In one sense, opposite-sex friendship might seem easy for a woman who is so used to it. I’ve had hundreds of male friends in my life, and only one became a lover. It seems natural that a lunch can just be lunch, a car ride just a car ride, and an extended discussion of Hayekian versus Randian libertarianism precisely that.
That’s not enough to settle the matter, though. Out of friendship, other kinds of feelings can grow, and married people should take active steps to ensure that they don’t. This presumably is why some people choose to limit contact with non-familial members of the opposite sex, perhaps avoiding private meals or shared drinks, or time alone in cars or offices.
I had mixed feelings about the Mike Pence “protecting my marriage” controversy. On the one hand, it’s lovely to see an important and powerful man disciplining himself to show his wife that he is committed to their marriage. That’s a great example to set. On the other hand, I don’t love the idea that the “Mike Pence rules” might become semi-normative for conservatives all across the nation.