Can you be friends with the opposite sex?
Let’s be honest, can we really have a one-sided opinion on this fiercely debated question? Of course not, hence I asked the question and many of you responded. So, what’s the general consensus? There isn’t one, opinions are widely divided. It’s a hard no from baby boomers, mixed reactions from Generation X and the rest of us think it’s fine.
As for me, I say absolutely, men and women can be friends. However, it’s a tricky situation to navigate; caution is advisable.
Read: Navigating Marriage
Keep in mind that I don’t take this topic lightly. People have said that I gave too much freedom which caused the destruction of my marriage. I understand that opinion however this is my take on it. You are the person’s partner, not their parent. It boils down to intent. Marriage is a life sentence but that doesn’t make you a prison warden. I am an adult with goals, I don’t have time for babysitting. If that’s what marriage count me out, I refuse to live my life that way. If freedom cannot be handled, a one-way ticket is issued.
With that being said, let’s cover a few things to take into consideration.
Won’t opposites inevitably attract?
Guys get a lot of flak that they will chase anything on two legs. There are guys like that but they are insecure and trying to base their worth on how many people they can get to sleep with them. However, attraction is a lot more complicated than we realize.
If you’re really honest with yourself, you’ll see a common thread in most of your exes appearances. Yes, ladies, men are attracted to more than just breasts or butts. Your man might love your big nose or any other feature for that matter. He has a certain preference in features that attracted him to you & it makes him jittery.
If you think I’m joking, read your Bible, Song of Solomon 7:4:
Your neck is like an ivory tower. Your eyes are the pools of Heshbon by the gate of Bath Rabbim. Your nose is like the tower of Lebanon looking toward Damascus.
My point is, there could be an absolute bombshell in front of him; he is not blind.
Obviously, she’s attractive but that doesn’t mean she is his cup of tea. Chemistry is a funny thing. There are some good-looking people that you are just not attracted to. (Did I mention he’s not blind?)
You’ve heard of the infamous friend zone, well guys have the family zone… When a guy puts you in there, he is saying you’re like a sister to me. He’s not attracted to you and neither is he incestuous. This is not Game of Thrones.
Why would you need friends of the opposite sex?
Way back in the day, life was vastly different, men went out hunting, and women worked in the village. Common interests were probably few and far between. Common ground abounds these days, we have friends that share a variety of interests. You have that “conspiracy theory” friend, the “foodie” (every conversation circles back to food), the animal lover, you name it.
It’s not like you have a quota for how many male and female friends, you just end up with this community of people that you connect with over common interests. For instance, I’m fascinated by human behavior and how the mind works, I have a friend that is also interested in that field so we geek out on that topic; the fact that my friend is female doesn’t factor into it.
What about personal privacy?
I am always amused by people that want “device privacy” from their partner. The best advice I heard was at a stag, “Bro, if she picks up your phone and starts scrolling, you say nothing… Even if you’re innocent, if you object, it’s game over!”
This is my thing, there are no private conversations with a person of the opposite sex when you are in a relationship. If you are just friends, your partner or anyone else should be able to read the conversation and say there’s nothing here.
Friend or foe?
Let’s suppose that you are friends with someone and their partner hates it. You need to tell your friend that you understand and step away. Remember, your friendship is platonic but your friend is trying to build a life with this person. Listen, I had to do this once, you need to bow out.
Never let your friend complain about their significant other to you. If they do, you take the partner’s side (within reason.) Your friend’s girl /guy must see that you are helping and not hindering their relationship.
Honestly, this might be the best part of the friendship, that poor guy can’t tell it like it is… You on the other hand can be fearless and tell her she’s wrong.
What about physical contact?
Maybe it’s just because I like my space but, sometimes people can be a bit handsy. There’s a difference between hugging a friend and holding. Personally, friends get two types of hugs from me. The look here… Like you’re taking a group picture and you put your arm over their shoulder to show them where the camera is or you tap out… a quick hug with two taps on the back and release.
Hugs should be quick, why do you want to linger? You don’t stand and hold your boys… do you? Treat her as one of the guys. If you can’t, why?
So I’ve covered a few things but let’s be honest, we can go on and on with this topic. What are your thoughts? What did I miss? There are no right or wrong answers… Knock yourself out in the comments.
My goal is to emulate Jesus and follow his example but if all else fails, I’ll be like David. A writer, a man after God’s own heart and someone not to be trifled with.
I believe in discussing life in a candid (unfiltered), no holds barred manner that stimulates personal growth.
I spend my spare time creating content that is informative, entertaining and that will help others in their personal development.
The Hustle is a project that focuses on career and purpose.
I also have a cooking vlog called Passing it on which is on Facebook and YouTube.
In matters of faith, I contribute to this ministry.