If you want to be friends with the opposite sex when you're in a relationship, it's important to set boundaries on the friendship. This makes it easier for your partner to trust you because they feel like they have some control over the situation even when they aren't around. There's a common misconception that you can't be friends with the opposite sex when you're in a relationship, but this isn't true. You just make sure that you're respecting your partner's feelings and not doing anything that would break their trust in you.
To be friends with someone of the opposite sex when you're in a relationship, you have to be honest with your partner. We are only human and we all get insecure and uncomfortable even in long-term relationships, but it's important to reassure your partner when they do have these feelings. Even if you've been friends with someone for years, your partner is still going to be hit by feelings of doubt and it's important to make your relationship with them a priority. To make opposite sex friendships work when you're dating someone, make sure that you have your priorities straight when it comes to your partner and your friend by deciding who is going to take the majority of your attention and time. If you want to keep your partner happy, then you should give them the majority of your attention.
Friendships with the opposite sex without making your partner upset should always start with honesty. Be honest about who you're spending time with and when. Don't lie to protect your partner's feelings or to avoid conflict. If you're hiding your friendship from your partner, that's a problem and a sign that you're feeling guilty about something. You want to make sure that your partner is always comfortable with the level of friendship and if they aren't, then you should pull back and consider putting some distance between you and your friend. If you want to be friends with the opposite sex while you're in a relationship, then you need to make sure that you follow a few simple rules.
Before you make plans with a friend of the opposite sex, you should always check in with your partner. Make sure that they're okay with you going out with your friend and that they know the person that you're hanging out with. It's unrealistic for a partner to expect you not to have friendships and a social group. It's even healthy to have people that you can hang with and give each other a break when you need it, but it's important to remember that your relationship takes priority. Your partner should always be involved in all your major decisions. Even if you've been together for years, they will still be uncomfortable with you hanging out with people of the opposite sex. So how do you keep your relationships separate?
For starters, you shouldn't be talking about your partner to your friend. It's not fair for you to talk behind their back. Instead, you should feel comfortable with sharing your feelings with your partner. That's the only way that anything is going to change. You never want to tell your friend something that you should be telling your partner first. Some jealousy is inevitable and it's important to reassure them that your friendship is not going to be a problem for them. Everyone knows that friends gossip, they share, they ask for advice even when they're in a relationship but you should limit that kind of sharing to your other friends.
To help make your partner feel comfortable with your friendship, it's important to talk about boundaries beforehand and stick to them. They should be easy to maintain and help cut down on jealousy or insecurity. For example, a boundary could be that you and your friend are not allowed to talk about emotional stuff or stuff that you should be telling your partner. By not sharing this type of intimate conversation with your friend, you're telling your partner that you're the only one that you want to share those things with. Another example could be the type of things that you do together, like certain movies that you promise to watch only with your partner or a specific restaurant that is important to the two of you or maybe it's just making your friend meet you at your place instead of out so that you partner can introduce themselves. These boundaries will go a long way to making your partner feel like your friend isn't trying to encroach on their territory and overstep their boundaries. It also helps them get to know your friend and see what type of person they are. No matter the boundaries, it's extremely important to keep them and the minute that it feels like you're breaking the rules or toeing the line, then you should back off and consider putting your friendship on the back burner for a bit.
A popular boundary is limited physical contact. Physical contact with a friend might be second nature, but when it's a friend of the opposite sex, physical affection can make your partner uncomfortable. Kisses on the cheek and hugs should all be limited or nonexistent between the two of you. Your partner probably feels that they're the only person that you should be sharing those things with and you should respect that. It will help them feel more comfortable with your friendship and less jealous because there are things that only you and your partner are sharing. It's important to keep some things private especially if it concerns your relationship with your partner.
Another way to make your partner more comfortable with your friendship with the opposite sex is to hang out with them as a couple. There's nothing wrong with taking your partner along with you to hang out with your friends. Yes, most dating sites say third wheeling isn't fun, but if you let your friend know beforehand that you're going to be bringing your partner, then they can also bring someone too, either their partner for a double date or even another friend. Warning your friend ahead of time is also a good way to cut down on problems, conflicts, and arguments that might happen. If your friend cares about you then they won't mind you hanging out with your partner sometimes just don't make it a habit if you want to keep the friendship. Your friend might get upset but if you just explain the situation then they will understand where you're coming from.
Hanging out as a couple can go a long way to making your partner feel more comfortable with your friendship. It also helps encourage your partner to be friends with your friends. If they're also friends, then they will feel comfortable letting you hanging out together without them around. It can also cut down on a lot of the awkwardness that happens when friendships and relationships collide. Keep in mind that you can't force friendship, but your partner and your friend should at least be able to get along. You can even find common interests that they have and set up a "playdate" where they can do something fun together and hopefully start building a friendship.
It's important to tell your partner everything that you're doing with your friend. Tell your partner when you're going to hang out with your friend, what you're going to be doing and what time you'll be home. If you tell your partner that you're going to be hanging out with one of your friends, then actually hang out with them. Don't change your mind last minute or hide what you're really doing especially if it violates one of your boundaries. Always check-in with your partner and if you're ever in a situation where you don't know what to do, make sure to tell them first before doing anything. If you don't, your partner might consider it a betrayal. If you lie about your friendship, you might think you're protecting their feelings, but you're really disrespecting them and your relationship. It shows them that you're willing to lie to protect your friendship but not your relationship and it's going to be hard for them to trust you again.
Make sure that there are no secrets between you two. If they think there is, that's just going to make them more jealous and uncomfortable with your friendship. It's better to overshare than hide things from your partner. That's going to jeopardize both of the relationships when a little honesty would have saved you some heartache. Sometimes you have good intentions when it comes to hiding things about your partner because you don't want to cause a rift between you and your friend, but it's still lying by omission. If your friend does something that you think might be too forward, then it's time to put some distance between you and then, tell your partner what happened.
If you want to be friends with the opposite sex, then you need to limit the time you spend alone together. It's important to alternate between going out together and going out with your partner as well to make sure that you're not sacrificing either your friendship or your relationship. Weekly dates are something that blurs the line between a friendship and a relationship. Your partner should be the only one that you are seeing on a regular basis. Instead consider seeing your friend for special occasions – the holidays, birthdays or special events. This also includes limiting contact on the phone or computer. If your partner has previously said that they are uncomfortable with the amount of time that you spend with your time or talking to your friend, then you should listen to them and back off a bit. Instead, give your partner some extra attention so that they know that they're important to you. This will go a long way to soothing them and making them feel like you value the relationship.
The truth is that when you're in a long-term relationship, your friendships seem to fade away and you drift apart. No matter your good intentions, it's hard to give an equal amount of attention to both your friends and your partner. Even in the best-case scenarios, you're still going to be forced to choose between them in some way. It could be the choice between hanging out with a friend or hanging out with your partner and your partner is probably going to take priority. This is very common and your friend has probably been in this situation before. You don't need to feel guilty. They will understand that you have other priorities. Find other things that you can together and when in doubt hang out together in public places instead. This includes going out to dinner, seeing shows together, going to the movies and other stuff. This is why going out with your partner gives you the best of both worlds. It lets you spend time with your friend and keep your partner happy and comfortable.
The most important rule is to not stay overnight with your friend or go on vacation with them without your partner. That's going to make your partner extremely jealous and they're going to be upset even if they normally feel very comfortable with your friend. This ties into the amount of time and activities you do together. A lot of dating advice and hookup dating guides say that you should never choose your boyfriend over your friends, but in adult relationships, this just isn't realistic. Your friends will understand that your partner is going to come first and they should respect your partner's feelings and boundaries because they care about you. They're going to take their cues from how you treat your relationship which is why it's important to show them you value your relationship.