The SW Experts | It’s Your Relationship, Not Your Friends
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Third wheeling

It’s Your Relationship, Not Your Friends

It's your relationship

It was after so much damage had been done, before Joyce realised what had happened. She had lost the love of her life, because she trusted more in the advice of her friends, rather than the love actions of her man.

The whole drama had started way back in secondary school. Joyce had one bestie of life, Dunni. They had clicked from the very moment both had instinctively paired themselves, as they chose their seat, that first term in secondary school.

After the first few awkward moments, they were inseparable. Their intelligence matched, they had similar backgrounds, theirs was a friendship on an even keel, no one was the inferior or superior partner. The best part was that they never fought, and never gossiped about each other with their fellow class mates, even as young as they were.

By the time they left secondary school, their friendship was firm, even though they had gone through their own rough times, especially where boys were concerned. Joyce wanted to try it out, Dunni was adamant about having nothing to do with boys.

They applied to the same university, and luckily, both of them got admitted to study the course of their choice. And the boys came knocking again, and in droves too. Still Dunni wanted nothing to do with them, but Joyce was all for sampling the dating scene, she agreed to dates and eventually settled on Peter.

From the get-go, Dunni disliked Peter. He could do nothing right with her, all his overtures towards her were firmly rebuffed, and he was told in plain language to ensure he did not break Joyce’s heart. Meanwhile, Joyce was in a delicate place; her bestie did not like her boyfriend. What to do?

What Joyce did, and did for several years, was to overshare details of her relationship with Peter, and all her subsequent boyfriends, with Dunni, in the hope that she would see what she saw in them, but she always picked up on the not-so-nice parts, highlighted and constantly talked about them. Soon enough, Joyce started to see horns where she had once seen Prince Charming.

Today, Joyce and Dunni are no longer friends, because the latter married one of Joyce’s ex-boyfriends, whom she had painted a walking demon. Joyce is still single, by the way.

[Tweet “Soon enough, Joyce started to see horns where she had once seen Prince Charming.”]

Wale and Joyce had met at work, and that was where he had asked her out. She accepted, and went ahead to tell her friend about Wale and all his amazing gorgeousness. Even without meeting him, Dunni had told Joyce to stop being this excited about a man. To show that Wale was not just a man, she had asked Dunni to come over to her house, so she could meet him, when he came to pick her for their date. Let’s just say, their date turned into a threesome.

It was like that for a while, until Wale stopped calling her, became distant at work, and Dunni was no longer as available as before. Before Joyce knew something had happened to her, it was too late. Dunni and Wale were engaged to be married, with the introduction already done, and a date for their wedding fixed. All these details, she heard through her office grapevine, and not from her friend Dunni. It was a shocking turn of events. Totally unexpected, and as I write, Joyce is yet to recover from this betrayal. Several years worth of friendship meant nothing when push came to shove.

Before you demonise Dunni, know this; the only reason Dunni could have had access to Wale, or any of Joyce’s other beaus, was because Joyce allowed her. She gave her the window to come in, and she was always the third partner in these relationships. So, in this case, Joyce only had herself to blame. It’s a bitter pill to swallow, but the truth all the same.

Joyce’s experience just shows that one should set certain boundaries with friends when it comes to one romantic relationships. Here are four things, you do not share with your friends concerning your relationship, and that is because knowledge of such things does nothing for you, as it exposes your relationship to unnecessary scrutiny.

1. Details of your Beau’s life

If your lover told you something really private, and asked you not to tell anyone, and even if he did not but you know it was said in confidence, it is not your place to tell your friends, not even your bestie. Don’t do it. The fact that it will help your friends understand your partner better doesn’t even count.

Just think how awkward it will be for your guy to hear details of his life from the lips of your friends, whom he had not told about it. This is absolutely a breach of trust. Failing to respect your partner’s wishes could mean the demise of the relationship, especially if word gets out.

2. Your Fights

It’s okay to tell your friends about your relationship, it’s even okay to tell them when you get into a fight. But never go into the details unless you are asking for their honest response. Yes, there are friends who ask you for your opinion, but never really want it. It can be very awkward. I can’t stress how important this is! Just know that you should never tell your friends about the details of your fight. Ever.

3. Your Sex Life

Don’t tell your friends the specifics of your sex life. If you are doing it for the first time or the thousandth time. Mum is the word about any kinks your boyfriend or girlfriend has, because from that point on, your friend will always look at your partner through the eyes of what you have told them.

Trust us, very soon, your partner would be asking if you had said anything about them to your friend(s). If you need advice for a first time of sex, find someone older and trustworthy to put you through. Trust your instincts and your partner.

4. No sharing just how exciting your relationship is

You never know who is truly happy for you. So, if things aren’t going well, or they are just amazeballs, be careful. Your true friends are totally happy for you, however, keep in mind that you don’t want to be excessive when talking about it to your friends. Much like rubbing it in.

Avoid gushing and bragging all the time to your girlfriends, single or not, about how great your boyfriend and relationship are. Admittedly, being in love and in a great relationship can be one of the most amazing things and feelings in the entire universe. But it’s important to be sensitive to your girlfriends, who are single, and not in a relationship right now or those in relationships that are not working.

Just put yourself in their shoes. Would you want to listen to a love-struck woman talk about her love interest? Probably not. So, tread softly.

On a parting note, just know that your love life is yours, and yours alone. The less you share, the better for all concerned.