Yesterday’s blog post touched on jealousy and how it can erode relationships. But are opposite sex friendships okay? The short answer…..they can be, but proceed with caution. Our attachment system works in such a way that we can easily attach to more than one child, more than one friend, more than one sibling or family member. When it comes to our partners, however, our attachment system tends to need full investment; when we begin relying on an opposite sex friend on an emotional level (instead of our spouse), we risk becoming attached to them, leading potentially to thinking that the grass is greener on the other side. It is a slippery slope; hence the caution.
The reality of our intimate relationships is that they ebb and flow from times that we are content to times that we are frustrated and feeling vulnerable. Leaning into our opposite sex friend instead of working to fix what is unhealthy at home can lead to infidelity if one is not very aware of their actions.
In order to maintain a friendship with someone of the opposite sex, transparency is a must. Both partners have to be okay with the friendship and adopt the philosophy that there is “nothing to hide.” When we work as a team with our partners, making sure their feelings take priority, we make the ground underneath us more even, and therefore, more secure.
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Photo credit: https://unsplash.com/@nate_dumlao