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Sharefriend

December 14th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

As I mentioned before, on New Year’s Eve, I will be attending a best friend’s wedding (dateless), which may not sound completely odd, but in my case, the best friend is not the groom. My best friend is the bride.

To be clear, the Groom and I have become good friends, so much so he has given me the honor of being one of the groomsmen.  And now that I’m close with both the Bride and the Groom, I have become what I like to call a sharefriend.

For some, being a sharefriend — someone who is cool with a couple as opposed to just the man or the woman — is difficult. The Bride and I are very close and have been for years, so in a way, my loyalty is to her. Then again, the Groom and I have become very close, and as men, there’s an unspoken bond we both have with one another, which stands on a firm foundation of loyalty.

The whole situation has me thinking about how to effectively be friends with a woman without disrespecting her man or her relationship. So here it is, six things a sharefriend cannot do. For the women who read this, take all the advice I give to the men and reverse it to be gender-appropriate.

GET THE WOMAN A  BIRTHDAY GIFT

Let’s say I get invited to the birthday party of the female-sharefriend. As a matter of fact male-sharefriend himself invites me to the party. The only gift I should give is my attendance. What do I look like showing up to a taken woman’s birthday party with some gift card to her favorite restaurant?

DATE SOMEONE WHO LOOKS JUST LIKE THE FEMALE-SHAREFRIEND

Think about that for a minute. I am dating a girl who looks just like my friend’s girl. Just like her! Is there anything more awkward than that face-to-face meeting? I doubt it. I can just hear him now: “Hey, you know your woman looks just like someone, and I can’t figure out who. Oh wait a minute, I know who. My girl!”

CALLING JUST THE WOMAN

The Bride and Groom share a land line, and though I have both of their numbers, I usually call the land line first, unless I have something specific to talk about with either of them. If they don’t happen to be home, I leave a message acknowledging both of them. If the Groom picks up, I don’t just say, “Hey man, is the Bride there?” No. That’s inappropriate. We have a conversation first, then he either volunteers the phone to her or I politely ask for her. No matter who you’re closest to, as the sharefriend, one must treat both people in the relationship as equals.

NO TELLING INSIDE JOKES IN FRONT OF OUTSIDE PARTIES

The Bride and I have a lot of funny things we laugh about from the days we kicked it in college, back before she even knew the Groom, but I don’t bring up those jokes whenever the three of us are hanging out together. Laughing, joking, those things are all good, and it’s perfectly acceptable to make the woman laugh, but as a sharefriend, at some point I better start making the man laugh too.

THE ONLY TIME IT’S OKAY FOR ME TO TAKE A PICTURE WITH THE WOMAN IS IF HER MAN TAKES THE PICTURE HIMSELF

Let’s say I’m out for a night on the town with a group of friends, including my couple-friends. Everyone’s having a great time taking pictures, and the female-sharefriend asks me to take a picture with her, and as we’re taking the picture together, the male-sharefriend  is coming back from the restroom or the bar. Awkward! Even more awkward? He never even saw us take the picture together, but the next day when their sitting down on a couch together scrolling through the pictures they took the previous night,  a picture of me and his woman smiling hard pops up on the screen. The man may not get mad, but he just might ask, “So when did you two take this picture?”

NO DANCING WITH HER

Going back to this imaginary night out with my couple-friends, let’s say it includes some dancing, and I’m sitting down to give my feet a break. The man-sharefriend decides to do the same, but the woman-sharefriend still wants to dance, so she’s out on the dance floor by herself, doing her own thing. It is NOT my duty to go out there and pick up where the male-sharefriend left off.  I cannot imagine when it would ever be appropriate for me to just grab the female-sharefriend’s hand and start twirling her around right in front of the male-sharefriend. I don’t care if he’s landed himself in a wheelchair and cannot use his legs. If something so unfortunate were to happen, my duty, as the sharefriend would be to push him around in the wheelchair while the female-sharefriend dances with him.

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  • Nadira Rae

    LMAO @ the visual of a dancefloor menage going on as you twirl dude around in a wheelchair….priceless! Good points. The dynamics of male-female platonic relationships can get dicey once one of the friends gets involved. Definitely been there with my “brother from another”. We’re both single now though…rules need not apply lol.

  • Deen

    Agreed. Except for the dancing thing. That just seems excessive. As long as it’s the respectful kind, I’d like to imagine dancing is a non-issue.

    That said, the efficient way to deal with this sharefriend stuff is to do the immature thing and cut them off. Unless you have a significant other of your own. Life’s too short to remember all these damn rules!

  • http://metanotherfrog.com/?cat=14 Skye Blue

    After reading that I am glad I’m not any couple’s ‘sharefriend’. I have a hard enough negotiating my long standing friendships with dudes after they get married to someone who doesn’t know me well.

    If it’s as hard as you make it seem, I think I’d take the immature route as Deen suggested and cut them both off…

  • Risha Love

    I am in this currrent position right now. I have known the guy 15+ years and have recently met his wife. I let her know my loyalty is to her…but as you stated women too have a unspoken bond. I do no get involved in that back and forth. One wants to know what I talked about with their mate so they try and sneak a question in.
    Recently my boy has stopped speaking to me and a few other friends because he feels his wife has stolen his friends. However she hung outh with all his friends before me. Me hanging out with her has turned into a big blown out tantrum. I havent talked to my boy in weeks. Ive reached out to him, and I get no response. His wife and I have to sneak around just to hang out.
    Its no fun being the sharefriend.

  • risha love

    I am in this current position right now. I have known the guy 15+ years and have recently met his wife. I let her know my loyalty is to her…but as you stated women too have anunspoken bond. I do no get involved in that back and forth. One wants to know what I talked about with their mate so they try and sneak a question in.
    Recently my boy has stopped speaking to me and a few other friends because he feels his wife has stolen his friends. However she hung out with all his friends before me. Me hanging out with her has turned into a big blown out tantrum. I haven’ talked to my boy in weeks. Ive reached out to him, and I get no response. His wife and I have to sneak around just to hang out.
    Its no fun being the sharefriend.

  • Mimi

    My female cousin and my husband are very good friends since middle school. He talks to her far more than I do. You are right this is tricky but we’ve navigated it with no issues. We now have 1/2 dozen share-friends of both genders between us. What I’ve notices is that as we’ve gotten older it is all more relaxed. In our 20’s when the marriage was new and everyone was more in what I call the hook up mode there were more opportunities for friction. But as we knock on the door of 40 it’s all good.

  • Trisha

    Good advice Jozen. I can not even imagine the walking on eggshells type battle that one must go through to keep a good balance among your “sharefriends”.

  • http://steamywindows.wordpress.com Jamila J

    I can actually agree with the last one. I know if I sat down and my man wanted to keep dancing so his friend took over in my place I’d wonder if the girl was waiting on her opportunity to take over my spot.

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  • Jinx Moneypenny

    So much win in this post. The amount of unnecessary drama and confrontations are avoided with these things in action. But you know there’s them lames that wanna act like all is cool around their s/o and yadda yadda… terrible.

  • Haniball

    What a load of crap. I am a kiwi and we are very relaxed people, but I am a single 32 year old man with heaps of male and female mates. I have never had an issue with been friends with both the male and female of the couple, can dance with the lady, take photos together and talk crap and there is never an issue with the guy. To me these rules seem a bit silly as everybody is different and if was stepping on someones toes would change way I do things

  • WaxTransparent

    i literally wheezed laughing while visualizing that wheeelchair bit! & that opposite sex ‘best friend’ thing is rough; goin through that right now. i never dated him but when i first met him i was interested. nothing even remotely sexual evvvverr happened but we have remained very close ever since. he joined twitter a few days ago and we sent each other simple ‘ayooo!’ tweets. this mornings phone conversation with my man after he saw them led me to beleive he had a problem with him. past flames, no matter how small, +current relationship=dicey

  • Whitney

    Haniball-I agree w/you. We as adults should be mature enough and not so insecure about certain issues. If the couple is secure in their relationship and trust their friends it shouldn’t be a problem unless either parties gives reason to think different. I have a lot of “sharefriend” and of course my loyalty will be w/the person I have known the longest, but at the same time you have to build that trust between both parties. If there is ever an akward moment, then I say cut them both off especially if it is something that will ultimately affect the relationships.

  • Delishia

    Hilarious but true!

  • http://www.mauricegarland.com Maurice Garland

    good stuff man…i have a sharefriend.

    but the crazy thing is…i knew dude before i knew his girl…but me and his girl have wound up being tighter over the years. we only converse on the internet though and when were out in public our interactions are very very very cordial. no hugging or none of that shit. and when im around both of them in public, i tend to talk to my homeboy more, i cant just be paying too much attention to his lady like that, that would look disrespectful. shit crazy because she tends to tell me whats going on with them at the time, and my homeboy shied, he only talks about the game and work and shit…it was weird at first, but…i saw that by doing right by both of them…it dont have to be awkward.

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