Why do they still want to hang with their opposite sex single friends
“Especially when I told them that I’m uncomfortable with it.”
This is actually a question that’s far more common than you may think. We all have friend circles, and this is the ’10’s where people have mixed gender friendships with a wide array of both single friends and taken friends. What happens when your partner decides that they want to hang with their friends of the opposite sex on their alone time?
I get it, we all want to set aside a certain amount of time away from our partnerships to deepen the bonds between our friendships. It’s a must for those in an intimate relationship. Humans weren’t designed to hole themselves up in a cave with just them and their partners; we need a wider scope of people with friendships and interaction.
So what do you do? Well two things are going on here. There’s what’s going on inside your head, and what’s going on inside your partners.
Let’s start with you
It’s not all about insecurity
I’ve seen a lot of people say,
“Oh (s)he is just insecure, get rid of them.”
But that would only apply if their relationship had grown a certain amount over a couple of years. It’s only natural to be insecure at the beginning, or at least near the beginning.
Well right at the start is the honeymoon phase where under my understanding there is a certain animal attraction with each other; you are intoxicated by their presence and their very being lights the fire in your stomach, why would you want to be in the presence of anyone else from the opposite sex? For me I still hung with my friends whilst at the beginning with my wife but I didn’t involve myself much with other females. Under my understanding that just complicated the matter slightly.
At the beginning you barely know or understand your partner, it’s right to be a little jealous over the fact that they are choosing to be with other men/women than you.
Is your partner ‘listening’ to you?
This is where most of us fall by the way side. People are becoming far too busy trying to get their own side of the story out rather than sitting down and listening to what our partners have to say about things. Sometimes it’s really hard to sit and listen to something that’s really painful to hear without stabbing our two cents in to get that upper hand. But if they just aren’t listening to you and want to do their own thing anyway because they think you are being ‘stupid’ then perhaps this is an indicator of how much of a weight your opinion means to them?
I don’t think many people understand opinion weight. Or at least that’s what I call it.
Well, as an example I added an old flame to Facebook a couple of years back and I told my wife. I said,
“Oh, I was in a relationship with her when I was younger and I wanted to see how she was doing.”
My wife immediately didn’t like what she was hearing – it made her feel dreadfully uncomfortable. And to me it seemed silly, I was in a relationship with this woman at least 12 years ago and she had absolutely nothing to worry about, but because it made her feel uncomfortable and she had expressed her feeling to me explicitly; I blocked her. End of story.
See? Her opinions and feelings held weight with me. What sort of person would I be if I carried on regardless? Then her opinions and feelings wouldn’t mean much to me at all.
I’m not saying you are right, though
Sometimes people have been friends with others from the opposite sex since they were little kids in school, sometimes it’s hard to break away from those tight knit bonds that draws both of them together. I haven’t had that since-school bond with a woman, but just because I haven’t experienced it, it really doesn’t mean that people don’t have these relationships. I’ve also had and still have friendships with women who are both single and available and married and unavailable, but I’ve always been ubundantly clear with my boundaries.
Perhaps your partner has already made that clear with them? Perhaps they are only trying to keep a long standing friendship they’ve had going forever more? It’s really not your place to dictate to your partner whether or not people should be in their lives. After all, they did have one before they met you whther you like it or not. And no amount of you feeling jealous will change that.
There have been friends that I’ve had in the past – completely plutonic that I’ve 100% refused to get rid of. There was nothing at all there, only friendship, and we had been through thick and thin together. One tall, beautiful blonde woman with long legs I was friends with and my wife hated it. But there was only friendship there, and nothing else.
But then again I wasn’t running off to talk with her every five minutes; our hanging periods were sporadic at best as we both had lives to be getting on with.
So what do we do moving forward?
Well like everything in life there needs to be communication. There needs to be a place where you both talk to each other in turns and the other listens. And that doesn’t mean shout over each other, or furiously wait until the other stops so that you can take them down in primal fashion. You need to listen to what they have to say and take it on board. It’s not nice when your partner decides that the raw emotions you feel are ‘stupid’ or equally the friend you’ve had since you were 10 can’t be a friend anymore because it makes your partner feel ‘uncomfortable’
There needs to be some basic give, and some basic take. Maybe instead of going out to see their friend every week it could be every four, until you have a better handle on how they both are with each other. I’m not saying you should stop them seeing their friend altogether, because that would be unfair, especially if they’ve known them since childhood
Unless there really is something going on – and now it’s time to question if you’re in the right relationship for you.
But make no mistake; if you’re sitting there saying to yourself,
“I know what men/women are like.”
Er, you actually don’t; because there is no way you can understand the diverse sets of friend circles out there. By saying this, this is a reflection on how well you trust and know yourself. You only REALLY know how YOU are. Until you know their friend personally, you won’t have a handle on how they are as a person.
All in all there is no right or wrong here. One side is feeling one way, and the other side is feeling another way. It’s definitely a discussion that you both need to have and a compromise that you both need to take. I can give you my personal thoughts on it but those would be tainted by my own life experiences. People continue to amaze me and stun me in awe with the difference of character in each and every person. Don’t pretend to know people based on your own experience.
My manager taught me one great lesson in life and it was this,
“Never assume, Raymond”
And I’ll take that to my grave.
So now it’s time to get the ball rolling and do what you should’ve done in the first place:
Talk to each other
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