“Love shouldn’t be about jealousy or anything like that. It should be about commitment and being able to trust that person. If you can’t have that from the get-go, there’s a problem. ” ~ Aaron Carter, showing an unexpected level of wisdom for a Backstreet Boy…*
I’ve spent a good part of this evening talking about the fact some of my long-standing male friends have recently gotten into relationships and how some of their girlfriends have felt moved to voice concerns about those guy’s friendships with me. They apparently perceive me to be some kind of a threat.
Needless to say these women have no reason to be at all suspicious of me. Their boyfriends are in relationships with them and not me because there’s nothing going on between the boyfriends and me. It just so happens that they’re the kinds of women who are inclined to see any other woman who isn’t a part of their particular clique as a potential foe.
Now, personally, I find it impossible to relate to this world view. Treating the simple business of being female as though it were a competitive sport strikes me as being completely exhausting, not to mention unnecessary. However, it’s something I had to get used to when I was younger and at least eighty percent of my friends were male.
Back then I used to take all of my friend’s new flames out for coffee, and to say, ‘Hey, why don’t you and I bond so you can stop giving Bob a hard time about me, and I can avoid ending up a bitter loner.’
But I never dreamed when I instigated the arrangement that I could be pushing thirty and there’d still be girls who felt they had the right to expect the same deal.
An altogether separate male friend has suggested that he doesn’t think it’s unreasonable for people of any age to feel insecure about the thought of losing their relationships, and that I should just carry on trying to make these grown women feel better. But I disagree.
When you’re young you’re entitled to be insecure, and to do stupid things because of being insecure. It’s a part and parcel of your youth.
But once over the age of twenty-five I don’t believe that it should be acceptable for anyone to go around acting the Othello, and treating people who’ve never shown the slightest inclination to hurt them as potential rivals.
No-one has to justify themselves to you if they aren’t doing anything wrong.
Most people are not Machiavelli.
If you think that your partner is likely to leave you for someone else then, granted, you do have issues.
However, none of those issues have anything to do with anyone who isn’t a part of your relationship. And you have no business taking your insecurities out on an unrelated third-party just because they happen to be going about the normal course of their own social life. A social life in which they probably had no say about your becoming involved.
You should instead be discussing your fears with your significant other and looking to them for reassurance.
If they’re unable to offer this then your time would really be better spent questioning your own choice of paramour than their choice of friends.
If they do, and you can’t seem to accept it, then you should be considering how long you can reasonably expect anyone to want to stick around to play the Desdemona in your relationship. And then dial it back a bit.
In neither scenario is anyone else in any way to blame.
For as long as you plan to treat someone outside of your relationship as the enemy instead of a potential friend they owe you nothing. Which is something else you might want to consider while you’re rethinking your relationship strategy.
*Correction: With thanks to Alex for pointing out that Aaron Carter wasn’t actually in the Backstreet Boys, but is in fact the younger brother of Nick Carter, who was.