How to Only Be Friends with a Member of the Opposite Sex

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In the past, men and women mingle in gender-specific places and instances like home, workplace, sports and school. But now, people are discovering new common ground and more reasons to be friends with the opposite sex. The media have affected our notions that male or female friendships can become romantic relationships, and thus, many are persuaded that a long-term, platonic friendship between people of the opposite sex is not always possible. Romantic interest, physical attraction and even the jealousy of the significant other can pose as a threat to the cross-gender friendship between two individuals. However, such problems could be avoided by setting limits in the beginning. It might be challenging, but it is not impossible.

Determine Your True Feelings

First of all, you have to realize your feelings about the person and how he or she feels about you. Do you think of how it is to be in a relationship with them? Is it possible for you to be romantically interested if they were single and you were single?

Do they seem to be romantically inclined towards you? Trust your instincts; always note that actions speak louder than words.

Do you really feel that this person is more suited to you as your friend than as your romantic partner? Depending on your answer, the bond may or may not go beyond a platonic relationship.

Define Your Relationship with the Person

Remember to define your relationship as friendship from the start. In any relationship, communication is truly important. Presumptions can end friendships, cause misunderstandings and several problems along the way. Put your egos aside and talk about why you both want to be just friends. There will be a time when you both might ask why you two should not be more than friends. Make sure to address it earlier. You both want a strictly platonic friendship and that you both have to understand that it has to stay that way. Regardless of what others would say, platonic friendships are truly possible as long as you are committed to the friendship from the start.

Make Sure Your Significant Other is Included

  1. Talk to your significant other and also ask your friend to talk to theirs. Insecurities and trust issues within a relationship might be amplified or affected greatly by a cross-gender friendship, most especially if the friend is obviously attractive. Aside from that, the opposite-sex friend can often become the scapegoat for any relationship problems and a constant reason of contention. Understand any undecided feelings from the start and then provide explanations that could outweigh those feelings for the sake of your friendship. Assure your significant other that you are committed to your relationship and that this other person should not be a threat to your relationship.
  2. Make sure to involve the significant other/s of this friend. You should make an honest effort to be friends with the significant other and don’t forget to include yours too. Make plans of having get-togethers that the four of you can enjoy as a group. Let your significant other join you and your friend during outings. Jealousy and lack of trust would become less of a problem since your significant other learns to get to know your friend. It will definitely take some time, especially if they don’t believe in platonic relationships. If in case you are not comfortable around the friend’s significant other, understand that there might be doubts and jealousy over your friendship with the friend. By becoming friends with the couple, the threats such as doubt and jealousy would slowly go away.

Be In Control

  1. Always learn to lessen sexual tension. Avoid being a too touchy with your friend even if you think that you’re just a naturally affectionate person and especially if you are in a relationship with someone else. There is always room for misinterpretation and your friend’s hormones might not interpret your gestures as just friendly. The less physical contact, the better. However, if you’re starting to feel that you need to hug and touch someone more, then perhaps you’re going beyond the borderlines of friendship. 
  2. Do your best not to get yourself in borderline circumstances. You will not be able to control the perception that people around you will have, so bringing your opposite sex friend along in a social gathering where everyone else has a date might cause eyebrows to raise and people to misinterpret your behavior. Remember that there is a big difference between dating and friendship. If you will go somewhere romantic but you don’t want to appear that way with your friend, then you might want to invite another friend of the same sex. Still, be ready if people might ask how you are related with the opposite sex friend and prepare responses that will assure them that you’re just friends and nothing more.
  3. If you are really unable to make your friendly relationship clear with the people around you, then it might be better to minimize contact or worse case scenario, give up the friendship totally. If your friend considers you as more than a friend and can’t seem to ignore his/her feelings toward you, then you might prefer brief and casual conversations with this person. Watch out if this friend continues to insist for a romantic relationship when you’ve made it clear that you are not interested in more than a friendship or bashes you or your significant other without good reason.
  4. Choose your decisions carefully. Stay distant and meet with this person only in office meetings or official gatherings if you really want to get your message across. Note how impacting it will be if you chose to meet with this person over lunch or dinner.
 


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