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To think men and women can be 'just friends'?

(45 Posts)
perceptionreality Fri 26-Oct-12 17:15:41

A friend of mine said that when you're married you should stop having friends of the opposite sex as at least one always feels more for the other than friends. I disagree - so is this true or not?

CailinDana Fri 26-Oct-12 17:19:42

Hmm. I have a few male friends. But at some point in all the friendships the sexual tension thing has come up and unless you deal with it it can become a problem. If he is a good friend you will inevitably develop some inappropriate feelings for him and vice versa IMO. You can get beyond it, but if you ignore it, it can make things awkward.

I have a SAHD friend that I hang out with quite a lot. This sexual tension thing is starting to become a problem at the moment, coming from him, not me. I need to deal with it but I can't figure it out and it's annoying me. Sigh.

mrscumberbatch Fri 26-Oct-12 17:23:13

Yes, I have mostly guy-friends and they're the least threatening bunch in the world. DP likes them all.

When we were all young and single we'd joke about going out on dates/out for a shag etc. but we've known each other for so long that the actual thought of it is repulsive. It was a bit like a "Your Mum..." joke.

Trills Fri 26-Oct-12 17:24:33


If men and women can't be friends then does that mean that gay men can only be friends with lesbian women (because neither of them fancy each other)?

And anyone who is bisexual can have no friends at all?

perceptionreality Fri 26-Oct-12 17:25:59

I don't think it should be a problem in friendships where you don't see each other all the time. There need to be boundaries like in all relationships.

CoolaSchmoola Fri 26-Oct-12 17:26:47

I have LOADS of male friends, and with the vast majority the whole sexual tension thing has never come up, and never will - because we are friends, no more no less.

But I also think it's only possible to be friends with the opposite sex if neither person fancies the other.

I think saying men and women can't be friends is wrong. I also wouldn't be with my husband if he tried to tell me I couldn't have male friends for the reasons given in the OP (or any reason at all tbh).

It is horrendously assumptive and narrow minded. For it to be true ALL women would have to fancy every man they didn't detest. And vice versa - which simply isn't true.

I don't fancy every man I get on with - and nor do they fancy me. Some might, but all?? I wish I was that attractive lol!

For me this is the same level of narrow minded thinking as some men/women assuming that because another man/woman is gay they must automatically fancy them and thus avoid the person totally. Just plain daft (and big headed!)

KelperRose Fri 26-Oct-12 17:27:28

I do think that male friends have the potential to become more.

I think it is rare to have a really close friendship with a member of the opposite sex without one of you thinking.....I'd do it with her/him

It can work though if you include your partner in the friendship

LadyHarrietdeSpook Fri 26-Oct-12 17:27:56

Good point Trills, nail on da head.

TheDeathAndGlories Fri 26-Oct-12 17:28:14

I have male friends who are just friends.
Nothing more, no sexual tension.

CoolaSchmoola Fri 26-Oct-12 17:28:51

I see my male friends ALL the time - DH doesn't care.

This isn't about whether or not it's ok to have male friends as a married woman - it's about lack of trust. Can't have friends of the opposite sex because you might shag them behind my back.

Pretty insulting to the wife methinks!

mrscumberbatch Fri 26-Oct-12 17:29:48

I just realised that I can't comment as I went on to have a baby and settle down with my best male friend.

The rest of the dudes are all still about, like weird uncles. They often go out on '3 men and a little lady' dates to the park. I think it's nice.

But yes, my previous post is now null and void. Oops.

Bonsoir Fri 26-Oct-12 17:30:16

Yes of course - but DP has "stolen" many of my male friends and he, not I, is now there main point of contact in our couple!

samandi Fri 26-Oct-12 17:31:30

YANBU, obviously. Your friend is weird.

RubyrooUK Fri 26-Oct-12 17:32:58

My male friends are incredibly important to me and I love seeing them. My husband also has female friends who he really enjoys seeing.

There is no sexual tension or if there was, it was over years ago when we first met those friends and were working out just how much we liked one another.

My husband is very comfortable with my male friends. He also likes them. He loves hearing about their funny adventures if we go out for dinners or drinks to catch up. Neither of us have any 'secret' friends of the opposite sex to make each other feel insecure.

So I think it is possible for men and women to be friends. And it works best if your partner likes them too (but doesn't have to be there all the time obviously!).

JamieandtheMagicTorch Fri 26-Oct-12 17:33:06

I agree with Cailin.

Mumsyblouse Fri 26-Oct-12 17:33:17

Of course men and women can be good friends, however it's also true that many relationships start off as 'good friends' and develop further. So, when you make new male friends when you are married, you have to be aware a) the person might want to be friends, but might interpret your offer of a coffee differently b) your partner might be right to be slightly worried if you suddenly acquire a new opposite sex friend and go on and on about them.

I find it easier to stick to long-standing male friends than make new ones now I'm in my forties, it all seems too fraught with misunderstandings to be worth it.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Fri 26-Oct-12 17:34:07

... and Mumsyblouse

DeeMonic Fri 26-Oct-12 17:35:55

I'm married and have male friends, DH has female friends. The friendships are purely that - friends only, and there have never been any misunderstandings.

squoosh Fri 26-Oct-12 17:37:50

Of course people can have platonic friendsips with members of the opposite sex but I have to say when it turns into a close friendship it's been my experience that one of the friends will invariably fancy the other at some stage.

Of course no one should tell you you can't have a friend of the opposite sex, that's just weird and controlling and should ring major alarm bells.

I know someone whose husband's best friend is a woman. They even go on weekends away together. There's no way that I'd be cool with that in this lifetime or the next.

maybenow Fri 26-Oct-12 17:38:41

funnily enough, even when i was single for five years i had loads of male friends and didn't jump into bed with any of them.
now i'm married i'm even less likely to...

Kalisi Fri 26-Oct-12 17:40:41

I don't know if this means anything, or if it is even a deliberate choice but I have made no new male friends since I got married ( I use the word friend to mean someone that I am very close to that is not close to both of us)
I do however have some very close male friends that I met before my DH that are now mutual friends with both of us but I would have no problem spending time with independantly.

FML Fri 26-Oct-12 17:42:36

Personally, in my experience, only a tiny few friendships with male friends haven't led to some sort of feelings on one side or both. That doesn't mean you can't be friends though. One of my really close friends I am still close to since school, he has made it very clear, even when in relationships that he wants me. If me and DP split, he would be here like a shot, and has said before that he would make sure that me nor the kids would want for nothing. But, he knows that I only view him as a very close friend, so he never tries to hit on me, or make things uncomfortable. He just always tells me he loves me when signing off on messages etc.

Other friends I have ended up being intimate with, and am still friends with them to this day, although not exactly close. And then, OTOH, I have others which are simply just friendships, with no feelings whatsoever on either side. But as I said, compared to how many have led to feelings, they are very few but it isn't impossible.

At the end of the day, if you can't trust your other half to not stray with their friends, then IMO, there is no relationship. You need trust to make a relationship work.

Purplemonster Fri 26-Oct-12 17:43:46

My best friend is a bloke, there's nothing more to it than that, he's like a brother to me (an irritating dumbass brother sometimes). I was friends with him for years before I met my OH and fortunately he's never had a problem with it realising that there is nothing more to it than friendship. We were both single for years before I met my OH and still never got together because ewwww, back to the like a brother comment and OH has had the good sense to never get funny about it. The two of us even went away on our own on holiday together earlier this year but I realise that my OH is a lot less inclined to jealousy than your average man and that most people wouldn't be comfortable with that.

Cozy9 Fri 26-Oct-12 17:45:45

I think really attractive women find it hard to have platonic male friends.

squoosh Fri 26-Oct-12 17:47:47

FML you say that doesn't make things uncomfortable. How comfortable would your husband be knowing this man was waiting in the wings ready to pounce? I wouldn't be happy with my partner having such a friend.

For me that way trouble lies.

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