy-friend and I are making plans, I always make it clear that GF is included/invited. If guy-friend and I have an inside joke, I always make sure to explain context to GF so that even if they don’t find the joke funny (time and place) they at least are part of the interaction. If it’s clear the GF is serious, I’ll also invite them to do 1 on 1 hang outs. I basically am friendly and outgoing and I respect boundaries.
There are definitely times that I don’t get along/like the GF. It’s SO much easier when I do, but if I don’t I just keep my mouth shut and hope that guyfriend comes to their senses along the way. I’m friendly and nice but I typically don’t offer to hang out one on one with the GF. I always still make sure GF knows they have an open invitation to anything guyfriend and I are doing though.
It’s awesome when I DO like the GF and typically it becomes a real friendship rather then “so and so’s girlfriend”.
What can she do to make YOU more comfortable? Stay open minded in the beginning and respect MY relationship with guyfriend. Usually, if the girlfriend stays open minded they’ll realize that I genuinely do not pose a threat in any way. I find girls way more open minded/trustworthy when I’m in a serious relationship (like now…being engaged).
I will say that while I’m bitter towards girlfriends when they screw with my friendships, I definitely realize where the blame really lies if a guyfriend drops me because girlfriend doesn’t like me. I had a really close guyfriend cut me off (after 4 years of tight friendship when he’d only been dating GF for 4 months) completely on request of GF. 2 years later they broke up, guyfriend came crawling back apologizing asking for forgiveness. I forgave him but never invested myself in the friendship again. I was frustrated with the GF for demanding it of him, but I was angry with him for acquiescing and not protecting our relationship.
I think girlfriends should come first in a reasonable sense, but there needs to be a balance.
Now I find it’s way less of an issue because A. I’m engaged so girls aren’t threatened by me B. I’m older and so most friendships have turned into “couple friendships” where all of us become friends and C. most of my guyfriends have improved in their taste of women so they date more secure and independent girls 🙂
Post # 10
deedee2016: I believe there can be good platonic friendships between men and women, without it getting sexual at all.
I have a few close male friends, married and single. There’s never been an issue. I had a slight crush on one, but never acted on it as he was dating someone, and it had long since passed by the time he met his wife. We talk about everything and if it’s been a while since I’ve heard from him, I’ll actually check in with his wife to make sure things are ok, as he has some chronic health issues, and when he “goes dark,” I worry that he’s in the hospital again.
FI’s best friend is a woman. She’s been around long before me and seen him through some trying times in his life. And I truly believe there is nothing there. They aren’t each other’s “type” at all (and they both definitely have a “type”), and honestly act more like brother and sister than anything.
With respect to making each other comfortable: Boundaries are huge. I met my friend’s wife around the same time he did and when it became clear it was getting serious, I deferred to her on things. FI’s best friend was reserved about me, because she saw him through a breakup that emotionally wrecked him and she was just looking out for him.
Take the time to get to know the SO. Include her in plans. Ask for her opinion on things relating to your friend and keep her in the loop. Isolating yourself from the SO is just going to make any jealousy issues worse.
Post # 11
Yep, one of my best friends is a guy. He and his girlfriend just had a baby too!
He told her about our friendship when they first started dating so I think that helped her not see me as a threat. I absolutley love her and how happy she makes my friend. I think them having an open communication about it before helped tons and I didnt just pop out one day and she had never heard of me before.
Same with my fiance, he knew I was friends with this guy and was fine.
Obviously the SO comes first but you can always plan a night to grab dinner or a drink to catch up on things. Or make it a double date so no one is left out.
Its a case by case basis Im sure and depends on the trust level in the relationship. I know a lot of people will disagree with having opposite friendships but in my case its one of the greatest friendships I could ask for.
Post # 12
Yes but he’s gay so no problems there! We’re both in relationships and both our SOs are fine with us hanging out together. We go to each other’s houses and bake together 🙂 The SO’s get invited but are never really interested in joining in for too long haha
Post # 13
bluebird22: I want to help bake!
deedee2016: One of my best friends is a guy and we go get beers all the time without his girlfriend. I just let her know how happy I am he found someone and she was cool with it.
Post # 14
I have a lot of guy friends, many of them in relationships. I don’t think much about it really…usually they know my fiance and I know their girlfriends/fiances/wives well and I think that makes it less weird. I’m thinking of one friend in particular where he and I are definitely great friends and we both have a significant other…all 4 of us have hung out, I’ve spent time with them together, but a lot of the times we’ve seen each other it’s been him and me grabbing a drink after work at our old job. His girlfriend was at that job too but sometimes on a different schedule. Honestly if you trust your SO that’s all you need. My fiance and I are absolutely each others’ priority and I think that’s obvious, but even if I were single I wouldn’t expect my guy friends to place me above someone they’re dating.
The one thing that has really hurt my feelings in the past is being great friends with a guy who then dates a girl who doesn’t let him have any female friends…I’ve lost a couple of friends I really care about that way. I think if you’re the girlfriend you should keep in mind that women are probably not out to get your man if they’re friends. They just value their friendship, and it can be very hurtful to them if their friend just stops speaking to them altogether. For me, my guy friends are 100% equal to my female friends, and I don’t treat them any differently.
Post # 15
My two best friends are male. But they are also my husband’s best friends. We all grew up together, and trust me, haha there is no “sexual tension.” I’m also still friends with an ex (from high school), and my husband is friends with him as well. I only see him once every few years since he’s in the Navy. I think opposite sex friendships can work, but everyone needs to be friends with everyone, if that makes sense.