Post # 1
Another post raised my curiosity about this question. Would you have a problem with your SO spending alone time with others of your gender? Do you have limits, e.g. must be in a public place, can’t be dinner, must not be in their home? Assume no history of infidelity, no signs of infidelity, in other words, no specific reason to not trust your partner. Does your partner have issues with you spending alone time with people of his/her gender?
I was startled to discover some people inherently have an issue with this. A few objected to a grad school study partner studying at the home of one person. It *never* would cross my mind that this would be objectionable and I’ve definitely studied in my home with individuals during law school. I think nothing of having dinner with a male friend of mine without Darling Husband, nor would I have any problem with him seeing a female friend of his alone. In fact, I’ve even served as an official “date” at events when their partner wasn’t available or they were single. Now, generally I do invite him along and he chooses not to join. But, I also will setup something while he’s out of town, to keep myself busy. He’s also usually met them before and knows them, but I can think of at least one instance where I’ve been out to lunch with a friend he’s never met before several times (they did finally meet at our engagement party). There are some small limitations – I wouldn’t think of planning a dinner with an ex without letting him know first (but that’s never actually come up). But generally, I wouldn’t have a problem with dinner, going over to their house, etc. Nor does he have an issue with me doing this.
If Darling Husband had a general objection to me doing this, I would not be happy and we’d need to have a long conversation about trust. In fact, if he had a problem about this sort of thing, I’m not sure if he’d even be the type of person I would marry, because to me it’d not just show a lack of trust in me – it’d be asking me to give up a great many friendships and constrain them into small boxes – a big change.
If you would set limitations/constraints, describe below why, and what is not ok. Again: This assumes no particular reason to mistrust the people involved. It’s a general question not an “I can with anyone but George.”
ETA: This also assume no lying. (By “telling” in advance, I meant before setting the activity up with the friend. Not by just not being reachable that night and saying “oh yeah I was with Joe.” I clarified the poll option reflect that. ETA2: I do always tell him where I’ll be (often as I said, I invite him), but I will setup something at times without telling him before. I tend to be more social than him and keep our calendar so I know I am not overlapping activities.)
Post # 3
I have no issues and no limits.
I find it very unhealthy when people have to get ‘permission’ from their partners to do anything: be that spending time with a member of the opposite sex, having a girls/guys night out, going on holiday with the girls/guys, etc. To me, it smacks of insecurity and a lack of trust; neither of which are good in a healthy relationship.
Post # 4
I personally think this should have been a multiple option poll, but I’ll play, mostly because Darling Husband and I talked about this last night, based off of that post.
I’d want him to (1) tell me beforehand, and (2) keep it to public places. Of course, this excludes dropping someone off at home, and even walking them to their door if it was at night. DH has done both, and that’s just good manners. DH said that he’d expect the same from me, but he would add an addendum.
He said if it was someone I knew, that I was comfortable with, I should have no problem with him being in their home. But if it was, like in the situation of that post, someone I had met once or twice, he would not go, nor would he expect me to be okay with it.
He did say that in any situation, he would let me know first, but that’s pretty typical of our relationship, no matter what we’re doing. We’re big proponents of the “Going to the store/mall/gas station” text, not to ask permission, but just to keep each other updated on our days.
Post # 5
Honestly I do have a problem with this, but if it was in public places I would have less of a problem. But I guess I have a reason for having issues.
Early on in our relationship Fiance stayed over at my bestie’s house (he is also friends with her, they went to high school together, she is the one who introduced us) and slept in her bed, when there was a mattress on the floor in her room. Also when he and I were just friends they liked each other, they didn’t kiss or go out or anything, but once he groped her boobs. So let’s just say with that history I was EXTREMELY upset, nothing happened but still. And not to mention he lied and said that there was no mattress in the room, she couldn’t be bothered to get it.
So he promised faithfully that he wouldn’t be alone with her again. Well often over the course of our relationship he has broken promises over and over again (up until this year anyway). He went alone with her to a theme park. Although her mum drove them there she just sat inside the park near the entrance, they were alone for pretty much the whole time. I was LIVID.
So yes I have a big problem with him being alone with other girls not related to him. And as far as I know since that last incident he hasn’t been.
Post # 6
I definitely don’t need to be asked for permission, but if he wasn’t telling me where he was and he was alone with someone of the opposite sex I would feel a bit betrayed I think.
Post # 7
I would like to be told beforehand first. “Hey, going to do X with Susan.” First of all – I think it’s polite to just not vanish into thin air for a few hours. Let me know where you are in case something happens. Second- if you feel no qualms about letting me know the sex of the person you’re hanging with then I feel that there’s probably less of a chance anything is going on. If you have to hide the fact that the person you’re with is female then we have other issues. Why do you feel that way? Is there something you don’t want me knowing? Why do you feel I can’t find out you’re with someone of the opposite sex despite the fact that you know I’m ok with it? And yeah, I’d prefer if they were in public. Am I going to turn into a rage monster and demand it? No. But I trust his judgement on what he feels are appropriate and innappropriate activities and locations.
To me it’s just respectful. And I’d do the same for him. “Hey, going to get dinner with Bob.”
Post # 8
I think this needs to be a multiple option poll. I personally would not approve of my husband hanging out with some other female alone unless it was someone I knew very, very well.
Post # 9
@Quietserenity: I changed the poll to multiple options. I also clarified the telling beforehand as to be telling before setting the date rather than before you go on it. Not where you are out for two hours, he can’t reach you, you stroll in to say you had dinner with Joe.
Post # 10
i don’t think we would need to ask permission to do so but out of respect for each other we would let each other know. i would want to make sure he was ok with it but it’s not like asking for permission. just making sure that it won’t interfere with anything we had planned.
“would you mind if i met up with john for a drink after work?”
Post # 11
I responded on that previous post that you mention. I will offer some more from my point of view.
As I mentioned in the previous thread, I generally don’t feel comfortable alone with men (who I am not dating) anyway. I’m not trying to brag or anything, but I can honestly say that every guy friend I’ve ever known has at some point in our friendship confessed feelings for me. From personal experience, I don’t see how guys and girls can be good friends. At least not in my case. I find it stressful and awkward hanging out with guys alone, and I know that at some point I WILL be hit on. I’m in a relationship and I don’t want to receive male attention from another guy. It just makes me uncomfortable.
I guess I project that onto my boyfriend and I worry that if he was alone with some woman, she might be hitting on him. Logical or not, when you spend time alone w. someone, things can and do happen. I’m not convinced that it’s a trust issue.. it’s more of a staying away from ANY situation that could go badly. It’s kinda like if I want to eat healthy, I just won’t buy cookies, chips, etc… because if they’re in the house, there’s potential I might eat them. Simplified example lol but you get the idea.
In any case, my bf and I are both introverts and homebodies, and he doesn’t like hanging out w. people very much and neither do I. He hangs out w. his male friends when he feels the urge to socialize, and I do the same w. my female friends. A few months ago I went to dinner w. an old friend from high school who happens to be a guy (and he knows I won’t date him – he asked me for YEARS to go out w. him), and I did the courteous thing and asked my bf if he’s ok w. it. We went for food in a public place. I wouldn’t feel comfortable going to his place or mine. Not because I think something will happen… I just don’t think it’s appropriate, and it’s out of my comfort zone.
It really depends on the couple, though. If I were one of those girls who has a lot of male friends, obviously I wouldn’t be happy if my bf said ‘you can’t see them anymore’. I just think that there’s a certain line that should be drawn. Yes I would feel uncomfortable if my bf went to a woman’s home and was alone w. her. Things happen. Just avoid the situation in the first place. He goes out w. female colleagues all the time – for coffee type meetings. Fine by me. It’s about respect and each couple is different.
ETA: Sorry about how long this is!!!
Post # 12
I didn’t read the other post so I’m only answering for our situation: I’m somewhere between a straight “no I don’t mind” and “yes I want my SO to tell me before setting the meeting up,” not because he would need my permission, but ONLY because we both keep each other in the loop of our whereabouts all the time. so it’d be more like, “hey, do you mind if I hang out with <girl> tonight” to check if that conflicts w other plans we might have forgotten about, rather than the fact that the person is a girl. I would expect the same response from him no matter the gender of the person.
I actually have more male friends than dh has female friends–he has one very close female friend, who is also married, and it doesn’t bother me in the least when he sees her one-on-one (which is rare, usually we socialize as couples). to be honest, before I met her i was a little intrigued about their friendship since she’s the only one he actively makes plans with (aside from SOs of his guy friends). but I never felt the need to do or say anything about it. he also has met with random women bloggers for dinner before–he has a food blog, and let’s face it, most food bloggers are women, so if he’s networking with other bloggers, it’s women. doesn’t bother me at all–it’s a semi-professional situation, and I would never stand in the way of his interests. he’s gone to foodie-related meet up groups without me and ended up having dinner with all women as well. no big deal.
also, I would be really offended if dh questioned my hanging out with my male friends. most of them are people I know via grad school (I’m in a phd program) or work–again, it’s a semi-professional situation, even in social circumstances: these are people who will be my colleagues for years in my academic field and these social connections are really important in the long run.
all that said, this is what works for us because of our relationship: neither of us is naturally flirty, and we’ve never had trust issues about friends or acquaintances.
Post # 13
@canarydiamond: I appreciate you posting – it’s interesting to hear the other side of this because it’s so foreign. I would be very startled if a friend told me they couldn’t see me alone, but I might not register it if I never saw the friend without the partner. I’m now trying to think through my friends to see! But I think I’ve all seen them alone at one point or the other.
I definitely fall on the side that men & women can be friends. I think if you’ve had a history, you may not be able to (although you may), but I tried to isolate that out here in talking generalities. But, I also think even if one person is attracted to the other…it’s ok as long as no line is ever crossed. If the line is crossed, then yes, you need to treat the situation more carefully.
This situation has come up recently because my Darling Husband has a lower energy level than me. He doesn’t like to socialize as much, while I’ll be fine having dinner two nights with friends, a meeting for my non-profit another night, and a work meeting the final, etc. So a few weeks ago he temporarily removed my “authority” to plan events for the two of us (e.g. friend says dinner? and you say, let me check with Darling Husband, but tentatively how does Tuesday sound for the four of us). Rather than sit at home every night, I just plan on as before…but tell the friend that I doubt Darling Husband will make it, though I’ll ask.
This week, was busy. He opted to skip dinner Tues with the single male friend, I had a non-profit meeting Wed he obviously skipped and had a drink after with two of the married males while we succession-planned (we are Pres, VP & Treasurer), but he decided to join tonight for a late dinner with the single female friend flying in from London. Sat, he wants to go to a BBQ with friends. Tues, I’m not sure if he’ll join drinks with the college friend, but I suspect no. Since it’s midweek, college friend’s gf likely can’t join (lives out of state). I told him of the first friend before setting it up, but not the other two (London/college).
Post # 14
Other than telling me who and where or what they were doing, I don’t care. I have guy friends and he has girl friends and both of us trust each other.
Post # 15
We usually check in with each other if there is something either one of us wants to do without the other one, but it definitely isn’t asking for permission. We are both so incredibly busy and don’t have much alone time, so its more like “oh hey, we were supposed to do something friday can I do this instead.” His BFF is a girl though, so I got over that one pretty quickly. They have sleepovers sometimes (always on the couch) and its totally fine. I figure if they wanted to sleep together they would have sometime in the first four years of their friendship before we met.
Post # 16
No issues or limits, except of course the usual communication of where he’ll be and with whom. Darling Husband doesn’t have many friends that are girls that aren’t married or are family, so maybe that’s why. The only girls he spends one on one time with is his sister. I think he went out for breakfast a couple times with an old HS friend, but another friend was with them and she’s also married with kids.
No limits for me, either. I do let him know where I’m going or whom I’ll be with, same courtesy as I like from him. Darling Husband has known from day 1 that I have close male friends and I’ve gone on group outings with them, and have one on one supper get togethers with one of my closest friends that’s a guy. I think he’s just happy that I’m getting out when I tell him I’m going out with said friend.