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Thread: Boundaries / controlling - whatís accepting with opposite sex friends

  1. #21
    Platinum Member j.man's Avatar
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    Lay out whatever boundaries (read: polite ultimatums) you want to. Even if it's 110% reasonable to feel the way you do, it's pointless and utterly ineffectual to tell someone to change how they socialize. You find someone who plays it more strict with their boundaries. You don't find someone who wouldn't conform with your pretty fundamental expectations but for you drawing the lines for them. Start going that route, you either get dumped or you get lied to. If this is a serious issue for you, do yourself a favor and avoid the potential prolonged drama of the latter and take initiative to achieve same consequence as the former.

  2. #22
    Platinum Member ThatwasThen's Avatar
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    ... or you talk to him about what you feel is a reasonable boundary for most monogamous couples have in place (which doesn't include having date-like continuous interaction with an opposite sex friend without you) and if he doesn't agree with that boundary, then you part ways because your relationship won't last anyway. You don't necessarily "get dumped or lied to" as a rule but rather you find the other understanding. If they don't want to give up the one on one activities you will be able to tell pretty quickly by how they balk or justify why they should be able to slide down slippery slopes and you can make a decision with confidence that you are with the wrong person. IMO to just leave now without discussing boundaries that you both can live with (compromises included) would be premature and it won't give you the confidence you need to do what you know you should do.

  3. #23
    Platinum Member j.man's Avatar
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    You don't necessarily get dumped or lied to, but so long as we're on the topic of likelihoods, you're certainly more likely to. Boundary discussions are "I'm not a fan of strippers at bachelor parties," not "you can't go on walks with the opposite gender." It's perfectly fine to have such a boundary, but when it's spoken, it goes from boundary to an ultimatum and controlling behavior. Don't get in that habit. Look who's in front of you. Be a grown up and react accordingly and definitively. Unless you're married with a house and kid, you don't even have a bad excuse to bet against the odds that he'll change for your sake.

  4. #24
    Platinum Member ThatwasThen's Avatar
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    We'll just have to agree to disagree. My point though is if two people can see what the other is saying and can agree that what (in this instance) he is doing is inappropriate and can certainly lead to others judging their time together then it becomes disrespectful to the primary partner (as well as themselves) such behaviour often times leads to bonding past the platonic stage. If Op discusses that with her partner, he "gets" what shes saying and ends the one on one walks and lunches then it's all good.

    Op doesn't agree with their alone time. If he can't respect why she doesn't agree with it then they are doomed because she will be feeling this anxiety and he will be sliding down a slippery slope to becoming far too involved with his lady "friend."

    She is not being ungrownup by having a boundary in place that many people in long term, successful relationship have in place.

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  6. #25
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    Lucy, have you asked him to stop having lunch with this coworker?

    How do you even know about these lunches? Does he tell you "I went to lunch/went for a break time walk with Coworker X"?

  7. #26
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    He says I need to just trust him. That itís just a friendship. I think his only boundary is for nothing physical to happen with others when you are in a relationship. I worry about emotional affairs and how to safeguard against this. But all I can do is trust he wouldnít enter into one. But I feel so uneasy and I guess thatís my issue.

  8. #27
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    My friend and I had this discussion recently. Her husband is on the board of a religious organization -volunteer -he has a job otherwise. Organization got a new president, a woman. She wanted to meet with him given his role on the board. I believe my friend was invited but really it was a business lunch. She didn't want her husband to go to lunch alone with this woman because to her volunteer work is not a business lunch. Personally, I disagreed -he's a board member and who cares if it's a paid position. She's old fashioned and believes that unless it's a true business lunch no going out with a member of the opposite sex without your spouse there.

    I would probably not be ok about regular personal walks/lunches like what the OP describes. It would just be too much, too often, etc. Not because she is single, because it starts to appear inappropriate.

    When my son was a baby I'd power walk with him in the stroller on the local park's jogging track. There was an older man who walked too at the same time. One day we started chatting -it made the time pass - and most of our conversation was about our families and spouses (yes he was married, yes seemed happily married). We had 2-3 of these conversations total. And.... even though it was 100% platonic and nothing at all inappropriate I felt odd about it -I welcomed the adult interaction as a stay at home mom at the time. It was my first time in my new city meeting a new man and chatting with him in that kind of situation. My mother said (and she adores my husband) "why can't you have friends and conversations with people?" But yes when it's your first time facing a situation as a married person it can be tricky to know what's appropriate . Turned out I rarely saw him after that so it was a non issue. No, I did not tell my husband about this man - I decided that he would be totally fine with it and it was a non-issue and silly to mention unless there was a separate reason, like he'd recommended a good restaurant or something.

    So my advice- get clear with yourself on what your boundaries are so when you talk to your SO it comes across well thought out and non confrontational -and first explore why you feel that way and if you would be ok with the same boundaries.

  9. #28
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    This is really striking a chord with me, cos I'm not a jealous person, but I've repeatedly been out with awful men who always did this sort of thing. Sorry, did I really say 'this sort of thing?' I meant...going on endless 'dates' with every woman they knew, going on holiday on several occasions (while NO holidays were planned with me) with women they'd previously admitted to having a crush on, and sharing a bed with a female friend because 'It wasn't like that...' (Haha this is three different men! I really do know how to pick 'em!) I'm still not even convinced those men were cheating on me...but what I DO know is that I felt (well, I was!) emotionally betrayed. When we had troubles in our relationships they were confiding in these marvellous people...who quite often knew what was happening in my relationship before I did. And I wouldn't dare say anything because applying reasonable boundaries is SO immature isn't it? (Hiss! I'm so tired of pretending I'm OK with all this crap and so relieved to be out of that!) ...we shouldn't even NEED to explain and you know what...if you don't feel OK with it, it's NOT OK! And he needs to know that. Stick to your guns, missus, and if you need strength then we are here to help you!

  10. #29
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    Not going to go into a riff here, but general answer: no, zero problem with this.

    Walk, talk, eat with attractive single dude. Do the same with unattractive dude.

    I trust you, think you're great, imagine the dudes feel the same, as they should.

    Yet it's me you're with, not them.

    How lucky am I? How lucky are you? How lucky are we?

    End scene.

  11. #30
    Platinum Member SherrySher's Avatar
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    Thatwasthen put into words what I was thinking. I agree with so much that you said. You have a great way of explaining things, especially in this particular situation.

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