Beware Your Friends!
They May Not Want You To Be Loved
By Frank Kermit
Mistakes Singles Make # 6... Seeking the approval of friends that influences your love life choices.
Love may come and go, but a friendship can last a lifetime...or so they say. I used to believe it myself until a handful of experiences of having some of my own "friends" ruin my first few serious relationships. I also experienced being on the other side of it, when my partner's friends got more of a say our relationship than they should have. Those were very unpleasant experiences, but in retrospect, I am grateful they happened, as they taught me a very important life lesson.
I learned very early on in my life that a friend's interest in you being happy in your love life depends on if your happiness interferes with their lives. If you having a relationship with someone new in your life will get in the way of the expectations your friends place on you, then beware. Your friends could become the saboteurs at the crossroads of your journey in life.
Sometimes the source of your friend-turned-enemy is simple jealousy. Why should you be happy when they are not as happy, even if your friend already has a partner? I find these stories much more common with my women clients. Some women simply cannot stand to see their girl friends find someone to be special to them. A relationship steals a friend's attention off her (just EVIL!). In fact, I know of a number of older women who struggle to have her friends introduce her to potential mates because many of her friends (usually coupled up and started families) mention (in a joking manner of course) that the couple would lose a great babysitter. Unfortunately, it turns out not to be that much of a joke.
Sometimes the source of your friend-turned-enemy can be the fact that a new loving relationship interferes with a certain lifestyle of good times that friends have become accustom to having together. This is more common among the men I coach, as guys get resentful when a new relationship costs them a wingman
As I teach it, a real friend helps you get what you want. If you want sex, a friend does not stand in your way. If you want to date someone, a friend does not encourage you against it. If you want to take your relationship to the next level, a friend gives your new partner a chance and gets to know him or her. And if you get very serious with someone that your friend does not necessarily think is right for you (for ANY reason), a real friend sticks by your decision and accepts you despite not approving of your partner choice. Anything else (barring a seriously dysfunctional relationship involving abusive that your friend wants you to stay aware from) is not a sign of a real friendship, but an indication that it was a relation of convenience. Just because someone is your friend, does not mean they will be your ally in love.
That is at the heart of when you have to choose between your friends and your partner. Your happiness must never be based on your friend's approval. You are the one that must accept the consequences of your choices. Whether those consequences are your life being ruined for choosing the wrong person OR living a (for lack of a better term) happily-ever-after, those are your consequences to deal with, not your friends consequences. If you want to get to know someone, but are reluctant to give that person a chance because you are afraid that your friends will not approve (for example, if your friends would accuse you of lowering your standards because the person you happen to like is someone they would consider unattractive, then you deserve all the misery a lonely future can have installed for you.
Sorry, but whether you do what you want, or you do what your friends want...the consequences of your choices are always the same...they are always YOURS. Until you grow up and come to terms with the fact that the only approval you really need to build the love life you want is your own, you will never get to the higher levels of awareness to be able to have the intimate connections you have heard so much about.
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