Different Definitions of Monogamy - How to Set Boundaries

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-30-2009
Different Definitions of Monogamy - How to Set Boundaries
Sat, 06-01-2013 - 9:16pm

...so I have been dating an amazing man for the past few months and things have been going well.  We enjoy each other's company (when we do get to spend time together), and this had been refreshingly pleasant.  HE recently brought up a conversation about where things were going with us and he stated that he believed in monogamy.  I was happy to hear this and proceeded to stop dating other people (I didn't have many prospects before, but found that I had no desire to date anyone else).

During a phone conversation, he mentioned that he would be seeing one of his friends of the opposite sex over the weekend, and at first I was OK with that.  I have no problem if he shares a meal or catches a movie with someone, but he raised an eyebrow when he stated that he this would be an overnight arrangement...at a beach house.  I wasn't exactly sure how to respond openly to him, but inside I was screaming.  He SAYS they've been friends for years, blah, blah, blah, but I'm just uncomfortable with the situation.  I did ask how he would handle things if the situation were reversed and he said it wouldn't bother him... that he trusts me.

So, it's clear that our definitions of monogamy may be different (shame on me for not clarifying).  The thing is, he likes that I'm "laid back", and though I don't want to lose my "chill chick" status, I certainly don't want to pretend to be OK with something that bothers me.

I want to approach the situation with as little emotion and with as much thought as possible.  Any suggestions on how to get the conversation started?

Avatar for xxxs
Community Leader
Registered: 01-25-2010

 First wait until you are in the same room.  Then be careful.  I have friends of the opposite sex where I stay over at their place or at mine.  Most are sleeping without sex.  Some have been and remain lovers.  That has nothing to do with other relationships.  If someone has a lover for a long time they may or may not have boundaries set.  You are a newbie.  Relax. 


iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2008

Was he explicit or you simpy assume sex will be invovled in an overnight stay with a friend of the opposite sex?

It is possible to be just friends with the opposite sex.  And it is possible to share living space and remain 100% platonic.  I have gone on camping trips and vacations with guys before and nothing ever happened.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-05-2010


Hi. IMO. The devil is in the details here. You need to find out why he is just friends with her--and why he says he doesn't want more. I presume you've never met this woman.  For instance, if they have never gotten physical and  he finds her physically unattractive, I wouldn't worry much.  If they have gotten physical in the past, staying over in her place is something that should concern you.

Another factor is the type of place she lives in and who else is around. Staying alone together in a studio apartment with just one bed is troubling--but staying with her and others in a four bedroom house, with him in a separate bedroom, is a different matter. To summarize, the situation could be perfectly innocent, but it might not be.

So, get more details when you can talk to him calmly and leisurely. Tell him you don't want to be unreasonable or overprotective, but being officially exclusive gives you the right to ask him and get answers.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-30-2009

Well... I did ask for more details in a phone conversation last night (it would have been better face to face but he's in a different country).

He told me that it's more of a "meet up" situation, but if too much alcohol starts flowing, it could end up being that everyone stays under the same roof.  I was honest and let him know that the staying under the same roof part made me nervous, but once I got clarification on the situaion, I was fine.  I told him that he hasn't given me a reason not to trust him up until this point, and if he had anything to hide, he would not have told me about the female friend at all.

As for as why he hasn't hooked up with this friend, I have no idea why not... she's a Czech triathlete (I WISH I was kidding), so it's not that he's not attracted to her... for whatever reason they haven't crossed that line. 

Anywho... his response to my honesty was "I just won't do it", which still concerns me.  I don't want him to resent me if he feels restricted in any way.  Seriously, once i determined that the visit wasn't necessarily overnight and suggested that he call  her a taxi if they get plastered, I was fine.  He went on to say that he hasn't gone out with anyone since we started going out... male or female... something that I never asked him to do.

Despite me saying that I don't mind him hanging out with his friends, etc.  He kept replying "You're just saying that" which got under my skin.  Apparently, he's had problems in the past with other GF's having issues with his female friends.  So, for now we're going back and forth on what works...

Honeymoon is officially over

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-25-2013

Whatever is presently happening in your relationship, is a great predictor of what will happen in your future. Here's how it will be. "Hey Tiny, Stacy and I are going out dancing tonight, but you and I will get together tomorrow night. Hey Tiny, if I don't answer the phone, it's cause we don't get good cell reception at the cabin where I'm going to be staying with Melissa."

Having friends of the opposite sex is normal when people are teens or in their early twenties because many people aren't in serious relationships yet. Once a person begins to enter longer term relationship, their friends of the opposite sex go on the back burner. I would not accept my husband having a female buddy that he hung out with regularly and spoke on the phone with daily. I would not be happy with that arrangement. Male/female best friends have a different dynamic. Some people may be okay with such situations, but not me. Usually, couples have other couples friends or groups of friends they hang out with. 

Stay clear of guys with a female bf or a harem of women they communicate with. They're usually players and life is too frustrating with them. There are guys out there who only have guy friends and normal male hobbies, instead of a swarm of female companions. Find him by sticking with dating within 50 miles of you, and trying meetups.com and other activities to expand on good places to meet single guys. Good luck.