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Do You Believe Men and Women can be Friends?

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A little thought experiment I thought might be fun. You see these kinds of discussions on a lot of forums at least once.

 

So the main point is, what is your opinion on male/female friendships? Working in a department with like 90% women, they make up the bulk of my friends. Of course, I'm sure a lot of us here think a male/female friendship is fine so here's a couple twists. What if:

 

. One likes the other? And if so, do you think a friendship can survive if they know and reject them?

. A significant other doesn't like that they spend their time with someone of the opposite sex? Do you think that's fair? Would you break up with that person if you found yourself in that position and they gave you an ultimatum?

. Their sexuality is called into question because they're friend group is made up of only or mostly men/women?

. They were too close? Everyone knows about the concept of the work husband/wife. Lots of SOs would feel uncomfortable with that dynamic.

 

I'll be interested to hear some opinions on this. I know the topic comes up from time to time and people kind of express their viewpoints but rarely is there a full discussion of this topic.

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interesting question.

 

The second and fourth questions can all be summed up to trust between you and your SO, as well as establishing boundaries with the friend/co-worker in question, so as to not break said trust with one's SO. As long as none of that is broken, it should be OK.

 

The third is more or less an issue of personal security.

 

As for the first one, it depends from person to person. Some may be okay with it, others may not.

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Men and women can be friends, but if either side harbors feelings, and they have a significant other, they should respect the boundaries of their partner, to prevent ruining multiple relationships.

 

It can be a one-sided friendship if one person has feelings for the other that aren't reciprocated.  At that point the person with the crush may be unable to be a real friend, because of those feelings.  It's best to let them out if they're there, but not while you're with someone.  It's a gamble.  If you break up with your SO and ask a coworker out and she says no, then you've probably lost both of them.  But if you hold on to feelings and the opportunity presents itself later, then the coworker may rationalize that you didn't make the leap earlier and break-up with your SO for her.  Or that you held onto feelings and couldn't adequately communicate them.  I definitely lost someone very important to me because I held onto feelings and was too late when I made a move (back in my 20s).

 

I used to work at MTV back in the early to mid '00s, which was a plethora of hot young people and often involved work hook-ups.  I saw this go south so often that I create a strict Never Hook-Up with Co-Workers rule, while I was there (not that I didn't take advantage of these connections when I left.)  But it's a good rule to follow, since relationships can sour quickly and then at work you're forced to see them every day.  Classic don't defecate where you masticate situation.  But work is also a common place where people meet, and you get to see each other every day, so it's a toss-up.

 

Good luck, man!

 

TLDR: Yes, but it's difficult when attraction is involved on either side.

Edited by Liamland
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Absolutely...the vast bulk of my friend list on facebook are female, almost all of whom I've known for years and years.  Meeting through grade school, high school, college, work, online forums, and guilds or chance meetings in MMO's.

 

 

 

 

One likes the other? And if so, do you think a friendship can survive if they know and reject them?

 

Yep.  I've been through that.  Rejected.  It didn't phase me.  However this is individual.  I've known a lot of women who have cut me off and out of their lives either when they rejected me and felt uncomfortable around me as a result and could not handle any potential issues created from it...or in the case where I rejected them.  One of the women I have rejected, and essentially dumped, is still friends with me.

 

The first girl I fell for removed me from her facebook after asking me to move out to be nearer to her.  She moved to New Zealand, and Australia was easier to get a work visa for.  She framed it that it would give her a reason to visit Australia, which is the closest available landmass, and easier for me to come out to her.  I said I couldn't, and I had no idea if that would ever be the case.  She blocked me.  Apparently she's still single and rarely dates.  Has rarely dated since High School and my telling her how I felt, and she rejected me the next day.  Only to then non-stop talk about me in class and ask my best buddies how I was doing.  She's apparently happy and busy with work, so at least there's that.

 

I think it depends on how a person's experiences have played out in life.  For example, in a guild I was in, I built up a relationship with one girl, we became facebook friends, msn, yahoo (still popular at the time), etc.  It didn't take long before we talked about meeting up and things became serious.  However she was used to very...aggressive guys who attempted to destroy her life after a breakup, and relied on her circle of guy friends she's known since pre-school, having lived most of her life in a small town, to stick up for her.  They're like her brothers.  In anycase, after taking a bit of a break with her friends, she pretended everything was fine, but refused to speak to me.  After almost a month of this, she finally relented she started up a relationship with one of her guy friends and felt we were done.  Then proceeded to treat me like I was going to come after her and destroy her.  Even waged an online campaign to destroy my reputation.  Speaking to two of her guy friends, and her new boyfriend, and getting into a rather deep conversation about my intentions and convincing them I had no intention of attacking her and destroying her reputation, everything ended.  A few weeks later, she became friendly again, but it was distant.  Her initial response was to attack first out of fear that I was going to react in the same way she's used to most men acting.

 

So I think it really depends on experience and perception of what may come from it.  How comfortable a person is with themselves as well, and if they can personally handle rejection or whether they fear the response from the person they rejected.

 

A long long long time ago, I worked at Starbucks.  There was a girl who joined up with the team, who moved in from I think Seattle.  She used to live in Santa Fe, even went to the same high school I did.  She was two years my senior, but I really liked her.  I mean she was fun, bubbly, smart, very insightful, and we got along very well.  So I asked her if she wanted to have lunch with me.  She became very quiet and subdued, said no.  A day later my boss calls me into the backroom to talk to me about sexual harassment.  It's on file in Starbucks that I "harassed" another employee.  She said this girl, let's call her Shay, felt I pressured her into a date and made her feel very uncomfortable to where she did not want to come into work.  So to keep us both, she changed our scheduling so we would not work with one another. 

 

Two months pass and we're forced to work together due to certain people requiring their shifts being taken.  We get along again.  There seem to be no problems.  Suddenly our normal schedules coincide.  I suppose by some accounts you can call me stupid, but I really liked her.  Really really really liked her, and about two months later, I asked if she would like to have lunch with me.  Just 30 minutes of shared lunch time.  She rejected me again.  I wasn't called into the office again, but my manager did give me an exasperated look that day, and our scheduling was again changed so I almost never worked with her.  However several people left, so there were a few times.  Shay refused to speak to me.  She avoided me.  I should mention quite a few times in our shifts she gave me hugs, rubbed my shoulders, so the second rejection was...really odd for me.

 

Call me a complete fool, as most men would just walk away at this point, but a month later, we're friendly again.  Very friendly and openly flirty, as things were prior to the first two times.  I should point out I did not initiate every episode, and personally I would say I initiated less than half, but this is my perception and may not be true.  In anycase, I asked her out a third time, this time to coffee in this same shop, or in a very public and popular place, at peak hours.  I asked her because I liked her, and she was leaving and I wanted to say goodbye to her personally.  She said maybe, and later that night, prior to closing, said yes.

 

So we had a coffee date.  It went very well.  She opened up about the previous episodes, and apologized for her behaviour.  Explained a bit of why.  Her former relationships, one of which had recently ended, and why she moved to Santa Fe, was with very jealous and possessive men.  Especially her last relationship.  Even years later the same guy pursued her and hounded her on the phone and social media.  It only ended a few years ago.  In anycase, while no serious relationship budded after this, we hung out a lot, and we're still friends to this day.  Though a few times things happened...or nearly so anyway, but it wasn't meant to be.  She came back to work several times after, prior to us both permanently leaving Starbucks, and we never had issues since that date.

 

 

 

A significant other doesn't like that they spend their time with someone of the opposite sex? Do you think that's fair? Would you break up with that person if you found yourself in that position and they gave you an ultimatum?

 

That depends.  I do understand the mentality surrounding those thoughts, but it's a bit controlling, and shows an utter lack of trust and faith in your partner.  That said, there are also situations a man or woman can be put in where it's VERY easy to be manipulated into doing something or being seen doing something (say the girl grabs you and kisses you in public, then claims you kissed her and there are witnesses she personally knows to call on).  There's a reason we have such phrases as "never trust a [beautiful] woman if there's a man in her sight."  This advice being aimed at other women who have a man they know another.  Though it's easier to manipulate a man in this situation than a woman.

 

I wouldn't be comfortable with that level of trust issue, especially if it extended to not trusting me being in the same working environment with women.  It creates more cracks that break down all bonds in that relationship.  So it has to be dealt with and discussed to get to the heart of why, and hopefully work out whatever issue is triggering it.  If that doesn't help, then yes I would walk away, as even if it were the single most amazing relationship ever, the very element and bond that made the relationship strong I feel, and from experience, know would deteriorate and chip away at those bonds if the person holding onto that fear and jealousy did not find some way to fix the trust issue inside of themselves.

 

That said, I would not subject myself to any meeting with another woman alone, without either other colleagues or my wife/girlfriend.  There are a few exceptions. Not so much for my partner's sake, but because I don't want to be put into a compromising position, and I would not feel comfortable in that situation unless this was a very close friend with both of us.  So maybe her best friend if I want to throw a surprise party, or if the wife/girlfriend of a friend needs to talk for some advice/something happens to their significant other, or wants some advice for their relationship...because you never know.  So if I know and feel I can trust the woman to not make advances, then yes, I feel completely comfortable in that situation, just her and I alone.  Same goes vice versa with my partner and another man I personally know and trust.  That doesn't mean things cannot happen, but it certainly reduces the chances of being placed in a compromising position on purpose.

 

If my significant other would not even accept that latter, I would probably leave if this can never be resolved.  So I would try to resolve it, couples therapy, long conversations with one another to get to the heart of things...slow gradual approaches to making her feeling more comfortable and able to trust me.

 

 

 

Their sexuality is called into question because they're friend group is made up of only or mostly men/women?

 

That's just stupid.  Seriously, that's below 5th grade level labeling and name calling.  If an adult behaves that way, or even seems to suggest it in seriousness?  I'd have to laugh them out of the room and find something to slam them with.  Afterall, a lot of straight guys actually do like to dance, or do like to listen to women sing, or do have hidden feminine oriented personal pursuits...maybe it's cologne, or perfume for men...maybe it's a man purse...maybe it's styling his hair...or maybe he likes romantic flicks, or certain other angles more personal.  Likewise for women, there's always something masculine some women like.  Maybe it's sports, maybe it's watching two guys pummel each other into the ground.

 

Seriously, this is something to give people $#!& about in jest, in circles of friendship, maybe as part of general male $#!&-talking in a game of basketball.  However I can always retort that maybe more women like me or...whoever the guy who has the most female friends, and how few women are into the guy $#!& talking.  Afterall, that says a lot about a guy who may have a bunch of women who would put out if his girlfriend ever left him.  Or maybe they're side dates.  Likewise for the other way around.  Maybe a girl likes to have a bunch of guy friends so she has alternative picks should things not work out, and because she's so unbelievable as a person she just naturally attracts a ton of guys.  Basically angling at the one doing the $#!& talking being jealous.

 

So many ways to approach this since an adult really wouldn't care.  If anything, if I knew a guy who had more female friends than I do, I would ask his secret.  LOL.

 

 

 

They were too close? Everyone knows about the concept of the work husband/wife. Lots of SOs would feel uncomfortable with that dynamic.

 

Like with my first answer...it seems to depend on the person.  I know work relationships with husband/wife teams, or boy/girlfriend teams.  I've known a few who have a great dynamic.  It seems to depend on whether they take competition as friendly or serious, at least in my own experience.  If serious, and they try to one-up each other, and take it personally, it seems like there are real tensions that carry over, whereas if it's in fun, and they see it as a way to boost the business so they can take more vacation time together, it seems to work out VERY well.  I guess it's a matter of whether they're friends or not.  Romance certainly seems to help, but it doesn't inherently seem necessary.  So long as passions do not get in the way of job effort if problems do arise at home.  That could be an issue, but I've never experienced a situation like that.

 

I've even dated coworkers twice.  One a very serious relationship, the other a kind of fun fling.  Neither of them turned out poorly in terms of work ethics.  If anything I think working together with my then girlfriends turned into a really fun day and typically we got more done than less.  Probably because of the idea of getting home early to...uh, do stuff completely unrelated to work.  Well enough that our respective bosses (this was in two different jobs), often made sure we worked together, though the second job with a relationship, our boss had NO clue.  We were just flirtatious at work, but never indicated we were going out.

 

The second relationship, we broke up while she was still working at the same place.  There weren't any issues in terms of anger, though I was a little despondent when working around her, since she hit up every guy but me.  That can certainly cause major issues with someone who might take it more personally, or is a bit more hot headed than I am.

Edited by ignasia7

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Men and women absolutely can be friends.During the school/college,most of my friends were male,and I've only had a crush on total one(1) of them.Was rejected,but we remained friends still ^^

 

Though sadly,due to my mental health problems-related weirdnesses,all of those guys stopped being my friends eventually((( In general,I only have one school/college friend left,and it's a girl.Although she is a pretty butch lesbian.We're bff.

Edited by Mefista

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Sure. At this point in my life the majority of my friends are women. Thankfully I haven't had any issues with jealous spouses, but that's because the people who know me know I'd never be a threat to anyone's marriage.

 

As far as sexuality being called into question, I honestly don't care. It's really fun to ham it up and mess with the ones who would.

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Yeah, I think so. If you don't let your junk control you.

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In my experience, men and women can be friends until the male becomes attracted to the female. At that point, he makes a move and it all falls apart, or he doesn't make a move in an attempt to save the friendship, and it becomes an empty, one-sided charade. All but one of my closest friends in life have been women, but it never lasts.

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Asexual men and Gay men defintly can be friends with women.

Straight men depends, if the guy is a womanizer, i doubt it, those guys never think with their right head...the other ones most likely yes.

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Cool seeing all the interesting opinions and stories! For my part, I've always felt men and women could be friends, but there was one time I was talking to this girl who was less then happy but mostly willing to accept that I had mostly female friends. Didn't end up happening regardless.

 

It's interesting because over time I've found that I've mostly surrounded myself with feminine influences. Not necessarily on purpose too. In terms of taste, most of the music I listen to is performed by women, I read a lot of books by female authors, when it comes to comics, I end up reading solo books starring women more often then not, and even a lot of the manga I read ends up being written by women. I like seeing the female take on male characters, as they tend to have a stronger focus on their internal struggle.

 

The funny thing about the "gay" accusation is that I get it quite a bit, but more because of my voice then because of my friends, so I like to lean into it and keep them guessing.

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Yes, men and women friendships are totally possible. Several friends of mine from college (my junior and senior years to be precise when I had to start up my English major at a new college) were girls/women, and other than one of them I never had feelings of sexual attraction toward them.

 

One of the girls I knew became like a sister to me since we joked with each other all the time and ended up becoming pretty close since we were fairly open with each other and always worked together on writing projects.

Edited by YangustheLegendaryBandit

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Sure they can, I got plenty of guy friends. Sure sometimes a guy might flirt or ask me out, but I've not met any that take rejection the wrong way. Usually I get along great with guys, hell I get along pretty well with girls too. Guess I'm naturally awesome, anywho I think if the men and women in question are the mature type then it's very possible. If not well, those types usually aren't worth having as friends to begin with...this all being my opinion of course. 

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. One likes the other? And if so, do you think a friendship can survive if they know and reject them?

 

It can, but in my experience it is difficult for it to.

 

. A significant other doesn't like that they spend their time with someone of the opposite sex? Do you think that's fair? Would you break up with that person if you found yourself in that position and they gave you an ultimatum?

 

No that is not fair. I would refuse the ultimatum and leave the "breaking up" to her. It would be her that would be torpedoing the relationship, not me. Chances are, that wouldn't be a healthy relationship anyway.

 

. Their sexuality is called into question because they're friend group is made up of only or mostly men/women?

 

Do you mean that they might be bisexual? I mean, I'm personally okay with my wife being involved with other women as long as I am involved in some manner. If she's cheating on me (i.e. I am not involved) then no I am not okay with it.

 

. They were too close? Everyone knows about the concept of the work husband/wife. Lots of SOs would feel uncomfortable with that dynamic

 

I would probably be a bit uncomfortable, but of course it would depend on what their friendship is exactly like. Are they clearly flirting this other person? I mean, it would take a lot for me to walk away from a marriage. Cheating along couldn't do it. Relationships can be rehabilitated after infidelity, in my opinion, though it isn't always common.


Thankfully I haven't had any issues with jealous spouses,

 

Dwaine has sister wives, confirmed.

Edited by AustNerevar
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OH, I get what you mean by work husbands and wives now.  You mean a relationship so close they're practically married, even if both are married to other people/seeing other people outside of work.  I took that a bit too literally.

 

That can be a bit uncomfortable if they're really close and there are intimate moments, but then again I've had plenty of friendships like that, where nothing happened, and their spouse/boyfriend felt no threat from my constant presence.  We were more like...I guess siblings really, in how we thought about one another.  So I guess it depends on the relationship.  If I'm dating a girl who has such a friendship, and I know the guy and how they're like, and it's clearly like the scenarios I've experienced in my life, then no, I would be fine.  If they're a bit intimate at times, where it seems like he's there for the purpose of making a move, I'd rather clear it with her first to see how she feels, to determine whether I should feel worried or not.  If she's ok, and feels it's all in good fun, then I'm good with it.

 

Witnessing it in a working environment?  I see no issues.  I actually think it's a great angle to poke fun at some people with, and overall lighten the atmosphere/mood at work, especially at stressful moments.

Edited by ignasia7

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I have no new comments, so I'll just say: yes.

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- Feelings for co-workers can certainly complicate things. As an HR manager, I would say: tread lightly.

- Echoing others, it comes down to relationship security. I have a close friendship with a co-worker. Nothing more. And her husband has no issues with me. Even jokingly gives me tips on how to keep her in line at work. Yet the husband of another co-worker has expressed concern with me in the office, as if I'm a threat.

- It can come up as a fabricated/perceived issue. Don't let it bother you - embrace it. When I was born, I was literally the only boy in the nursery. I've been stuck around females from the get-go. You could say, I'm an expert

- This concern is not without reason and can definitely complicate things. Given my #2 point, I established our relationship as if we were office siblings, to stave off any prospect of unfounded rumors. She my office sister and me her office brother. Again, comes down to security in the relationship.

 

Sent from my SM-G930P using Tapatalk

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Dwaine has sister wives, confirmed.

 

Oh, $#!&@es be all over my balls.

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A little thought experiment I thought might be fun. You see these kinds of discussions on a lot of forums at least once.

 

So the main point is, what is your opinion on male/female friendships? Working in a department with like 90% women, they make up the bulk of my friends. Of course, I'm sure a lot of us here think a male/female friendship is fine so here's a couple twists. What if:

 

. One likes the other? And if so, do you think a friendship can survive if they know and reject them?

. A significant other doesn't like that they spend their time with someone of the opposite sex? Do you think that's fair? Would you break up with that person if you found yourself in that position and they gave you an ultimatum?

. Their sexuality is called into question because they're friend group is made up of only or mostly men/women?

. They were too close? Everyone knows about the concept of the work husband/wife. Lots of SOs would feel uncomfortable with that dynamic.

 

I'll be interested to hear some opinions on this. I know the topic comes up from time to time and people kind of express their viewpoints but rarely is there a full discussion of this topic.

 

I had to look up SO(my ditzy side kicked up).

 

In my case at my job in retail, I'm one of the people who works at the front end. With the exception of management, I'm the only male in that area. The cashiers and the other two service clerks are all women.

 

My experience is limited, mainly because my co-workers are just acquaintances. But, yeah... men and women can be friends.

 

Cool seeing all the interesting opinions and stories! For my part, I've always felt men and women could be friends, but there was one time I was talking to this girl who was less then happy but mostly willing to accept that I had mostly female friends. Didn't end up happening regardless.

 

It's interesting because over time I've found that I've mostly surrounded myself with feminine influences. Not necessarily on purpose too. In terms of taste, most of the music I listen to is performed by women, I read a lot of books by female authors, when it comes to comics, I end up reading solo books starring women more often then not, and even a lot of the manga I read ends up being written by women. I like seeing the female take on male characters, as they tend to have a stronger focus on their internal struggle.

 

The funny thing about the "gay" accusation is that I get it quite a bit, but more because of my voice then because of my friends, so I like to lean into it and keep them guessing.

 

One of my co-workers thought I was either "gay and just didn't know it"(How the heck does that work?) or asexual. :P:):laugh:

 

She was basing this off me not being in a relationship(and probably because I don't behave like a dirty minded man). :tounge2:

 

Fittingly enough, she also thought at one time I had some form of autism just because I didn't remember the name of produce worker who I really hadn't even talked to.

 

:lrsmile: :lrsmile: :lrsmile:

 

Asexual men and Gay men defintly can be friends with women.

Straight men depends, if the guy is a womanizer, i doubt it, those guys never think with their right head...the other ones most likely yes.

 

I sometimes feel a solid portion wouldn't trust any straight men just because of the womanizing types. That said I remember this one guy that was hired during my early years that was the "hot to trot" type.

 

He was actually a pretty pleasant dude to be around, but it was also pretty obvious that he thought a bit too highly of himself. One time there was a cute lady as a customer and he wanted to be the one to bag her order. The dude also tried to hit it off with a cashier, but she was already married. He backed off, but she told me he acted very disappointed.

 

:tounge2:

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^ I work in retail as well, and I'm one of like three men in the entire front end and the only man in my current position.

 

As for your last point, I've always wondered how people end up in relationships with customers. Especially where I work, I see lots of regulars but in the nearly three years I've been there few know my name and I know none of theirs. That being said, I'm intimately familiar with the people at my local Subway and they sometimes hook me up with free food.

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Being an elementary school teacher, some years I'm THE only male teacher at the whole school. 17 years teaching and about half that time it was me and 1 other guy. There were 5 at my current school, but 2 have moved up to middle and high school positions. I'm the only one with any contact below 4th grade. Tons of female employees. I've had good friends. Even had a best woman at wedding #2 instead of a best man. Had my work wives. Had husbands call me their wife's work husband. It's always been good. Well, except for the couple years when I dated the music teacher and after. Liam's advice came too late. My current school? At least 10 pairs of spouses work there. My wife has spent 3 years substituting on and off, when Plattym5 is old enough she will get a job there.

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^ I work in retail as well, and I'm one of like three men in the entire front end and the only man in my current position.

 

As for your last point, I've always wondered how people end up in relationships with customers. Especially where I work, I see lots of regulars but in the nearly three years I've been there few know my name and I know none of theirs. That being said, I'm intimately familiar with the people at my local Subway and they sometimes hook me up with free food.

 

I've never seen employee/customer relationships myself, or at the very least I'm unaware of any at my job.

 

I've seen co-worker relationships in the past. I stay away from possibility of getting into a relationships with co-workers though(something my grandfather mentioned would be a bad idea, I definitely agree it's far riskier).

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I'm intimately familiar with the people at my local Subway and they sometimes hook me up with free food.

You must be good in bed for more than one Subway employee to trade subs for sex. Well done!

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I'm intimately familiar with the people at my local Subway and they sometimes hook me up with free food.

You must be good in bed for more than one Subway employee to trade subs for sex. Well done!

The vast majority of the employees are quite unattractive.

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Difficult. I think it works until there is an attraction or if someone makes a move - or a misinterpretation of a move. At that point, usually one of two things happen. 1. No longer friends and things are awkward. 2. An affair. In my situation, both of them are not good. 100% bad odds. For the unmarried, it's a different story.

 

Most of the women I am friends with are married. I also know and am friends with their husbands. All of them that know me know Catherine as well. That eliminates the dynamic for trouble - most of the time. I've been married 16 years. Even if I was not married, dating subordinates is a recipe for trouble in court in this lawsuit society, especially with the authority aspect.

 

I may not be the best advice person to answer this since I've been with Catherine 18 years. I also get oblivious at times in situations. We almost always go to community or work parties together. Long ago, we both noticed that usually people that didn't bring their spouses to these events were usually the same people who end up getting divorced later. That's not always the case, but often is. I  usually go to her events and she usually goes to my events.

 

Years ago, Catherine and I had the same employer but worked in different departments. If things didn't work out, it would have not been adverse to our careers. Luckily, I got lucky. Pun intended.

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Absolutely they can be friends.

 

But here is some brutal honesty....I have trouble getting into deep friendships with women without catching feelings. It's not their fault, it's mine. Then I deal with the internal conflict of turning friendship into romance. If it goes well, then all is good. If not, there could be some very unfortunate consequences.

 

I've been lucky though, I can't think of any girls I've dated that I'm not still good friends with. I even get along well with my ex-wife. I guess it's because I'm a pretty laid-back person, and attracted to people of similar temperament.

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