For the first time in a long ass time, ALL my friends are in relationships. We’ve talked about how lovely it is to hold someone’s hand and have a default plus one to accompany you to things like weddings and movies, not to mention do terrible things like eat out a lot… but we’ve also acknowledged that our old frenemy jealousy has made a reappearance along with the annoying fact that our headspace has been taken up by another human being WITHOUT US CONSCIOUSLY WANTING IT TO. We have totally no control over it and its so ANNOYING
My deal with jealousy has always been that it’s a totally legitimate feeling to have when you’re in a relationship with someone and if it is addressed in the proper manner ( i.e. actually listening to what the jealous party is saying and understanding where those feelings stem from and addressing it head on vs. being dismissive of them and telling them they’re silly) it’s totally manageable and not a big deal.
I mean, we all realize that at our age (oh god the dreaded late 20’s where most of the people you know of the same age are pairing up into lifetime partnerships and most people already paired up are telling the non paired up ones to pair up) each of the parties have their own history and social circles which one may or may not have been a part of and this might lead to you having insecurities about where you fit in or about how you don’t get 3287 of the groups’ inside jokes. but it’s FINE. For every one of their inside jokes you don’t get, you have one of your own with your OWN group of friends, and over time, you’ll get assimilated into the group as well and have your own inside jokes.
One thing we all noticed was that a common issue that crops up in new relationships are the complicated or not so complicated friend equations among people of the opposite sex. (I realize I’m speaking from the point of view of a straight person, but this could also obviously crop up among people who are attracted to the same sex as them – duh).
Is being friends with people of the opposite sex an issue? NO.
Should it ever be an issue: NO.
Then… When does it become an issue?
In our very limited experience, it could become an issue if said friends have had some sort of sexual history. Even then, if all the cards are on the table, there really shouldn’t be an issue. I remember, in one of my previous relationships, I felt as though i was on the receiving end of some confusing vibes… and when I decided to delve into the same, I found out the person I had been seeing hadn’t been completely up front about their history. In the case of another friend, he had liked one of his closest friends for a long time but nothing ever came of it, but it didn’t make his new girl friend completely at ease with the said person because she only got to know about these feelings through some inside joke someone cracked in passing and not from her partner
In both cases, this might have meant, that knowingly or unknowingly, the person in question had omitted letting their significant other (SO) know and once the SO figured it out, they’re wondering why on earth they weren’t told about it in the first place. Maybe whatever history they had was not important enough to the people in question, but if the said friend is an important part of the core friend circle, it’s always better to let the person you’re dating know about the history you share vs. letting them guess or figure it out themselves. So that you can AVOID getting to this point.
IF this situation arises, what does one do? I know how almost every single article about relationships and making them work put a lot of emphasis on COMMUNICATION being key to success in relationships. It’s totally true. The last time I was in a long term serious relationship was when i was in college. I’ve pretty much grown up to be fairly non confrontational. Instead of dealing with the ickyness of confronting someone about something that I am not 100% on board with, i resorted to annoying techniques like passive aggressive comment passing to get my point across. seriously. WHAT GOOD DOES THAT DO?
Pretty much nothing. Instead of dealing with the situation head on, I sort of sit on it, allowing it to irritate me to the point where my interactions with said person become hostile. It’s not as though the other person is going to know what’s annoying me until i specify it and only then can they DO something about it or I can get to the bottom of why I am feeling what I am feeling. I would like to think i’ve gotten better at dealing with situations as an when they come. But i still have a long way to go.
Talking problems out with your partner will give you an insight into how the two of you work as individuals, hence making your relationship stronger.. It might be seriously uncomfortable in the beginning, but how awesome would be to deal with 30 minutes of discomfort vs. 10 other future fights stemming from the same issue because you guys didn’t sort it out the first time around?