Many of us have the view that men and women cannot be just friends.  This is why in situations where your partner has a close friend that is of the opposite sex, it can be uncomfortable for the spouse and often causes problems to arise in the relationship.  The thoughts to your partner that has an issue with it are: What do they do when they are alone?  Are they ever alone?  What are their phone and text messaging conversations like? Do they share stuff they do not tell me?  Have they ever had an intimate or romantic relationship in the past?  Does their friend secretly have feelings for them but they just don’t realize it?  Is he/she better looking than me?

Can Men and Women really be friends?

Can Men and Women really be friends?

Of course men and women can actually be just friends and only that with no sexual attraction.  But, we are all human, and let’s face it – men and women are naturally drawn to one another.  Stuff can happen if two people who are attracted to one another in the slightest ways are left together alone. It does not have to go down that way, but it does happen often.

For example, a family can be broken up due to a cheating man, or a woman’s male friend is there for her more than her own boyfriend is and one thing leads to another…and so on and so forth.

Break ups are often caused by cheating

Break ups are often caused by cheating

These are all legitimate concerns for your significant other to have. The problem remains in two areas and they are first, that your partner may have some insecurity issues (which is something they need to work on personally), but even worse than that, you aren’t making them feel secure enough not to worry.  In other words, it may be you that’s the problem.  Many times in situations such as this one, we would point fingers at the person feeling insecure and put all onus on them but in all actuality, it is your job as their boyfriend or girlfriend to ensure they do not have a single thing to worry about!

The first way to handle the battle of being able to keep your friend in your life and keeping your significant other comfortable with it, is to openly talk about your friend to your partner, allowing them to feel at ease and that there are no secrets.   Taking it another step further you should also introduce the two of them because if your friend is that close to you they obviously aren’t going anywhere, and if your partner means that much to you, you will not want to hide them.

These two steps will dramatically put any tension down that your partner will have about your friendship. It’s also important to verbalize that you are not romantically interested in the person you are friends with and to engage your partner in the type of friendship it actually is.   This is especially important with women, as we require details. Sometimes it boils down to  the lack of trust your partner may have for you but again, it’s up to you to build that trust and make sure they feel secure in your relationship.  Your significant other should never have to worry about where you are or who you are hanging around.  Oftentimes, it is the actual friend themselves that the partner does not trust – not you.

Can you be friends?

Can you be friends?

Remember, your partner knows how great of a catch you are, that’s why they are with you.  Do you think they want to share that with another man/woman in even the slightest way? Regardless of the fact, never make your partner feel secondary to your friend because then they will definitely be suspicious.  Nor should you ever drop your friends for your significant other.  Balance the two out, make them aware of one another especially in the favor of your partner as they are the ones you may be spending the rest of your life with.

By: Chanté Salick

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