Handling Opposite-sex Friendships In A Relationship
When the emotions of two different people are involved, it becomes a dicey situation; one in which you must always thread with caution.
However, committing ourselves to a monogamous relationship does not necessarily mean giving up the experience of being friends with people of the opposite sex when in a relationship.
As a matter of fact, allowing ourselves to form friendships extends our social network and somehow develops our sense of belonging and aids our personal growth.
It is not wrong to have friends outside our intimate relationship. In fact, it is vital to have friends outside our intimate relationship. The only time it may pose as a threat to your relationship is if or when you indulge in any of the following:
- Engage in sexual flirtations in person or via texts
- Hide the friendship from your partner
- Compare your partner unfavourable to your friend
- Entertain romantic or sexual fantasies about your friend
- Share secrets with your friend than with your partner
- Have been romantic and/ or sexual partners in the past
But, if you are certain that your friendship does not threaten your relationship, you can practice
some of these suggestions to ensure both relationship and friendship continue to thrive:
- Maintain solid boundaries with your friend and do not share private, intimate or sexual details with them
- Nurture your romantic relationship and treat your partner like your very best friend
- Ensure your partner knows your friend and stays informed about the friendship
- Avoid making new opposite-sex friends during times when you struggle in your relationship
- Resolve conflicts quickly
- create opportunities for fun, excitement and adventure with your partner
Knowing how to maintain a healthy relationship with our partners whilst remaining engaged in opposite-sex friendships helps you both grow as individuals by experiencing different types of closeness and connection.