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Can You Keep Your Friends of the Opposite Sex After Marriage?

It’s an age old question, can men and women just be friends? It’s been a widely disputed debate about whether or not it’s possible to have a strictly platonic relationship. And of course, the issue becomes especially complicated when you are talking about a married person. Should a married person have friends of the opposite sex or could it be harmful to the marriage?

What Research Says

A new study by the University of Wisconsin says that men and women can mostly likely be friends. However, the study reveals that men are often attracted their female friends. And even more interesting, they often presume their female friends are attracted to them.

The study showed that many participants felt like sexual attraction to an opposite sex friend was more of a burden then a benefit. Women seemed to especially express this concern. The study shows that sexual attraction played no bearing on whether or not either friend is in a relationship or not.

What Does this Mean for Married Couples?

It’s important for married people to be aware that we tend to strike up friendships with people that attract us for one reason or another. It doesn’t necessarily mean you are physically attracted to someone, but it is likely that you strike up a friendship with someone because you have something in common, you are interested in them for one reason or another, or because you enjoy one another’s company.

So although it is possible to have friends of the opposite sex, it means that people should proceed with caution. Even if you aren’t attracted to your opposite sex friend, it doesn’t mean your friend isn’t attracted to you.

For many people, it would be nearly impossible to not have friends of the opposite sex. Telling old friends, “We can’t talk anymore that I’m married,” may not seem appropriate. And in the workplace, most men and women work side by side and it could be harmful to a person’s career to purposely avoid social interaction with anyone of the opposite sex.

Read more: Marriage Counseling Blog


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