How many friends of the OPPOSITE SEX should you have???

The question:

“Hello, this may sound like a pretty obvious question, but can also be highly controversial in a relationship. How many friends of the opposite sex should each partner be allowed to have? Is there an appropriate time for communicating with them (texting at any hour)?”

This is a great question and I’m sure a lot of us have had some debates about what was comfortable for us and vice versa. I believe that it is first necessary to identify what a friend is. A lot of us tend to confuse the word “friend” and “acquaintance”, and because of this, we’ve used the words interchangeably. We need to be more attentive in realizing that they are two different things/levels. An acquaintance is someone that you meet. This is not someone that you spend any time with intentionally from time to time or all the time. You meet this individual and once in a while due to mutual friends or the scene you take part in, you may meet them again.

Now, a friend is someone that you spend a lot more time with and develop a brotherhood/sisterhood with them. The greatest friendships don’t result from folks that talk everyday, but when they do speak, it’s as if nothing has changed and they’re continuing from where they left off. A friend looks out for you and is your go to. This is someone you can count on for help, advice, and just anything that you may need. They have your best interest at heart and are your support. An acquaintance may have some of these qualities, and if they do, you should probably upgrade them to the friendship level.

I bet some of you are expecting me to give a specific number, but fortunately, I will not. Your mate/spouse should know who your true friends are, and if they don’t, then that person most likely isn’t your friend. On the other hand, I guess that person may also be a side-dude or side-chick, but let’s just assume that you don’t have one of those because if you weren’t interested in the relationship, you would’ve just broken up instead of stringing your mate along. Right?

So as I mentioned, your mate/spouse should know who all of your true friends are and based on the time they spend with you, I’m sure they can get a sense of who you talk to the most and at what times you talk to them. So talking to your friends should never be an issue for your mate/spouse because they would’ve figured out what the routine is.The routine comes into question when it comes to gender. So, me as a female, I actually have a few male friends because of my interests. The number has gone down a few, but having male friends is not an issue because my husband knows them. He’s had the opportunity to meet most if not all of them and he has had the opportunity to develop relationships with them because THEY COME AROUND; you can call this FAMILIARITY. Due to this, he has also become friends with them as well. When it comes to his friends, I haven’t had the chance to meet many because my husband is not from America and so his friends are overseas, however, I at least know of them. I know their names, I’ve seen photos of them, I have their social media account, and so it’s not a relationship that is in secret.

I believe it’s uncertainty that makes friendship of opposite genders difficult. If your mate/spouse knows nothing about the person you’re talking to, it leaves them in the dark, and then causes them to rely on their imagination. If you were sitting in a room that was pitch black what would you do? You can’t see what’s in front of you or behind you, you don’t know where you are, and you may not understand why you’re there. This will cause you to close your eyes and imagine something just to bring some understanding or some color and pleasure. When you leave your mate in the dark, they will use their imagination to find an explanation as to why you and that friend are talking so much. Eliminate the confusion! It only leads to destruction. If you want your relationship to survive, keep your mate/spouse in the loop at all times. If you make a new friend, they should know about it. You may think that this is giving them too much information, especially if you guys are just dating, but hey, if he wants to propose to you or surprise you in any way, he’s going to need to know in order to get a guest list together.

If you have to hide something, then you should put an end to the “friendship”. There should never be a reason for you to hide any messages or info from your mate/spouse. Personally, I have my fingerprint saved to my husband’s phone. If I wanted to look at all his messages, I could do it freely and he wouldn’t want to grab the phone from me. Most times, I look at his messages while he’s typing them. It has nothing to do with insecurity; it’s just a way to stay updated with what is going on with friends. He does the same to me. If he’s not around, he is able to ask me how my friends are doing and what they’re up to, and it works for us.

I personally feel that the time shouldn’t really matter unless you’re married. Who cares if your girlfriend is texting her male friend in the middle of the night? I’m sure they’re not doing anything inappropriate unless they are secretly lovers, but in that case, she would just break up with you and not string you along. Right???? With the timing issue, it just takes trust. Your mate should be able to trust that your friend is not making advances and vice versa. Some folks need to talk later because they are human and have jobs that aren’t your regular 9-5. I don’t see why it should be an issue, but if there’s an angle that I’m missing, please let me know.

When you’re married, you’re not living with yourself. You have to consider the feelings of someone else, and sometimes it’s good to set a time to put phones away so that you can devote more time to each other due to your busy schedules. I don’t think it’s an issue in this situation either because there will be times where you guys have spent time together and you’re just not ready to sleep or you may need to address something at a particular time. No matter what the reason is, you should always be able to put the phone down when needed and give the necessary attention to your spouse.

If you didn’t get anything out of the post, just remember this: It doesn’t matter how many friends you may have that are of the opposite sex. If your intentions are pure and your mate is aware of your friendship, then there should be nothing to worry about. This also applies for the times that you choose to speak to your friends. Use your discretion and if necessary, discuss it with your mate. Come to an agreement so that there are no ill-feelings from either side.

God loves you.

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