A good friend asked me the other day if I thought two people could date and still keep their friends. It seems like a silly question when you know that 99% of the intimate relationships you enter into fail, but it gets really complicated and requires a lot of thought and communication (my favorite word when talking about relationships).
The first question is if they are same sex friends or opposite sex friends. Both types of friends open up their own can of worms. Same sex friends can lead to jealousy because you are either spending too much time (the partner gets jealous) or not enough time with them (the friend gets jealous and is usually the case in new relationships when you are in the so called ‘honeymoon’ stage). Be sure to introduce both parties as soon as possible and make sure you plan things to do with both of them seperately and together. It is key to communicate to your partner how important your friends truly are to you and set that standard right away. If they are right for you, they will understand.
The more tricky/sticky situation is if your friend is someone of the opposite sex. This can make both parties uncomfortable and you as well. First, hopefully, you and your friend have dealt with any unresolved feelings you may have. It is possible ot have a friend who is not the same sex or gay and just be friends without ulterior motives (despite what some may believe), but that is only possible if both parties have been completely open and honest about their feelings (which is not usually the case).
If there are unresolved feelings between the two of you, your partner will pick up on them. This will only lead to more drama that is unnecessary in a new relationship. Communication is so very important in these situations. But communication is a two way street, be sure to hear what your partner is saying to you as well (they may see something you don’t because you are too close to the situation). Set up ground rules and stick to them. So many people agree to a rule and then breaks it in the future (which causes problems).
In either one of these situations your friend may decide they don’t like your new partner. Again, need to keep both sides of the communication highway open and hear them out. Sometimes it is jealousy and sometimes they see something you don’t see.
In either case, it is not healthy to give up all your friends when you enter into a new relationship. It is a balancing act and one that requires you to be grounded, communicate, listen, and set up effective rules all parties can agree with. Check out what some local Arizonian’s had to say when asked this question below.
*Josie said “she’s been married for years and her husband understands that she gets along with males better than females. She just makes sure to include both her friends and husband in activities”
*Nancy said “giving up friends may be necessary if they are causing issues with your relationship. Both relationships require a two way street. You will know what is right for you when the time comes.”
*Gerard said, “guys and girls cannot be friends without there being a reason. One party or both wants something from the other. It’s usually sex where guys are concerned. They are just waiting for the right moment.”
The names were changed to protect identities but the statements were not. People have different opinions on this topic and it makes for a great debate. Please feel free to add your thoughts to the comment stream below. Check out some other relationship articles here. If you want to join in on other relationship debates feel free to friend me on FaceBook.
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