No, we’re just friends…

The topic of maintaining platonic relationships has popped into my brain recently. Probably because last week I went out for lunch with a male coworker, he’s just a friend and we have fun getting together over beer and a meal. We talk about work, our respective spouses (in a good way!), our histories and lots of other stuff.

It’s all very harmless, but if people saw us going out together they might get the wrong idea. And this happened years ago when I was having dinner with another male friend when someone who frequented my martial arts dojo spotted us and promptly ran off and told Hubby.

“I saw your girlfriend with another man” he said

“Oh him? That’s just so-and-so. No biggie” Hubby shrugged.

When Hubby told me about the conversation, at first I laughed, but then wondered with minor irritation where that guy got off, sticking his nose where it didn’t belong and making assumptions. That is exactly how rumors get started and things turn into some idiotic high school drama. Then I remembered that this was the same guy who bragged about “using martial arts so he could get into bar fights”. Genius he was not, so I should have considered the source. Anyways, I have always been up front with Hubby and we keep each other aware of where the other is during the day and night. Not just because of safety precautions, but out of mutual love and respect.

But it just seems so weird to me that some people think a man and a woman can’t just ‘hang out’ with no sexual agenda. I’ve always been open to friendships with all kinds of people of various orientations, ages and ethnicities, so why not men too? Everyone is an individual, but getting to know men and women can give you a little bit of better insight into their way of thinking and possibly understand your partner better.

What do you guys think? Do you have a lot of friends who are the opposite sex?

Photo: http://summitjourneytowellness.blogspot.com/2010_02_01_archive.html

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10 thoughts on “No, we’re just friends…

  1. Lone Grey Squirrel

    Wow! A rare privilege to be the first to post! I totally believe that platonic relationships with the opposite sex is possible ……… even desirable. I think it is healthy and helps with our emotional growth. I also believe that the best thing that can happen is to fall in love with your friend. So there is a need to be cautious too. I think it is about understanding each others expectations and boundaries. If both people only want a platonic relationship then it is possible but oh dear if one of the two starts wanting more.

    I have maybe 3 -4 female friends with whom I have very successful deep and meaningful platonic relationships including one ex-girlfriend. My wife knows about them all and is okay because we have that mutual trust and respect that you mentioned. Besides, she knows that the only cheating I do is with my diet!

  2. Get Off My Lawn

    I share the sentiment in principle. But I think relationships are pretty complicated by nature. In my experience its awkward unless my spouse knows and is friendly with the individual in question. There are some female friends I have that are like family to both me and my spouse. But there are others she doesn’t really trust or doesn’t know. I have to be cognizant of how much time I invest in those particular friendships. And rightly so, don’t you think?

  3. L A Cochran

    Since college, I’ve always had male friends and sometimes more male friends than females. I went into a field that was predominantly male so that may have had something to do with it. Plus, I think I exhibit a lot of behavior that is generally ascribed (right or wrong) to men (direct, logical, yadayadayada.)

  4. Zhu

    Maybe it’s my friend side, but I have a lot of guy friends and I don’t see anything strange in that. Same goes with my friends in France! I find Canadians tend to hang out with people of the same sex, guys with guys and girls with girls. I don’t think much of it now but I remember it surprised me at first, and so did the annoying innuendo like “you are having dinner with a guy who isn’t your spouse?!”

  5. B

    I have a good amount of guy friends but most are single like me! There’s no one to run off and tattle too. You’re right though, this is exactly how rumors get started!

  6. Pauline Post author

    Lone Grey Squirrel-I agree that they are healthy and can help with your emotional growth, but yes, being clear on it being strictly platonic on both sides is very important. Wow you’ve managed to be real friends with your ex! That’s quite something. Most of my exes aren’t any kind of relationship material, so I’m not too keen on hanging around them.

  7. bevchen

    Most of my friends are of the opposite sex! Partly because the student residence I lived in here housed more males than females, but mostly because girls tend not to like me that much.

    I am also good friends with one of my exes (he’s in America though, so we don’t hang out). We made a terrible couple – nothing but fighting for our entire relationship! But as friends we were great. Looking back we should never have got together… Luckily after barely speaking for the first few months after we broke up, we realised not having the other in our lives at all would be terrible. He’s now married with a kid and I’m so happy for him!

  8. Pauline Post author

    Get off my Lawn-It’s definitely a good idea to introduce opposite sex friends to your partner and that they don’t have any serious objections to you hanging out with them. (Unless your partner is irrationally jealous all the time, then you’ve got some problems with your romantic relationship)

  9. Pauline Post author

    LA Cochran-Being in a male-dominated field would certainly cause someone to have more male friends (well unless their coworkers are all jackasses, lol) I’m also not the most “girly” girl and really don’t like a lot of stereotypical “female” activities, so it seems pretty reasonable for me to have male friends.

  10. Finola

    I love having both male and female friends but I’m not sure that everyone understands it. For me, I love the different perspectives that men provide and I wouldn’t give up my male friends for anything.

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