By Frank Kermit, MA
April 8, 2016
From what I have observed in my practice over the last 15 years, one of the most consistent external factors that will keep a person single, are the friends of that person.
I have seen so many people experience sabotage from their friends; specific actions that those friends took, that directly resulted in someone ending up single.
Here are some examples I have encountered over the years.
A young man feels his best male friend is spending too much time with his new girlfriend, so he manipulates their social circle to put pressure on his best male friend to break up with her, by claiming she is changing him when she is not.
A married woman is being coaxed by her recently divorced friends to come out to a club for a girls-night-out, and actively encourage her to cheat on her husband by pushing her to occupy the attention of the odd-man-out of the circle of males that have shown interest in the group of girls, in a subconscious attempt to have her lose her marriage and rejoin her girlfriends in the single world.
A man meets a new girl that he really likes and wants to date, but his friends all tell him he could do so much better than her, and his need for their approval costs him what could have been a very compatible partner, when they just do not want to lose their drinking buddy.
A girl jealous of all the male attention that her friend is getting from having lost weight starts to spread rumors that are designed to turn the guys off, and keep the guys focused on herself for more titillating information.
This is just a small sample of what actually happens.
Just to be clear, for the purposes of this article, jealousy is the feeling when someone feels threatened of losing something they feel they already have. It does not matter if it is a real threat (like someone writing love letters to your partner and demanding that your partner leaves you), or if the threat is imaginary (you assume your partner is cheating when there is no evidence to support that theory and in fact your partner is faithful). Whether the threat is real or fantasy, the effects on your nervous system is still the same. This is different from envy (which your friends can experience as well). Envy is when a person does NOT have something that someone else does have, and covets it.
A true friend is someone that wants to see you happy. Even if that happiness means you will be spending more time doing the things you love, and spending more time with a serious romantic partner, and less time with your friend. If you are searching for love, it is best to keep in mind that your future long-term romantic partner is likely to replace your best friend if you seek to make a long-term relationship successful. A true friend is OK with this.
Putting anyone, ahead of your life partner and children, even if that person has been your best friend since forever, is a predictor that the relationship will eventually end. Friendship is important. It is just as important to know at what point you are not willing to have your long term happiness and success be sabotaged all in the name of maintaining a friendship. Give a piece of your heart to your closest friend, but never to the point where that piece of your heart will cost you peace of mind for your future.
Frank Kermit, MA