In a relationship or life jam? Lemme unstuck your life — send your questions to:
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This week’s questions come from Instagram’s new question feature, but you can always shoot me your Qs at the email addy above or on my Ask Minda Honey Facebook page (Are you following me on Facebook? You should be!).
Q: Are work wives or husbands acceptable?
A: In deference to our nonbinary friends, I’m going to refer to this person as a “work spouse.” And nah, I don’t think a work spouse is acceptable. Just in general because I’m tired of this hierarchy in our culture where romantic relationships matter most. You can have a totally platonic, deep and meaningful friendship with a colleague without having to equate it to a marriage scenario.
Now, of course, regardless of what you refer to this relationship as, there are certain lines that probably shouldn’t be crossed. And in our heteronormative, monogamy-based society, straight men and women spend a lot of time missing out on potential friendships because everything must be done to avoid any kind of setup that may lead to line crossing. Back in my sales days, I had a colleague from another company with whom I’d spend a day here and there making sales calls. We always had great convo and worked well together. One day he said that he wished I weren’t a woman so we could hang out outside of work and see movies and stuff without his wife getting jealous (never mind that, while I liked this dude OK enough on the clock, I wasn’t really interested in spending unpaid time with him). But I have had that kind of energy with other married colleagues, and it does feel like a real shame.
I don’t blame the coworker or their spouse, but we haven’t really worked out as a culture how to navigate this kind of thing, and it frequently does go left. So, until this whole radical friendship movement takes off, people are going to continue to protect the most precious relationship in their lives at all costs and I get it.
Anyways, just refer to your work spouse as your work bestie and do your part in making it totally normal to do little things (and big things) to care for and look out for all the folks that are special to you, romantic or not.
Q: Do friends with benefits situations ever work out well?
A: Sure. I guess. I’ve never pulled it off. I spent a lot of time fighting falling in love, which really is just such a travesty and not much of an accomplishment, TBH. Not only because who wants to voluntarily be in a situation where they have to fight the joy that it is to love someone and be loved by someone, but also because it’s just such a fucking waste of time. That’s so much energy I could have put toward improving myself or picking up new hobbies such as ceramics. Like, when I think about all the minutes, hours and long nights I put toward trying not to love someone, I could be a world class ceramacist (Is that what ceramic pros are called? I dunno. Probably not, Word is giving me the red squiggly line. Who cares, I’m going with it.) with a banging Etsy shop by now. Instead, I’m just a woman who didn’t love someone…? Womp. Womp.
But you do you. Like, just because I’m not capable, doesn’t mean I don’t believe there aren’t people out there who genuinely are friends who like to shuffle between the sheets, too. Who can be honest enough with themselves and their partners about where they’re at emotionally. It truly is amazing what you can get through in life when you have a willingness to be honest.
So, if this is something you’ve been considering, really, it’s on you to decide if you’re that kind of person. I wasn’t. I was just too OK with self-deception, and it backfired in a major way (more than once). Now, I know better. So, what do you know? Yes, friends with benefits can work, but it is probably going to be work.
All right friends, that’s all for this week. Even if you don’t have a question about the relationships in your life, you can also send me more questions like these where you just want my thoughts on certain issues or commentary. And, as always, if I don’t have the answers, I will find an expert who does.