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Opposite Sex Friends...appropriate boundaries?
January 25, 2005
10:19 pm
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woundedspirit
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Im working hard on letting go of my ex for alot of reasons so this question is not related to him specifically but more in general. I mean, it is because of him Im confused but its an issue I want to have sorted out in my own mind before I move on to another relationship. Im wondering, in a healthy, committed, exclusive relationship, what are "normal", healthy boundaries regarding opposite sex friends? My ex husband and I shared friends, male and female, and it was never an issue. But my ex boyfriend I dated for 3 1/2 years has showed me what a big issue it can be. He has alot of female friends, which to me isnt a problem, but he hung out with them behind my back and lied to me constantly about them, which became a problem. He was always getting new womens phone numbers from the internet and would talk for hours into the night with them, chatting and on the phone. He tells me all guys are like that and I better get used to it and accept it. Ive only had the two relationships so I dont really know what is "norm" in todays dating world. To me, I felt that once we were in a serious relationship, I felt it was disrespectful to hang out with them behind my back and lying about it broke my trust to compound it. I felt that I should have the chance to meet them and hang out with them occassionally also if they were such good friends and we were in such a committed, serious relationship, even living together. He absolutely refused and said that I was trying to be controlling and it is my own insecurity issue and I needed to deal with it without him. I dont know. My husband and I were together 15 years and never had issues like the bf and I did. The bf says thats unusual and I wont find it again. Was I controlling in wanting to meet them? What are healthy boundaries for opposite sex friends?? Is it out of line to want to meet them? Im a social person and I always thought it would be fun to hang out with them. He often told me they had boyfriends so I thought we could double date or whatever...should I not expect that in relationships?

January 25, 2005
10:30 pm
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Worried_Dad
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Yes, it's okay for people to have opposite sex friends. Its okay to hang out with them. If you are not innappropritely jealous they wont have to lie about it.

And no, you don't have a God-given right to meet and apporve of all his friends--that would be controlling.

And I would have said let your boyfriend have his friends, except for one thing....

Your boyfreind is lying through his teeth.

No, not "all men" are like that. Probably not even "most men" are like that. Your boyfriends behavior of scrounging women's numbser off the internet when he is in a committed, monogamous realtionship is actually pretty unusual and not considered normal or acceptable by most people. And for him to say you will never find a guy who is more like your husband in these matters is a ridiculous lie.

And if he would tell a great big, stupid, obvious lie like that to you, then he must think you are pretty stupid. Sounds pretty damn disrespectful to me.

And if he lies about something like that he is probably lying about a lot of other things too.

I haven't heard a whopper like this since the "blue balls" one.

Guys? Help me out here.

January 25, 2005
10:32 pm
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Phalic_Liberator
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Your ex boyfriend is an ass. I am a guy and I don't have any, and I mean any, problem with the expectations that you have in a relationship. As a matter of fact I may just write it down as part of my personal ideals for what I want in a relationship.

YOU FUCKIN' ROCK!!!

Your XBF is an ASS.

January 25, 2005
10:41 pm
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woundedspirit
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lol...Thats very funny! I never had a problem with female friends, per say. It was more with the lying about it and sneaking around behind my back with them. I had never been a jealous person before at all with my husband. Was, in fact, very trusting as I knew he was an honest guy. When the bf would tell me he was with a guy and Id find out he was really at a club with a female friend or at her house watching movies, it made it so hard to believe anything he said. I always thought, if your not guilty, then dont act like you are. Things like, he'd be chatting with some girl and Id walk in the room and he would shut down all his conversations and block people really quick and insist he wasnt talking to anyone even though i had seen the name. Also, times we were together but not living together, he would end up spending the night with some women, strictly as friends, and even though they slept in the same bed, he would swear they never touched. (though later I did learn he had sex with two) He thought I was controlling for not trusting him. I wouldnt have a problem with my boyfriend going to lunch with a female co-worker or hanging out with an old friend occassionally. But I felt he crossed the line alot. Trouble is, are my lines appropriate?? I think it would have made a huge difference if he had been honest with me and told me when he was going out with female friend. You wouldnt believe the times my friends would see him in public places with another women and call to ask me about it and I didnt know anything about it or her. It was humiliating and I felt like an idiot. And when confronted, he always turned it on me like my finding out was worse than him lying. He still does that even this weekend. I want a healthier relationship next time around. Want to be sure Im not out of line in my comfort zone.

January 25, 2005
10:43 pm
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woundedspirit
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Phalic...:0) thank you! None of my female friends put up with it but they are all older than he is and in longtime relationships. Pretty much home bodies anyway. He is 26 and I am 33 and he says Im old fashioned.

January 25, 2005
11:30 pm
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sdesigns
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Hi Wounded: I think that if he really cared about you, he wouldn't want to spend soooo much time w/ other women, plus he would be telling you more about his activities if it isn't such a big deal to him. I agree w/ worried dad that this guy is lying. And the part about sleeping in some other woman's bed but not doing anything? Oh Puhlease!!! That would send me walking. If I hadn't walked by the time people were mentioning to me they had seen him w/ other women- how embarassing. Not exactly an ego booster.

January 26, 2005
6:16 pm
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woundedspirit
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I do feel the same way about sleeping in someone else's bed. He says he's "different from other guys" in that respect. And it was so hurtful to have my friends run into him with other women and me to be in the dark about it. If the guy were honest and open, should I be ok if he has a female friend and hangs out at her house alone watching movies from time to time late at night?

January 26, 2005
6:37 pm
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Phalic_Liberator
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Sure. If you trust him, and don't have a reason not to, then him hanging out at a female friends house is fine. It's when anyone is being secretive about their activities and facts come out that are contrary to what has been established by prior communication that mis-trust is not only created but also justified.

January 26, 2005
6:57 pm
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woundedspirit
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Maybe Ill have to work on that one. I used to be very trusting but Im afraid it might take some time to be comfortable with certain things even in new relationships. I know thats not fair to "punish" someone else for the ex's broken trust but just not sure what I can be comfortable with right now with anyone. Does this mean I shouldnt get in a new relationship yet? Until these kinds of issues are figured out and I can again be at peace with them within myself?

January 26, 2005
7:22 pm
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Phalic_Liberator
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I'm of the belief that one should strive to be the person they want to find in a relationship. Perfection in this regard is hard to achieve but it can be focussed on as an ideal.

I think, also, there are rebound phases, after relationships where we carry some of the old habits that we had developed as a result of being in a relationship with a prior person that can confuse the new person when we unconciously apply them in a new relationship.

You're the only one who can decide if you need to take time out of a relationship to develop personally. It isn't a bad idea but you should be clear about your intentions in whatever you do.

Explore the reasons why it would be benificial to remain free from attachments and think about some of the benefits to not being involved with someone else. Consider that right now you are free to do as you please and that being in any relationship requires a modicum of obligation, even if it's only being honest.

Hope this helps,

PL

January 26, 2005
7:28 pm
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shyshy
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Call me old fashion but I wouldn't want my boyfriend hanging out in any female house without me. Even if they are not alone and are just friends it's just not appropriate and anything can happen. You may have a friend for a while and realize after some time that feelings are starting to brew.
And spending time with a female friend alone watching a movie and sleeping in the bed together?? Sorry, but I would find it VERY hard to believe that there was no hanky panky. Even if there wasn't, that's still cheating in my book. He's spending all this time with other girls when he should be spending it with you.
I've only been in two relationships myself and neither one of them was like that and I wouldn't condone it even if it WAS the "norm". A relationship isn't just built on trust, it also involves compromise. Do you spend time alone with a bunch of guys? If you do then I wouldn't complain but if you don't then tell him since he's doing it you will to. I bet you he'll stop!! I did that with my STBX a while ago because he was reguarly calling up an ex of his and he claimed they were just friends but I told him "ok, then I guess you won't mind me calling up my old boyfriends then" He stopped calling her.

January 26, 2005
7:32 pm
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woundedspirit
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You know, I havent been looking for a relationship but I did meet someone new as a friend a month ago and we have hit it off really well. he's a great guy and part of me wants to be in an actual relationship with him because he is so great and has gone through similar things so we are on the same page that way, but part of me feels so guilty because I am still hung up on the ex and I dont feel thats fair. Just taking it slow. When Im in a relationship, I never hang out with guy friends without my boyfriend but then, Ive never really had guy friends that werent shared with my partner. Im just not that kind of person really. Which worked out well for my ex because ironically and hypocritically, he is a really jealous guy and of course, what is ok for him is definitely NOT ok for me!

January 26, 2005
7:47 pm
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Phalic_Liberator
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What's good for the goose is good for the gander.

My take on your former point, about still being hung up on a guy but getting involved with another is this:

If you don't want it done to you, you shouldn't do it to anyone else. The new guy sounds like he's a great guy but as long as you think you can do better for yourself you're not doing either one of you justice.

I would submit that being still hung up on the former indicates that you are at least attracted to some of his traits, regardless of the negative impact, the rest of him has had on you. You are left with a cunnundrum in that some of the traits you are attracted to may also be traits that are inherent with your ex's personality type.

Even if it is a different guy with a different name, you're running the risk of history repeating itself, when you find in the next man some of the same problems you faced in the former.

If I were you, I'd make a list of things that attract you to your ex. Look at it as if you were going to get you cake and eat it too. Just write down everything that makes him likeable regardless of the pain.

When you're done writing this list consider that some of the very same things you wrote down are responsible for the pain that ensued. Remember, the more you can be like the person you want to attract, the more you will attract that person.

January 26, 2005
7:56 pm
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woundedspirit
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Thank you! I'll do that!

January 26, 2005
9:01 pm
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Worried_Dad
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Besides, he's just a big fat liar!

January 26, 2005
11:11 pm
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woundedspirit
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lol...That he is!!

January 27, 2005
12:35 am
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woundedspirit
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Do most people think its ok for opposite sex friends to hang out together alone at their house when one is single and one is in a committed relationship? Im struggling with that.

January 27, 2005
12:55 am
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Phalic_Liberator
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I think it depends on the length of time people have known one another along with the nature of the relationship.

Generally though, if I meet a girl who has a pre-existing friendship with a guy that is her best friend, I stay out of the way. The only reason he's hanging around, unless he's gay, is because he wants more out of that friendship. It's not because he just wants sex from her. It's usually because he loves her and enjoys her company.

There are probably exceptions to that rule but for the most part 1)friends like that usually wind up in long-term romantic relationships with each other, and 2)knowing how it feels to be that guy I'm not going to be the one to put another guy through it while the girl is trying to find herself.

That's just my experience and I can't claim that it's typical of everyone. I hope it sheds some light on the issue though.

January 27, 2005
1:13 am
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woundedspirit
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Phalic, that is an interesting point of view. I have seen that happen alot so in alot of cases, it makes sense. I have had only one guy friend through the past relationship. Weve been friends since junior high. We talk on the phone once a month or so but never see each other. id consider him like a brother almost. It was important to me that my ex had a chance to meet him and see for himself there was no hidden "feelings" between either of us. Neither of us would ever think of the other that way. Still, I wouldnt have felt right hanging out with him without my boyfriend atleast knowing he was welcome. Thats just me.

January 28, 2005
9:14 pm
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betrayed30
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I agree with Shyshy only because I've been through it.
I had a very close female friend, I involved her in almost everything. Eventually she and my husband seemed like good friends. I didn't mind in the least at the beginning.

Eventually, it reached a point where she was calling and text messaging him. She was still contacting me but less and less. I still thought nothing of it, except for the fact that they hit it off as "friends"

As time went on, he had her living in our home. I didn't like it because I felt somewhat invaded as she was around me everyday. He eventually involved her in our business and working around the house.

I asked him to get her out simply because he's the one that brought her to our home. He ignored me for 2 months.
I moved out and got my own place for 1 year. During that time my husband and I was still talking.
He did his best to make me sound crazy. "Like what's the big deal here..what is wrong with her staying here."

I came to our home once, unexpectedly and saw 3 boxes of condoms on the table. He immediately told me that they were to play on joke on me, to make me jealous for fun.

He proceeded with his affair for a year. I found out that they were sleeping together and very much involved prior from when she even moved in. He would tell her everything about us and our history. Even every minor argument that should be between us only.

She was my friend and she did this. The worst part to me is that it was all done in my home, in our bed etc..
And even while I was living there, I went to bed early and they were at it right under my nose..

I'm so disgusted by him. My story is a little different then yours but the point is that you can't trust anything they are saying.

You can't trust men because given the opportunity in their face to cheat, and they won't decline.

And how could you trust your female friends? I would have respected her much more if she eventually came to me and told me what's going on instead of me finding out from my husband and other friends...

Now, she still calls him, she crank calls me and I so freaking out...

How do you start over and not bring this type of BS into the next relationship. ???

GoodLuck to you. Trust your gut feeling. I always did and I was 100% right.

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