Sometimes this subject gets a little fuzzy when it’s debated.
Is the topic about friendships…maintaining a friendship with someone of the opposite sex, outside of naturally occurring situations and for no other reason than the enjoyment of their companionship?
Is it about the incidents of contact with the opposite sex, such as how much time is spent with said friend, how deep the conversation is, how trustworthy the spouse and friend are?
Is it about the priority of the marriage, such as who is most important, who receives the benefits from the spouse (such as emotional closeness, conversation, time spent together, recreational companionship, etc)?
I had a lot of guy friends, in fact more than girl friends, in highschool. I would say my work place is 80% single, young male. I engage in frequent interactions with the opposite sex.
But, I choose not to have any extended interactions or relationships outside of naturally occurring incidents because:
My time is very restricted. Why would I spend time with anyone, male or female who is not my spouse or my close family? After work, school and sleeping, the time to spend with other people equals scant hours, if not less than an hour a day. Who is such an important friend that I would spend time with him over my spouse?
My relationships with coworkers, students and clients are very public. Perhaps in other fields, this is not true, but it holds true for me. Scandal, gossip and images are extremes at my workplace. So maybe a highschool environment is stupid (I’m certainly not agreeing with it) but that’s the reality and I choose not to feed the flames of rumours or get mistakenly put in the category of “she has casual sex with everyone just like all those people.”
So maybe I feel secure about myself, my commitment and my chastity. Maybe my spouse does, too. I think the operative word on this thread has been “trustworthy.” Shouldn’t we be more concerned about “compassionate”? How compassionate is it to be an attractive, outgoing woman who has a deep friendship with a single guy?
Is that compassionate to the wife, the husband or the single guy? What about his prospects for a future wife? If he’s going out to lunch with me and talking to me on a phone, he’s certainly not working towards finding a wife. Talk about stringing someone along, teasing him, putting everyone in an occasion of sin, etc!
I know I’ll have people disagreeing with me, but this has to be the weirdest topic I’ve seen in married life. How come two people completely in love with each other take a vow to be with each other forever, and then start adding a few more people to the list?
Maybe it’s just my lifestyle. I guess if you have nothing to do in life after sleeping for 8 hours a day, then you have about 110 hours a week to spend time with people. I suppose after 40 hours or so of spending time with your spouse, it must get boring.