Saturday, November 6, 2010
The OTHER people in your relationship Part 1:The Friendly Temptation
Let's face it. It would be really nice to eliminate the world's expectations for your relationship. How nice would it be to just pick each other and ride off into the sunset simple as that. Well, if you're going about your relationship like that you are bound for some uncomfortable surprises as your significant other meets the other people of your life and you meet the other people who are or WANT TO BE in their lives.
These other people can be in the form of various people and all should be treated differently. I will give you a guide on how to specifically manage and interpret each one of these individual categories. But it will take me a while so bear with me. Right now we will focus on the first intruder: The Friendly Temptation.
We live in a see and get it world. Everything is at our grasps. As things become more available we become more spoiled and less grateful for things that we have, similar to the antics of a trust fund baby. Along with this comes everyone being a call, text, email, etc. away. See back before instant communications, someone would have to think before going outside your relationship. But in the haze and discomfort after an argument with a significant other, our altered states of mind do not mix with the temptation so close at our fingertips. Before you know it, "Are you up?" has been texted and the door is open. Sadly, most people don't cheat with a stranger, its usually a male or female just close enough to get in there.
So let's talk about the Friendly Temptation. This is someone who presents themselves in a non threatening friendly manner in your life. This person may even KNOW you are in a relationship but deep down, they would much rather be with you themselves. This is dangerous because the intentions of the other person may not be for the sustainment of your current relationship. You can find yourself in positions where you have undue influence from an outside force on your situation.
Ways to Spot Dissention In the Ranks
These are Ways to Spot if you are dealing with a friend or a friendly temptation:
1) The person always has a negative reaction to the mention of your significant other. Its ok to have a friend not particularly care for your mate but if they have too much emotion about it, they may have hidden feelings for you that will surface later.
2) When you are fighting with your mate, the person urges you to them and away from your significant other. "Awww you two are fighting, come to my house, spend the day with me." and this happens for a period of time. There is never any mention of how you could possibly work it out with your partner.
3) They are "out of line" on occasion. You often find them a little too close to you. They are very hands on. They talk about sex or sexual things too often for comfort.
4) You have a past with them. Very few people can conquer sleeping with you and getting past it enough to be a true friend. Not saying it can't be done but more likely than not, there are still some feelings there, sexual, emotional, or otherwise.
But there are some ways to combat these temptations in your life so that you won't lose the most important person in your life.
1) Engage in a think before you act lifestyle
This is just a way to live. Make sure that before you even put yourself into situations that could prove complicated, you just take a second and review your options. Most mistakes are only made in the heat of the moment. Once the moment is over, the "correct" decision always seems so clear. Thinking beforehand eliminates that heat. So after a fight, just stop and think: "What should I do now?" Go somewhere and take a moment. What you should do will reveal itself.
2)Know Who's Who
It always seems like a good idea in theory to have male and female friends and remain cordial with exes while in a relationship but few people have these relationships in a healthy space. Let's be honest, you know who wouldn't mind getting with you and those crushes may seem innocent but ask yourself, would you want someone with these feelings this close to your significant other? If the answer is no, you may want to distance yourself slightly. Your real friends will respect your relationship space. Any opposite sex people in your life should always a) know about your relationship and b) respect your relationship. People that are not respecting your relationship are not respecting you. Don't get suckered into the late night comfort sessions that so easily get people into trouble. Taking advantage of a weakness in your relationship to get with you is a character trait that probably doesn't make them a good friend candidate anyway. Know the people around you's true intentions. This is not to say that you cannot have ANY opposite sex friends but it is a tightrope act best left for your most dedicated and truest friends. You don't want to end up ruining your relationship because someone in your life set it up to be ruined.
3)Set the Boundaries
Now that your opposite sex friends know about your relationship, you need to set boundaries about your new situation. It may be a little awkward to talk about things of this nature with your friend but it makes for less confusion down the line. There needs to be a certain list of actions that are off limits like calling after a specific time or using certain language or words (honey sweetie baby etc.). Basically make them understand that though you value their friendship, your relationship is a high priority in your life and you are committed to making it work. Trust me, your real friends will have no problem making these adjustments for you. There's never any love lost between me and my male friends simply because they have found love. But then again, I don't secretly want them either.
4) Open Communication & Set Emergency Plans
Open Communication is the key to a great relationship point blank. If you are in bed with an individual, you should be able to tell them anything, right? But most people rarely talk in their relationships. Be real with one another. Make it common knowledge that anything the other person has to say will be welcomed and contemplated on your end. This will facilitate patching things after arguments. When those conflict arise, you will be more likely to find each other and talk it out. Another good way to keep communication lines open is to figure out what I like to call Emergency Plans. Emergency plans are those plans you get together early in the relationship. Don't be afraid to ask them "Well what if we do fight, how do you want us to handle it?" Then you will know not only HOW they act when they are angry but the best ways to combat that from the horse's mouth. Having rules in place like "Don't go to bed mad, if something is on your mind, talk to me" are excellent in fostering a communication friendly atmosphere. Like is always said, closed mouths don't get fed and in relationships, closed mouths don't make it to anniversaries.
Overcoming temptation is one of the hardest but most rewarding things to do. As William Butler Yeats says: “Every conquering temptation represents a new fund of moral energy. Every trial endured and weathered in the right spirit makes a soul nobler and stronger than it was before.” You owe it to your relationship and to your own morals to give it a fighting chance. Your friends in your life can prove their devotion to your friendship by adapting to a new role in your life that respects your relationship. If they can't, you know their true intentions and can deal accordingly. After all, you would want the same consideration from your significant other and the people in their life, right?
Hope this helps,