Inappropriate Relationships

At 21, I think the most important thing I have learned about relationships of all kind is the following:
Never, ever, under any circumstances, become friends with either your friend's significant others or your significant others' friends.

There are only four potential outcomes of that:
1) Your friend will think you're trying to get with her man
2) Your man will think you're trying to get with his friend
3) If there is a break-up your friend and their ex will want you to pick sides.
4)If you break up with your man, you have to decide if it's still ok to be friends with his friend(s)

I think that rule sucks. I think it sucks in the same way I think it sucks that you can't date your friend's exes. Not so much that it's a bad rule of thumb, but it sucks that life's gotta be that way. I mean what if your friend's significant other (s.o.) is awesome; someone you would have been friends with, without your mutual friendship. Or what if your significant other has amazing taste in friends and you like what they bring to the table. It sucks, but the reality is, where relationships are concerned, people are VERY territorial.

I lost a friend (though, to be honest, she probably did me a favor by ceasing our friendship when she did) because she didn't like that I was friends with her ex AND friends with his new girl. Looking back on it, though his new girl (now his ex as well) and I are still close, and quite frankly, I'd choose her over the other girl any day, the drama that resulted wasn't really worth it. To have someone I considered a best friend to second guess my actions, hurt. I never, not ever, was interested in her man but because I opened myself up to his friendship, she saw things differently.

I've also been in a situation where two of my friends (in this case, they both were friends of mine before they were together) broke up and having them both call me for advice was rough. As a female, I sided with my female friend more, but I still felt for my guy friend and wanted him to be ok. You can't reveal personal conversations to one about the other, but how else do you make the case for your suggestions?

And for as much as I hold on to that rule of thumb, I violate it on a regular basis. I mean, I love my friends. If I call you friend (and everybody in my world is NOT my friend) I love you and only want the best for you. And so, sometimes, I get a little over-invested in their lives and if you introduce me to your new person, and I like them, that shows. Too, we've all been introduced to our s.o.'s friends and hoped they like us and when they do... you want to foster that relationship, and sometimes it may go a little too far.

What prompted this post is a text conversation I recently had. Up until now, my friend has been the catalyst for any communication between me and this other person... but things changed today and it reminded me of my rule. So now, I have to find a way to dial it back -- keep our boundaries clear. Our relationship has to always been contingent upon the mutual friend. Our contact should always be because of the mutual friend. This keeps everything open and on the up and up, and then my friend won't have to worry that I'm sneaking around doing anything appropriate.

Just food for thought... mostly my own...

1 comment:

SpkTRUTH2Pwr said...

Very interesting outlook. I agree that is shouldn't have to be that way, but people do become very territorial over their S.O. even after they break up. One of the greatest paradoxes is, if we believe in this notion that God has someone, anyone in the world that is meant to be for us, then if it seems apparent that the ex of your friend or the friend of your ex could be the one, if it seems you have a lot in common. Relationships in general complicates lives, especially when there is a small community of people where everyone is interconnected.

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