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Relationship Protocol: Friends of the Opposite Sex

Quite rightly, opinions vary about whether or not men and women can truly be just friends as everyone has encountered different situations from which to draw their point of view. And things only get more complicated when you’re in a relationship.

I’ve always figured that once you’re in a serious relationship, friendships of the opposite sex would naturally fade away. Once you have a special someone it’s hard enough to keep your friends of the same sex, let alone members of the opposite. Maybe it's just a matter of the difference between a casual acquaintance and a true friend. But if so, where do you draw the line? Do you think having any friends of the opposite sex when you’re in a serious relationship is unusual? Or do you think it’s completely normal and reasonable?

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valerie-oreilly valerie-oreilly 5 years
i am just trying to find a friend and i may have been on every web site going trying to find him please help
Tap-Dancing-Tom Tap-Dancing-Tom 8 years
I'm a male that's had a close female friend of over 20 years. Although we've never slept with each other or much less kissed for that matter, I have to say it has been detrimental in my finding a real relationship of my own. It took me years to figure this out. It's just not realistic to think you're going to have the same friendship you had with your opposite sex friend when you're in a relationship. I'm running into this now. When I was single, I was always available to her to go out to movies, dinner, concerts, road trips, weddings, baby showers, etc.. In other words, we did all the things that couples do without the sexual element. And even without the sex, no matter how you slice it, it is an intimate relationship with another person. Now that I'm in a serious relationship, there really hasn't been room for both. So yeah, now I do all of the things that I used to do with my friend with my girlfriend, because, well, she's my girlfriend. My friend has a hard time accepting this but I personally don't think it's justified. I don't see how she couldn't see it coming. If she had found a boyfriend, I would have expected the same to happen to me. Her hurt feelings are understandable but she's an adult female she needs to see things from my girlfriend's point of view and the fact that I have to deal with my girlfriend's feelings. I had another female friend who got married and *I* backed away from the friendship out of respect to her husband. I'll talk to her now and then but I don't go out on "dates" with her. I just don't think it's appropriate. Anyway, I have to say I agree with AK 9 on this in that if you're looking for a committed relationship that leads to marriage, you have to tone down the opposite sex relationships. You can keep those friends but you need clear boundaries and you can't exclude your significant others when hanging out with them. That you reduce headache and keep things on the up and up.
AK-9 AK-9 8 years
And by the way...I am a man...I have a wonderfull girlfriend...she did not understand my logic, I politely left her out of respect to her will, she soon after I left found that there was no one she ever dated or has been finding that she could trust fully or that would treat her as well as I did. We first dated for only 2 months. After she saw this she began taking an interest in how I am to see if she could roll with it or if it was just not her...well, we are together now and she is happyer than when we first dated...she tels me that living this way makes life soo mutch more fulfiling...we have no wories and the feeling and reality of respect is ever present and there is no wieght on either of our shoulders. People need to let alot of things go...we are selfish by nature...we are soo afraid to miss out on something that we miss out on everything cuz we think we are being "cool". Let the ways of our society be to thows that dont get it...then understand it for yourself and live without boundrys. A person has to chose it, other wise it is useless. decide for your self; Make a true commitment or stay half ass and never find what it is like to connect fully with someone.
AK-9 AK-9 8 years
Ok.....Screw all that!! If you are in a relationship? Then why do you keep stimulation from others of the opossite sex arround? Plain and simple....It has to do with the fact that our society thinks its ok to be free, loose and without principle! People dont want whats rite, they want what feels good ar better said; what is "fun". People dont care to take responsabuility and face principle and the enlightenment and fulfillment of rite doing!! I HAVE NEVER AND WILL NEVER be with a woman that keeps the oposite sex arround! I for starters cutt off all female relations excluding family and "real" "True" close friends of the family when engaged in a seriouse relationship! On top of that....Friends and family will come second to a woman that has proven to be loyal and true partner matereal! This is because A) If I am going to be in a relationship, its not to get my kicks off...its to create a relationship for life, or better said, a life partner! I do everything with my partner and go everywhere with! I make her the woman of my life! So what room is there for one of my female friends to hear about my day? What room is there for me to give my confidence to another woman? There is none! I have alot of friends, I used to have alot more! The people tha call themselves friends and realy are; understand and suport me even when they know they may never get my company again. And if something goes wrong, even years later, ther are still there! Now that is a friend! On the other hand, the people that call themselves friends and are realy on it for themselves; dont understand and I am no longer arround to even find out if they would still be there for me. PRINCIPLE; Why lay down in bed with someone if you dont know you are going to stay with them for life? Why even be in anything more than a casual or as I call it "a slut" relationship? If you are going to share your heart, If you are going to take someone elses heart...these things are not walmart specials, they are lives and minds trusting you to their very survival...So why do you people act like is cool to not fully commit?
eve22 eve22 9 years
Yes, you can have plutonic relationships. Most of my best friends are males. However i do think its important to talk about upfront, have and discuss whats appropriate and inappropriate. If you do that there should be no worries. i gave my partner an ultimadum once. His ex girlfriend had to go. He was wanting to leave that relationship for along time. We met and he ended it with her. Even though he broke up with her, she thought i was the evil one. BUT, i was fine with them being friends, the only thing i required was to meet her and she wouldn't. one and a half years on, they work together, but he doesn't see or talk with her outside of work. I think that any friend your partner has should be able to introduce, meet and know you, if they can't...why? She was a circumstance but that aside i would never demand my partner cut away friends of the opposite sex. Only that my partner make it clear that he's taken if needs be and come home to me at the end of the day.
odd-man-out odd-man-out 9 years
As long as there aren't any feelings involved beyond friendship, there shouldn't be a problem... I would want to get to know the friends though, girls or guys, though admittedly especially if they are of the opposite sex. My GF has a lot of male friends, she seems to get along with guys better; the only concern for me is how she often fails to realize when someone wants to be more than just a friend with her... (me included! :P).. hence I would like to get to know the guys to make sure she isn't being duped, and on a selfish note, it could end up with me having more friends to hang out with!
dalialia dalialia 9 years
My bf's best friend is a girl and she is like a sister to him. I would never worry about the two of them together. Most of my friends are guys and its kinda similar. They are like brothers to me so he knows that he has nothing to worry about. But honestly, I don't worry about him cheating whether he is with female friends or not and he feels the same way about me.
ilovecandyfloss ilovecandyfloss 9 years
Wow, it is so sad that you would even consider getting rid of your friends just because of their sex. Doesn't sound like a good friend to me. If that's the case, they're probably better off without you...
Muirnea Muirnea 9 years
Sourcherry said: "If anything, it makes things easier, as it's less likely for one person to start having confused feelings about the friend, WHICH OFTEN HAPPENS." I'm not sure it makes things easier but I agree that if usually happens. I'm still trying to decide how I feel about this particular topic, but so far my conclusion is that it is rare to find two opposite sex friends who both TRULY don't have feelings for the other. In my experience someone always ends up liking the other and making the relationship inappropriate (even when one or the other has a b/f, g/f!), or both people in some cases. So I'm ok with true friend relationships, but I think its really hard to actually have one of those.
SDTransplant SDTransplant 9 years
I'm still in touch with some of the guy friends I had before I met my b/f four years ago (after all, some of them were my friends way before I met him), but I don't know how keen I would be on starting up a new friendship with one now. My b/f doesn't seem like the jealous type, but then again, I've never given him any reason to be jealous!
Isista Isista 9 years
I've always gotten along better with guys than with girls, so I always have guy friends around. One of my best friends is my ex, and my boyfriend has friends that are girls. It doesn't bother either one of us, since we both are committed to each other and both trust each other very much.
gigill gigill 9 years
It's strange, but I have lots of male friends, but very rarely is it the same kind of deep friendship that I have with several females. Typically my boyfriends have been a little freaked out at first at the number of male aquaintances/friends I have, but then they realize they have have nothing to worry about and chill out. I've never had a boyfriend with close female friendships, mainly just female co-workers or other girlfriends in the "group," so I've never had to deal with this type of jealousy (and I'm sure it would crop up for me...)
miriah15 miriah15 9 years
I have four best friends, two of which are guys that whether any of us are in a relationship or not, we are just as close
xojennifer xojennifer 9 years
I guess I just felt bad to have such strong feelings for another guy than my boyfriend, even if they warent the same kind of feelings
xojennifer xojennifer 9 years
My bestest friend was a guy, and, well, we had quite a story. We almost dated about a billion times, but we were so close, that dating just didnt feel right? It was that kind of relationship where we were like brother/sister and dating didnt feel right, but at the same time it just felt so right? It sure gave us a lot of trouble. I broke up with my first real boyfriend for him, and well we never ended up actually dating, but my feelings for him were so strong that it wasnt fair for my then boyfriend. They were very different feelings.. I also had many great friends that were of the opposit sex, and once I met my boyfriend, they all slowly drifted away, to the point where I dont even talk to any of them anymore. I couldnt even tell you where they are. I think they got scared of my boyfriend? I have no idea.. I'll never know. It hurts sometimes when I stop to think about it. I still think about my friend I mentionned at first every single day and wonder what happened to him. But its better this way because I dont know how i'd handle my feelings for him. but like I said, I dont see myself dating him. But im happy with my boyfriend, and I guess thats the price to pay
mlen mlen 9 years
some of my best friends are guys and i love them to death. and they are also guys that i have never ever been attracted to in that sorta way. so i guess i hope if i can have those totally platonic great relationships with my guy friends then guys can have them with girls too and its all ok! (cause i don't think my guy friends have ever felt that way about me either!) so yes you can stay friends with people of the opposite sex.. and should!
oliveoyle625 oliveoyle625 9 years
I think its possible, but I agree with the article, cannot be that deep, since even time with girlfriends kinda can tend to wane when you're in a relationship.
italianblonde italianblonde 9 years
What's the big deal? I'm not gonna stop being friends with someone just because of a relationship. I'm a firm believer in splitting my time b/w my boyfriend and friends, no matter what sex they are. My guy friends are important to me..I've always had more guy friends. They give me good advice and are great to hang out with. None of my boyfriends have hated them THAT much...just a little jealous, but oh well. In the end, this guy will probably be gone soon, and I'd like to keep my friends around forever!!
sourcherry sourcherry 9 years
Being friends with the opposite sex can be tricky, but I don't think it gets more complicated if one person, or both, are in a relationship. If anything, it makes things easier, as it's less likely for one person to start having confused feelings about the friend, which often happens. But from the romantic relationships' point of view, it's just absurd to stop seeing friends because you're in a couple. I just couldn't be with a guy who was that jealous and insecure. Plus, I'd rather lose a guy than any of my true friends!
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