Friends of the opposite sex – good idea or off limits?

I am a married woman (happily, for the record.) One of my best friends happens to be a guy. Ronnie and I have spent a lot of time together, needless to say, but every time we go out to bars people always find it shocking that not only are we not together, but we both have significant others who have no problem with us spending time alone together.

Ronnie and me at my birthday party in Asheville, N.C.
Ronnie and me at my birthday party in Asheville, N.C.

Many times when women ask us if we’re together I wonder if they are interested in Ronnie for themselves. (As I’ve mentioned before, he’s an attractive guy.)

When we explain that we are best friends, people want to quiz us about our relationship and our significant others  … We always make jaws drop when I tell people that I think Ronnie’s girlfriend is super-cool, and he is friends with my husband as well.

I don’t find this initial assumption out-of-the-ordinary. I think it makes sense that people would assume we are together, even though I have a ring on my finger and he doesn’t.

However, I’ve had other friends who have mentioned that it can be quite annoying hanging out with friends of the opposite sex when the assumption is always that they are a couple. Come to think of it, it’s usually single friends that have the problem – maybe they want to be perceived as available, not taken. Is that it?