Can A Heterosexual Man And Woman TRULY Just Be Friends?

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Is My Partner's Friend A Threat To Our Relationship?

Two parameters to set if your husband has a close female friendship.

If you are in a relationship with someone who has a close friend of the opposite sex, you might be grappling with this gnawing question.

Of course, you want your mate to have friends and people in his or her life to count on in addition to you. At the same time, nobody wants to be taken for a fool. You might feel like you have to stay on alert. What if your partner's friend has ulterior motives? What if there are yet to be realized romantic feelings between your mate and this friend?

The question in many people's minds is how possible it really is for two people of the opposite sex to be just friends. Is this just a situation fated to lead to betrayal and hurt?

If you are jealous of your partner's friend, you are probably feeling confusion and you might even be torn up inside. Your jealous feelings are likely adding to the discord between yourself and your partner. He or she may seem defensive and impatient if you've voiced your concerns about the friendship.

Even if you haven't communicated your worries to your partner, your inner jealousy and fears are probably contributing to a wall between the two of you. Either way, you and your partner are not moving closer together, you are being driven apart.

So, can they be just friends? We believe that, yes, it is possible, and it happens all of the time. With honesty, openness and clarity, this type of friendship can and does occur.

If you think about your own life, there are probably many people you interact with and whom you call friends who are members of the opposite sex. You can laugh, have fun, even hang out and just have a cup of coffee together AND not cross the line.

As you probably know, there are some people with whom you feel a natural camaraderie. It's enjoyable to be with these particular people and you value the relationship you have with them. At the same time, the relationship does not reach an intensity or intimacy that you have in your love relationship or marriage.

You just don't feel the same way about these people as you do about your mate. However, emotional affairs and relationships are very real and can wreak havoc on a relationship. This makes the whole issue a little less clear in some cases.

If you notice that you'd rather spend time with your friend, and that you are meeting needs with this friend that you feel are lacking in your love relationship, it's probably time to take a step back and re-evaluate what's going on. Here's how.

1. Be clear within yourself and with your partner.

You can blame your partner, your friend, or even yourself. But let's face it: Blame and judgment are probably not going to help you release your jealous fears and, instead, concentrate on connecting more closely with your love.

It's essential that each of you involved be very honest and clear within your own selves. What are your feelings about your partner and about the friend? Again, set aside blame and adopt an attitude of curiosity.

While it is not advisable for you to approach your partner's friend to inquire about his or her feelings, it can be extremely helpful for you to encourage your mate to share how he or she feels about this friend with you. You might make an agreement with your partner that you will only listen to try to understand the friendship and that you are not accusing him or her of any wrongdoing.

The goal here is to foster a sense of openness and clarity about the friendship, as well as your love relationship. From that point, you can both make decisions about the next step. With more information and an environment of honesty, you might choose to let go of your jealous habit

2. Keep moving closer together.

As you begin to talk more openly and honestly with one another, you and your partner might realize that some of the needs you have are not being met within your relationship. You can now begin to create ways those needs can be met.

Perhaps your partner is very athletic and you are not very interested in sports. His or her friend of the opposite sex is someone with whom your partner can share sports. Maybe they play on the same soccer team together.

You and your mate might decide that it feels acceptable to both of you for him or her to meet this need to share sports with the friend. Or you could come up with some ways that you can also share in his or her love of sports. You might attend more of the soccer matches he or she plays in, for example.

The ultimate intention here is for you and your partner to connect more and move closer together. This isn't about intensifying some sort of competition between your partner's friend and yourself; it's about keeping the communication open and honest and making sure that you both are having your needs met within your relationship.

When you acknowledge that it is possible for men and women to be just friends, you are on your way to letting go of jealousy. If doubts arise, ask yourself if the belief that your partner's opposite sex friendship will inevitably turn into something more serves you or your relationship.

From there, keeping it honest, clear and open is a path that can take you to the connected, closeness you desire with your mate.


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