I feel like an auditory voyeur right now.
This morning, I kind of overheard a conversation between two friends.
One friend, from what I gather, is in a relationship and I take it that some of her other friends don't really approve of the guy for whatever reason. Maybe they just don't know him, and that unfamiliarity makes them uncomfortable. It could be that they know him - and they know her - and since they've been together, they've seen someone change into someone they don't know for whatever reason. It could be that they know her, and not him, and that they've seen her change into someone she's not, or it could be that they know her, and they think she doesn't really know him, and therefore, they think its all shady.
Clearly I'm no relationship expert. At all. Far from it. I've screwed up enough 'good things' to last a few lifetimes. But I also know that we live and learn, and through my own failings as a person and a partner in relationship, I've been able to observe some things which could be called 'best practices' when it comes to things you should expect in a relationship. Like I said, I'm in no position to be a source for good advice, but I do know this...
If he or she doesn't like your friends... that's a problem.
If he or she makes you take on only his friends or her friends... that's a problem. If he or she wont let you go out solo to have some friend time with your closest of friends -- for whatever reason -- that's a problem.
Not that they have to like them overnight. I mean, come on. I've been that guy, trying to fit in with a new group of friends. The insecurity blows. It's almost like trying to win over a person again for the first time. Then there's the family side of things. Wow, let me tell you, that can be a pain in the a$$, too. Especially for a guy, and equally as much so as for the girl. However, if this person loves you, or cares for you, it's something you'll work on together. These are obstacles you'll overcome as a couple and if your friends and family care about you as they say they do, and they see your happiness, they'll eventually come around.
If the guy or the girl forbids you from seeing your friends, or from spending some solo time hanging with them (sans partner), well, to me, that's a controlling sort of move and you need to evaluate things. Sure, there are times we'd love to spend every waking moment with you - or spend all of our time getting to be with you - but we all need our 'us time' right? Time with girlfriends or with the guys to recharge is key. If you don't take it, to me, you're only allowing for seeds of resentment to take hold and if those seeds sprout into weeds of resentment, well, that's when the real danger starts to creep in on a relationship. It's far easier to pull a few weeds early than it is to cut through a field of brush. And if you try to do so, you'll get so damaged by the thorns that, well, it could scar your relationship for some time to come... that is, if it doesn't end the relationship altogether.
Bottom line, I think being a good friend and partner means that you have to:
1) accept that they may have friends or family who may not like you, and work to show them that the person you're with does indeed have your best interests happiness in mind.
2) if you're in a relationship with someone who doesn't let you hang with friends, or who guilts you because you want to hang with friends, or who may go so far as to fight with you because you choose to, well, have these friends, you need to evaluate the relationship. Controlling is not good... ever.
3) remember that no one is perfect - not even you - and work with your 'someone' to try to be just a little bit better every day by talking about things that bother you and finding solutions together.
4) never stop listening to your friends... or your heart or institution. And if you feel you have to lie to yourself and your friends about the person you're with, well, needless to say you're in the wrong relationship.
5) If he cares for you or if she cares for you, they'll care about and encourage your friendships. Period. And if they say they do and don't, then you need to end it.
6) don't change the core of who you are for anyone. Ever.
Like I said, I'm clearly no Dr. Phil. I'm probably the worst person to give 'successful relationship' advice ever, but this morning, I overheard enough to be able to know that someone has some real choppy waters ahead, and if they don't correct the course now, they're headed bow first into disaster. And while I don't know these people, I am sure they're pretty awesome and have something to offer in this life, and I hope they get that chance. That is, if it's right of course. After all, life could be causing this storm so that one of these people will find that things aren't right... and so they'll make the change they need to get back on the path life has chosen for them.
Introspective this morning? Yeah, sure. I guess so. I'll get back to the coffee and gossip blogs now... Have a great day. Thanks for reading...