so the video i posted on friday kinda hit a nerve with a lot of yous guys and dolls.
i got a tweet asking about me weighing in on the comments and honestly, i chose not to on friday. sometimes i feel like if i start commenting, other people will stop and the conversation got really good without me.
however, even my considerable relational skills will not be able to end the debate of whether or not men and women can be just friends.
but today i’m posting my thoughts for everyone to see. i did this once before, too, but i’m coming from a different angle today.
i’m a married woman. most of my closest friends are men. all of those men are also friends of my husband’s. a couple of them i spend time alone with on occasion and this is not a big deal for us. my husband has female friends, who are also my friends, he has spent time alone with.
this works for us. we don’t have any trust issues about it. what we do have is boundaries. those boundaries are few but finite.
1. do not discuss your personal problems with someone of the opposite sex. you should be talking to your spouse about whatever it is you’re going through, not someone else of the opposite sex.
2. do not complain about your spouse to someone of the opposite sex. confiding in someone of the opposite sex about problems in your marriage is just not appropriate. it makes the other person want to intervene and/or protect and it’s just not his or her place to be involved that way.
3. no placing a friend of any gender before your spouse. i’ve seen friendships with people of the same sex be just as damaging as those with someone of the opposite sex. no one, no one, no one should have priority in your time or emotions over your spouse.
4. no spending time alone with opposite sex friends who make your spouse uncomfortable. this is a matter of respect. if your spouse is not comfortable with you spending time with a friend of the opposite sex, don’t do it.
i’ve seen exceptions to #1 be made and it worked out fine. generally because it was kept to a single conversation that prompted the married person to talk to their spouse or because the person of the opposite sex was also married and was assisting with counseling as an extension of the couple. however, that is dangerous territory unless you are absolutely certain your friend is capable of objectivity.
if you’re single, the rule is simple. if a you have a friend who is into you and you know you will never feel the same, cut him or her loose. do not be so selfish that you continue to let that person hope for a change in status just to stroke your ego or have a security blanket. the rest is really up to you and your friends.
truth? the answer to this big ‘ol monstrous question is whatever you want it to be. what works for you, isn’t what works for everyone. there’s not even a whole lot of morality attached to it. either you are capable of it or you’re not. either your friends are or they’re not. everyone is different.
craig and i realize our boundaries are wider than others. we get judged for it pretty regularly. but it works for us, though it probably wouldn’t work for everyone. and for good reason. but those reasons change from one person to the next.
all you can do is decide what works for you and make sure you don’t hurt anyone else in the process.
what are you boundaries with friends of the opposite sex?