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RED FLAG: Opposite Sex Friends

with

Kait & JJ Tomlin

Kait and JJ discuss if having opposite sex friendships while in a relationship is a red flag or not. 

Introduction

Hey hey hey Heart of Dating fammm! We’re backkkk with another episode in this season on RED FLAGS! We’re getting close to the end of this season but we couldn’t let it pass without talking about this red flag that we hear about ALL THE TIME! Opposite sex friendships. This episode is going to be a good one so buckle up and get ready to dive in! 

Can guys and girls be JUST friends?

What do we mean by friends? We mean you know the person, you hangout with them, more likely in group settings, may go on group trips with them, they’re going to invite you to their birthday party, you have a friendship, you share in some of your struggles in life with them.

For JJ, that feels more like an acquaintance rather than a friend. For JJ, a friends is more of someone who you seek out, you will text one-on-one, and want to hangout one-on-one. It’s meaningful, mutual, and consistent.

Kait thinks that friendship can happen. Can they be best friends? Probably not because she thinks that that intimacy should be reserved for someone of the same gender, personally. Orrr if you’re going to be best friends with someone of the opposite gender then you need to marry them, because that’s a perfect candidate to marry! However, we do think that you can be just friend with proper boundaries.  Every situation is different, so we’re not making this a black and white sitation. However, in past experience Kait doesn’t think it’s super wise to have a best friend of the opposite gender.

This is how Kait was able to have guy friends in the past…

You have to be on the SAME page! Be clear and upfront about this being a FRIENDSHIP. Don’t worry about it being awkward, it’s WAY better for the heart to be upfront and clear. 

Have check ins. Continue to communicate clearly if anything seems murky. If you start  developing feelings, ADDRESS it. If you think they are developing feelings, ask them kindly about it. If you don’t do this then it can lead to friendationships. 

Don’t think that just because they are KIND to you that it means they are INTERESTED. Kindness does NOT equal romantically interested. Kindness is just, KIND. If they are interested, they WILL or SHOULD make that CLEAR. 

Boundaries! This was developed through time for Kait. She avoided texting late at night. Avoided, excessive 1:1 hangs especially late at night. The other huge thing here is that if you need help for emotional support it’s really important to go to the same gender friend FIRST. 

JJ thinks that it’s impossible to spend time together, have fun together, bond together, develop a friendship together over time and not ultimately be attracted to each other. He thinks it’s because we’re created that way. Kait really does feel like it can be really healthy and healing to have brotherly and sisterly friendship. It’s not ALWAYS going to happen, but it CAN happen. 

What are RED FLAGS in opposite sex friendships?

For JJ, if a woman has a lot of guy friends then it signals to him that she is probably a little immature and possibly also naive. 

For Kait, when a man has a lot of girl friends it has typically always been a red flag, mainly because of her past experiences. 

Who they follow MATTERS. It’s important to get curious and ask questions. THEN it’s important to share clearly and calmly how it makes you FEEL. Then WATCH and see the response. How they respond to you sharing that you are uncomfortable with the contact they have with friends is IMORTANT. 

You start to see their priorites quickly. Do they care more about following this person OR making this person feel safe in a relationship? 

How much are they in 1:1 contact with them if/when you are in a relationship? 

How much are they willing to be transparent about opposite sex friendships with you? 

Should your friendships with opposite sex people CHANGE when dating/in a relationship?

If you have to downgrade any friendships with someone when you go into a relationship that is a sign for you that those friendships were already too deep and too close to begin with. 

What if they’re friends with a recent ex they were in a relationship with?

JJ would start with asking why. Either way, JJ doesn’t think it’s a good idea. There’s no NEED to be close friends with them. 

Overall, we think it’s POSSIBLE with proper boundaries in place to have oppositie sex friendships, however it may not be the wisest. 

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Kait Tomlin

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Kait Tomlin is a best-selling author, speaker, popular relationship coach, and the founder of Heart of Dating. She helps thousands of men and women on their journeys through the conversations on the Heart of Dating Podcast, which launched in 2018.

Through her ministry, Kait’s mission is to empower both men and women to have the courage to own their story, walk in victory, thrive with purpose, and discover clarity and vision in their life and relationships. In her new book, Thank You for Rejecting Me: Transform Pain into Purpose and Learn to Fight for Yourself, Kait vulnerably shares how she grew through her deepest, darkest rejections and offers readers the tools to heal from the past, take back their power, and walk in strength, victory, and love into their future. Kait currently lives in the Los Angeles area with her husband JJ and their pups Lovey and Teddy. She loves sunshine, walks, Jesus, and lip syncing to Celine Dion.

JJ Tomlin

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JJ Tomlin is a missionary kid born in Belgium, originally from Tennessee, and currently residing in the OC. He currently works in Gaming/E-Commerce, enjoys watching his Tennessee Titans on Sundays with his Goldendoodle Teddy and loves working with Christian men to raise the bar in singleness and dating.


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