One of my dearest friends, a person I have known for so many years, my best friend is a guy. Back when I was in high school, I had the pleasure of attending a brand new high school my senior year. It actually wasn’t a pleasure at all. I hated it at first, but I ended up making some lifelong friends. One of my absolute favorite people is my friend Derek.
Derek was one of the first people I met at my new school. He was in my math class, well a few classes but math is where we talked the most. We tried the whole boyfriend/girlfriend thing, but it was very short lived and eventually we became friends.
After we graduated, we both went on with our lives and didn’t really speak for a while. A few years later, we connected through good ol’ Facebook, and the rest is history.
For over a decade, we have shared so many secrets. We know things about each other that we will take to the grave, he better take it to the grave 🙂 We talk practically all day every day. He has been a great listener, a shoulder to cry on, he has rescued me in my times of darkness, and never passes judgement on the things I have done. He is truly a great friend and I couldn’t imagine life without him.
As with any male/female friendship, we have experienced the woes of dating. It can be somewhat difficult to try to explain that the text message you’re receiving at an inappropriately late hour is just from a friend. A friend of the opposite sex at that. It’s even more difficult for your significant other to actually believe it. We have dealt with issues of insecurities, trust, and doubt from past partners who have a hard time accepting our friendship. So here is your guide to keeping the peace with your boo when you have a close friend of the opposite sex.
- Talk about your friend
Don’t keep your friend a secret. As you get to know this new suitor, share some stories of you and your friend’s adventures. Let the new boo know some of the things you and your friend do together.
- Give a heads up rather than a disclaimer
Giving a heads up is soooo much better to let someone know in advance the type of friendship you two have. It shows them that you are being honest and upfront about the situation. This also keeps you from looking like a liar. Straight up! My BFF and I love sports. We text about games before, during, and after in some cases. If my phone were to go off at midnight, it looks questionable, even if it is harmless. You have to keep your significant other in mind. If you were sitting on the other end of the bed and heard that text message chime at a late hour, how would you feel? Ok then!
- Make sure your BFF knows boundaries
Any time either one of us has started dating someone new, we know to give the other person a little space. We don’t completely avoid each other, but we give enough space to be respectful. In all honesty, I know that if I text him and he’s on a date, he will probably respond. But I also know that if I were on a date with a guy and he were constantly texting and checking his phone, I’d be uninterested in him. I want my best friend to be happy, so when he meets someone new I try to give them the opportunity to get to know one another without me being a bother.
- Introduce Them!
Just like you would introduce your boo to your family, introduce them to your best friend. If you want your significant other to feel completely comfortable with the close friendship that you and your best friend hold, let them see how you two interact with each other. Let them see that everything is cool and it is in fact just a close friendship. Open the door for them two to have and build their own friendship. This could actually be very helpful if they hit it off. Your best friend can help your boo understand you, and who knows you better than your best friend? Nobody!
- Avoid Competition
I wouldn’t trade my best friend for the world. He has been around a very long time. He’s irreplaceable. But I also don’t want my significant other to feel like he has to compete with my best friend in any ways. Do yourself a favor and just don’t rank them at all, because once you do it will be a never ending battle. I remember having a conversation with my husband back when we were first dating. He told me that he knows my best friend isn’t going anywhere. He knew the bond that we had and realized that my best friend was here before him and will be here for a while. I didn’t make it a competition, so they felt no need to compete. That’s the safe way to go.
I know a lot of people think that it is impossible to have a friend of the opposite sex. I can understand that if there are or were feelings once involved. Things may also get a little sticky if there were any type of sexual acts involved. But the truth of the matter is, as long as both parties have a clear understanding of the friendship, there is no reason why men and women can’t be friends.