I notice that people tend to have very opposing views when it comes to having friends of the opposite sex. There are some people who do not think it is possible to have opposite gender friends without romantic feelings developing at some point from either party (or both) while others believe it is totally possible to form a platonic friendship without it leading to anything more. My immediate answer to this is that everything is situational. Of course there are instances where friends can become more than friends but there are also plenty of instances where these friendships are mutually platonic. The real question should be, when do they become a threat on a relationship?
Frequency of Contact – If someone is talking to a friend of the opposite sex quite often, like everyday and multiple times throughout the day, I would say this friend can easily be seen as a threat on any relationship. The reason being that this person is getting a ton of emotional support and attention from their friend which I think over time can allow for two people to develop a closer connection and for romantic feelings to start at any given point. Even if both parties initially had no attraction towards one another, this attraction can still build over time due to how often they stay connected on a daily basis.
Quality Time Spent – When two people spend quality time together, I think it is inevitable that two people can start to like each other. On the other hand, sometimes two people genuinely have the same interests and have the same hobbies so they might just get together to share these commonalities. If you’re in a relationship and you notice that your partner is meeting up with a friend privately (as in you are never invited) for long periods of time or often enough for you to notice, it is worth having a conversation to determine if this friend is really just a friend or if more is going on behind closed doors. If you make the assessment that the other person is more than a friend and your partner is more concerned with keeping them as a close friend, it is to your best interest to break it off before their relationship escalates to a point where you are going to be left heartbroken in the long run anyhow.
Type of Conversations – I am not sure the best way to word this but basically pay attention to what their conversations consist of. Do these two people work together and strictly talk about work? Or is there underlying flirting and deep conversations transpiring between the two? If you see one or both people are relying heavily on each other for emotional support as opposed to just talking about surface level stuff, then you have every right to question it and see it as a red flag. Again, the best way to get to bottom of it is to openly ask your partner. If you still feel uneasy about the situation then use your intuition as a guide to make a firm decision as to whether or not this relationship is worth continuing. Chances are that your intuition is spot on and that you should move on to find a partner who wants to give you their full attention and make you a top priority over these so-called “friends.”