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why do I always pick men with a 'female friend'!

(74 Posts)
timetofaceit Mon 01-Apr-13 18:42:17

I know its acceptable these days to have friends of the opposite sex, but it always seems to cause problems in my relationships. My ex husband had a 'female friend' at first I was fine with it, he was honest about her, it didn't bother me in the slightest, however later on in the relationship it started causing problems as she clearly didn't want anything to do with me and would invite him to things and not me till in the end he was out socializing with just her leaving me on my own. I hated it but kept it to myself for years then various things happened I just couldn't keep quiet anymore, it caused alot of problems.

My last ex who was actually abusive as well, had a 'friend' who was female, at first I was laid back about it, but then simular things happened she didn't want to meet me, she would buy him really unappropiate gifts, I had to leave his house sometimes when she was coming as she didn't want me to be around, anyway that caused alot of problems.

Now however I have met someone else, very happy a single dad who has his 2 children 50% of the time, does a fantastic job does his share of school runs etc so has got to know the other mums especially through his kids friends. He's mentioned one of them having twins and his kids were really good friends with them. They have since moved schools and it seems they stay in touch anyway today they met up with the dogs and the kids went for a canal walk and a drink at the pub. I think its innocent he has said she's not his type but has also hinted that maybe she quite liked him and is single. Am I being a little too suspicious and worrying about nothing due to past issues or would this ring alarm bells with you. I want honest opinions thanks

SanctiMOMious Mon 01-Apr-13 18:58:53

I think it depends. If they were both single at the same time and he left it there and is now going out with you, I would trust him, but I wonder if she has given up? If he's a sahd, he's bound to have a few 'mum friends'.

It is not as bad as an x i had who had a friend he was in love with. He would drop her name into the conversation, and when I finally called him out on it, he tried to make me feel that I was the jealous type blah blah blah. But even then he was enjoying having a reason to talk about her. Eventually I had to say to him look buddy it's obvious that you fancy her and that she doesn't feel the same way and that you're only with me cos she won't have you, and you humiliate both of us advertising that" funny, after I'd said it out loud I'd finished with him in about 48 hours. I said 'good luck with *&^%^". She didn't rush into his arms. Stupid man!

I have a female best friend. In fact, most of my closest friends are female. Has always been so. The first people I introduced my last ex to were two of my closest female friends. She was fine. At first. But she basically felt I should NEVER socialise with any of them unless she was also present. As time passed, she made it even more clear that she had problems with me having female friends and particularly took against my best friend. Never been anything between us, never will. My friend made a lot of effort with my ex but my ex just didn't like the fact we were close. Did things all 3 of us but my ex was never terribly friendly to my friend.

Got to the point where I would omit telling my ex I had met up with my best friend - not so much an outright lie but a lie by omission - because it just saved grief. Realised that wasn't on - to anyone. So I told my ex that my female friends were around before she was and I was not prepared to cut any of them out of my life just because she was insecure (as she had made comment about two other female friends, I also knew that it was the whole "bloke having other female friends" that was the issue, not just my best friend).

Suffice it to say, she is now my ex, I still have all my female friends and I have still never slept or kissed my best friend (or any of them).

timetofaceit Mon 01-Apr-13 19:06:44

Oh they're such idiots aren't they these men, my ex used to love the attention he got off this woman, he didn't fancy her I'm sure of that but he used to just lap up the attention it was ridiculous really, both relationships were there was a female 'friend' involved were doomed, which is why this is making me nervous but it coud be nothing! grrrrr

timetofaceit Mon 01-Apr-13 19:15:20

Voiceofunreason, I think in the past if they had introduced me to them and they were friendly towards me it may have been a bit different yes, but there was obviously some jealousy there in my situation for them not wanting to meet me and both exs putting their feelings first used to annoy me. They didn't like it if I had a male friend infact I actually dropped mine because of it. I know it works within some relationships but there has to be a line I think and trust and a tad of understanding by all parties about how the other feels. It has now made me wary with this new guy even when he's been quite honest about what he's doing ohhhh relationships!!!!!!!!!!!!! I probably am a little insecure too!

SanctiMOMious Mon 01-Apr-13 19:27:01

VoiceofUnreasons friendships might have been innocent in a sexual way but I can understand why his girlfriends would be upset that he continued to be very close to other women. Also, for a man to have a female friend who is his 'best friend' and for there to be nothing sexual, I would wonder if he compartmentalises. One type of woman for shagging and one type of talking to. What I mean is, I can understand not wanting that in a relationship. It doeesn't mean you're "jealous" or "paranoid" or whatver. I just thought to myself for fuxache, good bye and good luck with *rachel. Being made feel less interesting, less deserving of confidences, or that your own boyfriend is better able to let his guard down and relax more with other women, well, it might be innocent from "his side of the fence" to coin a new mn phrase, but if the woman doesn't want to put up with that then I don't think she's being unreasonable or paranoid or jealous . If the relationship is making you feel second best then that's not good.

timetofaceit Mon 01-Apr-13 19:34:46

thats how both of these exs made me feel ...second best! They prefared to do things with them, the last one used to tell me regularly his friend was better at things than I was, it was an awful situation one I'm glad to be out of, but I don't know how to handle this one, do I say something so he knows what I will or won't put up with or will that just come across that I'm a psycho jealous control freak ??

SanctiMOMious Mon 01-Apr-13 19:44:39

Well, don't tie yourself up in knots like a court case, trying to establish if you have a right to feel second best or not. The point is that that is how the relationship with this man is making you feel.

Another woman might be fine with it. She might compartmentalise in the same way. See the bf very much as a sexual relationship only and have male friends for companionship. I'd really rather the two overlap. That's not an unreasonable thing to want. And I'm not the jealous type. I'm the type not to bother with relationships that make me feel bad.

Lavenderhoney Mon 01-Apr-13 19:47:10

If he hasn't done anything other than meet an old friend then there's not much to worry about.

Maybe she wanted to meet him because she is now single ( don't know the backstory) and liked him. Assume he said no, I'm in a relationship? And didn't discuss it?

Women friends fit round the relationship, just like male ones. If she is newly single, she is probably lonely as your married friends think ( and its a cliche) you are after their dh. Just carry on as normal, but if she begins to rely on him emotionally or lots of meet ups to which you aren't invited I would be quite upfront about it.

My dh has female friends. He always invites me along and they don't go in for long personal chats etc. more acquaintances really I think. He hasn't got time anyway, I keep him busysmile

Scrazy Mon 01-Apr-13 19:47:58

I don't know what to advise, maybe see how it goes and relax for now, unless it really is a deal breaker for you.

The last guy I was seeing had a few female friends and in the end I finished it. I suspected that there was something going on with them, why wouldn't I? He isn't in a relationship with them now but still it was a head fuck.

timetofaceit Mon 01-Apr-13 19:52:29

thanks sanc , this relationship isn't really a serious one yet and I do have a tendancy to worry about things before they even happen lol, but you see I haven't met his kids yet or him mine so we couldn't go for a walk altogether anyway, so I don't feel second best YET I'm just worrying I guess hate myself sometimes, but I do feel with this man I can talk to him so maybe when I see him and the time is right I could to have a chat with him, just needed somewhere to sound off. Past relationships do have such an effect on things

timetofaceit Mon 01-Apr-13 19:55:52

scrazy lol I know what you mean exactly. Both times I thought I could handle it both times I just ended up miserable. I won't stay with him if this sort of thing continues as I know I can't handle it wrongly or rightly that and moody men I can't deal with! but its early days yet.

Scrazy Mon 01-Apr-13 20:06:08

It was the lying by omission that got to me. I always found out about their meetings, after the event, guess he didn't want to jeopardize the here and now by actually telling me of his plans. It was the attention he needed from a variety of women and I felt like I wasn't appreciated.

Rachel184 Mon 01-Apr-13 20:06:24

No, you're not being unreasonable. Probably will go down like a lead balloon with some, but men and women can be friendly but not the kind of mates that go out together, alone and on a regular basis.

I say this because, women and men who are straight are normally friends by a common denominator. This could mean they are exes, maybe hung around in a group together which once lead to a little snog and didn't quite make it to the next level, so there's still some attraction there.

Unless your childhood friends and have remained close with no physical contact, said friends may end up in a sticky situation. One could develop feelings and get pissed and lunge (has happened to a friend of mine). Or don't quite want one another enough to get it on, so to speak, but do not want anyone else to have them either. Hence your ex with the girl friend who cut you out completely.

I think it's fine, if they include you and your all friendly together. But if he has a female friend, who he spends alone time with (and of course if she's easy on the eye and single) and he refuses to quit his alone time with her, you will understandably not trust him 100%.

Move on and find a bloke who enjoys male company! Lol. wink

Scrazy Mon 01-Apr-13 20:13:06

I agree with Rachel184. There is usually attraction on one side in these situations.

timetofaceit Mon 01-Apr-13 20:13:17

I think I will see if it happens agai and take a chill pill for now, time will tell I guess x

SanctiMOMious Mon 01-Apr-13 20:25:16

They do timetofaceit I was in an abusive relationship. Not the last one, but the one before. It has made me incapable of tolerating any bullshit. I know some women who've been abused once bounce from one class of dickhead to the next, but I went the other way and I just can't deal with with any disrespect whatsoEVER. I make a good girlfriend though. I am respectful, kind, good humoured blah blah blah so I'm only expecting what I offer myself. Saying that, I've been single for five out of the six years since I left the abusive x. So I'm not saying it's easy to get these relationships that make you feel only good, and never bad.

WafflyVersatile Mon 01-Apr-13 20:30:12

In the second relationship I don't think your problem was the friend, it was your abusive ex. Maybe she didn't want to meet you because he told her shitty stuff about you. Maybe he lied. etc.

In the first relationship you're a bit vague about what the actual problem was. If it was a male mate would it be a problem that they were his mate not yours? When I'm single especially, I prefer to spend time with my mates without their partners some, or even all of the time if I'm not keen on the partner or if being with them both makes me uncomfortable. Most of my friends are women but the same holds true with men. I probably make more effort to spend time with the partner then so as not to be the invisible female friend.

I think it is hard sometimes to be completely comfortable with our partners having good friends of the other sex.

I guess you just have to be honest with your partner about your past experiences and how they make you feel and that it's about how you feel not a judgement on his friendship. Ask for some consideration on this and see how it goes.

timetofaceit Mon 01-Apr-13 21:16:52

I dunno I think with the previous relationships to be honest noone handled it well and I include myself in that. The female friends, the men and me, it just ended up doing my head in, made me miserable even when I thought I could handle it. I never want to be in that situation again. I do have other friends though that it doesn't bother in the slightest no jealousy but it has alot to do with how the partners deal with it. My friend doesn't feel threatened at all she feels the most important to her partner but when I used to describe my situation she thought it was ridiculous. Just can't handle that again!

handmedownqueen Mon 01-Apr-13 21:54:35

I have been with my DH 23 years and have an extremely close male friend that I work with and run with. We speak daily and see each other without reference to our OHs. Our OHs are welcome in our relationship and we all see each other at times but ultimately we have a love of training and the same work in common so that's what our relationship is centred on. We speak daily. There is NO attraction on either side, never has been, never will be. I have had a male friend in the past where I had to end the friendship as he was attracted to me and crossed a line. I don't accept that all M F friendships are fraught with danger nor that it means that your new partner should not be able to see his FF however it does require trust and openess and if he assures you there is no attraction why not trust him?

thezebrawearspurple Mon 01-Apr-13 22:07:51

Avoid feminised men. Go for men who have male interests and have lots of male friends.

The reason I have so many female friends is that, for me, it is totally normal. I was at infants school in a large village. In my class of 21, there were only 5 boys - two of whom didn't live in that village and one who belonged to a religious group (Plymouth Brethren) that didn't mix. Therefore it was perfectly normal and natural to me to have female friends from the age of 4!

My ex was jealous of female friends who weren't single and happily married! Whom I had known for 20-odd years. Whom I had tried to involve her with from DAY ONE.

Of course it is perfectly possible to close friends of the opposite sex and there to be no attraction whatsoever. I actually find it offensive to basically say that if a man and a woman are friends one of them MUST have feelings for the other or will at some point, or that one must compartmentalise people into "shaggable" and "non shaggable"??? Please. To value someone only on that basis is pretty narrow minded.

My best friend is the sister I would have liked to have (I'm an only child). We've gone on holiday together when we have both been single. We've never got pissed and kissed the other. And I would have NO problem with a girlfriend of mine having a close male friend. I agree, if there is an issue over being made to feel second best or more time is spend with a friend than a partner, that's a different kettle of fish. And I will swear on my goddaughter's life that I have NEVER had romantic/physical attraction to ANY of my female friends.

I also think it is generational to some extent. It is much more common for opposite sex friends now than it was 20, 30, 40, 50 years ago.

WafflyVersatile Tue 02-Apr-13 00:20:22

tbh I'm struggling to think of any cross sex friendships I have where there wasn't an attraction on one side at one time or at the very least some idle wonderings...

Maybe a couple. Both had a lot of female friends and we were flatmates. Sharing a toilet and morning grumpiness with someone you weren't already in lust with doesn't foster romantic feelings I find.

Scrazy Wed 03-Apr-13 09:43:03

Hi Voice, sorry if you felt offended, I do believe you that you and your female friends are purely platonic with no feelings on either side. It's been different ime, that's all.

SanctiMOMious Wed 03-Apr-13 13:17:19

that's all very reasonable voice ofreason but fact is from a gf piv it still makes u a less atractibe bf. just knowing you all this time for other women, that u have ended relationships with a partner for your relationships with married women..... fair enough of course but women who say 'pass thanks' on the chance to be just one woman in your life arent jealous or unreasonable. it's just not what they want. if i go out with a man, i want to be the one he considers his best friend. i think that is a normal thing to want. it's not a sex/jealousy issue. how close can u be to somebody who is close to three or four other women, who know his history as well!? that would just be an offputting factor.

SanctiMOMious Wed 03-Apr-13 13:20:10

that's all very reasonable voice ofreason but fact is from a gf pov, it still makes u a less atractibe bf. just knowing you all this time for other women, that u have ended relationships with a partner for your relationships with married women..... fair enough of course but women who say 'pass thanks' on the chance to be just one woman in your life arent jealous or unreasonable. it's just not what they want. if i go out with a man, i want to be the one he considers his best friend. i think that is a normal thing to want. it's not a sex/jealousy issue. how close can u be to somebody who is close to three or four other women, who know his history as well!? that would just be an offputting factor.

Viviennemary Wed 03-Apr-13 13:25:05

Personally I don't agree with this female friend business. It so often ends in tears. As has proved again and again on those threads. Not saying it always does.

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Wed 03-Apr-13 13:35:08

Oh God what a depressing thread. I don't doubt that sometimes friendships overstep the mark but in general who gives a shit what gender your OH's friends are?

If they are unfriendly towards you (male or female) then yes, say something, but to tell someone they can't have female friends because (a) they might have sex with them or (b) they are somehow usurping your position in his affections is just sad.

My DH spends pretty much all of his time with other women - he is SAHD - and I think it's great - far better than being dragged out to competitive drinking nights or following a crappy football team to the end of the country.

<sigh> I think I'm going to regret this post...

sanctimonious - I have ended ONE relationship with one partner because she had insecurity issues over the fact that I had female friends. I did not spend more time with them than her, but she basically felt I should spend very little time with them and never without her. I think that is unreasonable and basically makes me feel I am untrusted. And without trust, a relationship is nothing.

I am quite happy for a partner to BECOME my best friend (and that's when you are living together and/or married, not just "going out with") and my best friend to be become 'second best friend' to some extent. But I don't think it right that a partner can and should dictate who I can or can't be friends with because of her issues. I would never ever state that my partner couldn't have male friends or decide who they could or couldn't spend time with.

I know lots of people who have very close friends of the opposite sex, some married, some single. I know a guy who had a female 'best man' at his wedding. His wife had no issue. They are still married, with kids, blissfully happy. He still sees the female best man (who is also married) separately and also both couples together.

I am NOT saying it works for everyone and I can see others have had problems with it. What I object to is people basically saying it CAN'T work and "isn't right". It's rather blinkered and old fashioned and generally stems from someone's insecurity and trust issues and it is that that causes a problem, not the actual friendship.

MooncupGoddess Wed 03-Apr-13 13:38:27

I am single and have lots of male friends (single/gay/married). Sometimes I even go for drinks alone with married men shock. I have also been in relationships with men who had lots of female friends.

It's never been a problem but there are some key rules, basically summarised by the phrase 'be a friend to the marriage (or relationship)'. If your boyfriend's female friends aren't interested in meeting you, or aren't polite, or step over boundaries (e.g. inappropriate presents) then you have a problem, and it's not just the female friends who are at fault - your boyfriend should be on your side and telling his female friends that if they don't behave appropriately the friendship is over.

However, being jealous just because your partner has female friends who he occasionally likes to go for a beer with is the path to madness.

malinois Wed 03-Apr-13 13:40:53

I would be deeply suspicious of any man who didn't have any female friends. Why would you want to select friends by gender?

MooncupGoddess Wed 03-Apr-13 13:41:22

Yes exactly UnexpectedItem. I have a friend who is a SAHD and he has lots of nice female friends who he and the kids hang out with. He knows where the lines are and his wife is very level-headed and not the sort to strop because he went for a coffee with another woman.

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Wed 03-Apr-13 13:52:11

Ah thank you - voices of reason enter the thread MooncupGoddess (truely inspired name BTW) and malinois (although VoiceofUnreason is also a voice of reason I think.

The ability to maintain a good friendship with women without shagging them is a big tick in my book.

Unexpected - oddly enough, I was chatting to a friend (a female, shock horror) about this subject recently and she said she finds guys who have female friends far more sympathetic/empathetic and better in relationships than guys who have no female friends (she finds those without female friends tend to be more controlling too). That's her experience, of course. She also says it's great to be able to get a bloke's perspective on things from time to time.

SanctiMOMious Wed 03-Apr-13 13:58:33

well voice, u kind of missed my point! it's not a question of one way or another way being right or wrong. it just wouldnt appeal to me (and many other women) to b one of several very close women in your life.
Big of u to concede that your gf might your first best friend and your standby best friend might become a secondbbest friend... :-0 do u wanna do up a spreadsheet there?!
what would turn me off that kind of relationship with a man such as yourself is the script u present that objections would be down to insecurity! no. i am such good company, so funny, reasonable etc .... that any truly eligible boyfriend would know without a doubt i was his best friend . he wouldnt need to temporarily reshuffle me in hos hierqrchy of important women!

SanctiMOMious Wed 03-Apr-13 14:02:14

so . point being. women can chose to say no thanks buddy. move on if the relationship makes u feel bad. no matter how unreasonable u r made feel for having your own standards. men who wont be told who they can or cant have as friends have standards.and you have them too. good luck!

Sanctimonious - that's your choice. But there was no need to be so ridiculously sarcastic over the way I chose to word something; most women will regard their partner as their best friend, quite rightly, but I bet most of them still have someone else they still term a 'best friend'. Are you really SO outstandingly wonderful that a man should never want to even SPEAK to another woman who is friends with? Wow.

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Wed 03-Apr-13 14:05:33

SanctiMOMious I won't be told who I can and can't be friends with by my DH, but I wouldn't want to maintain a friendship with someone who was mean to my DH. Same goes for him.

VoU I agree with your friend - my experience also.

SanctiMOMious Wed 03-Apr-13 14:13:29

i have had bfs with female friends. but i knew i came first and there was no underlying threat (said or unsaid) of accept this or it is over.
i was concerned that the op has a vulnerability in this area. she could be TOLD to accept something that made her unhappy on the grounds that SHE was flawed and unreasonable if she didnt.
reckon most people on this thread marching to the beat of their own drum. but op sounds conflicted.

SanctiMOMious Wed 03-Apr-13 14:15:19

voiceofunreason, i thought i was FUNNY with my spreadshheet joke. caustic!? wha'? im am not caustic.

A smiley might have been wise, in that case

SanctiMOMious Wed 03-Apr-13 14:22:10

thino your comment "are you really so wonderful ..." etc is 1) far ruder than anything i said/joked to you and it's also putting words in my mouth. never said a bf shouldnt talk to a woman. you are missing my point. and missing it. there is not one correct script in these situations. both parties can choose in or choose out. and you are the one arguing that your 'script' is correct or justified. im saying that's not the point. so for point this out with a joke to try and lighten it, i get called caustic. do you have a label for everybody who doesnt see the world thru YOUR eyes. ?

I thought you were being rude, so I was possibly being rude back. Quid pro quo. I apologise.

But actually, I have NOT said my viewpoint is more relevant. I am merely saying, as have others, that there is nothing necessarily wrong in anyone having good friends of the opposite sex. But I do think, as do others, that it is wrong for someone to decide who their partner can or can't be friends with based on gender ALONE.

newbiefrugalgal Wed 03-Apr-13 14:31:06

my DH had an affair with his so called just a female friend!

newbiefrugalgal Wed 03-Apr-13 14:31:23

not DH - typed that too quickly.

Scrazy Wed 03-Apr-13 14:39:04

I think as in most friendships there is usually something in it for both parties. I can understand that with same gender friendships but wonder a little about close friendships of the opposite sex. Is it female company that men get from it and if that is what they want why not concentrate on the woman that is sleeping with him and giving him so much more.

Scrazy, no it's not company it's friendship. The gender is irrelevent. Put it this way...

I enjoy playing badminton occasionally. I'm not great at it, but I enjoy it from time to time. The woman that is sleeping with me and giving me so much more hates badminton and won't play the occasional game with me. I have no male friends who play badminton but I have a female friend who does. So I might play a game with her now and again.

What's wrong with that?

Viviennemary Wed 03-Apr-13 15:15:05

Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles. Just such good friends. hmm

Scrazy Wed 03-Apr-13 15:15:37

That is fine and understandable, I wouldn't have a problem with a bf playing badminton with a female partner. That is them both getting something out of it. It's the spending special time together, going out for meals and sleepovers which wouldn't be acceptable to me if it was with someone I am trying to establish a relationship with.

Vivienne - yes, we do know that SOMETIMES it happens. It doesn't mean that every single male/female friendship goes that way.

Scrazy - so, I could play badminton with my friend, but not have a drink or a meal with her afterwards?

Scrazy, you and I have had private messages on this subject in the past so we know each other's personal circumstances, but I think most reasonable people would agree sleepovers would probably be a boundary line not to be crossed.

God, When Harry Met Sally has a lot to answer for....

DadOnIce Wed 03-Apr-13 15:26:17

What on earth are "feminised men" hmm and "male interests" hmm ?

Having a healthy mix of friends is part of being a grown-up. If people assume their DHs/ DPs want to shag every woman they're friendly with, they can't think much of them, frankly.

I'm sure I remember reading somewhere that men who have healthy relationships with their sisters are generally kinder and more respectful to women in later life. In fact, the more "non-sexual women" a boy or young man knows, the better he will treat women.

This is why I'm glad mine are going to mixed schools. It's inevitable they will have friends of both genders. Should they stop seeing the ones without the appropriate genitalia when they get into relationships? What about gay men and lesbians? Are the boundaries different? Bizarre "rulings" some women have.

Dad - well said.

And presumably if someone had a partner who was open about being bisexual and had had partners in the past of either sex wouldn't be allowed to have ANY friends of EITHER sex, because they might want to shag ALL of them?

SanctiMOMious Wed 03-Apr-13 18:47:16

that's a bit of a leap. you are still arguing that x position on the subject of opposite sex friends is "right" and backing that up with some different situation that loosely compares (possibly) and using that as proof that your beliefs are right.

SanctiMOMious Wed 03-Apr-13 18:54:09

ps voice, this is about the third time making this point to you now, but the issue is so much more than whether a boyfriend wants to shag female friends. there are a million other things at play. how she feels, their shared history, his loyalties to female friends compared with his liyalties to a gf, how much time spent with female friends, concession to gf's feelings, confidences and who holds them! that post you made about bisexual couples makes me wonder if you read my posts confused

im a very trusting person as it happens. i dont know if i should be as trusting as i am when every male friend ive ever had has tried to snog me or tequila me.... smile

SanctiMOMious Wed 03-Apr-13 18:58:43

lol at mixed schools being a cure to the disease of not wanting to be joint third on some guy's list. i went to a mixed school.
i quite like the sound of a feminine man though. he sounds nice. but a truly feminised man would have the empathy and the sensitivity to clearly prioritise a gf, and he'd have the emotional intellugence to see that in a relationship u have less time for members of the opposite sex. bring me one of these feminised men please. actually bring me three and ill play them all off against each other. grin

Anyone who starts laying down the law about what pre-existing friendships a new partner is allowed to maintain is a paranoid whinyarse to be dumped sooner rather than later. 'Baww, my last partner cheated' is not a justification for clingy, controlling, stalkery behaviour. People are not property and there is more to live than the frantic pursuit of monogamy anyway.

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Wed 03-Apr-13 19:08:58

<applauds SGB >

<also applauds SGB>

SanctiMOMious Wed 03-Apr-13 19:18:13

Whilst there is obviously more to life than the pursuit of monogamy, if I was already in a relationship with somebody who defended behaviour that upset me with that little soundbite, I would have to kcik them to the kerb quite quickly, and I suspect SGB, you would do that too.

The issue for me here is not whether-or-not-the-bf-will-have-sex-with-these-friends it's all the other issues I've listed out about four times now. Priorities, sensitivities and concessions that would in fact all still be relevant in a gay or bi-sexual relationship.

perhaps it's because i went to a mixed school that I get this. wink

But, sure, ignore the complexities! carry on boiling it down to one very simple issue about shagging and then tell me I'm all hung up on whether friends are male or female hmm illogical.....

Scrazy Wed 03-Apr-13 19:19:52

SGB, monogamy is desirable when you meet someone you have strong feelings for. It's hard to imagine how much until you do.

SanctiMOMious Wed 03-Apr-13 19:31:57

Scrazy yes, anybody of either sex who believes that the pursuit of monogomy is ridiculous is not going to be a person who will make you feel secure, loved and valued. I'm not an insecure person but I could be insecure in a relationship if I was told in no uncertain terms that any existing relationships would continue, unchanged, with no concession to the relationship whatsover. Bottom line, if you are in a relationship that makes you feel insecure, second best and underappreciated, then move on because you are worth more than that.

Scrazy Wed 03-Apr-13 19:56:31

I'm not insecure either and am a firm believer that people will do what they want to do but I would and have left when someone repeatedly tests me with lies by omissions re their female friends.

Scrazy: not everyone wants monogamy. Monogamy is neither inevitable nor superior. It's because people are constantly told that monogamy is the ideal that a lot of monogamous relationships end up in a miserable mess for all concerned. Sure, some people are naturally monogamous - it's just another sexual orientation/fetish - and that's fair enough, but those who are not are generally better and happier people when they acknowledge that, are honest with themselves and other partners, and also are allowed to live the way they see fit without other people trying to change them or bully them or label them as 'damaged' or any other crap.

piprabbit Wed 03-Apr-13 23:07:02

I spent 16 years of my career working and socialising with men. There were many, many more men in my industry than women and it was my colleagues who made my job enjoyable and worthwhile. Some of them have continued to be friends even though they and I have changed companies and careers.

I find it really sad reading this thread that some women seem to be suggesting I can't be friends with any of these men because it might upset a current or future girlfriend. It's also horribly rude to assume that I am a mad, untrustworthy bitch with a long term goal to steal someone else's man... just because I'm a woman.

QuacksForDoughnuts Wed 03-Apr-13 23:09:13

The issue wouldn't be playing badminton and having a meal after - it would be, say, HAVING to play badminton and go for a meal and several drinks EVERY (say) Wednesday FOREVER, with boyfriend and his friend sulking if girlfriend suggests that her birthday/the couple's anniversary/her family member's funeral that she could do with hand-holding through/the fact that her waters are breaking while he's hunting out his racket might be a reason to cancel just once. And if she ever suggests joining them for a drink, it's a total scandal because THEIR TIME is OMGSACRED, but the friend can never be asked nicely to call back later and must never hear the terrible words 'sorry I can't meet you today, I'm spending time with my gf, how about tomorrow?'. Nobody in my current situation is that extreme, although one friend in particular tends to have really, really awful timing for wanting to speak to OH and it apparently has to be that moment. But I have total sympathy with the OP, having had worse experiences on that score in the past - it does sensitise you and make you see big signs that aren't necessarily there looming behind the small ones that are.

MooncupGoddess Wed 03-Apr-13 23:14:35

SGB - I think one can also distinguish between sexual monogamy and emotional monogamy. There are lots of people who are basically happy being sexually monogamous and would be very upset if their partner had a physical relationship with someone else, but don't have a problem with their partner having strong friendships with other people, including those of the opposite sex.

Whereas some people, including the posters on this thread who don't get or feel threatened by male-female friendships, want their partners all to themselves and cannot bear the idea of them being down the pub with an opposite-sex friend discussing life, the universe and everything. I find this possessive attitude rather chilling, but each to their own.

SanctiMOMious Wed 03-Apr-13 23:15:12

SGB The OP wants it I'm guessing.

I agree with you that it's certainly not inevitable though, as it never happens to me. I agree with you that it's not superior as I have little time for smug marrieds who might think 'phew at least i'm married despite being dull, fat, ugly {insert or delete as applicable}.

I've been single a long time and I've had time to think about it all. What I want, what I can offer! what is in or out of my control. And whether monogomy is superior or inferior, most people who bother to enter into a relationship would be hurt if the other cheated. if you're not hurt then end it.

I truly do want it. And I'm definitely not too stupid to know what I want. I'm not being fooled by society into thinking I want it. For as long as it works. Then Bye.

SanctiMOMious Wed 03-Apr-13 23:17:20

piprabbit read the thread a bit more carefully smile

piprabbit Wed 03-Apr-13 23:32:13

I read it all - and it is really depressing.

Scrazy Thu 04-Apr-13 10:09:17

I find it really sad reading this thread that some women seem to be suggesting I can't be friends with any of these men because it might upset a current or future girlfriend. It's also horribly rude to assume that I am a mad, untrustworthy bitch with a long term goal to steal someone else's man... just because I'm a woman

Piprabit, where on the thread did anyone say this?

SGB, have you never met anyone who you wanted to be exclusive with? Ever? I haven't met many in all my years. I haven't got upset with most men I've been seeing if they were spending time with other women and or sleeping with them, that's why I've ended those relationships. But I have met one or two that I have given all to and hoped for the same in return, it feels very different and even then no problem with female friends in their lives, just problems with them not feeling the same way as me and carrying on as if I wasn't valued.

SanctiMOMious Thu 04-Apr-13 10:28:17

Scrazy+1 , nobody on the thread has said that. Although I think there are a few posters who seem keen to boil it back down to that, and that despite repeated points that that is not what they're arguing 'against' they carry on boiling it back down to that neat argument.

At this point on the thread I'm thinking that anybody with emotional intelligence gets it; It being that it's more than whether the partner is actually tempted to have sex with the female friend. If posters persist in boiling it back down to just that then you can't really discuss it.

SGB I'm curious too. Have you ever loved somebody?

I really nod along to 95% of your posts, and I even agree with what you say that society does push the whole two by two stuff. Society doesn't need to push it. Enough people genuinely want it. I want it. I'm fine on my own though. I think society needs to allow people to be single, but that can be done without undermining or mocking couples who want to be together.

DontSHOUTTTTTT Thu 04-Apr-13 10:43:19

I have close male friends with absolutely no hidden agenda. There was one whose wife was a bit confused so I was very careful to only see him in groups or at activities. We would chat on the phone a lot too. I had no desire to cause him any trouble with his wife because he was my friend and I wanted him to be happy. I also always made sure I was lovely to his wife.

My DS's (early 20's) all have friends who are girls.

LemonPeculiarJones Thu 04-Apr-13 12:24:39

VoiceofUnreason and all those espousing the positive factors of having friends of both genders: I agree with you completely.

But that is not what the OP said she had a problem with!

The OP's first post made it very clear that these friends of her exes were being unfriendly, inappropriate, didn't want to meet her, were hostile. That they were obviously not on her side or in favour of supporting the relationship.

She is entirely justified in feeling freaked out that her new bf has a close female friend - who is single and apparently fancies him. She's had problems before and is understandably nervous of it happening again.

I think that's why OP put 'female friend' in inverted commas - to suggest that these particular relationships weren't quite what they seemed, or weren't straight-forward. But for her to voice her concerns in the past earned her the labels of paranoid etc.

This thread is about boundaries and respect really.

I have both male and female friends btw, as does my DH. But if he had a female friend who never wanted to meet up with me, bought him inappropriate gifts, was cold to my face - there would be a BIG problem.

For those who asked: When I was younger I engaged in monogamous relationships. And quickly became bored, resentful and uninterested in sex. Luckily I was able to work out that the issue was I am not monogamous. I am not even really interested in couple-relationships. I like being by myself.
I'm really glad I worked that out in my mid-20s, before I'd married or moved in with anyone and made him (or her) wretched as well as myself.

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