When Laura and I started dating in college we both had friends of the opposite sex. Most of the time these were just girls or guys that hung out in our respective groups. (We were both huge nerds, so the groups weren’t that big.) But there were a couple relationships we both had that rubbed us the wrong way.
In particular I took umbrage with Laura’s friend, who I will call Kevin because that was his name. He ended up being one of my better friends and standing up in our wedding. But at the beginning of our relationship I thought his boundaries were off. He wasn’t hitting on her or anything but he liked to hug everybody. I’m not a hug guy. I didn’t like that. Also he and Laura would sometimes go off campus for lunch one-on-one. Again nothing explicitly malicious but it rubbed me the wrong way.
After bringing it up with Laura, I decided to just talk to Kevin about it straight up. The conversation went down at Noodles and Company and sounded like this:
Me: How are your noodles?
Kevin: Pretty good, you?
Me: Whatever. Listen, I don’t like you hugging my girlfriend or hanging out with her when it is just you two.
Me: Yeah, I get that maybe I’m just being up tight about this but that’s how I feel.
K: Dude, I totally understand. Say no more. I didn’t mean anything by it.
Me: I know you didn’t.
Me: This beef stroganoff is delicious.
K: Thanks for bringing it up. I appreciate it when people are honest with me.
The moral of the story is that personally I think when you start dating you shouldn’t hang out with friends of the opposite sex alone. I’m fine with it in groups but the alone thing sets my spider senses off. That’s not from God or anything. But I think it keeps life a lot easier.
The bonus moral (this is the post that keeps on giving) is that honest open communication is good for everybody, you, your special someone, and your friends.