Tough choice: your partner or your best friend?
What do you do when you are caught between your partner and your best friend?
In the best light
When we meet someone new, the best friend gets all the juicy details. From how the potential partner behaves on the first date to their kissing expertise.
They have front row seats in the relationship before it even becomes official. On the other hand, you tell your partner good things about your friend because you are eager for them to like each other.
As time progresses, the not-so-pretty things in the relationship arise and you are itching to tell someone everything that isn’t right with your partner. Who do you take all your gist to?
The best friend, of course!
When things get more difficult
This is where problems are planted because sharing with your best friend becomes the default thing for you to do.
Let’s be honest, haven’t you given out more information than you set out to do because the conversation became intense? You drew a mental line before starting the conversation, telling yourself, ‘I’ll only talk about how my partner chews annoyingly. Nothing more.’
And 30 minutes into the conversation you are going on about how you were stood up the other night, forgetting to mention the genuine reason you were given.
I’ll share a story.
Ada was a young woman who met Kola, the perfect man at a conference in Lagos. They hit it off and decided to go on a date. He took her to a wonderful restaurant and they had a great time. Within a short time, they were inseparable. Ada couldn’t stop telling her best friend Funbi how great Kola was.
A few months down the line, Kola decided to quit his job as a banker and follow his passion to become a filmmaker. Things became tough financially and he decided to cut down their budget after speaking with Ada. They went from eating out every other day to once a month. Shopping was also budgeted. Throughout this period, Ada shared what was going on in her relationship with Funbi.
Funbi interpreted all that Ada told her in a negative light. She convinced Ada that Kola was an ‘akagum’ (a stingy man) and that he was simply being cheap; even though that was clearly not the case. After a while, Ada’s relationship started experiencing a tough time because Funbi’s opinion had become the foundation of her relationship. She eventually broke up with Kola.
How could she have handled this better?
Have an off switch
This is a mental switch that you train yourself to switch off whenever you are tempted to start giving out details of your relationship.
Your friend really doesn’t need to know what your partner is doing in the bedroom or how much they make at their job.
Treat everyone as an individual
This means when interacting with either your partner or friend, let the conversation stay clear of the other person. Do not spill each other’s secrets.
Also, do not force group activities on them. It is okay to hang out with your partner or friends individually.
Learn how to think through problems with your partner
If you develop a trust system with your partner where all problems are discussed openly and with the aim of finding a solution, there’ll be no need to lean out for external opinions.
Always remember, when it comes to relationships, three is a crowd.
Have you ever had to choose between your best friend and your partner? Share your story below. If you need help navigating your relationship and your friendship, ask our moderators for help.