I am a single gal and I have male friends who are married. It has only recently occurred to me that this may make me the anti-Christ in the eyes of their beloveds.
A co-worker (who is strictly someone I work with and is no way a person I hang out with socially—we don’t even go to lunch together) had mentioned that he had gotten into a fight with his wife after she had seen an instant message conversation between the two of us. She demanded to know who I was, how close we sit at work, and the extent of our “work friendship.” He insisted that he had nothing to hide and I can back him up on that. I told him that I was willing to speak with his wife if that would make her more comfortable. He didn’t go for it saying he would get into more hot water for telling me what happened.
I opened up said chat and tried to put myself in the wife’s shoes. Having never met me, I can possibly see why she is upset. Though there was no flirting in our exchange, I did give him a handful of crap—as I usually do—and answered all of his questions in a very flippant and sarcastic manner. Since I have never met her, she could have taken my “you’re dumb” as “I want you.”
The fact is, while said co-worker is mildly attractive, he has a wife, a kid, and works with me. All of which are on my list of non-negotiables. On top of which, he’s immature and a little on the arrogant side. In other words, I have no interest in him whatsoever. He’s not someone I would want to hang out with socially and he reminds me a lot of my brother, Zack. Neither of which are attractive to me.
Last week, I went hiking with another male friend. We usually don’t hang out together without one of our other friends being with us, but since everyone else was either working or couldn’t be depended on, he wanted a buddy to accompany him on a hike. I had no reason to say no and since the location of the trail was five minutes away from me, I told him I’d go.
We spent most of the time talking about our friends, work, or sharing the horror stories of my dating life. He gave me some great advice and I tried to give him some to keep the peace at home and maintain his friendships. For the most part, I think the only reason I was invited is because he misses his best male buddy. Ever since this guy began dating his girlfriend, his friends have essentially been dropped and I’m sure my hiking partner is feeling the brunt of the exodus. He’s trying to fill the position of a hiking/lunch/chat buddy that has been left by his friend’s absence.
I asked if he had mentioned to his wife that he was hiking with me and he said that she knew he was hiking, but couldn’t remember if he had mentioned whether or not I was coming.
I found this odd.
While my friend’s wife and are aren’t the best of friends, I have made a point to try to get to know her and she has come over to my place for movie night. Hell, I’ve house-sat for them before. There would be no reason for him not to tell her that we were hanging out.
I had told my mom what had happened with both of my guy friends and she was concerned. She told me I shouldn’t play with fire or get involved. Part of me was shocked. How could she possibly think I was playing with fire? I didn’t initiate the instant messages nor do I go out of my way to talk to this guy at work. I didn’t encourage him not to tell his wife that we went hiking. Why is this my problem?
And then she got to talking.
She explained to me that once upon a time before my conception, she was friends with a married man. After one particular evening at a party where absolutely nothing inappropriate happened, his wife stopped talking to her and eventually, her friendship fell apart as a result of his wife’s disapproval. She told me that regardless of how innocent my relationships with any of these men were, I wouldn’t want to be the case of someone’s marriage collapsing.
I do think she has some valid points, but part of me wants to just continue to be myself and have my friendships. To me, that’s all these guys are and they’re not even high up on my list of friends. I wouldn’t call either one of them if I was stranded somewhere and I’m fairly certain that if we didn’t work together, I would never hear from these guys ever again.
I wonder if I was dating someone any of this would matter. Maybe it’s the fact that I’m a single, independent woman in my 20’s that is potentially so frightening that wives get upset at the mere mention of my being in a 100-foot radius of their husbands.
I guess until I find myself a man I’m just a woman of questionable morals.