Larry James' CelebrateIntimateWeddings BLOG

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

You’re Married Now, Stop Hanging Out with Your Single Friends!!

Filed under: Opposite Sex Friends,Relationship Tips — Larry James @ 8:30 am

Is there anything wrong with having a close friend of the opposite sex after you’re married?

Wait… what?!

The idea that you and your spouse are a married couple and should work on replacing your single friends with other married couples is just ridiculous. It’s a great idea to have a mix of married and single friends so that when you decide to host a dinner or Super Bowl party there’s more than just one ‘type’ of person in your crowd. It will make for more interesting and dynamic conversation and an overall better time!

oppositesexfriendsWhile it’s true that some of your single friends may feel a little uncomfortable hanging out with someone who is married, I recommend maintaining friendships with both sexes after you are married. While the friendships were great during singlehood, in marriage, these relationships can prove problematic. The caveats? There are three things to remember:

1. Be sure your level of trust is high with your partner. Trust is foundational to a healthy marriage. If your partner is of a jealous sort or has trust issues, you may want to have a conversation with them to be sure that they are alright with you spending the evening with a friend of the opposite sex. Let’s face it, there are some things that you used to do that you may not want to do since you are now married. Your bar-hopping days are probably over. There is far to much temptation there. Most affairs begin as an innocent connection between two people.

2. Be sure that your single friend is not a bad influence on you. If they are, they become avoidable friends. Opposite-sex friendships are tricky and can be a direct threat to your marriage, but they don’t have to be. Be sure that the intentions of both the friend and your partner are pure.

3. Ask yourself, “Would you behave differently around your friend if your spouse were present?” “If you answered “yes” to this question, your opposite-sex friendship may be a real threat to the quality of your marriage. It may even be in the best interest of your marriage to either significantly limit or actually end your close friendship. In it’s place, it may be wise to nurture a “best friend” relationship with your spouse instead.

coupleundertreeFear comes not from the friendship, but in keeping the friendship non-sexual; which can be difficult given that 90 percent of the time one of the individuals has experienced romantic feelings for his/her friend. Time spent with the friend should never supersede time spent with your partner.

Here is one of the keys. Now that you are married there can be no secrets. It’s best to introduce your partner to your friend by all going out to dinner together. Ask how your partner feels about meeting with your friend.

There are compelling reasons to be cautious about opposite-sex friendships outside of your spouse’s company. No matter how happy and secure your marriage, you should always protect your relationship against temptation, deception and potential affairs.

So can women and men be friends? Of course they can. But there is a silent understanding that some friendships are meant to be nothing more, and as with all relationships, there are certain rules that need to be followed. There are things you can do only in a relationship with your partner, and things, which you can only do with your best friend. Maintain the dignity of those things to maintain the dignity of both your relationships as well, without messing up either of them.

It’s fine to have friends of the oppposite sex, but make sure that they know and spend time with both you and your spouse. Stop the private chit chats or e-mail. If you hang out with this friend, invite your spouse and any signifigant other of your friend as well. it’s important for every married couple to set some clear boundaries in terms of relationships with the opposite sex. These boundaries do not mean that you have to stop yourself from doing things that you like, but when you are handling a girlfriend and a female best friend, or a boyfriend and a male best friend, then you can’t be doing the same kinds of things with both of them.

In a truly healthy relationship, you can have both: the person you love, and the person you just love to hang out with.

Your thoughts?

BONUS Article: Can Spouses Have Friends of the Opposite Sex?
Friends Beyond Marriage, Part 1
Friends Beyond Marriage, Part 2

Copyright © 2012 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s “romantic” Wedding Website. Larry James is an award winning, non-denominational wedding officiant and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or Cell: 480-205-3694. Pre-maritial relationship coaching is available and not required. You will find more than 470 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.

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