20 Questions to Ask Yourself About an Opposite-Sex Friendship


Randy Carlson

In my book Starved for Affection, one of the chapters I talk about opposite sex friendships, and I would like to take the time to just read these 20 questions. Dr. Todd Linaman was for many years on our staff and headed up our education department. When he was with us, he created these 20 questions on opposite sex friendships as sort of a quiz to ask yourself mostly for married people, but I think you’ll see the application if you’re a single person as well. I would like to just read them if I can. These are questions to ask yourself about any friendship, any of us who are married a friendship out of marriage.

  1. Is your spouse unaware of your opposite sex friendship? Boy that’s a big taboo. If they don’t know about a friendship outside of marriage, you’ve got a problem.
  2. Would you behave differently around your friend if your spouse were present?
  3. Would you feel uncomfortable if your spouse had the same quality of friendship with someone of the opposite sex as you do?
  4. Do you prefer to spend time alone with your opposite sex friend rather than in a group setting?
  5. Are you physically and/or emotionally attracted to your friend? Obviously, if you’re a single person you’re gonna look at that differently, but to understand who is this person that I’m befriending. Is it a married person? Is it a person I even should be attracted to? Is that okay?
  6. Is your friend someone you would consider dating if you were single?
  7. Have you ever entertained romantic fantasies about your friend?
  8. Do you ever compare your spouse with your friend?
  9. Do you think about sharing important news with your friend before your spouse?
  10. Do you or your friend ever exchange highly personal details about your lives or complain about the marriages that you have to each other?
  11. Do you often reference or talk about your friend with others?
  12. Has your spouse ever expressed concern about your friendship?
  13. Is your relationship with your friend ever a source of tension or conflict between you and your spouse?
  14. Have you ever ignored or minimized your spouse’s request to end or modify the relationship with your friend?
  15. Have you ever deceived of misled your spouse about matters concerning your friendship?
  16. Has anyone other than your spouse ever cautioned you about your opposite sex friendship? I’ve seen that. I’ve been a party to that.
  17. Do you do things with your friend that your spouse is unwilling or uninterested in doing?
  18. Does your friend fulfill needs that you wish your spouse would meet?
  19. Do you have unexpressed or unresolved anger towards your spouse? And
  20. Does your marriage lack intimacy?

If you answered “yes” to one or more of the questions above, your opposite-sex friendship poses a real threat to the quality of your marriage.

It may be in the best interest of your marriage to either significantly limit or actually end your close friendship. Be completely honest with yourself and your spouse and pray that God will give you the wisdom, discernment and courage to do what is best!


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