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Thread: Reasonable or Trust Issues?

  1. #1
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    Reasonable or Trust Issues?

    Hi everyone,

    I'm a 32 year old guy. I have always pondered on the topic of trust and jealousy in relationships. First, I would like to explain my perspective and then I would like to hear the views of others.

    It will be a long post, I'll try to articulate my thoughts as much as I can.

    Platonic relationships: I am quite conservative when it comes to platonic relationships. I know that its a debatable topic. In my personal experience, I have never seen platonic relationships working well unless the two people do not find each other attractive or there is something else holding them back from forming a relationship with each other. For instance, a very big age difference or some religious concerns or if they are married (although we have seen married people cheating too, sadly.)

    Also, from what I have learned, women usually are more open to the idea of platonic relationships than men. We often see attractive women who have many male friends. However, men usually don't prefer to be friends with attractive girls. I am sure you have all come across those men in your life who try to be nice and stick around waiting for that day when the girl accepts him. Sometimes even when a girl is in a committed relationship, there are men who are sitting at the fence and waiting for something to go wrong and then they exploit her in a vulnerable situation. I have even seen men who bad mouth a woman's significant other by saying that "He should treat you better" and things like that. Its rather rare for men to be appreciative of an attractive girl's husband/boyfriend.

    In my personal life, even the girls whom I did not find attractive and was just friends with, sooner or later, their feelings were evident and they wanted more than just friendship. There was an attractive lady who was 12 years older than me. I used to have conversations with her sometimes. I was absolutely surprised when she expressed interest in me after 1 year of friendship where all we did was just talk or share some life experiences.

    Physical intimacy usually follows emotional intimacy. Repeated exposure to a person of opposite sex who exhibits a good level of understanding, offers emotional support and is near your age can result in attraction especially when one of the two is vulnerable.

    I also understand that there are plenty of articles and videos on Internet who teach "modern men" to be cool, try to act alpha around their women and never be uncomfortable in such situations. Some of them say, that your girl might even try to make you feel jealous at times and put you through some " tests". Always act cool and she will only see you as a confident person. I would like to hear from the women on this Forum. Do you really think this is a sign of maturity from a woman?

    And why are there so many articles teaching men to pretend to be someone they are not.

    Infidelity We are living in a time when divorce rates seem to be through the roof. And if I am not wrong, they are only increasing with time. Even in conservative parts of the world where divorce rates were significantly lower, there has been an increase in the past few years. In some places, divorce rates are not going up because many people have voluntarily chosen not to get married and be single.

    One of the popular reasons for relationship problems is usually a partner cheating and having a "physical" or "emotional" affair with another person (single or married). And in most cases, it turns out that the person they are having an affair with is someone they used to refer to as a "friend".

    I personally feel that a lot of times, words like "insecurity" and "jealousy" and "trust issues" are used too often to dismiss or act defensive when we know deep within that the concerns of our significant other are reasonable.

    I do not believe that "trust" is something that comes as a bonus of being with a person. Trust is something which is built with time. It can only take a second to break the trust but take ages to build it.

    So, in my opinion, its reasonable to have concerns and openly discuss with your partner if something makes you feel uncomfortable about their interaction with a person of opposite sex. Instead of living in the fear that you might be judged as a "jealous" person.

    I looked through most of the posts on this Forum and there were numerous cases of people being hurt that their partner is communicating a lot with a person of opposite sex. For instance, a girlfriend/wife talking to another guy (single/married) or even an Ex in some cases. And in all these cases, I saw a common pattern. They were assured by their partner that its just "friendship" and soon they realized it was more than that.

    And I also don't agree with this talk about "be an alpha male" and exhibit confidence all the time in such cases. If we are talking about being alpha then history has shown that men had to fight for what they want and protect it from other men. There will always be other men who want something which you have.

    Jealous Ex-Boyfriends During my communication with different girls in past few years, I have observed a pattern about the "ex boyfriend being jealous". They often say that their Ex Boyfriend was jealous of "their friends". It takes a bit of digging to realize that, by friends they meant "guy friends". They were jealous of the interaction between their girlfriend and some guy. And these girls say: "He did not trust me, he was jealous of my friend".

    And at the same time, these girls did not like the fact when their boyfriend/husband would communicate with other women (either on call at home or hang out with them in cafe).

    So, this comes across as double standards and the lack of ability to think from another person's point of view.

    I always feel "don't do the things to your partner which you would not like to be done to yourself.".

    I think meeting as a couple with other couples is healthy. Interaction with opposite sex in such places are healthy and very rarely result in problems. In a workplace, interaction with people of opposite sex is common as well for work purpose. Although, I am aware that even at workplace people try to cross boundaries.

    I want to hear the views of other people on this topic. And not "politically correct" views but something that they truly feel and think. Something that they experienced.

    If you have personal experiences, kindly share them too.

    Would love to learn more.

  2. #2
    I definitely have male friends who are physically attractive but that I don't believe would ever pursuit me and I know I wouldn't ever pursuit them. In regards to this in a scenario where I was in a relationship I would like to think my partner would be okay with it and it would ring massive alarm bells for me personally if they weren't. I think I would be jealous I suppose if the roles were reversed but as long as my partner was able to reassure me I don't see it being something that would cause a significant issue. I'm definitely not great at trusting people but I truly think that if that seems like what you're feeling you should be aware of it and communicate it with your partner, but don't tell them who they can and can't be friends with at the end of the day, the same way you should never let them dictate who you can and can't be friends with. I hope this helps!

  3. #3
    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    I have very little patience with a lot of things and as a result most things don't require a second thought from me (prefer it this way). I've done all my second-guessing. I don't do it anymore and I shoot straight. Maturity, in my mind, comes from a mix of lived experiences, gut instincts and the courage to do what's right (no matter what anyone else thinks). Regardless of what other people do, what you do is what matters most.

    Everything that we have to survive and thrive as human beings is programmed into us already and whether we choose to regard it or disregard it is a person's prerogative. I have every respect for another person to do what they wish- just don't include me in it. This is related to your observations about the treatment of exes etc etc etc. My life is extraordinarily simple. I like it that way.

  4. #4
    Gold Member smackie9's Avatar
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    I know guys will boink a female friend if given the opportunity/green light from the girl...hands down.
    But the girl is the one that makes that decision, not the guy. Women usually have male friends because they are not interested in them sexually...if they were she would already have been with them. So the trust falls on yer GF. You need to be able to trust that she's an adult, has moral compass to act accordingly if she is hit on or approach by said male friend or other men for that matter. Women are not easily sexually weakened by a proposition like most (not all) men do with women. I hate to say it but I know more men who have fallen victim to their sexual urges to a night of debauchery with a female coworker etc when mixed with a little too much alcohol, or a heavy flirtation over time. I'm not calling all men knuckle draggers, just that many men have confided in me about their struggles with temptation.

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  6. #5
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    Originally Posted by SweetMessiah

    Platonic relationships: I am quite conservative when it comes to platonic relationships. I know that its a debatable topic. In my personal experience, I have never seen platonic relationships working well unless the two people do not find each other attractive or there is something else holding them back from forming a relationship with each other. For instance, a very big age difference or some religious concerns or if they are married (although we have seen married people cheating too, sadly.)

    Infidelity We are living in a time when divorce rates seem to be through the roof. And if I am not wrong, they are only increasing with time. Even in conservative parts of the world where divorce rates were significantly lower, there has been an increase in the past few years. In some places, divorce rates are not going up because many people have voluntarily chosen not to get married and be single.
    .
    So, in my opinion, its reasonable to have concerns and openly discuss with your partner if something makes you feel uncomfortable about their interaction with a person of opposite sex. Instead of living in the fear that you might be judged as a "jealous" person.


    Jealous Ex-Boyfriends During my communication with different girls in past few years, I have observed a pattern about the "ex boyfriend being jealous". They often say that their Ex Boyfriend was jealous of "their friends". It takes a bit of digging to realize that, by friends they meant "guy friends". They were jealous of the interaction between their girlfriend and some guy. And these girls say: "He did not trust me, he was jealous of my friend".
    .
    My view on platonic friendship- They are entirely possible no matter with who and no matter your marital status. I disagree that if you form an emotional bond with someone of the opposite sex, it always or inevitably turns physical. I am married with a best friend who is male. We have a close emotional bond, but we are like brother and sister. If someone wants to start something- no "issue" is going to stop from from becoming physical if they want to, especially if they just want sex. Being married doesn't stop people who want to cheat, nor does being a different religion.

    Divorce rates are increasing because there's not a big stigma about getting divorced anymore. There's been a sharp increase in senior divorces. People are living longer, too. I don't think the number of unhappy marriages has changed, just people wising up to the fact that you don't have to stay" in a bad marriage just because it's expected and live another 30-40 years unhappily for no real reason. I think in the past there was just a lot more "suffering through it"- I don't think that there were more happy marriages.

    In terms of infidelity, People don't like to hear this, but it's the truth- There is NO possible way to "affair- proof" any relationship. And no one can EVER be 100% certain their spouse isn't cheating (unless you are with them 24/7)- it all comes down to what you believe. You cannot control another person and people change over time. You can be the best spouse in the world, but if someone want to cheat, they will- and there's really nothing you can do to "stop them". Sometimes someone might be faithful for years and cheat. You never know. And if we are being honest with ourselves, you can't always predict how you YOURSELF will change over 20-40 years. You just can't. Some affairs happen that started as friendship, but that does not mean that EVERY opposite gender friendship becomes an affair.

    Jealousy- There's a BIG difference between a particular behavior that gets repeated and makes your spouse uncomfortable- I.e. An opposite gender friend that consistently flirts or goes out of their way to do inappropriate things VERSUS a spouse behaving jealously around every encounter you have with the opposite gender. I.e. My ex husband would act insanely jealous if I even SPOKE to another man at a party or social networking event, even if it was all business. He didn't trust me at ALL- ironic, since he cheated on me and I never cheated on him.

    About attraction/ flirting- I will just put this out there. Your spouse is going to find other people attractive, period. You are going to find other people attractive, period. I think people who claim that they don't find ANYONE or have NEVER found anyone attractive besides their spouse is either in complete denial or a liar. It's fine to think other people are attractive, it's perfectly normal and healthy. You are married, not DEAD. It's if you put that into ACTION where trouble can come in.

    I know some people will disagree with me here and that's fine- this is just MY opinion and experience. My husband and I operate from a place of trust and honesty. But we are fine with each other harmlessly flirting with other people, stuff like' You look pretty today". We can discuss if we find someone else attractive. We both trust each other to never cross any lines. Because again, you can never be 100% sure your spouse isn't cheating on you. It all boils down to if you trust and believe them. And if you DO NOT trust and believe them, then you have bigger problems.

    IMVHO, the fact that my husband and I can say " There's a new guy at work that's really attractive. He called me pretty and I thought it was a nice compliment" actually makes us acknowledge each other's humanity and makes us closer because we feel we can be totally honest with each other. Then he will respond with " Because he's right. You are very pretty and why wouldn't a handsome man find you attractive." It also IMVHO, keeps us aware that we have to keep TRYING for each other. I think there's a danger in complacency and spouses who think their spouse will never leave them " just because". And just because your spouse doesn't tell you someone flirted with them, doesn't mean it hasn't happened (chances are it HAS, whether they told you or not)

    I don't care if my husband has little crushes, it's bound to happen anyway, but this way he feels comfortable telling me. This way he knows that I respect his humanity and is more open with me. As long as he comes home to me, what do I care if some woman calls him " Handsome, smart, funny"- he IS all those things. And even if he flirts a little back, it doesn't bother me. I TRUST him not to cross any major lines and he in turn, TRUSTS me. Because when all is said and done- Many spouses flirt with others all the time, they just don't talk about it. IMVHO, by NOT talking about it- You create a world separate from your spouse. Therefore, it becomes forbidden fruit and more intriguing. Instead of, " Yeah, he's cute. But I love my husband and would never do anything to hurt him. After all, I know that other women find him attractive and he still CHOOSES to stay with me and stay faithful to me." I think that when you operate from a place of trust and honesty, you are more likely to receive trust and honesty in return. But that's just my two.

  7. #6
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    Friendships with the opposite sex are never truly platonic. In my opinion.

    There is either a history there or history yet to be created. Or an attempt to.
    If someone is adamant there is no history and no intent , then they are simply unaware of their “friends” intent or awaiting opportunity. Such as a shoulder to cry on when their relationship hits trouble.

    One or other harbours feelings but often one of the two is unaware and insists its platonic because from their perspective it is!
    And then you have some that insists it’s platonic even though they would rather it not be because their “friend” who they are interested in simply doesn’t return that vibe.

  8. #7
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    First off OP, you are very eloquent and good at articulating thoughts, thanks a lot for this. I'll offer my view on a few of your points.

    Originally Posted by SweetMessiah
    Hi everyone,

    I also understand that there are plenty of articles and videos on Internet who teach "modern men" to be cool, try to act alpha around their women and never be uncomfortable in such situations. Some of them say, that your girl might even try to make you feel jealous at times and put you through some " tests". Always act cool and she will only see you as a confident person. I would like to hear from the women on this Forum. Do you really think this is a sign of maturity from a woman?
    I'm not a woman, but I'll offer my opinion here. In another thread, someone recently pointed out the stark contrast between being cool and just acting cool. The latter is dangerous, because you won't express to your partner when their actions are making you uncomfortable, nothing will change, and you'll become resentful in time. In my opinion, it is a red flag whenever someone purposely "tests" their partner; it's immature and unhealthy, and will only breed resentment if the other catches on.

    I personally feel that a lot of times, words like "insecurity" and "jealousy" and "trust issues" are used too often to dismiss or act defensive when we know deep within that the concerns of our significant other are reasonable. So, in my opinion, its reasonable to have concerns and openly discuss with your partner if something makes you feel uncomfortable about their interaction with a person of opposite sex. Instead of living in the fear that you might be judged as a "jealous" person.
    You nailed it with this one. Yes it's possible the partner is overreacting or misinterpreting a situation involving their partner and an opposite sex member, but how does the partner respond? Do they attempt to understand your views, or do they just say 'cool it and stop being so jealous.' I had a girl once whose solution was "maybe if you found a GF that wasn't so attractive you wouldn't have to worry about it."

    Jealous Ex-Boyfriends During my communication with different girls in past few years, I have observed a pattern about the "ex boyfriend being jealous". They often say that their Ex Boyfriend was jealous of "their friends". It takes a bit of digging to realize that, by friends they meant "guy friends". They were jealous of the interaction between their girlfriend and some guy. And these girls say: "He did not trust me, he was jealous of my friend".

    And at the same time, these girls did not like the fact when their boyfriend/husband would communicate with other women (either on call at home or hang out with them in cafe).

    So, this comes across as double standards and the lack of ability to think from another person's point of view.
    I see this a lot. Struggling with it currently, actually. I feel like for most women, it's too easy to tell their partner to just relax when it comes to other guys hitting on them, because they just don't meet it coming the other way very often, if at all. Everywhere we go she gets hit on, and I just don't. I imagine this is true of many relationships.

    *edit - typos


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