Recently, I posed a question on social media seeking new ideas to create new content and as you can see from the title of this blog post, this response for a topic stood out to me the most. I have always had friends of the opposite gender. One of my best friends is a male. I wholeheartedly believe that men and women can truly be friends.
You can learn so much from having a friend of the opposite gender. I'm not a man, nor am I going to run myself crazy trying to "Think like a man....." When I want to learn more about men, I go to my male friends. Who can steer in the right direction of not making everything a big to do about everything. Some of my best academic, financial and business advice, have come from my male friends. I would not be a consultant right now, teaching other women how to use the marketing tools and strategies that I learned, had it not been for my male friend.
I think the problem begins when feelings for the opposite gender are masked behind the friend zone. I was chatting in my DM with a woman sharing her experience with men who disguised themselves as being her friend, but really liked her all along. We both stated that setting boundaries with the opposite gender is key in friendships. Be open and honest with your friend from the start. That will remove any assumptions from either person and you can either move on as friends, or not continue to befriend the person, until they can respect the boundaries you have in place.
Now, I'm all for friends that turn into lovers, but not at the expense of hurting your current partner. If you and your friend of the opposite gender begin to have feelings, deal with it. Talk about it, maybe give each other some space to process it and revisit the conversation. It could just possibly be a temporary feeling of attraction, or you've been hanging out with your soulmate for years, and really didn't know it lol.
All relationships and friendships should be intentional from the start. Therefore, your friendship with the opposite gender needs to be intentional. Ask yourself why are you friends with this person? What value do they add to your life? If this person doesn't add any value to your life, they just might not be your friend in the first place.
If you have a partner/spouse that has a friend of the opposite gender and you don't trust their friendship, check you first before them. Checking you may include revealing your own insecurities. Your partner either is or is not faithful to you, there is no gray area there. After you have checked your own self, then have an open and honest conversation with your partner/spouse. After that, pay attention to your intuitions or move on. What’s done in the dark always comes to light. But the bigger issue here is lack of trust which not healthy in any relationship.
Can men and be friends? Most definitely so! Friendships are valuable and most be in contact at some points to nurture the friendship ongoing. If you suspect cheating or know that your friend can really be a potential lover, deal with it.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic. Share your thoughts and opinions in the comment.