Male Female Friendship Boundaries – 12 Boundaries to Set with the Opposite GenderMay 12, 2022
It IS possible for guys and girls to be just friends, but it’s only possible when the right male female friendship boundaries are set in place.
While some people may argue that men and women can’t be just friends, this is likely because they crossed the line either emotionally or physically that resulted in either the guy or girl having feelings for the other person.
That’s why male-female friendship boundaries are so important.
With opposite gender friendship boundaries in place, you’ll be able to remain just friends with someone of the opposite sex without developing romantic feelings for each other.
And boundaries with the opposite gender are important no matter if you’re single or married.
When you’re single, boundaries with guy friends are crucial so you don’t end up complicating things, but the boundaries discussed in this blog post also apply to those that are married or in a relationship.
These male female boundaries can be used between coworkers or work-type relationships, guys at church, neighbors, or even your guy friends that you interact with on double dates with your boyfriend.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss 12 examples of male female friendship boundaries to implement, and questions to ask yourself if you’re not sure if your boundaries have crossed a line.
12 Male Female Friendship Boundaries to Implement
Every friendship is different, but if you want to remain platonic friends with someone from the opposite sex, here are 12 male female boundaries to implement in your friendship.
1) Don’t get physical with your guy friends
With male female friendships, any type of physical activity should be off the table.
Don’t get physical is the golden rule of any male female friendship.
You know all those romantic comedy movies where a guy and girl started out as just friends, agreed to be just friends with benefits, and then ended up falling for each other?
That’s because being just friends with benefits doesn’t work.
Like Pastor Michael Todd says, there is no condom for your heart, and when you get physical with someone, you can’t help your heart from creating an attachment or soul tie to them.
Since soul ties are formed through sex, including other forms of physical activity, there is no such thing as “friends with benefits”.
With your guy friends, avoid flirting or being too touchy with each other, and make sure there is distance between you when sitting down.
Even if you don’t want to date each other, physical activity complicates things and starts to create an attachment or soul tie in the relationship.
If you’ve already been physical with each other, learn how to break ungodly soul ties to break off any romantic attachment that may have formed.
Consider creating some space between each other if you need time to reset after things have gotten physical.
And set clear boundaries going forward that any physical activity (including kissing, holding hands, hugging for too long) is off the table.
If you still have feelings for each other after creating space, consider whether it’s best not to be friends so you can both have the space you need to move on and prepare yourself for the right person that God has for you.
If you’re struggling to resist temptation physically, download my free, 7-day resisting temptation devotional for scriptures and prayers to pray when you feel tempted.
2) Make it clear that you’re just friends
If you meet a guy and you’re not sure what his intentions are but he’s starting to get a little too close, communicate your intention to be just friends upfront.
Communication is key with male female friendship boundaries, and it’s important to make sure both people are on the same page.
If you tell a guy that you want to be friends, but he wants something more or doesn’t respect your boundaries, then this friendship isn’t going to work.
Or maybe the guy will understand your desire to be friends and will respect your space.
Don’t be afraid to tell a guy that he’s in the friend zone if it’s not clear.
Make it clear upfront, and avoid the embarrassment and harder conversation later on, when this guy tries to make a move on you.
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3) Avoid hanging out one-on-one with your guy friend
Make it a rule not to hang out one-on-one with a guy unless you’re interested in dating him.
When you hang out with guy friends one-on-one, this can create too much emotional intimacy in the relationship, and can result in having feelings for each other.
When I was single, this was the #1 boundary that helped me create healthy relationships with men.
I know it seems like a bit much not to hang out with guy friends at all one-on-one, but this allowed me to guard my heart emotionally and I was still able to get to know my guy friends in group settings.
Hanging out in group settings with members of the opposite sex are best to prevent the conversation from getting too intimate.
When you hang out with a guy a lot one-on-one, other people around you may start to think you are dating, even when you aren’t.
Even if the two of you don’t have feelings for each other, you may be preventing other guys from asking you out if they already think you are dating this guy that you’re always hanging out with.
In some situations, like work-type relationships, you may not be able to avoid hanging out one-on-one. But keep things professional and create some space when hanging out gets too personal.
4) Avoid date-like or romantic settings
If you’re trying to maintain your platonic male female friendship, avoid hanging out anywhere that would feel like a date.
Again, I recommend avoiding hanging out one-on-one at all to prevent any confusion or to ensure things don’t cross a line.
Even if you’re single and you want to check out that new Italian restaurant in town, hanging out in romantic settings with guy friends would not be smart.
Plan a girl’s night and go those places with the girls instead of your guy friend.
And if you do end up going out to dinner or do an activity with your guy friend, don’t let him pay for it.
While it’s a nice gesture for a man to pay for a woman, this may make it feel more like a date and create confusion about the friendship.
If there’s any doubt, pay your own way and avoid romantic places where it would feel like a date.
If you start to develop feelings for your guy friend and you're not sure if he could be the husband that God has for you, pray about it in the free, 14-day future husband prayer challenge.
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5) Limit talking or texting late at night
Set a rule not to text or talk too much late at night. When you get in the habit of texting each other at night, this can create intimacy and a reliance on each other when you feel lonely.
If you feel lonely at night or on the weekends, instead of texting your guy friends, pray these prayers for loneliness and reach out to God first.
Then, reach out to other girls or friends of the same sex that can encourage you.
And set a boundary not to text or talk to each other day. This is what people in a relationship do, and talking every single day creates too much emotional intimacy.
If you can’t go a day without talking to each other, you probably already have feelings for him, or you are relying too much on your friendship.
6) Refrain from sharing intimate or personal details of each other’s lives
It’s healthy to have those friends who you share intimate details with, but it’s best not to share these details with your guy friends, or with someone of the opposite sex.
Sharing personal details about yourself, or intimate details of your life can create too much intimacy with someone of the opposite sex.
And even if you’ve never been physical with each other, this emotional intimacy can result in having feelings for each other.
The Bible tells us in Proverbs 4 to guard our heart.
“Guard your heart above all else, for it is the source of life.” – Proverbs 4:23 CSB
When we share everything on our heart with someone from the opposite sex, this can leave us feeling attached to them, like we have this special connection.
With guy friends from church, it’s also important to set boundaries with how often you pray together, and what you pray about.
While prayer is a beautiful thing, it can create spiritual intimacy in the relationship that is too intimate between male and female friendships.
If you need prayer, ask other women from your church for prayer, or ask your guy friend for prayer but don’t share all the personal details.
Discover how God is writing your love story...
Trusting God with Your Love Story: A 6-Week Bible Study on Singleness & Dating
Learn more about the Bible study on singleness & dating
7) If you’re dating someone, involve them in the friendship
If you’re dating someone or already married, it’s so important to involve your significant other in the friendship with someone from the opposite sex.
The key question to ask yourself whenever interacting with friends of the opposite sex is, “how would my significant other feel about me doing this right now?”
If you’re hanging out or talking to your guy friend one-on-one, your boyfriend or husband will likely not be okay with that.
When you have guy friends when you’re in a relationship, it’s best to involve your significant other whenever you hang out or talk to each other.
For example, sometimes I have to text guys from church that involve the volunteer team we are on, or social gatherings we are both attending.
To eliminate any awkwardness, I include my husband in a group text, so they both know that he’s included, and to make my intentions clear.
If your guy friend and significant other do not get along, it’s best to consider the feelings and needs of your significant other, and create space with your guy friend out of respect of your boyfriend.
8) Your guy friend should not be your best friend or go-to person
While I think that guys and girls can be just friends with the proper male female friendship boundaries in place, I do not think that guys and girls should be best friends with each other.
It’s natural to want to share everything that is going in your life with your best friend, but when your best friend is a guy, this creates too much reliance and intimacy with someone of the opposite sex.
If a guy is your go-to person, it’s time to make some new friends with girls or friends with the same sex.
Even if you implement good boundaries with guy friends, once one of you starts dating someone, the other person will not be okay with this best friend relationship with the opposite sex.
It’s best to set male female friendship boundaries now so when you do meet someone you want to date, your new boyfriend isn’t questioning whether you really have feelings for your best friend of the opposite sex.
9) Have an accountability person to keep you in check
If you want to still be friends with guys or members of the opposite sex, it’s best to have an accountability partner to help keep you in check.
Discuss your male female friendship boundaries with a mentor, or a trusted friend at church, and be honest about your boundaries and feelings.
“The godly give good advice to their friends; the wicked lead them astray.” - Proverbs 12:26 NLT
If you’re worried about things going too far with your guy friend, your accountability partner can help you keep your boundaries in place, and can help you make wise choices even when it’s tough.
Want to know how to pray for your future husband?
10) Have ongoing communication during the male female friendship
With any friendship, it’s important to have ongoing communication to make sure you’re both still on the same page.
Each of you should feel comfortable speaking up if you feel that your boundaries have been crossed, or if you need to create more space in the friendship.
If you start to develop feelings for each other, it’s best to be honest about it, and let them know how you feel, or that you need space.
Some couples do end up dating and getting married after being friends first—not all marriages start with love at first.
If you do start to develop feelings even after implementing boundaries with guy friends, spend some time in prayer to see if he’s the one God has for you.
Consider if he is someone you want to start dating, or if you like him because things got too intimate in your friendship.
11) Don't live with your guy friends
Even if you're desperate to find a roommate, don't live with your guy friends.
Living with guy friends can create too much intimacy in the relationship, and living together creates the temptation to get physical or for your boundaries to be compromised.
You spend a lot of time at home, and you don't want to have to worry about putting yourself in a situation where it gets complicated with a guy friend, or with someone from the opposite sex.
Do you need a reminder that God is writing your love story?
Trusting God with Your Love Story: A 6-Week Bible Study on Singleness & Dating
12) Be mindful of how you dress around your guy friend
If you get dressed up every time you hang out with your guy friend, he may start to think it's a date or that you're into him.
While God created you to be beautiful, there's a difference between glorifying God with your beauty, and showing off your beauty or body to get the attention from a man.
Even if you don't have any intention of dating your guy friend, be mindful of what you wear around him.
Men are visual, and if you wear too revealing outfits, he may start looking at you in a sexual way, or as more than a friend.
Learn more about how to dress in a way that honors God and what the Bible says about modesty.
5 Questions to Ask Yourself If You’re Not Sure If Your Male-Female Friendship Boundaries Have Crossed a Line
If you’re not sure if you’re getting too close with your guy friend, or if you’re unsure if something is a good idea to do together, ask yourself the following questions:
- Do I feel any type of romantic feelings?
- Would my boyfriend or husband be okay with this? If you’re not dating anyone at the moment, imagine that you had a boyfriend. Would they be okay with you doing this with your guy friend?
- Does it look like we are a couple if we do this?
- Do you feel jealous when they date or talk to people of the opposite sex?
- Deep down, are you hoping that they will have feelings for you one day?
If you think you’ve crossed a line in the friendship, be intentional and talk about it with your guy friend.
Let him know that you need to implement better boundaries, or consider taking some space apart.
And if you want to learn how to guard your heart as a single woman, check out these Christian dating books for more advice on how to interact with men in a way that honors God.
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FAQs – Male Female Friendship Boundaries
Below are other common questions related to establishing boundaries with the opposite sex.
What are examples of friendship boundaries between male and female friends?
In summary, here are 12 examples of friendship boundaries to implement between male and female friends:
- Don’t get physical
- Make it clear that you’re just friends
- Avoid hanging out one-on-one
- Avoid date-like or romantic settings
- Limit talking or texting late at night
- Refrain from sharing intimate or personal details with each other
- Don’t become each other’s best friend
- Have ongoing communication with each other to make sure you’re on the same page
- Identify an accountability partner to keep you in check
- If you’re in a relationship, involve your significant other in the friendship
- Avoid living together
- Be mindful of what you wear around your guy friends
How do you keep boundaries with guy friends?
You can come up with all the boundaries you want, but if you aren’t intentional about keeping them in place, they won’t mean anything.
Keeping boundaries with guy friends requires discipline, communication, and self-control. And maintaining your boundaries with the opposite sex will require you to say no when it’s hard.
In order to keep boundaries, both parties have to be willing to respect and honor each other.
If a guy friend isn’t respecting your boundaries or personal space, let him know. And if he still doesn’t respect your boundaries, he’s not a good friend to have around.
Can a male and female be best friends?
While a male and female can be best friends, they probably shouldn’t be if they want to remain just friends.
Having someone of the opposite sex as a best friend can create too much emotional intimacy in the relationship, which may result in having feelings for each other later on.
Even if you have no intention of dating each other, when one person starts dating someone else, their significant other is probably not going to be okay with them having someone of the opposite sex as their best friend.
Think about it. Imagine that you start dating a guy, and his best friend is a girl. Would you feel jealous? Would you be okay with them hanging out alone, or texting a lot?
Should there be boundaries in a friendship?
Yes, there should be boundaries in every friendship, especially for friendships between men and women, or opposite gender friendships.
If you want to make sure that the friendship is healthy for both people, friendship boundaries are a must.
Do you want to learn how to pray for your future husband?
As you learn to implement boundaries with the opposite sex, learn how to pray for your future husband in the free, 14-day future husband prayer challenge.
You’ll get 14 days of devotions, prayers, and scriptures to pray over yourself and your future husband as you wait on God to bring you together.