Daughter. Sister. Friend. Believer. Warrior. Writer. Voracious reader. Shoe Lover. Car Accident Survivor. Quasi philosopher. Prone to circumlocution. Beyonce stan. Retired cynic. On a quest to make a dent in the universe. Impossible to summarise in a few words.
At some stage in many friendships there is an inevitable conflict between friends over their choice of significant other. I don’t know why, but its one of these bizarre patterns that’s pops up in life.
For some reason I was once asked to be an envoy between two friends over their particular Friends v Lovers dispute. I have no idea why they choose me, I don’t do conflict management. I don’t do conflict, period. But when the sane refuse I guess you pick the insane.
So as I listened to hours of conflicting accounts of the same incident, I made a few observations that I’ve decided to rant about just because I can.
There are four parties in this conflict. The friend who dislikes the lover, the friend in the middle, the lover and the real issue.
As you can see from my previous rants I place ‘friends’ in different categories and often encourage you to cut the useless ones off. However if a real friend (someone that always has your best interests at heart) questions the others choice of partner and deems them unworthy, the chances are they are right. The friend in the middle needs to bite the bullet and accept the fact their significant other is a waste of skin.
There are anomalies, when an otherwise good friend becomes a jealous bitch and makes their friends partners the focus of their wickedness. In this case there are two options. Ride it out and wait for them to meet someone themselves. Or call a friendship conference where your entire crew confront them about their scheming. The latter is for sheer drama.
If the Lover in question has a tendency to cock up, treats you like crap and displays flashes of love/kindness as often we see Halley’s Comet. Your lover is a terrorist.
Stop making excuses on their behalf. If you have no kids, no mortgage and they haven’t given you a kidney or bone marrow, you have full permission to walk out the door and not look back. Life’s too short to allow such a prick in your airspace.
If the Lover is good at heart but misunderstood, get them to work on the their social/interpersonal skills. The friend(s) has picked up on something that could possibly impede their chances for promotion at work and we all know there is no romance without finance.
The Person in the Middle
Touchy area. As humans we generally struggle with self-analysis. Often people that find themselves caught up in the middle of these situations have issues realising their true value. (See You are Special). As a result they settle for less. Sad but true. There’s no shame in insecurity, everyone is insecure. However when it impedes your choices and affects your relationships it’s a problem.
If the person in the middle is healthy, balanced, secure with no issues they should get rid of the Lover and their friend. They’re obviously perfect and we don’t want such a fine specimen to be tainted.
The real issue
I’m not a psychologist but listening to this particular argument I realised that each party had deep-seated pre-existing issues with the other that hadn’t dealt with. Basically each ‘friend’ was really bitching about something else but using the ‘Lover Conflict’ as a front.
The indicating phrase that ‘the real issue’ is the true cause of the problem is (drum roll please) ‘You think you’re so much better than everyone else’. If a ‘friend’ ever says these words in an argument and you’re completely sure the accusation is false, run for your life. They are a Hater-Friend that has been unmasked. If you made the accusation and you’re sure its true, more power to you. If you’ve imagined it, my advice to you is useless because you’re a nutcase.
In most situations the ‘real issue’ is linked to an incident that occurred years/months ago that the accused party can’t fully recollect. It could be trivial like’ You borrowed my groovy chick pencil case in year 8 and never gave it back’ or serious stuff like ‘You called me fat in front of a room full of people’.
Either way if the friendships worth it I say work through it. Life’s better with real friends. If you want to know how to work through it, buy the book (coming to a store near you Fall ’09!).
The old adage is that men will come and go but your friends will always be with you. I disagree. Everyone comes and goes. Even family. There are very few people who are in your life forever. However one must be careful that you don’t loose the ones that should be.