I recently made friends with a married man - let’s call him Roger, because that’s his name (he’s British). ‘So what’, you say? Oh that’s because you’re an awesome independent chick who makes friends with other awesome people and also thinks a persons marital status shouldn’t determine whether chatting and splitting-sides around the water cooler is kosher because their sense of humour is as ridiculous as yours. Yes, who cares right? SCANDAL!!! Cried the rest of the definitely interesting, forward-thinking advertising agency office we work in.
This is not the first time I’ve fallen prey to the scandal-lapping office banshees. I’ve been single for long enough (‘England is experiencing a drought at the moment’ is a valid reason) and I’m pretty good at picking unavailable men (usually the emotionally unavailable/juvenile/gay type) as potential romantic partners. But where I once used to moan and pine over these un-obtainables, I’m quite happy to simply chat and split-sides these days. Hence my ease when the, ‘he’s got one, I ain’t’ (a wedding band) tabooed friendship with Roger struck up.
Whispers ran wild over internal email and it was even almost difficult to tell my mum that, ‘I went out for drinks after work with Roger tonight, you know the married guy?’, without being heeded with, ‘Just be careful!’ warnings. Et tu, Brute? I wanted to whimper.
Married men (like gay men) make ideal single lady BFF’s for the following reasons:
1. They can tell you lovely things like, ‘You have lovely eyes’ and you can blush and swoon and it’s better than your dad telling you that (or a girlfriend, who sometimes, won’t mean it).
2. You can go out all night, be completely obliterated (or a tad tipsy) and not have to worry about waking up next to some stranger, wondering how your knickers got from being on your person onto that ugly bedside table lamp. Hmmm.
3. They’re like older brothers with useful, un-skewed, insider advice about who you should/shouldn’t date and why, but only better because they can’t blackmail you with threats to tell your parents about the time you brought a boy home and – well that’s the story no one needs to read here, but you get my drift.
4. They have other single guy-friends who you can attach, or un-attach the strings with and they won’t freak out about it (like some girlfriends do).
5. They already know stacks about women and stuff because they have to live in very close proximity to one so it makes things like whinging about your period much, much easier. So instead of saying, ‘I had the worst night’s sleep last night and I’m really not feeling myself today’, you can say, ‘Ghhah – I feel like my insides are falling out of me and I’m really in a crazy mood so don’t cross me mother f-’, and be engulfed by a man-hug.
The above reasons can rarely, rarely, be attributed to a single, man-friend. There’s always some kind of tension with those single lads, that doesn’t even register when your BFF is married and male. But ask for a general consensus and this is a BIG TABOO.
In my opinion, this taboo can shove it. What else are we single ladies to do? It’s been said that a higher ratio of men to women on the planet (the CIA reports there’s 107 men for every 100 women on the planet, see) means not only do men get cocky and think they can have their pick - BUT that they also get complacent to what we might want, resulting in a lower quality of man around us. Are we single ladies not only damned to walk the earth alone – without husband, but now also without friend? Is that the implication here?
Nay my dears, be not friendless! Go forth and make friends! But I suppose it wouldn’t be as fun without someone suggesting, ‘Safety first!’ So heed this warning: you and he, as mates, are fully aware that you’re romantically ‘off-limits’, i.e., NO CRUSHES ALLOWED PAST THIS POINT. If you’re going to start a friendship with a married man, you can’t be deluding yourself about his availability – he’s UNAVAILABLE. And if he thinks he’s going to be more-than-a-mate (what a creep!) then he’s not really the kind of guy you want to be friends with anyway. Imagine he’s unavailable in the same way your first cousin is unavailable (sorry to those whose first cousin is available). If you are not ok with these conditions, maybe keep looking for a single man friend…
My married guy-friends are some of the coolest, most intelligent, funny and quirky people I know - and loads of fun too. Plus they’ve married awesome women who are usually un-phased that you’re mates with their man and like you as well – so you gain yet another friend. So if even their ladies don’t give a toss, isn’t it time we gave this taboo the toss?