Many frown at the idea of keeping opposite sex friends after marriage or while in an exclusive relationship.
But we must agree that it might be quite difficult and impractical, especially for the sociable ones, to sever friendly ties after marriage.
What if there was a way to keep your single opposite sex friends without hurting your relationship?
Here are a few tips to help with that:
Establish clear boundaries
Before forging ahead with opposite sex friendship when you are in a relationship, you must be sure that you have clarified the boundaries with the friend in question.
For instance, some single ladies have a penchant for developing a thing for their married counterparts owing to a perceived sense of responsibility and commitment on the part of the latter.
However, establishing boundaries creates ‘guardrails’ for your marriage or relationship.
Set the sails aright
If you intend to keep an opposite sex friendship while in a working relationship, it is pertinent that precautionary measures are taken.
You must ensure that your spouse or partner knows your friend, reassure him/her of your unparalleled loyalty to the relationship and that there are no (potential) emotional attachments associated with the friendship.
Address your partner’s concerns
Post-marriage opposite sex friendship without precautionary strategies can potentially send your relationship to the grave.
It is important that you communicate with your partner and address his/her concerns on the said friendship, ensuring that the trust remains consolidated.
Ensure your partner is comfortable with the intensity of the friendship, the type of interactions you have with him/her and oblige with your partner’s conditions concerning same — even if it means aborting or significantly limiting the friendship.
Many marriages fail because of sheer carelessness and the failure of the partners to keep the communication lines open.
Erecting of a ‘wall of secrecy’ while indulging in opposite sex friendships readily spells doom for the relationship in question and can wrongly imply the partner is having an (extramarital) affair.
Know when to call it quits
Not many lovers feel secure on coming to learn of their partner’s opposite sex friends, hence, a conscious effort often has to be taken if the relationship at stake is to be preserved.
Knowing when to call it quits is one good way of ensuring that.
When ‘friendship’ starts leading to romantic fantasies, when you start pitching your partner against your opposite sex friend or comparing them, then the time is rife to let go of the friendship.
Reinforce your loyalty
Prior trust issues compounded by lack of proper communication in budding relationships are often detrimental to the union itself.
Reassuring your spouse or partner of your utter commitment and loyalty to the relationship, both verbally and by means of practical measures, might be a good way of successfully keeping an opposite sex friendship without hurting your relationship.
Include your partner in the friendship
If you must keep an opposite sex friend but find it difficult to keep up with your partner’s incessant suspicions, then you should consider including him/her in the friendship.