It was a Sunday evening, no relevant English Premier League match showing on DSTV and moreover no light at home so I decided to visit one of my guys. Common visitation metamorphosized to “let’s go and hang out at that new joint down the road”.
We descended on the joint at about 6 pm and in the convoy was (my humble self, my friend, his girl and a married friend of ours). We were busy admiring the scenery of the new joint and were just about to order a plate of isi ewu (spicy goat head) and a cold bottle of beer when our married friend picked a call and excused himself.
Upon his arrival, these are the words that left his lips, “Guys abeg make we dey go, I gats go on gen for my wife and pikin” (roughly translated as Guys, we have to leave, I have to go put on the generator set for my wife and the baby) but what we heard was, “Guys please let’s leave here, I want to be a killjoy and ruin your fun because of my wife and child”.
You should have seen my face.
The same Samuel that just got married last year, is now forming family man for us and dampening our fun?
“Madam Blessing, leave the isi ewu, we are leaving now”, I said in anger as we left.
A few weeks after the incident, we wanted to get our groove back on and a friend suggested we called Samuel to join us. If only looks could kill, he who suggested bringing Samuel along would have been dead.
Slowly and steadily, Samuel was ostracized from the group not because we didn’t love him, but because his priorities had changed and rightly so.
There has been a Universal element to the “should married folks keep single friends” question. There are always two sides to a coin but you get with this coin, there are three sides; the good, the bad and the ugly.
The good side of the coin tells you that married folks can have single friends if it doesn’t interfere with the married folks’ marriage and the single folk’s independent lifestyle.
The bad side of the coin tells you that single and married folks are like cats and mouses that should never associate under any circumstance.
Then we have the ugly. They are not for or against the motion that married folks should not have single friends but argue that the relationship is not necessarily a bad thing but good things can’t count out of it.
They argue that a single guy would have nothing to teach a married man about the most important thing to him; his marriage.
They are of the opinion that a single lady’s independence will rub off wrongly on her married friend and lead to unholy expeditions.
They argue that a married lady experiencing challenges in her married wouldn’t probably get sound advice from her single friends who have no experience of marriage whatsoever.
They argue that single women have no business interacting on a personal level (phone calls, text, inboxing, hanging out with, confiding in, sharing secrets with, being best friends with, caring about, etc) a married man.
So is it really okay for a single lady to be friends with a married man?
We sought the opinion of a few men and women and their thoughts should quench the inquisitive fire in you.
In the words of Dr. Soroya Bacchus, 51, Psychiatrist.
“While men and women can be friends, it is difficult for the relationship to be entirely platonic. Our genetics simply drive our attraction to the opposite sex! The likelihood that at least one party is drawn to the other sexually is very high, regardless of whether or not anything ever comes of it. This is the reason jealousy and infidelity exists; we are not wired to be a monogamous species.”
Angela Lutin, 38 added,
“I have many guy friends. They are my friends because they all started out as guys that wanted to date me or sleep with me. If you have an unattached female and male, I think sexual tension is always there”
“Men and women can only be friends when the woman dictates the friendship. She has to be sure to keep him at bay. Her inability to create proper distance barriers, limit the time they spend together, and restriction of intimacy can cause the relationship to go too far.”
Devin T. Robinson X, 28.
“Men and women cannot be friends with someone they are attracted to, and unfortunately, most men are attracted to almost every woman so the idea that they can be friends without thoughts of sex is ridiculous. Being friends in group activities is fine. I would get worried if your guy was off doing one-on-one stuff with a woman. That’s called a date.” Lindsley Lowell, 42.
“I know first-hand, both through personal experience and through witnessing it, that men and women can be friends. But, there are some caveats around it. More often than not, either the man or woman at some point in time, wanted “more”—either to have sex, date or to have a relationship. Delaine Moore, 41.
“The only way you can be friends with another man when you’re married is if you find this man so unattractive, there would be no way he could ever worm his way into your pants. There is just no real male/female heterosexual friendship that doesn’t have an underlying attraction.” Jennifer Hutt, 42.
“No, it isn’t possible, especially if the woman is single. It doesn’t matter how long the woman knows the man; if he is good looking, smart, charming, resourceful, courageous, adventurous, and gainfully employed, she. will. always. wonder. what. it. would. be. like. to. be. married. to. him. Period.” Stefan Pinto, 40.
“The only time it works is if both parties are in happy relationships, sexually satisfied at home, and there are strong professional or interest reasons to be friends.” Pablo and Beverly Solomon, 64 and 57.
On a final note, I am of the opinion that singles should have mostly single friends and married folks should associate mainly with married folks.
This rule can be disregarded only if one is acting a mentor to another, one is a business associate of another, one is a ‘distant’ friend of another. A married man texting with a single girl, without a clear goal, is a recipe for future problems.
Reference: Can Men Really Be “Just Friends” with Women? by Jené Luciani for Shape.com