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June 29, 2021

Can men and women be just friends?

Can married men and women be “just friends?” With the Billy Graham rule being now two generations old, is it time to adapt the way we approach relationships with the opposite gender? Let’s talk about it.

In this episode, Jamie and Heather discuss some of the red flags of being just friends as well as ways to manage relationships with the opposite gender in the workplace. Check it out!

There’s no one size fits all

In this episode, Heather and Jamie focus on married men and women and their relationships with either single or married people of the opposite gender.

When it comes to managing relationships in marriage there’s no one size fits all rule that can substitute for a good, open conversation with your spouse. Glean wisdom from other people’s experiences, ask questions, but before determining how you will move forward, always talk to your spouse.

4 Red flags to look for in your “just friends” relationship 

Sometimes it’s hard to recognize when a “just friends” relationship is heading in a “hurt your marriage” direction. So, let’s talk about 4 red flags to look out for. With each red flag, remember to slow down, examine the truth, and have an open, honest conversation with your spouse. No matter how painful.

1. Sharing intimate parts of your life with your “just friend” that you haven’t shared with your partner

This goes for relationships of the same gender and opposite. If you haven’t talked to your spouse about it yet, you might want to examine why you want to talk to someone else about it first.

Ask yourself: Why is my first desire to go to them instead of my spouse?

2. Justifying behavior or time spent in response to your spouse’s concerns

If your spouse has a concern, listen. No friendship is worth hurting your marriage over. If your first reaction to their concerns is to justify your actions, you may need to examine the friendship a little closer.

Ask yourself: Why do I value time spent with this person more than my spouse’s feelings?

3. Asking yourself, “can I?” or “should I?”

If you have to ask, you probably haven’t had a conversation with your spouse about the boundaries around this relationship. That’s a red flag. Stop, send a text, make a phone call, or plan a conversation before you do anything.

Ask yourself: Why haven’t I talked to my spouse about this yet? What boundaries do we need to discuss before moving forward?

4. If your “just friend” doesn’t believe the same as you

Managing the boundaries in your marriage around a friendship with the opposite gender is hard enough. Adding in that friend not agreeing with those boundaries or not understanding your relationship with God adds a whole new level of difficulty. There are going to be areas of your friendship where you can’t rely on this person for advice or feedback.

Ask yourself: What areas of my life should I not allow this person’s friendship to influence?

Find a mediator for your conversations

For one reason or another, having open, honest conversations with your spouse can be difficult. If you have concerns around the outcome of an honest converstion, we highly encourage taking the conversation to a counselor’s office. Sitting down with a mediator is an incredibly beneficial step for any relationship. If you live in the Tulsa area, here are some local counselors we trust.

Resources: 

Ask us a question. Text “LIFE IN MOTION” to 23101 and follow the prompts.

Heather and Jamie love to bring people together. So naturally, their podcast is a place where they want to do the same. Every season, we set aside episodes to hear from YOU and talk about YOUR thoughts. Text “LIFE IN MOTION” to 23101 or leave us a voicemail at 1-539-215-9432 to share your question.

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