Having close friends of the opposite sex while in a committed romantic relationship is something many couples fight over. I know that for me, it’s something that has caused disagreements in my past romantic relationships. To avoid any miscommunication, couples need to define and agree upon boundaries for these types of friendships. Opposite sex friends don’t need to pose a threat to your relationship, if you keep in mind these three general checkpoints: It’s acceptable to have opposite sex friends when:
- You don’t have romantic, “wish you were mine” feelings for your opposite sex friend. If the friendship is currently platonic but you wish it were more, it’s not fair to your partner. It’s kind of a big deal if you’re in love with your opposite sex friend.
- You are comfortable bringing your significant other around that friend. It sounds like common sense, but you’d be surprised how many people feel they can’t have a comfortable social interaction with their significant other and opposite sex friend. Can the three of you hang together without it being awkward? If not, does your significant other need more time to get comfortable with your opposite sex friend, or is it just never going to happen? Be sure to ask that question and make your significant other comfortable providing an honest answer.
- You don’t first go to your opposite sex friend when you have a personal problem and/or are looking for emotional support. Your significant other should be the one who you go to first, he/she is your partner in crime, your rock, your other half. If you would rather discuss theses matters with your opposite sex friend, then that friendship may be inhibiting you from forming a deeper relationship with your significant other. If this is the case, he/she would have every right to feel threatened by your opposite sex friendship.
Remember to establish opposite sex friend boundaries together with your significant other, and, most importantly, be respectful of them. For some couples, boundaries with opposite sex friends could mean no hanging out alone (especially if alcohol is involved), or it could simply mean limiting the amount of phone calls and texts. Everyone’s opposite sex friend thresholds are different, the key is to communicate and define your limits. By doing so, you and your significant other can make the decision together if it’s a “Yay” or “Nay” to that opposite sex friend.