Author Topic: friends of opposite sex  (Read 5487 times)

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lurkerwisp

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Re: friends of opposite sex
« Reply #30 on: January 28, 2013, 11:42:51 AM »
I'm in the minority here because I would be uncomfortable in some of these situations.

I do not have many male friends and those that I do have, I do not "hang out with" without my husband and/or their partner/spouse being present (if DH is out of town or traveling).  We also have certain "rules" about hanging out.  We do not drive in cars with a partner of the opposite sex, alone, to whom we are not related.  I would never meet a male friend at a hotel restaurant or in any intimate type setting.  I do not have repair personnel at my home alone or have male friends over without my husband being there or other people.  I'm 40, so I don't think I necessarily fall into the "old school" category, but maybe I do.

It has very little to do with trust, but more that I do not want to become emotionally close to anyone not my spouse or give anyone any reason to be suspicious/talk.  Obviously there are people who will believe anything, but we try not to give them anything to work with either.  And these rules work both ways so DH follows them too.
Ok, now, so here we go. I don't agree with all this, especially the alone with the repair person thing or the alone driving in a car thing,  but alot of it I do have tendencies towards. I like that you used the term intimate type setting. I agree. Isn't a bar/restaurant a intimate setting? It just would look weird wouldn't it? If another person who knew her saw her with someone other than her husband (assuming she was married again) at a bar wouldn't that immediate be a "who's that shes with, it's not her husband" kind of thought immediately by just about anyone?

That's an interesting assumption considering you've dated for only four months.  To be completely honest, if I were your girlfriend I would be thinking about dumping you if I'd read all that you've written here.  Any desire to control friendships pings pretty strongly as a red flag to me.  A friend of mine was the victim of domestic abuse, and this is how it started.

Ok but where does it end. If I follow her and how most replies thus far have been thinking, then the following scenarios would be ok? 

Instead of: "Honey I know you can't get time off but I was thinking of taking a weeks vacation to go with my good same sex friend to the Bahamas" you substitute "good long term, grade school opposite sex friend".

Instead of: " I just found out that same sex friend from work-x and I both love that Whole foods store that I shop at every week.  We decided we would shop together there every week.  it will be fun"  Now substitute in opposite sex friend.

Are not both scenarios an issue?  Wouldn't any spouse legitimately not like even the mere fact that their spouse would even consider such a thing and maybe even begin to resent that they have to be the person causing trouble because they feel a need to say "I don't like that"?

The first one is a little weird, but that's not what she's suggesting.  You're putting words in her mouth that just weren't there.  Yes, a long romantic vacation for two is weird (even two of the same gender).  Yes, you would be fine to feel bad about that.  That's not in the same world as dinner after a concert, grocery shopping, or going to a game together.  You're going too far.

The second one sounds about as innocent as grocery shopping inherently is.  It's also safer to go places with someone than to go alone.  If you're not willing to go with her and someone else is, then just be happy she has friends with common (if really boring) interests.

Lastly, she's not currently your spouse, but you continue to talk like she is.  I think maybe you're moving too fast.  She has friends, and she likes to do things with them.  These are things you'll have to learn to just accept if you're truly interested in her as a person, not just in having her to yourself.

Auntie Mame

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Re: friends of opposite sex
« Reply #31 on: January 28, 2013, 11:43:36 AM »
1) You obviously do not trust her which begs the question, why are you with her?

2) You are asking her to choose between her close, dear, long time friends and a controlling man she has known for a few months.  This will only drive her away.

3) It sounds like you have some work to do on your issues around jealousy and your need to control her every move and dictate her friendships.

Good luck.
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TurtleDove

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Re: friends of opposite sex
« Reply #32 on: January 28, 2013, 11:46:50 AM »
I think this is something you and GF should take to counseling. We can give our opinions, but in the end it's up to you two to negotiate your boundaries.

This.  I couldn't be with someone like the OP.  This doesn't mean the OP is "wrong," but rather that I would want to be with someone who trusted me and did not try to control me, which is how it would feel to me.  I understand not everyone would feel controlled that way. If the GF does feel as though the OP is trying to control her (this is the sense I get) I don't think this is a good match.  Resentment both ways.

Regarding being seen in a restaurant with someone not my SO - this happens to me all the time, and my SO is seen with other women consistently also.  Never has it been a problem, and frequently we see other people we know.  It has always been abudantly clear to everyone what was going on - either friends out for lunch or supper, or colleagues, or _____ that is not threatening to our SO relationship.

Cat-Fu

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Re: friends of opposite sex
« Reply #33 on: January 28, 2013, 11:47:48 AM »
TBH if you'd be worried about your GF of four months going to the grocery store with a male friend, I think you have more issues than can be fixed on an etiquette forum.
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Twik

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Re: friends of opposite sex
« Reply #34 on: January 28, 2013, 12:28:36 PM »
You must remember, awilson, that her friends have been in her life longer than you have. So, expecting her to drop them, or cease doing activities she's used to doing, is unrealistic.

On the other hand, if she's known them that long, and is not involved with them, she's unlikely to suddenly take off on wild affairs with them just because she's started seeing you.

I know that a lot of the issue here is that you're getting back in to dating. We're not trying to dogpile you here, we just want to let you know that she's not unusual with having male friends, nor in wanting to hang out with them. Perhaps if you get over your fear of being a "third wheel", you can get to know them and make some new friends two.
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snowdragon

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Re: friends of opposite sex
« Reply #35 on: January 28, 2013, 12:38:25 PM »
I guess it also bothers me that she has such great male friends for so long. Most women just donít,  donít you think?

I am a little older than you and I have mostly male friends...some of them I have known since I was a toddler, others a mere 20 years.  I'd say I spend most of my time in the company of men, and I have no intention of dating anyone, male or female.
  This is your issue and your issue alone. I could not be with someone who expected to be able to tell me not to be going out with my friends because of their gender.  Or who woud begrudge me the time I spent with them to the point that they figured out that I wanted to spend 24 days out of 365  with friends ( even if this is only weekends youre talking 24 out of 104 weekend days. - that's really not much) I spend almost every Friday from 2-9 and almost every Saturday with my BFF - her husband encourages it and then spend Sundays together and all week as his swing shift job allows. I have another friend that I will travel to see twice a year and spend 10 days to three weeks with at a crack...he will come see me for the same time span when his job will allow. 
  I will also do the two concerts in one weekend every time my favorite band is with in reasonable driving distance.  I have to say I don't think anything your GF is doing is unreasonable or untoward, but if you are looking at having a life with this woman after 4 months, you need to deal with it and not expect her to change her life to suit you...there is no room for compromise here, because that would be allowing you to control her movements and friendships, that just not acceptable from where I sit.
  Ask yourself this - why does this threaten you? And how would you react if she told you how many times a year you can see your friends and what you were allowed to do with them?

Specky

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Re: friends of opposite sex
« Reply #36 on: January 28, 2013, 12:44:47 PM »
For me, it reads differently.  That's an awful lot of dates she is talking about going out on over the course of a year.  It seems that she is more interested in maintaining these other relationships than developing a relationship with you.  It sounds like way more than "friendships" to me. 
 
I would run, but I would be the one running from this. I think the angst you are feeling are the red flags that are trying to wave and it is coming out sounding like jealousy/possessiveness.

DavidH

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Re: friends of opposite sex
« Reply #37 on: January 28, 2013, 12:55:38 PM »
On some level, there isn't a right or wrong, it's what you're both comfortable with. On the other hand, if you have totally different ideas on what you're comfortable with, then a problem is brewing.

For the OP who won't have a repair man in her home when she's alone, it's clearly her choice, but I couldn't live like that or date someone with those views.  For example, if I had to stay home to chaperone her while the gardener came or the electrician, it would drive me insane and I would resent it.  Similarly, if I were dating someone who said they'd never ride alone in a car with someone of the opposite gender that wouldn't bother me, but I wouldn't agree to be held to that standard. 

One thing that strikes me as I read your post is that you don't know her friends and that bothers you, but you won't make the effort to meet them. I think that you either need to make the effort or accept that you don't know them. 

As for her going out to dinner or to a concert, if this is someone who she's known for many years, I'd assume that if they had wanted to date they'd have done so by now.  I wouldn't worry that suddenly they'd decide to date while you and she were dating.  If it were a guy she had just met and she was planning a dinner alone with him and you weren't invited, that, to me, would be odd.  For where I'd draw the line, for me, I'd draw the line at staying over night, in the same room.   I think what I find a challenge her is that you don't want to be invited and won't go, but then are uncomfortable at not being there.   

In any event, since you clearly have very different views, you need to sit down and discuss them and reach an agreement, and the sooner the better. 

wolfie

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Re: friends of opposite sex
« Reply #38 on: January 28, 2013, 01:05:16 PM »
For me, it reads differently.  That's an awful lot of dates she is talking about going out on over the course of a year.  It seems that she is more interested in maintaining these other relationships than developing a relationship with you.  It sounds like way more than "friendships" to me. 
 
I would run, but I would be the one running from this. I think the angst you are feeling are the red flags that are trying to wave and it is coming out sounding like jealousy/possessiveness.

It would be if it were all with the same person. But I don't see meeting with one person once every three months. I meet with my friends every wed and I would not be with someone who wanted me to stop doing that because that is 52 days of the year I won't be with them.

awilson

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Re: friends of opposite sex
« Reply #39 on: January 28, 2013, 01:27:22 PM »
1) You obviously do not trust her which begs the question, why are you with her?

2) You are asking her to choose between her close, dear, long time friends and a controlling man she has known for a few months.  This will only drive her away.

3) It sounds like you have some work to do on your issues around jealousy and your need to control her every move and dictate her friendships.

Good luck.
I think your wrong. Im not like that. But I can see it coming off that way. But I do believe your right that if its an issue it is not about her. It is an issue I would have no matter who im with.  thanks.

Moray

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Re: friends of opposite sex
« Reply #40 on: January 28, 2013, 01:28:06 PM »
1) You obviously do not trust her which begs the question, why are you with her?

2) You are asking her to choose between her close, dear, long time friends and a controlling man she has known for a few months.  This will only drive her away.

3) It sounds like you have some work to do on your issues around jealousy and your need to control her every move and dictate her friendships.

Good luck.

This. Totally this.

What you have asked us, essentially, isn't "Is it okay for people to have friends of the opposite sex?" What you've asked is "How much control can I exact over this person I just started dating?"

OP, you say "oh, I'm not like that" but your feelings and actions (as conveyed through your posts) indicate that you: 1) don't trust her, 2) are asking her to choose; feel that you have a right to do so and 3) have some issues to work on re: jealousy.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2013, 01:32:34 PM by Moray »
Utah

awilson

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Re: friends of opposite sex
« Reply #41 on: January 28, 2013, 01:29:05 PM »
TBH if you'd be worried about your GF of four months going to the grocery store with a male friend, I think you have more issues than can be fixed on an etiquette forum.
Good point.  This is painful

awilson

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Re: friends of opposite sex
« Reply #42 on: January 28, 2013, 01:30:45 PM »
You must remember, awilson, that her friends have been in her life longer than you have. So, expecting her to drop them, or cease doing activities she's used to doing, is unrealistic.

On the other hand, if she's known them that long, and is not involved with them, she's unlikely to suddenly take off on wild affairs with them just because she's started seeing you.

I know that a lot of the issue here is that you're getting back in to dating. We're not trying to dogpile you here, we just want to let you know that she's not unusual with having male friends, nor in wanting to hang out with them. Perhaps if you get over your fear of being a "third wheel", you can get to know them and make some new friends two.

Thanks, I like you comments. I would never ask her to give up her friends. I guess just need time to assimilate.

awilson

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Re: friends of opposite sex
« Reply #43 on: January 28, 2013, 01:35:08 PM »
I guess it also bothers me that she has such great male friends for so long. Most women just donít,  donít you think?

I am a little older than you and I have mostly male friends...some of them I have known since I was a toddler, others a mere 20 years.  I'd say I spend most of my time in the company of men, and I have no intention of dating anyone, male or female.
  This is your issue and your issue alone. I could not be with someone who expected to be able to tell me not to be going out with my friends because of their gender.  Or who woud begrudge me the time I spent with them to the point that they figured out that I wanted to spend 24 days out of 365  with friends ( even if this is only weekends youre talking 24 out of 104 weekend days. - that's really not much) I spend almost every Friday from 2-9 and almost every Saturday with my BFF - her husband encourages it and then spend Sundays together and all week as his swing shift job allows. I have another friend that I will travel to see twice a year and spend 10 days to three weeks with at a crack...he will come see me for the same time span when his job will allow. 
  I will also do the two concerts in one weekend every time my favorite band is with in reasonable driving distance.  I have to say I don't think anything your GF is doing is unreasonable or untoward, but if you are looking at having a life with this woman after 4 months, you need to deal with it and not expect her to change her life to suit you...there is no room for compromise here, because that would be allowing you to control her movements and friendships, that just not acceptable from where I sit.
  Ask yourself this - why does this threaten you? And how would you react if she told you how many times a year you can see your friends and what you were allowed to do with them?
I guess I agree other than everyone thinks I want her to stop seeing her friends. I dont, its too much to ask. I'm just trying to figure out if what she is doing should be ok with me or if I have a legitimate beef.

awilson

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Re: friends of opposite sex
« Reply #44 on: January 28, 2013, 01:38:13 PM »
For me, it reads differently.  That's an awful lot of dates she is talking about going out on over the course of a year.  It seems that she is more interested in maintaining these other relationships than developing a relationship with you.  It sounds like way more than "friendships" to me. 
 
I would run, but I would be the one running from this. I think the angst you are feeling are the red flags that are trying to wave and it is coming out sounding like jealousy/possessiveness.
Yea it is coming out the wrong way. My previous marriage of 20 years had none of these issues and it never had to even be discussed. And yes tome it soundslike very other week she would be meeting up with a guy friend. It is a lot to me. And why can't they all get together a couple few times a year. After all they all know each other from grade school. Why separately?