I am a 26-year-old happy-go-lucky single woman, who’s quite popular with her peers inside and outside office but my friendly nature has become a hindrance to my life of-late. People around me, especially men have started taking my friendly nature for granted and I have been tagged ‘easy’ and ‘available’ which makes more and more men approach me for casual sex. I don’t understand where am I going wrong? Is it a sin to be a woman who’s friendly with men? Please guide me. – Anonymous
Answer by Dr Atul Aswani: Hello Ms Happy-go-lucky, may you continue to be lucky! It is unfortunate that most of us are prone to have a mental short-circuit on the lines of – “Since he/she is okay to do A, B and C with me; maybe I should ask him/her to do X, Y & Z also with me”.
The solution to your dilemma can be expressed as – Measured And Graduated Interaction. The key here is to restrain yourself from being indiscriminate in your friendliness with everyone by setting some ‘Ground Rules and Boundaries’. Feel free to set your own guidelines depending on the safety profile of your city, locality and cultural setting but here are some examples..
1. Which guys are fine to just have coffee and snacks with and no more?
2. What is a good group of guys and girls to be with for a movie or one of those visits to a pub? Do you need to stop or restrict the amount of alcohol you have with some of these guys?
3. Which women friends can be the buffer in explosive situations where expectations can become unmanageable?
4. What is a good time for you to be off-limits on phone and social media?
5. How can you use the advanced features of social networks to restrict access to your more intimate details and photos?
6. Do you need to tone down your display pictures/profile pictures on certain applications?
It is a beautiful experience to be “just friends” with some folk of the opposite sex. I hope you will be ‘lucky’ enough to find some guys who are “just friends” and are good enough to respect your boundaries. All the best!