General Question

Yellowdog's avatar

Is it inappropriate for a single male to send a birthday card to a woman who has gotten married, even if there is / never was any romantic interest?

Asked by Yellowdog (8570points) 5 days ago

I decided not to do this. It isn’t prudent, and I feel it could cause some uneasiness or problems.

I am in a committed relationship myself, and I never had any romantic interest in my friend from long ago. I know she would be glad to hear from me, but when someone is married, this might look suspicious.

So there. I answered my own question? Still, I am uncertain about this, maybe because I am in a very ambivalent time right now and feel a need to connect with people from my past. Especially those who might want or need to reconnect as well with friends from earlier times.

Please comment on this, or on whether, in general, a single person can send a card to someone of the opposite sex who is married, even if there is no romantic interest.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

27 Answers

gorillapaws's avatar

I think this is a case-by-case situation. The general rule though is that if you’re concerned that it could create uneasiness or problems, then not sending the card is probably the wisest choice.

chyna's avatar

Best to leave it alone. I think a spouse would wonder why, after several years of no cards, you are sending one now. It could cause an argument and that is not your intention at all. If she is on Facebook, I would post a happy birthday there, or even send a text if you have her cell. A card is too well thought out and could be misconstrued.

elbanditoroso's avatar

I think it depends what else you wrote in your card.

I think if you wrote:

“My best to you on your birthday. Hope that all is well with you and Melvin and the kids”.

That way, you are sending your wishes, but you are also acknowledging that she is married and has a family and so on.

stanleybmanly's avatar

You alone know the truth of it.

rebbel's avatar

“Is it inappropriate for a single male to send a birthday card…”
“I am in a committed relationship myself”

How does that work?

Edited to add: I thought this was purely concerning you, but I see you asked this in general

Inspired_2write's avatar

Ask your own partner what she would think is your friend from long ago sent YOU a Birthday a
card ?
It really depends on the person and her partner .
To get around it have BOTH your name and your committed partner sign it.
That way there is no doubts of your intention other than friendship.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

My friend of 34 years sends me birthday wishes every year in part to emphasize my getting older.He’s a d!ck.Lol!
This never bothered my husband as he is a confident person.
If you think it would cause problems, don’t do it.
.

jca2's avatar

Out of the blue, it might make the recipient’s husband wonder why.

It’s fine to have friends and it’s great to keep in touch with them, but there are some spouses that are jealous, even when it’s not warranted.

I have a friend that I have known for over 30 years. We were always just friends, never anything more. He now has a wife who he said is very jealous. I don’t send Christmas cards to him any more because he said she would get mad. Maybe it’s not logical and I know all the time, here on Fluther, we say there’s no reason why people can’t have friends of the opposite gender, but there are people out there who are crazy-jealous.

In your case, since there’s a chance it’s going to cause upset, don’t chance it. I agree with someone above about putting a greeting on FB.

If she’s not on FB, or other social network, then I’d just leave it alone.

Is there a reason why you are looking to re-establish contact? If just to say hi to a long lost friend, then maybe you might run into them at church or somewhere mutual. If they live far away, and you have a mutual friend, tell the friend to let them know you said hi.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Pretty sure Rick would get bent out of shape if some guy sent me a birthday card.

kritiper's avatar

Most inappropriate, yes.

LadyMarissa's avatar

Sounds a little creepy to me!!! I’m of the opinion that IF someone really wants to reconnect, they will find a way to contact the person that they’re thinking of…especially with all the social media & ways to track people. Since she hasn’t contacted you, I’d leave well enough alone!!! Her current husband might well be the jealous type & you could add some unwanted/unneeded stress into her life. Although I might be wrong, I’m guessing that this is the friend who you have had NO contact for about 15 years & now you think she’s needing to reconnect…WHY??? I’d think that IF she was really needing to reconnect that she would have contacted you by now.

You say you’re in a committed relationship, yet you aren’t committed enough to get married. I’m hearing that YOU need to reconnect with her to close out some unfinished business in your mind that was closed almost 15 years ago in her mind!!! You’ll be happier IF you look forward & NEVER look back…most things are in the PAST for a reason, so leave it there & move forward!!!

Inspired_2write's avatar

@LadyMarissa

Perhaps he needed to connect to a person that understood him and knew him and perhaps he feels and needs that emotional connection to his past to remind him of who he was then.
He may feel disconnected and wants someone that knew him then?
Perhaps he misses his past self?
Lots of people feel this as some point in there life, hence the Reunions etc
Maybe its time for a reunion with old friends ( doesn’t have to be with her)?
Perhaps organize for Thanksgiving?

LadyMarissa's avatar

@Inspired_2write

That was NOT the question asked!!! I don’t go to reunions where a lot of phony people run up to hug those who they haven’t stayed in touch & really didn’t even like in school. I moved away for 20 years & when I moved back, I reconnected with the ones I truly cared!!! My BFF & I have been close friends for 68 years. Yes, there were times where we lost touch, but we DID manage to reconnect after we got our lives back together. Now we’re even closer than ever!!!

Back to the question, I still think it is a bad decision to reinsert himself into her life WITHOUT knowing that she’s wanting to reconnect!!! The current girlfriend will also inevitably be hurt in te process as well. So, I still think the harm to those he cares about will outweigh te good that might come out of it!!!

flutherother's avatar

It all depends on the circumstances and the people involved but if in doubt it’s probably better not to.

Yellowdog's avatar

Like I said, really, there was absolutely NO romantic interest. Just someone else who has discontinued Facebook and Twitter.

There are people and times I really miss, especially in times like these. But I feel a lot better about not sending the card.

@Inspired 2write got it best in postulating, ” Perhaps he needed to connect to a person that understood him and knew him and perhaps he feels and needs that emotional connection to his past to remind him of who he was then.
He may feel disconnected and wants someone that knew him then?
Perhaps he misses his past self?”

I wouldn’t feel I was betraying my GF because the relationships are entirely different, and I don’t think my GF would be suspicious unless there was more going on. However, the woman I was thinking about sending a card to, I have no idea what her husband is like. I’ll keep the advice given and am glad I decided it would be unwise to send.

Thanks.

seawulf575's avatar

I guess it depends on the woman and the relationship you had with her. I have one woman that is married (as am I) that I would readily send a birthday card to. It wouldn’t be a big secret nor a big deal. Her husband and my wife would be aware of it. We were friends and co-workers before we were married to our spouses, we have had parties at each others homes since we were married, and our spouses know absolutely nothing but friendship has ever happened.
I think if you have a friend and want to send them a birthday card, then do it. If you are worried about your GF being offended, tell her about it. Let her see it before you send it. It’s a birthday card….it isn’t like you are trying to set up some tryst with her.

jca2's avatar

Sometimes I’m curious about people I knew from the past. People of both genders, just friends, just curious about how they’re doing or where life took them. I always look for them on FB as that’s the easiest way to get in touch with them.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Has she quit Facebook and Twitter, or are you just unable to reach her there?

Yellowdog's avatar

Yes, both about the same time. There was a six month break in Twitter, then just a few tweets. I do not have a Twitter account. And Facebook just petered out slowly, the last post was over two years ago. There is a Gift Registry at Target that she and her husband had active and they evidently were married in June 2018.

This, as you can see, is really more trouble than its worth Even I would feel creepy pursuing it. If I do anything, I’ll send a Christmas card to both of them, with a generic message and very brief depiction of who I am.

Dutchess_III's avatar

That would be OK, I would think. But, depends on how insecure her husband is too.

SEKA's avatar

@Yellowdog Since you’re missing someone who understood you in your past, how would you feel if you reconnected only to discover that her life has changed so much that she doesn’t understand you at all in current time? It seems to me that in your fragile condition, you could be hurt more than helped. How would you deal with that? Since she left both FB and Twitter, I’d think she had her own reasons for dropping out.

jca2's avatar

Another issue is, did she provide you with her address? If not, and your card arrives out of the blue, it may appear creepy. Like, how did this guy find out where we live?

nightwolf5's avatar

Hmmm. It really depends on the circumstances. I personally wouldn’t, especially if you haven’t talked to her in many years or if she was like an old school friend. Friends sometimes move on, and I am guessing that’s what happened. If you became good friends with her husband just as well as a family friend, then maybe. If she’s not reaching out to you, and it sound like she’s not, I would just let her be. Hopefully there is many other friends you can try and get in touch with again.

flutherother's avatar

How about sending a belated “best wishes on your marriage” card to them both?

Yellowdog's avatar

Excellent idea.@flutherother

To all: She wouldn’t think of me as creepy unless the circumstances were extreme.I probably won’t do anything. I may send a Christmas card and brief explanation of how I found them, and congratulations.

I no longer feel the dire need to reconnect thanks to all of you.

Someone from your past (16 years ago) contacting you might be, maybe, creepy—thus negating the intention.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

The problem is not if she finds creepy. The problem is how her husband might react.

Inspired_2write's avatar

@LadyMarissa
This was in his comments;
“So there. I answered my own question? Still, I am uncertain about this, maybe because I am in a very ambivalent time right now and feel a need to connect with people from my past. Especially those who might want or need to reconnect as well with friends from earlier times.”

I was addressing this.

Answer this question

Login

or

Join

to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
or
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther