Monday, July 23, 2012

Opposite sex friendships

Opposite sex friendships

Opposite sex friendships can be healthy and normal but some opposite sex friendships are playing with fire. When opposite sex friends truly are "just friends", their friendship does not interfere in any way with their marriages or current relationship. If you are spending time socializing with your friend of the opposite sex at the expense of time with your spouse or current partner then your friendship should probably be looked at more closely. Are you running from your current relationship?

Good friends will talk and spend time with one another. If your opposite sex friendship is innocent, there will be no secretiveness. In fact, it's likely that your spouse or significant other will participate in getting together and be OK with it.

The real ingredient to watch for in opposite sex friendships is attraction. Are you physically attracted to that friend? Do you "have feelings"? Do you fantasize about that person? If you are, you are swimming in dangerous waters. It is natural to feel attracted to someone of the opposite sex, we are all human. We look, we fantasize but if you are emotionally attracted to an opposite sex friend, you run the risk of having an affair. It's not so much how you feel, it's what you do with those feelings that make a difference.

Friendship plus physical/emotion attraction is a combination that you need to be extra careful with. The more opportunity that you have to spend time with that other person (meetings, emails, text messages, phone calls), the greater the chance that you will develop an emotional or physical affair. It only takes one slip up to turn your whole life upside down and the life of your family also.

You don't have to necessarily end your friendship if you have a physical attraction to your friend of the opposite sex, but you must take steps to put up walls. Use that energy to break down the walls between you and your spouse or partner. One step without the other is probably pointless.

Opposite sex friendships can be wonderful, but romantic feelings must not be allowed to flourish. A deep affection for a friend of the opposite sex is possible without it being a threat to your marriage or current relationship but you must be careful. Again, there's a thin line if there is an attraction. If you do have a strong physical attraction, you need to reduce your time together.

Remember that happy, mature partners aren't jealous; neither do happy partners give one another a reason to feel jealous.

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