Re-Post: Inappropriate Relationships

This pseudo-vacay (these days, I'm counting any time I don't spend in DC as vacay time) has been everything I needed. It's also meant that posting new stuff has been far, far, far from my mind. I got some ideas to work with when I get back, though. In the meantime, here's another re-post.

This was originally posted on 6.20.2008

Oh -- and the "dialing back" I mention at the end? Didn't do that. Things definitely dialed up. ::shrug::

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 close friends with either your friend's significant others or your significant others' friends.

I think that rule sucks. I think it sucks in the same way I think the "you can't date your friend's exes" rule sucks. 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 second guess my actions, hurt. I wasn't trying to replace her with the new girl, I wasn't choosing sides and I didn't want her man either. In my mind, it wasn't about loyalty, it was about helping a girl who had walked into a minefield through a difficult issue.

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...


CurvyGurl ♥ said...

Definitely a lesson that should be shared with the younger generation so they can avoid drama. I've been through this to and think it's a shame that someone who claims to know you can't seem to trust that you won't cross lines.

A.Smith said...

CurvyGurl - a shame is all it is. If we're friends, you trust me, right? So much for that in some cases...

Reggie said...

Sadly the "friend rule" is a good rule to have. I had a situation once where one of my friend's girlfriends hooked me up with one of her friends for a date. Somehow or another he got it in his head that meant that I was dating her.

It ended up being real ugly all the way around. I ended up losing him as a friend and her friend ended up being ugly too. Maybe I should have just stayed home that night.

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