Trusting

by singlemomseeking on September 14, 2009

Can single parents of the opposite sex really be friends?

I say “Yes.” What do you say? This all started when RJ’s daughter made her birthday wish a couple of months ago: to come up to San Francisco and celebrate.

RJ is the founder of SingleDad.com, and he first contacted me after my book came out. We’ve been talking ever since. Weeks ago, RJ, being the kind of father that he is, set out to plan a very special weekend for Mia. Although RJ and I had never met each other’s kids, we always laughed about how similar our daughters sounded: creative, goofy, hip, sensitve, and smart.

So, on Thursday, RJ and Mia crashed at our home. For the weekend, RJ had reserved a suite at Hotel Diva, which is part of the very class Personality Hotels in San Francisco.

Hotel Diva

Now, some of you are probably saying: hold the phone, I’ve seen those videos that you and RJ made over the past year. You two have some chemistry, don’t deny it! It’s true: RJ and I have a great rapport. When we get on the camera, we flirt, tease, and challenge each other.

But off camera? RJ is like the brother I never had. Seriously — and if you asked him, I’m sure he’d tell you the same about me (Well, not that I’m like a brother…). From the get go, RJ and I made it clear that we’d be great friends (we hoped). Platonic playmates, perhaps?

But, hey, Rachel, don’t you have a boyfriend? (In case you didn’t know, RJ has also been dating an amazing woman for about the same time that I’ve been dating that Lucky Guy.) This is where trust comes in. As it turns out, LG was headed out of town for a wedding this weekend. He seemed genuinely excited about my plans — and fortunately, LG even got to meet RJ the last time he was in town.

RJ later told me, “You got a good one, Rach” — and this time, he hand-delivered a bottle of Mammoth beer to LG (nice). No, I haven’t met RJ’s girlfriend — yet — but I’m honored that she trusts her man. (Did I mention that we had a two-room suite at the Hotel Diva?) For the record, sharing one bathroom was a bit of an issue, but only for that out-numbered RJ.

I adore RJ’s daughter, Mia. It was hard for me to let that girl go back to San Diego. And he certainly cracked up my kid:

RJ and our girls

Now, RJ and I are off to edit some videos of the weekend. In case you’re wondering how our girls hit it off, here they are yesterday at the Embarcadero Pier:

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Michele September 14, 2009 at 7:20 am

It’s all about trust and what a blessing that both your significant others have reached that level of maturity. Great pics! The girls really appear to have hit it off.

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April September 14, 2009 at 9:05 am

Absolutely! One of my best friends is a married man, and one of my friends is his wife. I just see him more so we’ve become closer. And another best friend is also male. It’s caused some problems in our relationships, but only when our partners haven’t understood. Which may explain why we’re not with those partners anymore!
.-= April´s last blog ..Happy Blogiversary to me! =-.

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MommaSunshine September 14, 2009 at 10:08 am

I think that members of the opposite sex – single parents or not – can absolutely be friends. One of my most trusted friends is a man I met on a dating site for the few months that CBG and I had broken up. My friend – “Dimples” – and I didn’t hit it off romantically, but he’s a great guy and is fast becoming a good friend to myself and my two daughters. CBG knows all about him and has absolutely given me his blessing, because he trusts me completely and knows that “Dimples” and I are nothing but friends.
.-= MommaSunshine´s last blog ..HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CBG!! =-.

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Mike September 14, 2009 at 12:16 pm

Definitely. I’ve always had more women friends than guy friends my entire life. I find that it really balances my perceptions. Great pics.
.-= Mike´s last blog ..Weekend Wrapup =-.

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T September 14, 2009 at 12:53 pm

Aw!! I LOVE that Mia and M M hit it off so well. They look like best pals!

I still think that M and my Rose need to meet. One day!

I’m happy that you and RJ are great friends. You can’t been a good man in your life. In ALL areas of your life!
.-= T´s last blog ..Don’t know nothin’ bout me =-.

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Kat Wilder September 14, 2009 at 5:44 pm

If you can’t trust the person you love and vice versa, what kind of relationship do you have?
Whatever it is, I wouldn’t want it.
That said, Ido believe men and women can be friends … if both are being honest about their attraction to the other. When you and RJ met, was that attraction there?
.-= Kat Wilder´s last blog ..The key to a woman’s mystery is in the bag =-.

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Legal Editor Mom September 14, 2009 at 7:08 pm

I love Kat’s first two lines!

Rach you and RJ are fortunate to have met and established such a great friendship. I’ve had more male friends practically all my life, and despite what people think, you absolutely can be “just friends.”

The girls are adorable together and it’s great that they hit it off too! Looks like you had a great time.

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Honoree September 14, 2009 at 7:14 pm

The girls looks like they are BFFs! I love how kids make friends so easily and without judgment. Trust is an absolute must in a relationship. With that solid foundation, there is no limit to the depth of the relationship, and that depth is where the real love and rewards live.
.-= Honoree´s last blog ..The Successful Single Mom =-.

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GLSD September 14, 2009 at 7:41 pm

Wow! that’s great! and even better that the girls hit it off! Trust is a must in a relationship!

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StudentMama September 15, 2009 at 12:36 am

I usually tend to follow the advice of When Harry Met Sally – men and women cannot be friends because the sex always gets in the way. However, I recently read an article that discredits this *IF* certain obstacles are dealt with early on, one of which Kat discusses in her comment – Attraction. It is tricky, the survey accompanying the article showed that 62% of people had crossed *that* line, and 94% believed they could fall in love with a friend.

Due to my experiences, my viewpoint on trust has been changed. However, I applaud relationships that hold both the honesty, and self-awareness to deal with cross-sex friendships. I recently explored the topic, trying to address my own feelings and the discomfort.

I really enjoy reading blogs as they provide me with perspectives outside my comfort zone to consider.
= )

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MindyMom/Single Mom Says... September 15, 2009 at 7:36 am

Sounds like a great weekend! Yes, I do believe men and woman can be friends. It does require honesty and open communication. I love my guy firends!
.-= MindyMom/Single Mom Says…´s last blog ..Timing =-.

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Lance September 15, 2009 at 10:04 am

I think anyone of the opposite sex can be just friends, but there is always a gray area when attraction exists (and it often does), and I don’t see anything wrong whatsoever in two single people who are attracted to other getting physical just for fun and then just being friends after that.
.-= Lance´s last blog ..Insights from Reading Eat,Pray,Love & 5 Love Languages =-.

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BigLittleWolf September 15, 2009 at 2:16 pm

Absolutely, men and women can be friends – and not “just” friends about it! Friendships often outlast romantic relationships, and the opposite sex thing adds a little spice that always keeps things fresh. I love having men as friends, and never minded dating a man whose friends were women, either.
.-= BigLittleWolf´s last blog ..Mad Men’s Women: Drugged Debs, Bottles over Breasts =-.

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Mommy to the Monsters September 15, 2009 at 8:45 pm

I agree with Lance that opposite sex can be friends, But it tends to go into a gray area when an attraction exists.

Case in point I have 2 really good male friends. One I have known for over 10 years and the other for 3 years. With the friend I’ve known the longest there has never been any romantic interest on either of our parts so when we hang out or talk on the phone, it’s strictly friends. I LOVE LOVE LOVE his girlfriend and she knows that there is nothing going on with us and actually encourages us to continue our friendship.

On the other hand, the friend I’ve known 3 years, there has always been the underlying attraction between both of us that we have never acted on. He just recently admitted to “having a crush” on me and keeps making flirtatious comments. Which makes me feel extremely awkward around him now because He has a girlfriend whom he lives with.

The huge difference between friend 1 & friend 2 .. when I hang out with friend one it’s like hanging with my brother…friends 2 always feels like going on date. After friend 2 admitted the crush on me, I haven’t hung out with him at all because I feel like it’s disrespectful to his girlfriend. Although she doesn’t seem to have a problem with it. She actually invites me over to their house all the time…But I am PRETTY DARN SURE that she doesn’t know her man has a thing for me…lol (smh)
.-= Mommy to the Monsters´s last blog ..Unexplainable Feelings =-.

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singlemomseeking September 15, 2009 at 9:41 pm

@Mommy to the Monsters and @Kat: Attraction is so fascinating, isn’t it?

My own belief is that we’re all attracted to our friends — of both sexes. You might be physically attracted to one friend, and intellectually attracted to another… Don’t you think that something brings us together and keeps us coming back?

Yes, with RJ, there was a definite attraction at first. We joked about it — and talked about the fact that we live on opposite sides of California. That was that. The more time we’ve spent together, the more we feel like siblings. And maybe we also realize how incompatible we’d be as a couple. (So true, RJ, right?)

P.S. @Mommy, Friend No. 2 does sound deceptive. Good for you for keeping boundaries.

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Lance September 16, 2009 at 11:26 am

Yes. To expand just a little, my metric is simply if I’ve meet a woman and I either a) fantasize about her, or b) think I might fantasize later, then there’s some kind of attraction, and I have to police my behavior. Almost always with my platonic female friends will I flirt or kid around with them to generate some mild sexual tension, which I think is healthy and friendly, even if I have no intention of trying to sleep with them. If I find myself attracted but decide not to go anywhere with it, it’s no problem to keep myself in check. I’d prefer to have the choice rather than avoid the opposite sex just because I want to avoid unwanted attraction.
.-= Lance´s last blog ..Brilliant Use Of Anal Sex Innuendo In Marketing =-.

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Sarah September 16, 2009 at 6:31 pm

I hate to disagree, but I disagree. I would not be ok with my significant other sharing a hotel room with another woman. Ever. Being friends and hanging out is very different then a weekend in a hotel room. I have a hard time believing that every woman who has responded would be ok if it was their man. Was RJ’s SO really ok with this? Was yours? Really?

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singlemomseeking September 16, 2009 at 9:24 pm

@Sarah: Please disagree. That’s welcome here. I admit that our weekend was not the norm. The whole idea stemmed from the birthday wish made by RJ’s daughter — to have a weekend in SF with my daughter.

RJ and I were honest and open about what this weekend would “look like,” including two separate bedrooms with closed doors for privacy.

Sharing a hotel room was not an option. We had two separate rooms, separated by a hallway and bathroom. If my guy had not been comfortable with any of this, I would not have gone. As for RJ’s girlfriend, I do wish I could have met her beforehand.

Trust is a process for sure. Isn’t it?

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Sarah September 17, 2009 at 6:17 pm

That it is. It takes a long time to heal once someone has violated the trust you had in them. Does anyone ever get over it or do we just carry it over to the next relationship? Yes, I have trust issue, but I’m sure no one noticed. =)

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Jeff Adams September 25, 2009 at 10:30 pm

I have many dear friends of the opposite sex that I can call at anytime day or night. We are like family in many ways except we’re able to talk about dating, parenting, and related issues confidentially. It’s a great way for me to get a woman’s opinion and visa versa.

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