Friendship Boundaries During a New Relationship
Scenario: Marcus & Diane do everything together -- from shopping and movies, to trying out the hottest new restaurants. They are constantly talking at all the times throughout the day, and are inseparable in that they enjoy each other's company. That is until Marcus gets into a serious relationship with his new girlfriend Justine. Marcus and Diane continue to spend their usual time together and Justine is not feeling it. Which to her defense it normal seeing as she just entered this relationship and now has a few concerns.
The last thing we want is for Justine to feel uncomfortable because Diane can’t give her and Marcus the space they need to grow as a couple. So whose responsibility is it to create some boundaries in this scenario? If you guessed Diane you are partly right. But Marcus -- being the bridge between the two -- is the person who needs to communicate to Diane the type of boundaries he needs in order to grow his new relationship.
We have to remember that in order to build a solid loving relationship we need to make sure there's time and no interference from other people who can jeopardize the “get to know you phase of the relationship. Marcus needs to make sure that other women other than his girl is entitled to him. Friendships exist outside of a relationship, but there's certain people you can stay friends with, and people you need to cut off because they are overstepping their boundaries. Below are some tips to make sure Marcus and diane friendship does not go down the drain because Marcus has a girl now.
In reality, all healthy relationships have boundaries! A relationship can’t be healthy until both partners communicate their boundaries clearly, and the other person respects those wishes. There are a lot of misconceptions about what boundaries are and what they do for relationships. When your friend gets into a new relationship we sometimes fall victim of overstepping the “friend boundaries”. You have to understand that we can no longer intervene as we once did, by texting or calling all times of the day/night. You also have feel comfortable with the fact that what you and your friend have built thus far will withstand a new person coming into the picture.
Tips to Remain Friends During a New Relationship
Common courtesy is to back off and give the person time to develop a friendship with their significant other.
Your so-called “best friend” should be able to disconnect when need be.
Meet the new significant other in a social setting and feel each other out; this is not the time to be judgmental, but an opportunity to be extremely supportive to your friend and his/her happiness.
Have an open and clear line of communication about what is appropriate on both ends.
Put yourself in the other person’s shoes (Males with males, etc… ) Think about how you would want the situation to go in order to be comfortable and remain trusting.
We’ve personally been in situations where we’ve had to “know our place” in taking a back seat on the attention train once our male best friends got new girlfriends. And it honestly wasn’t hard to do. We simply placed ourselves in the girlfriends' shoes; imagining a relationship between our significant others and their female friends that would make us 100% comfortable.
So for starters, we cut communications down from almost daily to say, weekly, checking in just enough to maintain the friendship but not too much to make his partner question any imaginary motives. One of us even implemented a Contact Curfew. A Contact Curfew is anytime of night where contacting someone of the opposite sex would fall into intimate or booty call hours (yes this is real lol). We view curfew hours as that period of time when plans can no longer be made for the remainder of the night. So yah… don’t do it to yourself.
We’ve also been on the other side of the spectrum where we were the girlfriends questioning someone else's motives due to being left out in the dark, and that shit sucks. And everyone knows the wandering mind of a woman always spells out T-R-O-U-B-L-E. Women are not only capable of making up the craziest scenarios in our heads (lol), but we also have this intuition thing which will lead us playing detective like we get paid to do so. This is not to say all women snoop! However even those of us who fully trust our significant others have probably found ourselves playing detective at some point. But we don’t care. Because at the end of the day what’s ours is ours. Period.
As for the mens (yes with an “s”), you make it sooooo hard for yourselves sometimes. The players are… well… just that. While the sweet ones are usually people pleasers who are faithful, but never want to hurt anyone’s feelings. They end up making themselves look suspicious from trying to spare telling another girl/friend/ex to kick rocks, even if he means well. Men need to understand that a lot of us don’t mind you having female friends. But if we can’t call them “friends” too, then there will be a problem. Take initiative and step in! Set up a couple of group gatherings where both parties can get to know each other and build a relationship! It'll go far in the long run.
So the hope is that Marcus and Diane can see eye-to-eye so their relationship can stay in tact. But if neither party is able to take the aforementioned tips and apply them to the relationship, then let's just say Justine is either going to resent Marcus for a long time or assume there is more than just a platonic relationship going on between Marcus and Diane. And this new found relationship will go out the window because folks didn't bridge the gap.
Have you ever been in this situation? What did you do to resolve it to maintain your friendship &/ relationship?