off the cuff, relationship rhetoric

Married with Friends


Woman in Bar

As I entered the lounge searching frantically for a familiar face, I saw him. He appeared quite uncomfortable by my presence. Once he learned that I was apart of the group he gathered therewith, he couldn’t decide whether to hug me, tell me his name, shake or simply stand to acknowledge the entrance of a lady.

He stood.

As I greeted my friends and others I didn’t know, I noticed him watching me.  He was the bohemian type – think Bob Marley sans dreads.  He was attractive although not really my type.

The DJ played a familiar song, and we all flocked to the dance floor, except him. He danced enthusiastically while remaining seated. When my friend and I told him he couldn’t dance that hard sitting down, his friend quickly pointed out that if he were wheelchair-bound, we’d think nothing of it. We laughed and agreed, and allowed him to continue his erratic chair dancing unfettered.

I caught him again – only this time staring at my hips – as I moved them in a slow, almost hypnotic,  wind.

Finally, unable to resist the baseline of Ms. Fat Booty, he freed himself from the confines of his seat and moved rhythmically to the dance floor.  Ironically, he glided over to me and we swayed together but he respectfully maintained a distance.  Afterwards, we sat down to talk.  I immediately noticed he wore a ring on his left finger, and asked if he was married.

He was.

He explained that he and his wife met in Canada and pursued a long distance relationship before marrying.  We discussed the ills of dating in LA, and the inevitable question of why I wasn’t married.

We had a fire conversation, but I knew at the end of the night, I would go my way and he would go his – knowing I met him only for a reason, certainly not a season or a lifetime.  So, you can imagine my confusion when he asked, “so how can we stay in touch?”

I immediately said, “we can’t.”

He said, “but I find you interesting. I want to know you.”

All I could think about were all the married men I had encountered in my past.  I wondered what his wife was like, and if she would go HAM if she were a fly on the wall of the tavern watching him affirm his attraction to me and insist that we be “friends.”

He made a convincing argument, but nothing would change my mind. He did, however, pose an interesting question.

He asked offended, “so because I’m married I can’t have friends?”

It did seem a bit harsh to banish every married man to “no-female-friends” land never to return to civilization, but what could come of a friendship between a single woman and a married man? What would I be getting out of the deal?

“Honestly,” I told him, “I don’t have time for any more friends. If you’re not already a friend, and you’re not going to help me achieve my professional or personal (marriage/family) goals, there is no room for you in my life.  I have to stay focused.”  I know it sounds mean, but he wasn’t taking no for an answer. I had to be blunt.

He pleaded his case once again to no avail, and when I readied to leave, he walked me to my car and wished me a good night and the best in life.

I still wonder though, should married men befriend women they meet after marrying? Isn’t this playing with fire?  Can a man and woman who are attracted to each other just be friends?

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Discussion

16 thoughts on “Married with Friends

  1. Is it playing with fire…can be, and often is…Can a may and woman who are attracted to each other just be friends…yes, but it depends on each of the people…the friend, the husband and the wife. What level of trust, what level of loving commitment and fidelity, what level of discipline and what level of forgiveness, how long in the marriage and the most overlooked aspect…what about long term, what does it mean to each person involved? Everyone needs to be clear from the get go…and if the dynamic changes at any time…Eject!

    Posted by lbfromlv | March 9, 2013, 2:09 AM
    • Yes, but why would any married man be seeking platonic relationships outside of his marriage?? I didn’t get the feeling that he would try to make it more than friends, but that he only wanted to be in friendship with others that happen to be women. On one hand, it seems silly, but when I thought about it, why shouldn’t he be able to explore friendships with those of the opposite sex who aren’t his wife?

      Posted by 30thoughts | March 9, 2013, 2:53 AM
  2. I honestly think it’s playing with fire. I believe a married man and woman can make new friends, even of the opposite sex, but they should be very careful. The key is to understand what the objective of the friendship is. They must know why it’s necessary for them to be in each others lives, to that extent.

    Posted by Up4Dsn | March 9, 2013, 2:30 AM
    • @Up4Dsn Right. His objective for the friendship supposedly was to fellowship and get to know women other than his wife, but I think time spent with another woman is time that you could be spending to cultivate your friendship with your wife. His motives seemed innocent, but I honestly don’t know the guy like that, so I don’t know what his REAL intentions were lol. He said they had been married for 4 years and gave a plethora of reasons that made my lack of desire to be friends seem foolish. Smh

      Posted by 30thoughts | March 9, 2013, 2:58 AM
  3. Excellent question! I do believe that men & women can be just friends, but I’ve always thought of that in terms of you were friends before getting married.

    Interesting take on an old discussion……

    Posted by Chocolate Vent | March 9, 2013, 2:51 AM
    • Thank you. And yes, I never considered the question of whether men should be trying to make friends with other women AFTER they marry. That was new one! But, when he pleaded his case, I felt ridiculous for saying that just because he was married he shouldn’t want to make friends of the opposite sex. I’m ALL confused! lol

      Posted by 30thoughts | March 9, 2013, 3:02 AM
  4. P.S. – To answer your question “should married men befriend women they meet after marrying?”, I do think that it is okay only given a certain context. For example, if a married man befriends you as a co-worker or as a colleague in any outside-of-work capacity (like fraternity & sorority, etc.). But at the club? Heck naw

    Posted by Chocolate Vent | March 9, 2013, 2:54 AM
    • Right, but why should it matter where you met? Only that you did, right? And then too, what will be the boundaries. Will you all hang out, talk on the phone?? That’s what “friends” do. I just can’t see myself being ok with my hubby befriending anyone of the opposite sex ESPECIALLY someone he is attracted to.

      Posted by 30thoughts | March 9, 2013, 3:03 AM
      • Yeah, but there are some environments where I think people should be more comfortable with male/female friendships. Meeting in the club has a different context – he watched you dance, sway your hips, saw you dressing sexy, become turned on or attracted to you, etc, but if I have a male co-worker that is a friend then he hasn’t had the opportunity to see me in that light.

        Plus, what if there isn’t attraction there? There are plenty of ugly married men out there I can be cool with, who may not be attracted to me either. I could possible not be their type physically.

        I dunno, you can look at this from all different angles…

        Posted by Chocolate Vent | March 9, 2013, 3:25 AM
      • That’s a good point. I suppose in a work environment, it might be difft, but you can still become attracted to someone without seeing them in such a light. I actually don’t believe that two ppl who are attracted to each other can just be friends in the true sense of the word, unless they are both in relationships and then not even. I’ve never had a guy friend that didn’t want more than to just be my friend, so I don’t think that exists. You say you are married or engaged right? Does your hubby/fiance have female friends? How do you all handle that?

        Posted by 30thoughts | March 9, 2013, 4:01 AM
      • No, I’m not married or engaged (I wish. lol!) When I am seeing someone, I don’t mind if they do have female friends, as long as I know about them. I feel like as long as I’m aware of the situation, up front I’m okay with it. I know that my “boyfriend” is not going to stop being friends with any female just because I’m in the picture. And I would expect the same from him.

        Posted by Chocolate Vent | March 10, 2013, 5:27 AM
      • Oh ok my bad! (That’s so 90s lol)

        Posted by 30thoughts | March 11, 2013, 8:05 AM
  5. Reblogged this on Chocolate Vent and commented:
    Interesting take on an old discussion….

    Posted by Chocolate Vent | March 9, 2013, 2:55 AM
  6. From my experience, you can become friends with married men, even in clubs. But there has to be no “chemistry”. from the story I get you felt that chemistry all along, so your instinct told you it is not OK. And you did the right thing. A man interested in you solely as a friend wouldn’t have talked that much about why you were single, or why he is married. He just is, you just are. He would’ve tried to find other things in common, because a platonic friendship must begin on a common ground, not by flirting (which is obviously what he was doing).
    I am married now, and my husband’s best friends are two women (lucky me, huh? 😛 ) but key to me accepting them was me becoming friends with them as well. I also have some close male friends, most of them I met at work, but my workplace always has parties for employees only, and I have met some of them at those actual parties (similar to going in a club) so that is how I know that if he hasn’t tried flirting, he’s awesome friend material, especially if we have fun together at such an event. If he even made one slight remark about my moves, or if I’m dating… RIP 🙂

    Posted by Ella | March 23, 2013, 4:20 AM
    • I agree. His remarks about my appearance is what made me feel not OK with being friends. I’ve never had a guy friend though. I’d like to, but it has just never really happened because the ones that are so called friends are still trying to get in on the sly, so I can’t totally relax in our friendship. Now, if one of them started dating someone else seriously, then I think a true friendship could grow, but until then, I can’t drop my guard.

      Honestly, I just don’t see why a man would want other female friends outside of the ones he already has. It reeks of impropriety lol

      Posted by 30thoughts | March 24, 2013, 10:40 PM

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