Bella Vida Therapy

Molly Papp, MS, MPH, CSAT, LMFT #88196

Bella Vida Therapy

Molly Papp, LMFT

You deserve a beautiful life

Sex, intimacy, and relationship therapy

Just Friends?

I want to tackle to age old question today: can men and women just be friends? Furthermore, can a couple make friends independently that are of the opposite sex, after they've gotten together? Being in a relationship comes with some negotiation in regards to friends. Whose friends will you hang out with? Will you friends go together well? These questions can't be answered by a generic, simple response because every couple and relationship is different. What I can say though, is that, if you can't trust your man to talk/text/hang out with a friend of the opposite sex for a reasonable amount of time (they can't see them more than they see you!), can you really trust them at all? Isn't that what trust is about? That said, it's normal to be a little jealous if you girl has a guy-friend. You think "He just wants to sleep with you" and hey- maybe he does. But she's with YOU, not him, for a reason, and that won't change as long as you two have a strong relationship that she's committed to. I used to get a little (okay more than a little) green envy when my boyfriend would casually mention any girl friend he talked to, or even past girlfriends he had. It was when he got genuinely upset with my behavior and got tired of telling me nothing was going on that I stopped. My insecurity was pushing us apart, not his behavior. But while that turned out well, there have also been times when my "woman alert" as I like to call it, has gone off, and I've been right. Lesson? Listen to your gut- it's never fails you. Have friends that are men, friends that are women, and friends that you two have in common as a couple. Be cool (NOT controlling) about your partner's friends- they're his friends and he has every right to have them. It's his life, not yours. Trust is something we all want to rely on, until it's broken. Listen to your gut for any warning signs, but also give him the same trust he gives you. And a little jealousy can be cute and sexy, if it's done that way instead of an insecure way. It kind of reminds your partner you care. Keyword here is a little. Because no one wants to date their parents-i.e. "Those friends are a bad influence on you." Saying "Hey, why don't you do your thing, I do mine, and we meet up later for a drink?" Much better. Pulling away allows your partner to miss you. It's rubber band rule of dating: the more you're loose and understanding, the easier things are. The more uptight and rigid you are, the more tense are. (weird metaphor, just go with it) Because, would you really want to be with someone who won't "let" you do stuff? No, and neither would your mate. It's called dating people, not prison.