Before You Say I Do: Opposite Sex Friendships

Hello People!

I don’t know what’s going on with this blog so if you do, please let me know! These days I can’t be bothered to write and I don’t even have the time to. My every waking moment is accounted for so much so that sometimes I just rebel and do nothing. My mind has been temporarily taken over by all things wedding but I refuse to blog about my wedding planning process, not unless I’ve got something particularly interesting to share with you.

The other thing also on my mind these days is marriage…and you know marriage is not the same thing as a wedding right? Lol. Marriage is the equal parts terrifying and exciting bit that comes after the wedding. In the last year, I’ve read a number of books on marriage and relationships and have also attended two pre-marital courses. One at Jesus House (JH), my home church, and the other at Holy Trinity Brompton (HTB).  I’ve consumed so much literature on the topic and listened to so many lectures, I feel ready to write my own ‘Making Marriage Work’ manual. Lol.

Given the zone I’m currently in, I thought I’d share a few of the interesting and sometimes controversial topics from the courses with you.

On the HTB course, a couple gave a talk about managing your other relationships once you’re married, particularly friendships with the opposite sex. I expected that. When I started dating the gentleman the dynamics of my relationships with my male friends changed, and understandably so. During the course of the talk, they mentioned that they had decided as a couple, that they weren’t allowed to hang out one on one with members of the opposite sex. That’s when it got interesting. I have no intention of conducting clandestine liaisons with other men (not unless they are Justin Gatlin or Mark Foster) but to ban myself from going to lunch with one of the guys in my team or an old friend from Uni?

They weren’t proposing that we all adopt the same rules, they were just giving an example of some of the rules they have in place to protect their relationship. While I completely understood the reasoning behind it, I don’t know that it’s a rule I want to impose. I have no problem with the gentleman having the odd catch up with a female friend. Odd being the key word. Once a week is not odd, once every quarter or thereabouts is. Lol.

As far as managing opposite sex friendships is concerned, I think the key things are transparency, accountability and sensitivity. If you’re having that odd catch up with a female friend, tell me about it. Tell me where you’re going, when you’ll be home and make it by decent o’clock. Make the effort to introduce me to that friend and include me in some of the catch ups so I get to know her too and get comfortable with her. Invite her over. Over time, the idea is for his friends to become my friends and vice versa seeing as two are becoming one. If for any reason I’m uncomfortable with the friendship, take me seriously and curb the interactions.

What do you think? Are you okay with your man or woman having the odd coffee or lunch with a friend of the opposite sex?

xxx
Waila

Advertisements

8 comments

  1. This is certainly a topic that I have debated countless times with my man, my mother and any one else with an opinion. I have always been comfortable and have luckily managed to have platonic friendships with the opposite sex. I was defiant about dropping all of my male friends just because I have gained a long term lover lol. Nevertheless we settled on ensuring we endeavour not to have ‘planned’ one on ones with the opposite sex and where this can’t be avoided (e.g. my guy friend flies in from nigeria for a couple of days and I cant gather friends to meet me after work just so that I can have a quick burger with him) we keep each other in the loop as usual.

    Transparency and communication is always the KEY!

    What I did tell him though was that HE MUST meet all of my close guy friends and they should have a rapport and be comfortable with each other and vice versa. Who knows they might end up leaving me behind in the friendship. Any man who is not comfortable with the boo might as well dig a hole and bury our friendship. SIMPLES

    Like

  2. hmmm…. this is a tricky one. I don’t have an opinion on this one yet…… I guess when I meet him we will come to some sort of mutual ground. I have a lot more male friends than female but I know that when I meet the right person I won’t hesitate to take a step back from them and focus on my relationship but I would want my close friends to be part of our family of friends 🙂

    Like

  3. story story, he’s not having any female friends and I’m not having any male friends.. SIMPLE! I don’t believe there’s such a thing as platonic friendship with opposite sex, beneath all of that is always a burning desire to crossover from the friend zone. I have tried the whole platonic thing many times and it has never once worked, they always end up confessing their undying love etc etc…. lai lay! I shan’t let the devil attempt to even play ages in my marriage…..Mbanu! #that’sall

    Like

  4. mmm I think the key to healthy opposite sex friendships in marriage lies in your statement here – ‘Over time, the idea is for his friends to become my friends and vice versa’ . If for any reason any of your guy friends/his female friends are unwilling to warm up /be cordial to either of you respectively then that friendship may just have to suffer… But I must add though that I dont know how appropriate it is for a married woman to be having one on one meet up ‘dinner dates’ after work with a guy to whom she is not married and vice versa – group after work coffees/drinks/meals I think would be the ideal IMHO

    Like

  5. @Lady D: You sound like me 🙂
    @ramzee: It is possible to have platonic male female relationships, I have a few of those. To each their own though, you do what you need to to protect your relationship!
    @Aksua: I’m not proposing candle light lunches or dinners for two but I think it is healthy to have friendships with people of the opposite sex, married or not.
    @sarah: akinyanju step back tends to happen actually. Lol. Here’s praying he shows up soon 🙂

    Like

  6. my husband and i didn’t actually talk about opposite sex friendship, however, my close male friends are now friends with my hubby and his female friends (not that he had many)… became my friends. i personally think that problem takes care of itself, the excess friends do tend to dwindle away and u’re left with the ones that would truely respect your friendship and marriage.
    oh! nae, you have to get the book “the proper care and feeding of husbands” by dr laura schlessinger… it’s fab 🙂

    Like

  7. lol @ ramzee… hmmm i think it is better to meet up in groups.. but we both know each other’s friends and i think it is ok to have the ‘odd’ catch up with an old friend i know about once or twice a year :p. your views make sense.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s