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Ethics of Emotional Intimacy with Opposite-Sex Friends and Falling In Love with Someone Else

Quote from Lucio Buffalmano on January 2, 2021, 10:59 am

Matthew: Linking to this thread,
How Jeff Bezos Handled an Embarrassing Incident Well?

I agree with your point of view here, Bezos behaved correctly.

For Bezos, it was more of a case of "he fell in love with someone else". In that case it's different in my opinion, since if your feelings have changed, then it's fair to change. Not doing so would mean betraying yourself -and your partner as well-.

Bezos's case of falling in love with someone else reminded me of Lucio's article on Stages of Emotional Affairs.

If your marriage is strong, would it be ethical to be emotionally close with other people of the opposite sex?
This would most likely cause scenarios where you will fall in love with someone else.
Because, as we know, even strong marriages are not all smooth sailing.

There's also the element of practicality.
Would it be wise to be emotionally close with other people of the opposite sex?
You are creating more opportunities where you slip up.

I have witnessed some couples that both partners are emotionally close with other opposite-sex friends.
Their trust in each other is really strong because of great communication, and this works out well.
They constantly work on shared meaning, love maps, and bonding experiences.

I believe the key is to set expectations and boundaries with your partner on what is okay and not okay.
Then communicate and evaluate these boundaries frequently through honest, open communication.
And solve any conflicts through collaborative, conflict management skills.

In Bezos's case as Lucio mentions, when feelings change, it is actually unhealthy to keep staying with your partner.
You are already being emotionally dishonest.
Sometimes having friends of the opposite sex can help you understand how your feelings change over time.

Abusive Relationships

For partners in abusive relationships, the abused may find solace and power in emotional intimacy with others.
This gives them emotional power to end the relationship.
I would say that it is ethical for the abused to cheat on the abuser.

My Thoughts on this Matter

Not sure if it is an ethical issue.
Maybe it is more of a practical matter on how to forge long-lasting relationships.

When your relationship is strong, it is safer to spend time with opposite-sex friends.
The important part is that you pay attention to your feelings and potential novelty-seeking behaviour.

When your relationship is not smooth sailing, avoid the temptation in sharing your relationship problems with others, put more emotional boundaries with opposite-sex friends and be more assertive in solving the problems with your partner.

Relevant Articles

About Cheating
Stages Of Emotional Affairs: A Guide (W/ Examples & Cures)
Not Just Friends
7 Reasons Why People Cheat: An Analysis of Betrayals
Myths and Facts About Cheating

Prevent Cheating and Evluating Your Relationship
How to Prevent Cheating
Relationship Problems: The Full List (+ Cures)
Should I Break Up? Step-by-Step Guide to Overcome Ambivalence

Forgiving Cheating
How to Forgive a Cheater: The Definitive Guide
10 Questions for Your Unfaithful Partner

Find A Loyal Partner
How to Find a Loyal Partner: 99 Traits of Faithfulness
8 Proven Signs You’re Dating A Fuckboy (With Examples)
Womanizers Profiling: The 10 Types of Players (W/Videos)
7 Proven Questions to Spot A Player

Great thread, Matthew.

Personally, I actually feel better to know a girl I'm getting close to as a friend (and I'm not sexually interested in) is in a happy relationship.

Or if I'm seeing someone, I say it early, to avoid misunderstandings.

And I also feel even better to be friends with a woman when I get to know she's lesbian, or when she makes it clear I'm not her type -the former better than the latter-.

I guess, I'm one of those guys who thinks that close friendship between men and women in reproductive age -or even before and beyond- is bound to have an element of sexuality.

And that changes the game, a bit.

Even if you originally don't like each other, when you get emotionally closer, feelings can still develop.
That's even more true with women, and that's why one seduction technique of some lesbian women is to first get emotionally close to women they like.

Matthew: I would say that it is ethical for the abused to cheat on the abuser.

Yes, totally agree.

The way I see it, it's not only ethical, but a good thing, to sleep or generally get involved with women in abusive relationships.

More than once I have been happy to be with women who told me about their abusive spouse or former spouse who either got dumped, or was on the way to.

You wanna be the guy who tells her "go to the kitchen, woman", and then you're desperate (and threaten the new guy who provided a better alternative)?
In a way, I feel for you, but in a way, I also think "you fucking deserved it, asshole".

Matthew Whitewood has reacted to this post.
Matthew Whitewood
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?