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Can Men and Women Be Friends?

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Can Men and Women Be Friends?

Harry Burns: You realize of course that we could never be friends.
Sally Albright: Why not?
Harry Burns: What I'm saying is - and this is not a come-on in any way, shape or form - is that men and women can't be friends because the sex part always gets in the way.
Sally Albright: That's not true. I have a number of men friends and there is no sex involved.
Harry Burns: No you don't.
Sally Albright: Yes I do.
Harry Burns: No you don't.
Sally Albright: Yes I do.
Harry Burns: You only think you do.
Sally Albright: You say I'm having sex with these men without my knowledge?
Harry Burns: No, what I'm saying is they all WANT to have sex with you.
Sally: They do not!
Harry: Do too.
Sally: They do not.
Harry: Do too.
Sally: How do you know?
Harry: Because no man can be friends with a woman that he finds attractive. He always wants to have sex with her.
Sally: So, you're saying that a man can be friends with a woman he finds unattractive?
Harry: No. You pretty much want to nail 'em too.
Sally: What if THEY don't want to have sex with YOU?
Harry: Doesn't matter because the sex thing is already out there so the friendship is ultimately doomed and that is the end of the story.
Sally: Well, I guess we're not going to be friends then.
Harry: I guess not.

If you read my post yesterday, you know that I got all upset about some little punk kid telling my 4 year old that he couldn't be friends with a girl

Because really, he should be able to be friends with whoever he wants to be friends with.

But, does that really apply to adults, too?  I've written before about how I had to switch teams when it came to friendship.  That I was friends with mostly boys/men from about junior high on but how that changed after marriage and kids.

Ladies, let's be honest here. Sometimes, we aren't that nice to each other. Friendships can be complicated and take a long time to develop.

It's easier with men.

But, after marriage, being friends with men was viewed differently.

Why would I spend a lot of time with a man who was not my husband?

And after kids? Why would I spend what little kid-free time I could get with a man who is not my husband?

Funny looks and rumors start.

And that isn't even counting if said man is married, too. His wife wonders why her husband is spending time with another woman.

It starts to get complicated.  I know I should say I don't care what anyone else thinks...but I do care if it reflects badly back on my family.

I can talk to friends of my husband...in fact, if we are out with other couples and the guys and girls separate, I tend to stick with the guys.

But, my husband is there, too.

If my husband were to call me right now and tell me that he wasn't going to be home for dinner because he was going to go out to dinner with some girl...well, my first thought would be WHAT THE HECK? OH NO, YOU AREN'T!

And if I were to tell him that I wanted to go hang out with some guy I just met, I'd expect him to think that was seriously weird, too.

Because I believe that after you are married, the most important member of the opposite sex should then be your spouse. Any "dates" you are going on should be with them.

Can men and women be friends? Yes, I do think they can be. Especially if you have been friends with them for a long time, like my gay best friend who isn't really gay.

But, there needs to be boundaries. Clear boundaries.

But, I really want to hear what you think about this: Do you think men and women can be friends?

Harry: Would you like to have dinner? ...Just friends.
Sally: I thought you didn't believe men and women could be friends.
Harry: When did I say that?
Sally: On the ride to New York.
Harry: No, no, no, I never said that. ...Yes, that's right, they can't be friends. Unless both of them are involved with other people, then they can. ...This is an amendment to the earlier rule. If the two people are in relationships, the pressure of possible involvement is lifted. ...That doesn't work either, because what happens then is, the person you're involved with can't understand why you need to be friends with the person you're just friends with. Like it means something is missing from the relationship and why do you have to go outside to get it? And when you say "No, no, no it's not true, nothing is missing from the relationship," the person you're involved with then accuses you of being secretly attracted to the person you're just friends with, which you probably are. I mean, come on, who the hell are we kidding, let's face it. Which brings us back to the earlier rule before the amendment, which is men and women can't be friends.



Blogger myevil3yearold said...

I have always found it easier to make friends with guys. My closest friend is female but the majority of my friends are male. I think the key to making my husband feel comfortable is to make sure he knows them too. (Same for their wives) We all go out to eat or go to each other's house for cook outs. Everybody knows everybody.

March 22, 2011 at 7:08 AM  
Blogger Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

I think friends in a controlled environment (like a workplace) works pretty well. I think though outside those boundaries, like if you went out for dinner or something - just the two of you, becomes a pretty gray area. I think it really takes two people who are very set in their boundaries to make something like that work.

March 22, 2011 at 7:13 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Here lately I have decided that friends of either sex IRL are seriously over rated. Too many games and drama and bull crap to contend with.. seriously. I have friends of both sexes, some single some in a relationship. I would also have to say there are some that yep I would love to have sex with.. however, I can control that urge and have a friendship that exists beyond that.I think at a certain level both parties can mature and get past that and remain friends.

March 22, 2011 at 7:14 AM  
Anonymous Blue&White said...

I'm not giving up my male friends for marriage.

And if my husband or his family expected me to, I wouldn't marry him.

That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard.

But it seems like most of my male friends go off and get married and then drop off the face of the Earth. Girls are silly.

March 22, 2011 at 7:22 AM  
Blogger Oka said...

I think men and women can be friends. I have to agree though, once one is married, there has to be CLEAR boundaries. I believe God intended on our most important relationship (aside from the one we have with him) should be with our spouse. Therefore, no friendship should be more important than your marriage.

I also had my closest friendships with males throughout my JR/SR High years. I am grateful for them. They made it easier to understand(not that we will ever fully understand) a man when I started looking.

March 22, 2011 at 7:24 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I am going to the wedding of one of my guy friends in two weeks. We have been friends for years.

March 22, 2011 at 8:03 AM  
Blogger TerriG said...

Shell: This post is GOOD! I say nay! I can't be friends with other guys anymore since I am married. We can't control what the men are thinking. Before the Gman, almost every single guy I was friends with was hoping for more. They are wired that way. I think that husbands and wives need to protect their marriage from this, because things can change in an instant. It doesn't make me paranoid, it makes me wise.

March 22, 2011 at 8:10 AM  
Blogger Erin said...

My best friend from college is a guy and we remain so to this day. We text and talk on the phone regularly (more regularly than any of my girl best friends.) He is also married. My husband's best childhood friend is a girl and she is also married. They talk regularly on the phone.

Now, meeting someone new of the opposite sex and becoming friends and hanging out together is not cool. If the friendship pre-dates your marriage, I think it is okay. Double standard? Maybe. It probably also depends on the couple.

Nice topic!

March 22, 2011 at 8:11 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Ahhh...When Harry Met Sally! One of the best movies EVER! Great quotes. How'd you get all that?

before marriage: yes, friends with men is awesome, but I have to say I agree with Harry. I know! I know! All men want sex no matter what. So be friends at your own risk. Looking back, it's hard to say, but the guys I was friends with wouldn't have exactly said no if I wanted to have sex with them! *ahem LOL

After marriage: NO WAY! My man is my only guy friend. Thats' the way it should be.

Great post!

March 22, 2011 at 8:23 AM  
Blogger Jessica said...

Great post. I was you exactly before marriage. Much more comfortable with guy friend than girls. Now, no guy friends and my husband better not have any girl friends either.

March 22, 2011 at 8:27 AM  
Blogger Evonne said...

I think men and women can be friends. In some ways it's easier to be friends with the opposite sex because some women are too competitive.

However, boundaries do need to be set. I can't control what a man thinks of me, but I can make it clear that nothing will ever happen.

March 22, 2011 at 8:31 AM  
Blogger Erin said...

It's so stupid how such a simple thing is so touchy once your married. Ya I don't have any male friends. Sadly most of my women friends are on the internet too. Guess that's what happens when your stuck at home since 2006 :P lol

March 22, 2011 at 8:32 AM  
Blogger Joann Mannix said...

I'm taking a minuscule break from my writing to give you a wave and to weigh in on the boy/girl thing.

I have always had a lot of guy and girl friends. Being the exact middle of 7 children, (just call me Jan Brady), I had 3 older brothers and 3 younger sisters. So, I am quite comfortable in both worlds. I don't have a problem at all with friends of the opposite sex if you're married. As long as you're in a trusting, loving marriage, a friend is a friend, no matter if they have hair on their chest or not.

Having said that, I don't go out of my way to hang out with men or pursue men friendships. I do tend to gravitate to women ever since I've gotten married for the very same reasons you speak of.

Now, having said THAT, my best friend since my high school days is a man. He is happily married with two children and we have maintained our friendship throughout all the years. We do lunch. We talk on the phone every week. In fact, right now, he's been sending me pissy messages because I haven't returned his phone call in over a week. My husband has never blinked an eye at our friendship. His wife, on the other hand, took a little while to warm up to me, but I think when you see us together, it's clear that we are nothing but the best of friends I have never, ever considered him in any other way.

And now that I've written you a novel, I'll crawl back into my writer's hole. See you on Twitter, my friend.

March 22, 2011 at 8:35 AM  
Blogger Kir said...

I am better with boys too, and I have quite a few friends that are men. I like to hang with them (ok so some of my friends are GAY men and that makes it less weird) and I like the way I feel with them. I hate to bring that up, but sometimes I want to feel attractive, smart, interesting to someone other than my husband. Especially when all we are talking about at home is preschool, the price of a transmission or Gio's tantrums. I want to talk about books and wine and movies with someone else. Many many times that happens to be a guy.

The girls I am friends with, I adore, but it's not the same. We tend to go back to our kids, to our dress size, to where our life is heading.

sometimes I just want to talk about superficial, goofy, just scratch the surface stuff...without the sex, without the chemistry...but with all the stuff that makes me feel Good.

I don't know how I'd feel about John having a girl friend he hung out with, but I think I'd be ok with it. I really do, I guess when/if it happens I'll have an answer.

this is a question I ask myself often. This was a great post!

March 22, 2011 at 8:36 AM  
Blogger Sylvia Plathypus said...

GREAT topic here!! Now you KNOW that if Billy Crystal says it, then so it shall be. The man is a genius! =) I have a lot of friends of different sexes...though usually the only ones I can remain friends with for any length of time who aren't women tend to be gay men. xD Hubby knows not to get any crazy ideas, but he's really not the one whose crazy ideas I worry about. LOL I've been in those situations where some dude gets it in his mind that you MUST want him, even though you've been married for such-and-such amount of years FAITHFULLY. It's a hot mess, and me no likey!! It's a sad fact, but a fact nonetheless. I wouldn't be TOLD by anyone that I wasn't allowed to talk to or be friends with anyone I took a liking to. That's only for one person to decide for their own self. But I know that friendship with certain guys just cannot happen, no matter how much you have in common or whatever. Guys just don't think right! LOL!!

March 22, 2011 at 8:37 AM  
Blogger KLZ said...

There are some exceptions.

But mostly, no. Not close, intimate friendships where you tell each other everything. Not like that.

March 22, 2011 at 9:20 AM  
Anonymous Megan (Best of Fates) said...

Of course they can.

I mean, we're friends, right?

And I'm secretly a man... oh, no, wait... pretend you never read that.

March 22, 2011 at 9:37 AM  
Blogger The Random Blogette said...

I love my guy friends but I really don't hang out with them without the hubs. I don't know why but I guess I just feel uncomfortable if he is not there. If it is something like going out to lunch or drinks with a co-worker or something like that it is fine, I guess but you still get looks. I actually had a software vendor take me out to lunch the other day at a nice Italian restaurant. I knew one of the servers and she kept giving me a weird look. She must have thought that I was cheating or something. It was too funny!

March 22, 2011 at 9:46 AM  
Blogger Amanda @ It's Blogworthy said...

I don't see why you can't, but that's a great point -- why would you want to when you have a husband and limited time anyway? I know when Kelsey has his friends over, I do enjoy hanging out with them. But I also like having "girlie" time too, probably moreso now than I did when I was around my girlfriends all the time. Maybe it's because that time with female friends is so few and far between.

March 22, 2011 at 9:50 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I think this is a very tough subject. One of my best friends from college is a guy. We do go out to lunch every once and awhile but his wife usually comes too (I'm friends with her as well). I don't think I have a good answer!

March 22, 2011 at 9:55 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

I read your previous post and I think it sucks that kids are learning to be mean in Pre-School! As for the question...all of my friends are male and gay. Not sure if that makes a difference. While my husband is my soulmate and best friends, there are certain things that can't be done with him - like shopping {sounds stereotypical but true}. My husband loves my friends and asks why I don't see them more often. So, I guess, yes, males and females can be friends, but like Harry said as long as sex doesn't get in the way.

March 22, 2011 at 9:59 AM  
Blogger Jules AF said...

Nice post, especially for me right now. My friend thinks it's inappropriate to text your boss (like you would a friend) about personal things if he's married. We've been debating this for the past little bit. I'd like to think we're kind of friends. But I'm not married, so who knows.

March 22, 2011 at 10:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember my oldest son during his senior year of high school saying that his group would be best friends forever (he didn't say it like that). I pointed out that he can't be best friends with a girl when he married. He was appalled, thought I was just being "old-fashioned." Then he found the girl - and guess what? Discovered you cannot have a BFF who is a girl. Having friends who are girls until you meet THE GIRL - totally wonderful. However, my guy is my BFF - and he better not be hanging out with anyone any BFFier than me!

March 22, 2011 at 10:20 AM  
Blogger Julie said...

Yes they can be friends but there does need to be boundaries and trust. Keith and I trust each other that I know nothing is going to happen however if he's with a few of his so-called friends, I won't trust him because of the company he's with. But if you don't trust that person you're with, sometimes maybe that you shouldn't be with that person. My friend is dating a guy now who has major issues and anytime she mentions something he doesn't like, he'll pull her aside and they'll have to talk to make sure its okay and that he knows what's going on, he's also the same guy who flipped out when Keith put his arm around both of our shoulders and he thought Keith was feeling her up (totally was not, I was there, ick).

One day kids will realize its okay to have friends of all shapes and colors and be okay with it :)

March 22, 2011 at 10:24 AM  
Blogger Desperate Housemommy said...

You and I see eye-to-eye on this issue. Seriously. On every single point. Because people DO talk. And, as you said, I chose my groom, and in so doing, have put all others, male or female, at at a distant second at best.

Old fashioned? Maybe.

Necessary and right? For me, absolutely.

March 22, 2011 at 10:32 AM  
Blogger Sara said...

My best friend growing up was a guy- and it was such an easier friendship. He didn't care if I had the right jeans, and with him, I could be myself. His GF hated it. He went away to college, and eventually, I moved down to NC we were roomates. The same GF was totally fine with us by now- because we included her. When they broke up, his new GF (now his wife) wasn't ok with any of it. So now him and I barely know each other. And I miss him, but I get it. As far as my husband is concerned, that friendship is "grandfathered in" and would be ok, but a new male friendship wouldn't be.

March 22, 2011 at 10:55 AM  
Blogger Darlene said...

I agree with you. I've never had guy friends, but I think it can be dangerous to a marriage to hang out with a best friend of the opposite sex exclusively. I know a couple who were so cool: they each had good friends that they did things with (alone)on a regular basis. Their 15 year marriage ended in divorce, and she moved in with her "good friend".

March 22, 2011 at 10:57 AM  
Blogger Di said...

I think it depends on the sort of relationship you have with your spouse. I know that initially both Joey and I were wary of the others friends of the opposite sex but now, we don't even bat an eyelash about it. he knows that one of my dearest friends is a guy and that in college I slept in the same bed as him a bajillion times with nothing ever taking place between us. He is now happily married to someone else also. So maybe once everyone has been claimed by someone it makes it easier?

March 22, 2011 at 11:02 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I think men and women can be friends, but there's a lot of drama that can come with it, like your post says.

I have male friends that I've known longer than my husband, so while we were dating, he was aware. There are also friends that Ben and I have met together, who I would hang out with without Ben being around, with little worry of what anyone else was thinking.

I think it's the circumstances that make all the difference. I wouldn't expect Ben to be okay with me going to lunch with a guy he's never met before, no matter how long I've been friends with him. I think there's a different connotation on the "friendship" depending on the how and where, if that makes any sense.

March 22, 2011 at 11:04 AM  
Blogger The Sisters' Hood said...

Whats good for the goose is good for the gander .... since I will never evah' get my head around my husband going off and having lunch or dinner with a girlfriend - I will stick to my girls nights :)

March 22, 2011 at 11:06 AM  
Blogger Cort (Modern Super Momma) said...

Now that I am married and a mother, I do find it hard to hang with the guys. I miss it. I enjoy moments where I'm not talking about the color/consistency of excretions - which is mainly what moms of shiny, new kids discuss. I think the difference is when the friendship was established. I'm more suspicious of a "chick from work" becoming my husband's hang out buddy than one I've known and hung out with in the past. It's all about trust - and a little about a gut feeling about a too touchy feely chick. :)

March 22, 2011 at 11:08 AM  
Blogger The Mommyologist said...

I definitely think they can still be friends. I've had guy friends my whole life, and though I don't see them as much now, I would never give them up. My husband has female friends at work that he's with all the time, so if I meet a guy friend for coffee or to network, etc, what's the difference?

But I wouldn't go meet a guy friend for a movie or drinks alone or something like that. Then it's a borderline date.

March 22, 2011 at 11:13 AM  
Blogger MommyLovesStilettos said...

I find men easier to get along with. BUT - I wouldn't be ok with Danny going out to dinner with a female friend and I'm sure he'd feel the same.

March 22, 2011 at 11:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First of all..I love that scene in the movie. Was a nice little treat to read with my coffee this morning!
Second of all..I get along well with men too but I def don't spend time with them away from my husband. I guess I am more of a girl's girl. I love my girl time. Most men that I am friend's with are my husbands friends- or couple friends that we have.
And yes, if my husband called and told me he was going to dinner with some lady..I would be pissed!!

March 22, 2011 at 11:39 AM  
Blogger Nicole said...

That is my favourite movie of ALL TIME. It may just be the greatest film ever made.

I do not think men and women can really be friends. I agree with Harry, the sex thing always gets in the way. I have had lots and lots of male friends, and ultimately, they end up confessing their "true feelings" for me. And honestly, I'm not THAT irresistable! This has even happened with dads at my kids' school. So no.

March 22, 2011 at 11:43 AM  
Blogger Macey said...

I think men and women can be friends...in social settings, like at work, or church.
But to have a man as a BFF like your girlfriend? No.
In h/s my 2 very best friends were boys. And it was okay at school and at work (we all worked together) but eventually it blew up.
And then I lost one of them forever. :(
Wait. That sounds DRAMATIC. I mean that there were feelings hurt that couldn't be repaired and we were no longer friends. There. That sounds better.

March 22, 2011 at 11:45 AM  
Blogger MommyLisa said...

I tend to hang with the guys, but I am lucky that I have created over the past ten years a core group of women - and we are not judgy - its pretty cool.

These are six women I would drop anything for...except one of them is leaving me for a man in Syracuse. :(

March 22, 2011 at 11:52 AM  
Blogger Hutch said...

Had the same quote on a guest post last week! It's hard because you want to say yes I wouldn't care if my significant other hung out with some woman, but it just isn't that easy.

March 22, 2011 at 12:01 PM  
Blogger John said...

It's unfortunate that those rumors & whispers start just because . . . but we know they do.

What gets me about the "When Harry Met Sally" conundrum is the apparently disregard of the "want but will not." I'll fully agree that part of me wants to sleep with any attractive woman in my vicinity . . . but just because there is some primal part of me that wants that doesn't mean that I'd allow myself to enter into a position where it would even be a possibility.

March 22, 2011 at 12:13 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Personally I am more of a girl's girl. I am only comfortable being friends with my husband's friends, and wouldn't want him to have any close girlfriends outside of me. At least it works for us because we both feel the same way.

March 22, 2011 at 12:21 PM  
Blogger Ser... said...

I never thought about it but it's true - when I was younger, most of my close friends were male - and since I've been with my husband (from the time they heard I was "engaged")I don't see (and some I don't talk to!) most of them. At the same time, the ones who stuck around, my husband is now good friends with - but there aren't the outings with me and my male friends anymore - my husband always comes.

I understand it's a respect thing - and vice versa - I would expect that if he were going out with a female friend that I at least KNOW her. But still...I do miss my outings....

March 22, 2011 at 1:02 PM  
Blogger kate hopper said...

Such an interesting post. It's clearly complicated. The longer I've been married the less inclined I am to make new guy friends. (And since I work at home, it's not as if I run into any male co-workers...)

Thanks for your comment at Mother Words. I look forward to following your posts.

March 22, 2011 at 1:05 PM  
Blogger Pamela Gold said...

I agree completely with you from beginning to end. The dialog here is spot on.

March 22, 2011 at 1:22 PM  
Blogger shortmama said...

I think once you married it is very hard to be friends with men. Usually when you hang out with guys after marriage...its friends of your husbands and you are both there together. My hubs and I are bffs with another couple...all four of us would call each other friends. But I wouldnt go hang out by myself with my bffs hubs even though I consider him a friend.

March 22, 2011 at 1:26 PM  
Blogger Living the Scream said...

This is a great topic! I am on the side of having no guy friends. I know it would bother my husband. it would also make me uncomfortable and like a lot of these comments. I would be SO upset if my husband was gonna go to lunch or something with a girl.

March 22, 2011 at 1:45 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

That movie sent me into a tail spin when I was 20. I only had one male friend that remained a friend and only a friend for years and years. Then I married him.

There is nothing helpful going on in my head right now...

March 22, 2011 at 1:55 PM  
Blogger Courtney K. said...

This is such a complex situation...I think that for the sake of our children, to show them that you CAN be friends with both girls and boys, you need to have friends of the opposite sex. But not exclusive friends. For example, my husband and I are friends with other couples. We do things in groups, but never exclusively me with the husband or him with the wife. Great post!

March 22, 2011 at 1:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've always preferred guy friends for the lack of drama, but it's really important to create boundaries in a marriage that ensure my husband and I aren't tempted by outside relationships. We don't spend time alone with members of the opposite sex---and if we find ourselves in that situation, we get out of it quickly. I'd rather protect my marriage than other relationships. After all, this is the relationship that my family is built upon, that my children need to see and know is important, that I need to use to set an example for them.

March 22, 2011 at 2:01 PM  
Blogger Emmy said...

Yes if it is a couple/group thing then it is fine to talk with the guys or vs. versa, but to be one on one friends with a guy after you are married just seems to be asking for trouble. I would never go out to dinner with another guy-that would just seem totally wrong in my book.
Then again my oldest brother and his wife vacation with their friends of the opposite gender--but well their marriage is a lot more open than I prefer.

March 22, 2011 at 2:01 PM  
Blogger Kimmer said...

Great post! I loved reading it and all the comments. I agree. Close friendships for me are intimate in that I love to talk feelings. This would not be advisable if my bff (apart from hubby) were a man. Those girlfriends I have that kind of relationship with are the same ones I kick it with when we want a night out with out the heavy talk. I can't see where a guy would work in any of that.

March 22, 2011 at 2:08 PM  
Anonymous Jessica said...

I used to have a lot of guy friends before I met my husband. But now that I am married I don't talk to them anymore because it isn't the same. The only guys I talk to are friends of my husband. I would say that the relationships between men and women do change as we become adults.

March 22, 2011 at 2:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love that movie. And I believe men and women can be friends just not going out on friendly dates alone. Lol.

March 22, 2011 at 2:15 PM  
Blogger TisforTonya said...

THIS, this right here - explains the whole reason I am happy to have discovered facebook... because after 15 years of marriage (now a few more than that) I was still missing some of those guy friends that I had to stop hanging out with when I got married...

finding friends who were girls? way too hard - it took years to find a few who weren't obnoxious and/or catty.

wish I had found blogging back then!!!

March 22, 2011 at 2:20 PM  
Blogger Blurred One said...

I think if the other spouse is also a friend, it can happen. But not if it is only one of the people in the marriage being friends.

My experience, anyway...


March 22, 2011 at 2:30 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I agree.

if you knew this person before your relationship, then it's ok to stay friends, but your spouse will become friends, too. like a joint package.

same with making new friends "joint package" you gotta be friends w both of us.

otherwise it's just wierd and uncomfortable to be friends alone with a member of the opposite sex.

uncomfortable for the partner not involved in the relationship.

my man's BFF is a girl. but now she's friends w both of us. they occasionally have lunch together. but that's like twice a year.

March 22, 2011 at 2:32 PM  
Blogger So Who Is The Crayon Wrangler? said...

I believe that if the man & woman are both in happy fulfilled marriages; they can indeed be friends because neither one is looking for something other than a friend.

March 22, 2011 at 2:34 PM  
Blogger Brandi said...

I think work-place opposite sex friends are OK-ish, but not outside of work.

My hubby and I have never had any trust issues, but there was a time he had an at-work friend that was recently divorced and had 2 small children and I did not like it one bit. I knew he'd never do anything questionable, but you never know where the other person is coming from or what their motives are. I always felt like, seriously? Get your own man if you need a friend because he is mine. There are just a lot of immoral, skanky people out there.

On the other side of things, I had male work friends that I ONLY thought of as friends and, yes, you can tell that they think otherwise sometimes and that was always DISGUSTING to me.

March 22, 2011 at 2:39 PM  
Blogger Melanie said...

Yes! Especially if the boundaries are made clear between the man and woman. I have a few best friends that are male (one of them being the Husband) and it is super clear (with the exception of the Husband), that the relationship I share with these guys is platonic, like one I would have with my brothers. And the Husband knows these guys and is friends with them too so it's not uncomfortable for him to see me having conversations with them or hanging with them.

March 22, 2011 at 2:40 PM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

Growing up, all my friends were guys. Now? Yes, if it's long distance, but it's not like I'd go spend the weekend at their house or anything. I'm with you...I'd be pissed if Husband were going to dinner with a chick too...no matter how well I knew her.

Oddly enough, he runs with one of my best friends and it doesn't bother me at all...probably because I'd rather he sucked someone else into his running conversations than me!

March 22, 2011 at 2:52 PM  
Anonymous Leighann said...

I think if your spouse is there fine but if not then you should not be actively seeking friendship with the opposite sex

March 22, 2011 at 3:28 PM  
Blogger Truthful Mommy said...

I ALWAYS have had more guy friends and just a couple of really amazing girl friends. In fact, as we became adults and got married and such, I turned into the "cool" wife. It always ended up, happy hour, my husband,his friends and me.
These days, due to having children and making play dates,I've began to form a lot more friendships with women. I like having the sisterhood with other women. AS far as the question if men and women can be friends, I used to think so. But EVERY male friend has explained to me that that is NOT the case and a man either wants in your pants, wanted in your pants, or has been in your pants if he is your "friend".So,I guess I don't know en at all:)

March 22, 2011 at 3:33 PM  
Blogger kc said...

I think it is possible...but it is extremely complicated. In order for it to work it has to be an open and honest relationship where everyone is involved.

I had a BBF who refused to tell his wife and it ended badly with a whole lotta bad things that happened. I wanted him to be open and honest with her before they even got married about our friendship...he refused. They hit a rough patch and sex got in the way of our friendship and seriously harmed his marriage.

In another friendship, the boy and I have been friends for a very long time, his wife knows and I am friends with her but not really. He is my friend and he talks to me about issues. We go to lunch. BUT, I also am the one to tell him he is a dork and babysit when I think they need a date night. I wouldn't be his friend if his wife was not really supportive of that relationship. She calls me sometimes and asks me to talk to him.

Boy/Girl friendships need the support of the spouse. Without that support the friendship is doomed for failure and to cause tension in the marriage.

March 22, 2011 at 3:38 PM  
Anonymous Lanita said...

Now you've made me want to pop some popcorn, curl up on the couch and watch this movie.

I agree that it is sometimes easier to be friends with men than with women. But now you have me reviewing every friendship I have and besides my husband, I have no close men friends. I have acquaintances, but not close friends.

Hmm...why is that?

March 22, 2011 at 3:57 PM  
Blogger Diane said...

LOVE that movie...one of my all-time favorites.

I don't think I've ever had a true male friend who didn't eventually try to date/sleep with me!

March 22, 2011 at 4:34 PM  
Blogger Andrea said...

SO much to say in response, but I do believe that YES. Men and women CAN be friends. Sadly it is often women who get in the way of that as they cannot trust in one another. But there's so much more to say there. For me, I think they can be, as I have two absolutely incredible and supportive male friends who I have just been friends with forever and a day. Again, way too much to say in just a comment.

Oh, and I SO love that movie. I think I need to get the DVD. ;)

March 22, 2011 at 4:48 PM  
Blogger Rhiannon said...

most of my closest friends are guys. i hate that in a modern age like this people still look and talk about women who are friends with men. i had one of the worst possable things imaginable happen to a dear childhood friend because people cant accept women and men being friends. why cant we just all be equals

March 22, 2011 at 4:49 PM  
Blogger Crystal said...

THis is absolutely a brilliant post...great topic!! I can make friends with men easier than women...but I've learned to guard that. My best friend is hubby...that's how it should be. You definitely have to guard aspects of your heart, emotions, words with the opposite sex (girl, I could go on and on)! I had a group of very close friends...men and women...until 2 of them (both were married) were more than friends. It's a slippery slope.

March 22, 2011 at 5:02 PM  
Blogger natalee said...

LOVE this post......!!!!!!!!

( FLASHBACK>> I LOVE THAT MOVIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!).

my guy friends now though are my "gay husbands".. and surely pose no threat to hubby.... trust me he has this .. friend from high school whose a girl (when she calls my hubby i flip.. i feel like there's an alternate motive..(I'm such a bitch)..lol

hugs my friend

March 22, 2011 at 5:54 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Absolutely men and women can be friends! My husband has some amazing women friends, people I encourage him to get to know just because I know they challenge him to be a better man. And I have some amazing male friends who can help me figure out the intricacies of the male mind when my husband makes ABSOLUTELY NO SENSE! But there have to be boundaries. And trust.

March 22, 2011 at 6:35 PM  
Blogger Alexandra said...

I could go on forever on this.

I would never go someplace with a man alone.

I wouldn't.

Because I wouldn't want my husband to do it.

Old fashioned, I know, I know.

March 22, 2011 at 6:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd be pissed if Wayne hung out with any woman who wasn't me. And I would never put him through the "What if's"

So - I think if you want to put your relationship in jeopardy then yea... go ahead and be friends with the opposite sex.

(couple friends don't count - even if you hang out with the guys instead of the girls... that is a totally different ball game.)

March 22, 2011 at 6:51 PM  
Blogger Sorta Southern Single Mom said...

IDK- I want to say yes, but I'm not sure.

My ex husband had a couple of really good girl friends. He met one at work and in the end, it was not those girls I had to worry about.

The Girl's godfather has been a good friend of mine since high school. He was also my ex's best friend for awhile, but I 'retained' him, through two of his own wives and my own marriage. We even followed each other around, inadvertently, with us both ending up living with our parents again at the same time. I thought we'd see each other a lot, but his new wife, while very nice, really kept her distance and so we've drifted apart. It makes me sad, because he really stuck by me through thick and thin.

Anyone that knows me, knows that I'd never knowingly threaten a marriage, so it makes me sad when I really enjoy someone's company, male or female, but because I'm unattached, it somehow makes me a threat.

March 22, 2011 at 8:21 PM  
Blogger Babes Mami said...

I think that it's possible to be friends but it isn't always easy for the reasons you talked about. I have my guy friends I've had nearly my entire life but since I got married and had a baby they have been different, mainly because they are not married with babies. I don't know where I'm going with the comment but anyway...it can be done but not easily in my case!

March 22, 2011 at 8:42 PM  
Anonymous Making It Work Mom said...

I think it depends if it is an old friend or a new friend. You shouldn't have to give up old friends because you got married, but I think if you are making new friends of the opposite sex then it gets sketchy.

March 22, 2011 at 9:42 PM  
Anonymous tracy said...

While I do have male friends, I would never be with them alone and out somewhere. That would be weird. I expect my husband to have the same respect for his friends that are girls.

Great topic!

March 22, 2011 at 10:05 PM  
Blogger Sherri said...

I hear ya, Shell. I've had a few very good guy friends over the years (they WERE easier!) but not so much after marriage. I do have one close male friend who is also a close friend of my hubs, so when we talk or chat online? I always just make sure I mention the conversation to hubs.

But yeah, it's complicated.

March 22, 2011 at 11:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, read your last post too. Geez, meanboys suck. Im glad your little guy and Emily are back to being friends.

I think men and women can be just friends. But not the kind of friends where you go out and do thingss all by yourselves. That just opens the door for doubt. ya know?

March 23, 2011 at 1:08 AM  
Blogger Cyndy Bush said...

It's a hard subject. I think you can be friends on some level, but I would never be comfortable with my husband spending time with a female friend if I weren't there. It's just not something I could personally deal with. I had a lot of male friends at my former job, but I never hung out with them outside of work (except for company parties). And I will admit that there was often some light flirtation involved between us (and many of my other co-workers). With me, it wasn't inappropriate, but it was definitely there.

March 23, 2011 at 1:08 AM  
Anonymous Caren with a "C" said...

Too long and complicated to post. I agree with most everything you said. I don't try to make friends with guys since I am married. I have aquaintances. Which are different than friends. Friends with guys after marriage could lead to emotional infidelity. So I just don't go there. Why do I have Billy Crystals voice going through my head?! Thanks for stopping by my site earlier!

March 23, 2011 at 3:47 AM  
Blogger mypixieblog said...

I love this post. It's a tough call. Many (probably most, actually) of my friends are guys, but they're also involved in relationships so it's never been much of an issue. I do have some guy friends and we've recently been treading that "should we/shouldn't we" fine line of crossing over to see what happens... but I think as long as two people can be mature about things, then YES. It is possible to be just friends :)

March 23, 2011 at 1:22 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Before marriage I had several guy friends, some of whom I'd been intimate with. Now the ones that are still around are friends with us as a couple. We live in a small town so it's kind of different, smaller social circles. But no, I don't think I would be cool with it if say my hubs' BFF was a girl. But I do really wish I had a gay guy BFF.

March 24, 2011 at 10:23 AM  
Blogger Wild Child Mama said...

I have one guy friend. He was in my wedding and stood with my bridesmaids. It's not awkward when we want to hang out. But, can I be friends with other guys like that? NOPE. can't. can't do it. And when I hear that my husband is emailing his ex-girlfriend who has recently divorced? Not. Cool.
Suddenly my husband feels like property. I don't like it. But I'm a jealous girl.

Love your blog. CHecking you out because PamelotH tweeted you some luv. Glad she did:)

March 25, 2011 at 4:08 PM  
Blogger Savannah said...

This is very true!
Stopping in from SITS!!!!

March 26, 2011 at 11:28 AM  

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