Should Married Folks Make New Friends of the Opposite Sex?

0 Posted by - September 29, 2011 - Relationships, Love & Marriage

First and foremost, I appreciate everyone’s patience while my designer and I were dealing with the site being hacked and redirecting to random web pages for the past two-three days. The problem looks to be solved and I return you to your regular NWSO experience. If you were unable to get on you may have missed Dating Like an Adult and your weekly Wet Wednesdays fix.  

WORDS BY JC

I saw a guy on the train and I noticed that he was noticing me. After a few tentative glances (from my side) and a few tentative glances and smiles (from his side) I smiled at him. Nothing was said, we just smiled.

He got off the train two stops before me.

Two months pass and I see the guy again on the train platform. We smile at each other as we realize we recognize each other. We have a chance to talk for a bit. Before he gets on the train (the platform is packed and I chose to wait for the next) he asks if I want to take his number. I decline, saying he can have mine.

In the back of my head I already knew what was going to be proven to me but, What the heck, I thought, let me be open-minded, because, “Hey, you never know.”

He called the next day, but didn’t leave a message. I knew it was him because I don’t give out my number like that to be wondering “whose number is this?” I was busy with work when he called so I sent a text later saying how I was sorry I missed his call but I’d call him back later if this was in fact who I thought it to be.

It was but his response was, “Yeah its Tony. I’m out w/my wife I’ll call U 2mrrw”

I knew it!!! Married.

“Don’t bother,” I wrote back. “No need to.”

Maybe I should have added “Take care” because he sent me a text the next morning asking if we could “talk.”

Because I’m a curious little beetoch I said, “Sure…email me.” Plus, I KNEW what was coming and I felt like telling him off. I gave him my hardly-used-except-for-online-dating-sites email address and fielded his “I just want to be friends. Why would you assume otherwise?” email.

My response:

“Because I’m not naive and don’t disrespect me by acting as if I am. Any time a man goes out of his way to befriend a woman who isn’t in any way associated with his wife, his motives are unsavory…and even then it’s a cause to wonder. You see me twice and you ask for my number AFTER I decline to take yours. Without knowing anything about me. Who looks at someone and decides they want to be friends? Yeah, .right…”

His response:

“I totally agree with everything you said and can’t deny that you are very attractive woman!!! Sorry if I offended you in any sort of way!”

My response to his response:

“Oh, is now the part where I am charmed by the compliment and the half-assed apology and say, ‘Yeah, let’s be friends…’ Lose my number and my email address. If you see me on the platform pretend you don’t know me at all. And a piece of advice, not all women are as nice as me… Be careful instead of finding someone to fuck on the side you can end up being the one who gets fucked!”

With his cell phone and his email and the info he gave me on the platform I could have become Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction if I wanted to. Men are so stupid.

Honestly, I wasn’t thinking. I guess I was just too tickled pink that not only did he remember me but he also asked for my number—that should have swayed me to wonder. Guys that are truly single never act so fast with me.

Where has this type of behavior come from and why do some married men or men in relationships find it okay to holla? Is it because they already have something at home and they figure “what the hell?”

Also, and I this is me playing devil’s advocate, I like honesty as much as the next yet to text me back and say, “I’m with my wife,” as if you’re with a buddy should I have responded, “Oh, cool beans, hit me back when you can.” Did he think maybe if I act like it doesn’t matter it won’t matter to her? I don’t follow this logic, which I’m sure is the point.

The days of married men being sneaky are over And it isn’t just married men. I have also come across men that if you tell them you’re in a relationship when they ask you out the next sentence out of his mouth is, “He doesn’t have to know.” WTF!!! Is that supposed to make me want you…to blatantly disrespect what I have with someone else?

I know women act the same way so this is not about men vs. women, this is a general question to both sexes inspired by Tony the Tiger Woods.

Do people still respect the idea of committed relationship anymore? Shouldn’t someone be able to go into a marriage an expect their spouse not to give out his/her number? How would you respond if someone you met texted you and nonchalantly mentioned they were married? Would you buy his/her story of looking for a “friend?” Would you even respond to their text/email once you found out? What would you do if you found out your spouse was still acting like they were single? Do you think a married person should be making new friends of the opposite sex that their spouse doesn’t know?

Speak your piece…

  • Anonymous

    I know if I was married I would not be giving my number out to another man; and I would expect my husband not to be giving out his number to women. That just leads to cheating. 

    • Shishio

      Valid. But you’re not imagining that 7 year itch that people catch after being married for a while. It makes people start looking outside instead of thinking of ways to make the current situation rejuvenated & new.

  • http://ladyngo.blogspot.com Lady Ngo

    I think the only reason people are up in arms about their S.O. having new friends of the opposite sex is because you can never be 100% sure of their (or the “friend’s”) intentions. But IMHO, someone who was gonna cheat was gonna do so regardless so giving (or not giving) them the green light to make new friends isn’t really gonna make a difference.

    As for people still respecting committment- all i can say is cheating ain’t no new phenomenon! People have been breaking vows, creepin, and entertaining side-pieces since the beginning of time. Why we continue to act like this is something new is beyond me. The only thing that has changed is how easy it is to do and to subsequently get caught.

  • Bklyn_nucca

    They were talking about this on the Bert show this morning. I’m not married so I won’t comment but it seems very debatable.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve been married. It’s true. If someone’s going to cheat, it’s going to happen, no matter what.  Although, you can’t stop your attraction to a person, but you can ignore it. That was the whole point of vows; you’re saying I’m dedicating myself to you and ONLY you. So why DO you need new friends? New friends are like inviting potential problems into your relationship, and why even open up that can of worms?   I’ve grown to understand that in different circumstances you will meet new people that can potentially become a “friend” from work, church,  and in social gatherings with common friends. However, as a married person, under no circumstance should there ever be a need to exchange numbers with someone to “get to know them better” as a “friend.” WHY? WHAT FOR?

    If there are reasons through work or some church group you need to contact them, then ok, that’s something that can’t be helped. But other than that, no need to exchange numbers, emails, FB. Now that I just wrote that, I haven’t really experienced relationship issues with FB.  I haven’t had a relationship the 2 years I’ve been on FB, so maybe that why. Lol. Until now, and he’s newly on FB, with only 3 friends, including me, his mom, and son.  I can’t foresee an issue, I mean who really questions new friends from old, it’s FB? Well, I know people do. But seems like a waste to me, if they are.  I don’t have time for that.

    FB friends, #awholenother  post. ß—–Ans, write that one, if you haven’t already.  I can’t remember if you had.

  • http://twitter.com/novelty718 JC

    S/O to NWSO for using this for the site… LOVE IT. To be fair I DID offer my number after I declined his…Technically he didn’t ask for my number…but either way I didn’t think he should have taken my number (or brought up exchanging numbers) being that he was married and had seen me twice. Our conversation that day was short and full of small talk. Nothing about my “uh-huh’s” told this man I would make a cool friend. Even if he was looking for a shopping buddy for his wife.

    People will cheat if the opportunity presents itself. Some won’t. It depends on the person. I’ve learned that you can’t control people. I wouldn’t stop my spouse from making new friends. Either I have faith and trust in him and our love and our commitment or I don’t. At the end of the day I don’t care what is throw at you it is up to YOU to say yes or no.

    And yes I have seen him since then and he did listen to my advice at least about not approaching me.

    • jaclynsd

      Sorry you had to deal w/a disgusting dude like that but married men (and women) are getting more brazen about their cheating ways. This guy is def smart…you may think his scum for pulling that ish but he wanted to toss that “w/my wife” and “no reason we can’t be friends” to see if you were down or at the very least to see how naive you are. One of two would of happen naive girl would have been “well why can’t we just be friends after all dudes married so he won’t be expecting anything/not a threat” and women who get down like that would of just gone w/the lets just “be friends” she knows he has a wife but is cool with it.

      See men like him just want women to know they’re married and they’re not leaving but are constantly looking for any person who’s down with it. You know so at the end of the day if you went for it you were down from the jump…no one lied to you. In other words no consequences for him…just you. That’s how this dudes work. How do I know? I have two married guy friends one is in a loving marriage (never pull sh*t like this) and the other always cheats on his wife and this is his M.O.

  • Anonymous

    Love this and the way you wrote it!!!  Great article!!!  I believe one of the main things we have to think about is whether our actions (in any relationship) make the other person feel uncomfortable.  Would we feel comfortable if our SO did the same things we’re doing?  If not, then we might want to check ourselves. 

    Some people are able to openly make and have friends during the confines of their relationships. It’s when someone ONLY has friends of the opposite sex that there may be a cause for concern.   Others would say this is inappropriate.  It’s really about the couple.  However, it’s one of those things, that if you intend to keep your relationship/marriage together and drama-free it’s wise to make sure your actions are in check. 

    • http://twitter.com/novelty718 JC

      Thank you :-)

  • Rastaman

    ROFLMBAO!
    I cannot hate on this dude at all.  I may not particularly admire what he might be attempting to do but I have to admire his forthright approach.  I know some folks are going to say he is brazen but I was often told that the open mouth gets fed.   The author may not have been cool with being approached by a married man but bet you a dollar to a donut she was not the first woman he has approached that way and based on the ease with which he relays his marital status it is not his first time at that rodeo; the prior times were probably successful.  While I can understand her sense of outrage, by her actions she definitely found him initially appealing enough so that she gave him her contact info and thus should at least recognize that he chose to offer her the option of refusing to engage with a married man.  In the big picture that option is important. 
    I do not know the rules around married people having friends of the opposite sex post marriage.  I have never contemplated that and as a man with a more than average amount of women friends and associates, I would have to defer to whatever agreement me and my future wife come to on this subject.   Because within the framework of the “…have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, ’till death do us part. And hereto I pledge you my faithfulness”, it is incumbent on each couple to work out the details of what this vow means within their own marriage.   Not what they mean for other people!
    What I get from the people around me is the general viewpoint that married people should not be making friends of the opposite sex that their spouses do not know, I cannot blindly sign on to that .   I can understand where advocates of that rule are coming from but I will have to have that discussion with my future wife and come to an understanding on that issue. 
    It raises an interesting question though: Does one stop making friends of the opposite sex at marriage if your spouse does not give consent of the person?
    Because not all opposite gender relationships are sexual or potentially sexual, I have a good friend who is a lesbian.  If my wife dislikes her should I then cut her off?

    • http://twitter.com/novelty718 JC

      LOL, Rastaman, for a moment I did appreciate that he was forthright it saved me wasting time on someone. I was fine with the text of “don’t bother”…it was him texting me the next day. Which I walked into knowing full well what was going to happen. Had he emailed back with “I’m sorry if I offended you.” and left it at that. But he threw in the “can’t deny that you are very attractive woman!!!” and that just tipped me over, lol

  • Anonymous

    Ahh people and the things they do. I’m not mad at dude either. I only ask two things from every personn that I encounter: honesty and selflessness. If anyone, no matter what choices they make in their life, can be honest and and not selfish, we can get along. This guy exhibited both of the things that I ask for, therefore while I would not join myself to him in friendship or a relationship, I would always have a level of respect for his boldness and honesty even if he said something that a real woman wouldn’t want to hear. So I would just walk away, and when I saw him again, I would speak and be cordial but never take it farther than that. I don’t think the lady in this story should get so riled up. He told the truth and that’s all we should expect from beginning encounters with people. Everything else is extra.

    So, in so many words, he was real and any woman should respect honesty no matter if you like what’s said or not. Because truth be told, most men believe its better that a woman not knows than she does know. The least he did was give her an option. But even in all that, he still ain’t no good.

    • http://twitter.com/novelty718 JC

      Part of me being rilled up was because it’s happened before…married men approaching me and I was annoyed. Him telling me he was out with the wife was my chance to either say cool text me back when done or don’t bother. I did let it go and he decided to text me again.

      • Anonymous

        My best friend and I always talk about how men and women love to test each other. And I bet, without a doubt that him using all those moves and sorry’s and you’re an attractive women stuff was all him trying to see if you really were going to stand firm or give in from playing hard to get like a lot of women do. 

  • jenga

    This is an interesting topic!!  I agree with Rastaman that married couples need to define and make agreements about what their commitment means to them.  I’ve never been married, so I can’t speak about that from personal experience.  However, I CAN say that I once kept in touch through email and phone with a guy I met on a train in DC (I live in New Orleans).  He wasn’t very forthright, and only later did I find out he was married.  Knowing that defined the trajectory of our relationship for me (there would never be anything sexual between us), and I was cool with being a friend.  However, the first thing I asked him was if his wife knew we’d been in communication.  While it may be cool to me, I knew it might not be cool to her.  And I wasn’t going to play a part in him deceiving his wife, by being some secret “friend.”  So I told him that I wasn’t interested in continuing our “friendship” if his wife didn’t know about it.  And that was that.  Every once in a while, he texts to say “Hello” and I say “hello” back and keep it moving.  I always wish him well, and also feel good about maintaining my own standard of integrity.

  • Nujabes

    Fascinating post. As a single guy, it seems like you might have been seriously feeling this guy & wanted to give him a shot. Then he meantioned his wife and dashed your hopes. If you were disinterested….It happens to the best of us. I’ve hung with an engaged woman unknowingly b4 think xyz about our vibe and came to learn that I was a sidepiece. I would say be more happy he didn’t lie to you and keep that wife hidden. In his own way, he let you know what was going on and you can keep him as your side piece and be cool or not accept it & charge him to the game. Don’t bash him for being honest about his janky agenda, just charge him since his agenda doesn’t match your own( which I think might have been to get something serious popping off).

    But one a more serious note, I think people do struggle with committed relationships b/c it is commitment through the good or bad. And as men, we sometimes want variety in what we do. Women on the other hand, want that security of having a dude but eventually want to see if they still got it. So all you can do is really be sincere to what you want and if a relationship is unideal just play the feild & be honest with everyone you meet about that.

  • Anonymous

    No. If you are married, your commitment is to your spouse… Taking his/her number or even wanting to his cheating in my eyes… Marriage is sacred and should remain sacred… When I was married, I never entertained the thought of a new female friend. It just wouldn’t have been right… Why would I want to give my wife a reason to doubt me? 

    • Anonymous

      YOU BETTA SPEAK!

      • Anonymous

        I have spoken…

  • http://theworldoftiffany.wordpress.com Tiffany

    Yeah you can be friends. As long as we are all friends.

    • Anonymous

      Lol I like that. That means everytime the wife and her “friend” goes out for the “husband” and his “friend” goes out, the spouse goes out with them too!

      • Anonymous

        Jess, talk to this woman… Let her know the deal…

    • Anonymous

      Tiffany, you’re wrong… When you get married the male friends you bring into your marriage should be the only male friends you have. Once you get married, you shouldn’t be meeting new male friends… You have all the male friends you need… meeting new men only offer the chance of a romantic tryst. Trust me I know. I had met women who wanted to be my friend and then later revealed to me they wanted what my ex-wife had…

    • Shishio

      I’d say a sincere committed marriage, shouldn’t include any sort of extra male/female friends beyond your spouse. Any interaction with the opposite sex within a marriage should be distant. Interacting with any guy or girl heavily when married is asking for trouble.

  • Missnaelove

    Co Sign!

  • Linda C. Daniels

    I really don’t know cos’ I’m not married, you see I do not know if I’m gonna stop making friends of the opposite sex especially if they approach me, when I do get married. But one thing I know is I wouldn’t do it if my partner isn’t comfortable with it and won’t do it too.

  • http://twitter.com/brwnbarbie24 Stefanie

    Is having friends of the opposite sex okay when married?  Yes.  Is making new friends of the opposite sex okay when married?  Debatable.  In the scenario being discussed here, the answer would be no.  When only laying eyes on someone riding a train, there is no social situation that would constitute a friendship or possible friendship.  This was straight up attraction, and acting on such attraction as a married man is inappropriate.  I have been to gatherings where I’ve met friends of friends and found that we had a lot in common.  Actually one of my friend’s has a cousin and he and I share musical tastes.  I met him, his wife, and some other friends of theirs at a party they hosted.  I have since become friends with my friend’s cousin and his wife.  Now, if this friendship occurred without his wife’s knowledge then it could definitely be cause for alarm.  So, I think it depends on how the people met and if the spouse is informed or involved with the friendship.

  • Aaron

    What if you are a guy and your wife claims that her new male friend is gay?

  • Kevinkaren2011

     I am currently dealing with this same situation as I write this. I am a 54 yo man, been married for 31 years to the same woman. From childhood, I never had a female friend other than my wife. The way society views the opposite sex friendship is something taboo if a new friendship is developed after the marriage. But I wanted another woman’s thoughts, experiences and not just from my wife. I found this female friend online and nothing sexual was expected on either side, I brought her to the home and at first all of us were friends. After a few months, the wife became jealous because my new friend had traveled, done things the wife hadn’t and the friend and I had so many things in common with similar interests that we spent a lot of time together (before the new friend, I would play at my hobbies alone as the wife had no interests in them) . My wife was warned by her female friends to have me loose my friend,, that nothing good could come from this. But my point to all this is,,,why does it make a difference if my new friend was male or female? I would hate to miss out on an opportunity of a long lasting and supportive relationship just because of a gender difference. I can see the concern from her friends, but they don’t understand our relationship or want to hear it, they won’t even listen to my side but only judge. Maybe they could not handle the temptation in their marriage, but I have in mine for a year now. I don’t see the big problem everyone makes this out to be, if the marriage is solid, then a problem should not be there.  -

  • Jonathan

        Funny how your view on this topic can change, as quickly as we change ourselves. EXAMPLE: From age 20-35 I was in tip top shape. The perfect body, young face, the tan, the clothes, etc! Did I mention the vanity and ego? I also happened to get along with women better as best friends. Not sure why, but I loved to talk about “feelings and what-not”, more than most men. As a result many of the girls whom I considered “friends” would sometimes flirt a little too much {as would I) on nights w/ a few too many drinks. Once these “friends” got married, most of their husbands FORBID them to stay close with me.

       BUT NOW I am in my 7th year as a Brain Cancer patient. I’m about as gross as gross gets from a looks standpoint. Morbidly obease from brain damage and steroids. My head is bald, scarred, and dented, from all the operations. The funny thing is that today, I’m a much better human being.  Even though I am far less self-centered and a much better listener, I could not get as much as a kiss on the cheek ….. even if I was holding a fist full of pardons at a womens prison! I menion all this because of what it really means. Now that I am hideous to look at, there is not a husband out there, who cares one little bit if his wife meets me for lunch, dinner, or anything else. He KNOWS there is ZERO chance of his wife ever thinking of me romantically.

       For some of the people who said “there is no reason for a spouse to be friends with anyone other than their partner.” What they really mean is, “My husband/wife aient gonna be hangin around anyone that poses ANY type of threat. BUT…. If I KNOW for CERTAIN that there is ZERO chance of them hookin up, they can be friends with anyone they choose.” Sad but true.