Can you have friends of the opposite sex?

Let me just jump right into this. Yes, but with conditions. Steve Harvey recently made news with his comments on the topic of having friends of the opposite sex. His thoughts, which are very valid come from the idea that a man has a woman as a friend when he puts her in the category of knowing he will never sleep with her. Meaning, we ain’t gonna bump uglies, then we can be cool. But if I have the chance, I’m taking the opportunity. And for this, some men find it hard to have a woman who is genuinely a friend.

Women however see a different point. We can see a guy as an actual friend and it has nothing to do with attraction or sexual chemistry. Yes, we can put you in the Friend Zone and yes, we can go from doing the nasty to being buds. It’s a transition that comes easy for us because we see that friendship connection more important than sex. This can confuse your male partner and in many cases, make them feel threatened. I’m here to argue that it shouldn’t.

So I, like many women, who over the years, always had more guy friends than girlfriends. Now at the moment, I am closer to my girls, but I have a handful of guys that if I needed to call in an emergency, have my back. Some of those I have had zero physical or romantic connection to. Some, we have had a past of intimacy. But years have passed, I’m engaged, or they are happily married with kids, there is no bond more than an actual friendship. Here’s how I have always seen this dynamic. It’s one thing to have those friends to hang out with over drinks or bond at a sporting event, but what about the person you call when you have a death in the family or you’re going through something like a divorce? In moments like that, a genuine friendship is so important, and one that should be bigger than what may have happened years prior in or out of the bedroom.

This is where the “conditions” come in. I think in order to have a strong relationship to the opposite sex, while you are in fact in a relationship, it’s important to be honest with your partner about the history of the friendship. Do I think they need to know all of the dirty details? No. But should they know in all honesty that there was some sort of physical past? Yes. But why? If it ever comes out that this little fact was never mentioned, your partner will inevitably feel as if it was hidden on purpose, when you may not see it that way. This is the tricky part of having friends of the opposite sex. What do you divulge to your partner?

At the end of the day, you have a friendship that may have been years in existence before your time with your significant other. If it is a real solid friendship, like the one you can call on if your mom passes or your baby is born, then I think those healthy friendships are indeed safe and valuable. Remember, if it ever feels like you’re hiding information or details, or if you have to proceed with caution, that’s never good. Treat both your friendship and relationship with open respect, and both should be able to live in harmony.

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