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Sam Dobson Writes: You, Your Beau, & Your Op-Sex Bestfriend

Monday, April 14, 2014

You, Your Beau, & Your Op-Sex Bestfriend

In high school I was "one of the guys". I've always kept my circle of girl friends small because, well, girls can be bitches. So, I've always had just a handful of beautiful besties and a small army of boys who were like brothers. Life was slightly less drama free that way. Once I settled down with my future husband, my band of bad boys started to disappear. There was no fall out or ill will, it was only natural. It doesn't happen suddenly, but at some point in a long term relationship you realize that those friends of the opposite sex aren't as involved in your life anymore.

It happens. Distance grows between you and your op-sex bestie when you start to invest yourself in a relationship. I believe this happens for a number of a reasons, but no matter what the reason, it happens gradually. When you began a new relationship, those butterflies keep you wanting more and you begin to spend as much free time as possible with your hot new beau. This, of course, leaves less time to spend with those boys you call "just friends".

When your relationship is in full blown commitment mode and things have started to become routine, you may start to remember the friends you've left behind. This realization sparks the desire to re-connect which in turn, can spark the jealousy of your significant other. This is where I would urge you to proceed with caution. Not because you can't spend time with whoever you like, but because if you don't approach this rekindling friendship with your hubby's feelings in mind, it could be a recipe for a nasty fight.

Because I've always had a lot of guy friends in the past, I've had this argument in just about every relationship I've ever had. It's never been a deal breaker but fighting about anything is never fun. Friends of mine have also had similar arguments with their significant others. I think it's one of those universal conflicts many relationships face. So, this begs the question whether or not it's fair for your spouse to protest a friendship with the opposite sex. Is it acceptable for you to carry on a close friendship with a person of the opposite sex?

As with everything in life, this conflict has no clear, obvious resolution. There are many factors to consider and every situation is different. I think the most important thing to consider when involved in such an argument, is to put yourself in the shoes of your spouse. I know this is the corniest conflict advice in the book, but it is a fundamental tool that should not be overlooked. Just stop and think, how would you feel if your husband or wife went for drinks with an old op-sex friend? How would you feel if your spouse gave you a hard time for grabbing coffee with an old friend that just happened to be opposite sex? Then there is always compromise. What about asking your significant others to tag along and make it a double date?

Before getting worked up and starting a fight, consider your significant other's feelings. Try not to overreact or get jealous (I know, easier said than done). Love is patience and understanding. Bottom line is that this should never be worth a break up. Respect your partner and their feelings and they should do the same in return. As long as you have respect for each other, you'll come to some sort of agreement on this and other disagreements.

Do you get upset when your partner spends time with a friend of the opposite sex? Does your spouse get upset when you spend time with an op-sex friend? What's your compromise?



At April 15, 2014 at 1:06 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the last paragraph - Yes, Yes, and we don't do it unless we are all in a group together :)

At April 15, 2014 at 6:52 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Such a hard topic -- but definitely a common one! I like to pretend I don't get jealous, but I definitely do.
If I were in the situation where my partner was with an op-sex friend I probably would be uncomfortable, jealous, and not very happy -- yet switch the situation and I'd be annoyed that I couldn't hang out with my op-sex friend if my partner was upset -- hypocrite much?! I think it comes down to communication, how well you know your partner, and sacrifice within your "will-zone" to make sure you relationship stays happy and healthy.

At April 16, 2014 at 8:11 PM , Blogger Sam Ulmer-Dobson said...

Group gatherings seem like the best compromise should this be an issue in your relationship.

At April 16, 2014 at 8:11 PM , Blogger Sam Ulmer-Dobson said...

Love the insight! I agree, communication is key!


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