Recently, I met a friend from high school for coffee. I hadn’t seen this friend in a few years, and although we connected over Facebook every so often, that’s not the same as seeing them in person and catching up on what’s happening in our lives. Well, when I mentioned to a girlfriend that I had coffee with an old friend, her immediate question was: “Man or woman?”
I laughed and said it was a man. Got an immediate, “Now, Synithia.” (FYI; this is the friend I rely on to tell me when I’m wrong). I interrupted her forthcoming you know better than to do that speech by letting her know this male friend is also a homosexual. After that explanation she was okay, and we went on to talk about other things.
Her ready reprimand got me to thinking about old friends and new relationships. More specifically, if it is ever okay to have lunch or coffee with a friend of the opposite sex when you’re in a relationship. I asked this question of my informal focus group (i.e. friends and family) at our New Year’s gathering. It was funny, but another married couple had just encountered a similar situation, except theirs was a little touchier than mine.
At the end of our informal research session, we came up with these rules for when people in relationships can go out to coffee and/or lunch with someone of the opposite sex.
1. If you had sex with that person: No.
2. If that person once wanted to have sex with you: No.
3. If you once wanted to have sex with that person: No.
4. If that person was always a platonic friend: Maybe but let your mate know.
5. Is it business related and other people are going: Yes, but let your mate know.
6. Is it business related and no one else is going: Refer to rules 1-3.
7. If that person is a homosexual: Yes
Again, these are not hard a fast rules and they are coming from my informal group. Plus, I admit I am just playing at being a “relationship expert” (I laugh as I type that).
Do you agree with our rules or not?
This was such a touchy subject when my husband and I first got married because most of my friends were guys and I saw absolutely no problem in having coffee or lunch with them. It took us some time to see eye-to-eye but I think for the most part your little guidelines are pretty spot on. I think in the end you always need to let you partner know and if they are at all uncomfortable with it, even if you don’t understand, you need to respect that.
It is hard at the start of relationships to know how to handle old friends. Communication is important, and I agree that if it makes your partner uncomfortable to rethink it.
My husband thinks there is no such thing as cross gender friendships…especially with ex’s. He thinks one or the other ALWAYS is thinking of more. Since I’m not the one who’s thinking of more, I think it’s okay and don’t care what the warden (oops, I mean my husband) thinks. LOL Great post, Synithia. Thought provoking.
Ex’s are tricky! I don’t think I’d be okay with coffee/lunch with an ex unless my warden…ahem…hubby was with me 🙂
I completely agree!
I definitely think the rules you guys came up with are pretty good. I think it’s a touchy subject and you should always respect your partner’s opinion and feelings.