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The “Friend of the Opposite Sex” Wall

April 1, 2008
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Okay so you’re in a relationship … finally. You’ve been waiting and doing the “slumming” thing as well as the blind dates and the internet flirting and a host of other dreaded things to find someone. Now, all that is in your past: you’ve found the “one.” Everyone around you may not be so happy for you. You may find that even your parents and close family look down their noses with doubts about your new heart-throb … but you know it’s real. You think about the person constantly. You save their messages on your machine just to hear their voice. It is enough on some nights to actually turn the TV off and simply count your new lovers eyelashes while they fall asleep.

It’s all going great until one day you hit what I call the “friend of the opposite sex” wall.

You’ve heard their cell ring a few times while you were together and when you ask them who it was, they just hit “busy” on their phone and dismiss it with an answer like “work,” or “dear God it’s my mother again.” When all the while, guess what has been happening? Yup, you guessed it … the opposite sex friend has been calling like a rottweiler since you came around.

This same sex friend also isn’t too happy with your newfound bliss. And why should they be? They’re losing their best friend, the closest thing to a partner that you now enjoy.

For all you know, they may have even been your biggest dread: “sex friends” before you came around. You won’t know for years if they were and you may never know the full story as to how “deep” their relationship went. So Damien, you ask, what do I do about this? I can only give you my suggestion through a story and what worked for me before I got married to my lovely Sarah. I think it’s good advice, but only you can decide for yourself through talking with your partner.

One evening I had just made enchiladas for my now-wife and her son of 4 years. We were relaxing after the pool and watching Disney shows until the boy’s bedtime.

Then the phone rang.

It was, well … we’ll call him Chip since I don’t believe in revealing names apart from my family and friends who say its okay. Chip called and Sarah talked to him for a little bit. He had been weaving in and out of her life before I came around and now even more since I had already proposed marriage. It was the old “ya want what ya can’t have” problem. To make a long story short, I went over and hugged my now-wife (did I mention she is immaculately beautiful?) and said quietly into her ear:

“The boy and I are going back to the pool for 30 minutes. I’m not pushing you, but I would like you to tell him we are a “thing” and then I would like you to not talk to him again.”

In the context of what we had been talking about, this made sense. It was like our “language” that only we “got.”

Well, that was the end of Chip! Sometimes in a relationship, you need to believe in yourself enough to draw the line. You should never be rude or possessive, but if you cannot tolerate the opposite sex friend, then your relationship has hit a wall. you must either get over it together somehow or be stopped by it. Many people choose to tolerate the opposite sex friend, but you don’t have to.

Have you encountered “the friend of the opposite sex” wall. How did you get over it?


About the guest blogger: Damien Riley, author, teacher and dad, keeps an eye on pop culture, the news, and humor all around us. His blog, Postcards from the Funny Farm, covers topics including teaching, inspiration, humor, and psychology. Damien is married to Sarah, also a teacher and blogger and together they have 3 children.

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About

I’m a teacher and songwriter in California. It's always a pleasure writing for It Might be Love. I married my wife in 2002 and we have 3 kids. You can read more about me at my Google profile here. Get updates on Twitter and on my blog.

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