Heart to Heart
Tone it down girl, he is not your boyfriend
Posted Thursday, August 28 2014 at 01:00
A good friend is someone that everyone of us wishes we had, and when we come across someone who is a keeper, we hold on tight. But what if this person is of the opposite sex, how do you balance the attention without hurting your partner?
A week ago, I was treated to unique kind of relationship drama, the kind I should say is usually a reserve for movie scripts.
A young woman took to Facebook to vent her rage after her boyfriend dumped her, having seen a late night text that read “Hi sweetheart”, from another man, flash on her phone screen. “How can he even be angry at such a thing? It was just a text from a friend. He always suspects that I am cheating on him,” she explained herself in the Facebook post.
Her naivety was quite baffling. Honestly, any man in the same shoes, would have most likely reacted that way. What did she expect? That the message would flash on her screen and he would look away like nothing had happened? I don’t think so.
In the relationships of today, there is a growing fallacy among partners, especially on the female side, that men do not care what they do. They believe that men are ice cold beings who carry around an “I don’t care attitude.”
Problem is, women have used this latitude to flirt around, both through face-to-face conversations and texts, where their other male friends become “honey” or “sweetheart”, coincidentally the same endearment phrases, they use with their boyfriends.
In extreme circumstances, she will hug the male friend – at the office, for example – with a warmth she would ideally save for her man and thereafter proceed to peck this friend on the cheek or even kiss him on the lips!
She will engineer her tone to its sweetest, and murmur: “Awww Tom, how have you been? I missed you … In that moment, it would be close to impossible to tell the difference between her affection for this friend Tom and those of her actual lover.
At that point, this woman is utterly oblivious of how much these actions may hurt her man because she has already built a Chinese wall around herself and is impervious to his feelings.
That is a big mistake. Men do feel and are as fragile as women. They do love passionately and also obsessively. It is just that they may not show as much and choose to bottle it up most of the time. That is why we have what women refer to as control freaks. In essence they are not freaks; that is all just a poor way of expressing what they feel for their partner – love.
This is the predicament our society is faced with today. We have failed to acknowledge our humanity and how vulnerable it makes us; passionate, jealousy and susceptible to pain. And before the women go on to whine, this goes both ways; men do also flaunt their female friends at their partners. They call them all sorts of sweet things and act in a manner that would put the other woman on the same pedestal as their wife or girlfriend.
As www.marriagebuilders.com summarises it, everyone should keep away from any friend of the opposite sex who had been a former lover, any friend of the opposite sex who you know might have what it takes to trigger a feeling of romantic love, any friend of the opposite sex that meets your need for affection (expressions of care and concern), and intimate conversation, any friend of the opposite sex with whom you have a private, personal, and bilateral relationship. It is private in the sense that conversation is generally one-on-one, and sometimes kept secret because the spouse would be threatened in some way by it if it were done with the spouse present.
Karma is not a myth. We should do unto others as we would expect to be treated. That young woman had it coming, she just chose to ignore the outcome she was faced with. She should have acted more appropriately, not only in his presence, but also his absence as well.
If he or she is the one, act like they are the only ones. Do not share the love.
How to treat that friend
Dorothy Kebirungi, a counsellor at Infectious Disease Institute, says marriage is an institution that must have principles to guide parties involved. She says like any other relationship, there needs to be trust, respect and commitment. She advises people intending to get married and those already in relationships to use these principles to govern their union. This, she says, would help protect a relationship from people, including friends who would wish it to break.
Once you are in a relationship, she adds: “There are things you should change for the sake of your spouse. These things could be things related to dress code, eating style or any other behaviour, including your friendship with someone of the opposite sex.”
It does not necessarily mean that you isolate or distance yourself from people of the opposite sex, but you should make them understand the boundaries. “Sticking to your single lifestyle could cost your relationship. For instance, if you do not caution that friend who sends you funny texts, surprise gifts or calls you by lovely names like darling, sweetheart or honey among others, you could end up losing your spouse since we are all prone to feeling jealousy.”