View Poll Results: Can a man and a woman be JUST friends?

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Thread: Can a man and a woman be JUST friends?

  1. #11
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    Re: Can a man and a woman be JUST friends?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry View Post
    Only if he's gay.
    That's pretty much the way I see it.

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    Re: Can a man and a woman be JUST friends?

    Quote Originally Posted by samsmart View Post
    Well, I don't think that an ex who talks all the time with my girlfriend, meets my girlfriend, and then brings my girlfriend gifts is necessarily trying to win my girlfriend back.
    Oh, no, he's admitted it. She knows and does very little if anything to discourage him. She meets with him, takes his calls, accepts the gifts, but it goes deeper than that. She also invites him over, calls him, and gives him gifts.

    It's not even really that I don't trust her; I don't believe she'd cheat on me, but the fact that she knows that all of this really bothers me, and she absolutely refuses to do anything to put a stop to it, really pisses me off. If she were willing to take even the most basic steps to put some distance between them or shut him down, I might feel differently, but she isn't.

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    Re: Can a man and a woman be JUST friends?

    Quote Originally Posted by Curious George View Post
    - And finally, my own situation... if you were dating someone who had a RECENT ex, who was their best friend , who lived down the street from them, and had daily, in-person contact, who called and visited at all hours of the night, bought them gifts, and was admittedly doing their best to try to win back the person you were dating, would that be problematic for you? What if the person you were dating did little or nothing to discourage their ex's behavior?
    Unless you are overstating what is happening or understating your relationship, the way you asked the question means you don't really need anybody to answer the question. You just have to decide what is really happening. Just IMO.
    Last edited by chuck schmidt; 02-19-11 at 05:11 AM.
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    Re: Can a man and a woman be JUST friends?

    Quote Originally Posted by Curious George View Post
    Oh, no, he's admitted it. She knows and does very little if anything to discourage him. She meets with him, takes his calls, accepts the gifts, but it goes deeper than that. She also invites him over, calls him, and gives him gifts.

    It's not even really that I don't trust her; I don't believe she'd cheat on me, but the fact that she knows that all of this really bothers me, and she absolutely refuses to do anything to put a stop to it, really pisses me off. If she were willing to take even the most basic steps to put some distance between them or shut him down, I might feel differently, but she isn't.
    There's two scenarios here:

    1. You are paranoid and make a mountain out of a mole hill in terms of your description of their current relationship. If they are friends, giving each other gift during Christmas and B-Day are normal. So is inviting him over for a party or a gathering of friends since you all live close to each other. Try to be objective. Write down all the times those things have happened over the last 6 months or since they broke up.

    2. If having done that, you find that you are not paranoid, leave her dude. She obviously is not making you a priority in her life. If she's doing something that hurts you (and objectively would hurt most people in your situation) in order to keep a close relationship with the ex, she's not over him yet. She ain't worth your time.
    Last edited by nonpareil; 02-19-11 at 05:18 AM.
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    Re: Can a man and a woman be JUST friends?

    Quote Originally Posted by chuck schmidt View Post
    Unless you are overstating what is happening or understating your relationship, the way you asked the question means you don't really need anybody to answer the question. You just have to decide what is really happening. Just IMO.
    That's exactly what's happening and she's my girlfriend. We were together for a year when we were 17/18 and we've been together for three months or so now again (we're both 29). I don't believe she's cheating on me with her ex but I definitely feel like the contact they have is inappropriate and I've asked her to put a stop to it, but she refuses. She believes I'm just being jealous and that, if I trust her, I shouldn't have a problem with what she's doing.

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    Re: Can a man and a woman be JUST friends?

    Quote Originally Posted by nonpareil View Post
    There's two scenarios here:

    1. You are paranoid and make a mountain out of a mole hill in terms of your description of their current relationship. If they are friends, giving each other gift during Christmas and B-Day are normal. So is inviting him over for a party or a gathering of friends since you all live close to each other. Try to be objective. Write down all the times those things have happened over the last 6 months or since they broke up.

    2. If having done that, you find that you are not paranoid, leave her dude. She obviously is not making you a priority in her life. If she's doing something that hurts you (and objectively would hurt most people in your situation) in order to keep a close relationship with the ex, she's not over him yet. She ain't worth your time.
    Yeah, I'm not being paranoid. I really wish I were. It's daily, in-person contact, one on one, usually in private. They text and talk on the phone every day too. She says they're just friends, but how can you be just friends with someone who wants you back and gets really upset when your new boyfriend posts on your Facebook page?

    She doesn't hide any of it. She tells me when he comes over or when they talk. She tells me about these huge arguments they have when he gets upset because she won't take him back or whatever. She won't go into detail but she tells me that they argued and what it was about. So it's not like she's hiding anything.

    It sucks 'cause I really love this chick, and she swears she loves me too, but if she's not willing to put a stop to this, knowing how much it bothers me, I guess there's not much of a future to be had here.
    Last edited by Curious George; 02-19-11 at 05:38 AM.

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    Re: Can a man and a woman be JUST friends?

    I'd say it's possible, but uncommon. I know that personally, I've gone through a period where I was attracted to every female friend I've ever had, or they were attracted to me.

    My best friend from high school is now my wife.
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  8. #18
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    Re: Can a man and a woman be JUST friends?

    Quote Originally Posted by Curious George View Post
    My opinion is probably not.

    I believe straight men and women can work alongside one another, socialize in groups together, and be acquaintances, without there being any sexual tension or interest by one or both of the parties in the other. However, I believe it is highly unlikely, if not near impossible, for them to be JUST friends one on one. I believe, in male/female relationships with straight people, there is almost always sexual tension and interest by one or both of the parties in the other.

    Some additional questions:

    - If your boyfriend/girlfriend or husband/wife had a best friend who was a member of the opposite sex, would that be problematic for you?

    - If your boyfriend/girlfriend or husband/wife had an an ex who was a close friend, or even their best friend, would that be problematic for you?

    - And finally, my own situation... if you were dating someone who had a RECENT ex, who was their best friend, who lived down the street from them, and had daily, in-person contact, who called and visited at all hours of the night, bought them gifts, and was admittedly doing their best to try to win back the person you were dating, would that be problematic for you? What if the person you were dating did little or nothing to discourage their ex's behavior?

    Totally honest answer, based on four decades of observing the human condition... it is possible, yes, but usually somewhat difficult.

    It is easier for women than for men. Women do not have the compulsive mind-turns-toward-sex problem that men have. I'm not saying women don't have a biological sex drive, but for most it isn't remotely like a man's sex drive. It's like comparing a MiniCooper to a Mack Truck.

    Men tend to have sexual thoughts about any woman they find attractive, even if they know it is a bad idea. They don't have to ACT on those thoughts, true, but if they find her attractive those thoughts will be right there, lurking below the surface.

    It's a lot easier once you're past 30 or 35. Younger men have a harder time suppressing it and keeping it under wraps.

    Women are not immune to letting a male friendship turn into something more, (in fact it is one common situation that develops into adultery), but it works very differently. A woman may have a male friend about whom she has NO sexual thoughts at all, even if he is attractive. However, over time, she may find herself indulging in comparisons between the friend and her husband/BF. Her sentimental fondness for her friend may start budding into a more romantic intrest, which may result in a temptation to seek intimacy. The process begins with simple feelings of affection and admiration, and if the male friend "treats her better" than the hubby/BF in some sense this can be a driving factor.

    She doesn't HAVE to act on these feelings any more than the male has to ACT on his sexual intrest, but the temptation will be there. Again, older people tend to handle this better than younger people.

    Basically, if you are in a committed relationship that you wish to KEEP, you have to be careful how you manage your friendships with the opposite sex. A certain amount of caution about your thoughts and feelings is necessary, and a certain amount of caution about how close you allow this friendship to become. If you're spending large amounts of time in the "friend's" company, especially in a setting where you are alone with them, then you're setting yourself up for possible problems even if you have the best of intentions.

    Paranoia is not an attractive trait, nor is jealousy. However, if you are married or committed, you ought to consider your partner's feelings and needs and not give him or her just cause for suspicion. If you are spending a great deal of time with an opposite-sex friend, or going places with them alone, this really IS at-risk behavior and your partner IS justified to be a little concerned or unhappy about it.

    I'm not whistling in the wind. I've seen this happen with my own eyes more times than I can easily count: Woman has male friend, probably from work. She has no intrest in him except as a friend... but they spend a LOT of time together. They talk a lot and establish a rapport. They start to have "private jokes" and things they talk about that she doesn't talk about with her husband. She starts mentally comparing friend vs hubby and finding hubby lacking. She is in denial that she is developing romantic feelings about the friend, and continues to spend time with him alone, because he "makes her feel good". If her husband questions the relationship or how much time they spend together, she reacts with anger or annoyance and tells him he's being paranoid and controlling.

    And the next thing you know they have an affair and a family breaks apart.

    Seen it many times. In many cases, neither person involved began with such intentions, but it develops that way anyway.

    Opposite sex friendships are possible, but should be handled with great care if you value your partner and your relationship.
    OTOH, men, you have to understand that your wife/GF is inevitably going to be around other men and talk to them and have friendships with them, and you shouldn't badger her about casual friendships... but if she develops a close friendship with a man and spends lots of time with him, especially time alone, you may have cause for concern even if she won't admit it.
    Last edited by Goshin; 02-19-11 at 12:47 PM.

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  9. #19
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    Re: Can a man and a woman be JUST friends?

    Quote Originally Posted by Curious George View Post
    My opinion is probably not.

    I believe straight men and women can work alongside one another, socialize in groups together, and be acquaintances, without there being any sexual tension or interest by one or both of the parties in the other. However, I believe it is highly unlikely, if not near impossible, for them to be JUST friends one on one. I believe, in male/female relationships with straight people, there is almost always sexual tension and interest by one or both of the parties in the other.

    Some additional questions:

    - If your boyfriend/girlfriend or husband/wife had a best friend who was a member of the opposite sex, would that be problematic for you?

    - If your boyfriend/girlfriend or husband/wife had an an ex who was a close friend, or even their best friend, would that be problematic for you?

    - And finally, my own situation... if you were dating someone who had a RECENT ex, who was their best friend, who lived down the street from them, and had daily, in-person contact, who called and visited at all hours of the night, bought them gifts, and was admittedly doing their best to try to win back the person you were dating, would that be problematic for you? What if the person you were dating did little or nothing to discourage their ex's behavior?
    Yeah - sure, men and women (or women and women, men and men) can be 'just friends' without any problems.

    But sometimes there's legitimate reason to BE leary. If someone cheated on their spouse - I imagine that their spouse would have legitimate reason to not trust the other after that.

    What the issues is in that situation is not the fact that one cannot trust the other - it's the fact that the other HAD trust and destroyed it BY cheating or trying to cheat.

    But to just *assume* that it's unacceptable for no reason at all IS in itself a problem.
    Last edited by Aunt Spiker; 02-19-11 at 11:08 AM.
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    Re: Can a man and a woman be JUST friends?

    - And finally, my own situation... if you were dating someone who had a RECENT ex, who was their best friend, who lived down the street from them, and had daily, in-person contact, who called and visited at all hours of the night, bought them gifts, and was admittedly doing their best to try to win back the person you were dating, would that be problematic for you? What if the person you were dating did little or nothing to discourage their ex's behavior?
    Completely unacceptable. Kick her to the curb and don't look back.
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