I have a few friends going through breakups and rough patches right now and another friend who is totally and completely in love and invested in a relationship that I have serious reservations about, which yes I have expressed to her.
Thinking about these situations and reflecting on my own past relationships, particularly my marriage , which ended up causing me the most trauma, led me to conclude that it shouldn’t be taboo to holla at ya girl if you feel a way, intuitively about her relationship.
It’s a very slippery slope but I feel like it can be handled the right way. Now just to be clear, I’m not advocating coming to your girl with information about her man. Nope, coming to her about what you “heard” is gossipy and sure to cause problems. I’m talking about talking to her about how you feel.
If your friend were to come to you with her concerns, you may be asking yourself “Why should I care about how my friend “feels” about my relationship?” She’s not in it, it doesn’t concern her etc. But here’s the thing, You concern her. Now I don’t feel that you need to be weighing in on people’s stuff all willy nilly. There are definitely some rules of engagement.
THE PERSON MUST BE A TIER ONE FRIEND
Your GIRL. Not a work buddy, not a chick you’ve gone out with for drinks a few times, not an acquaintance but your tier one friend. You have a history. See, I know that my tier one friends are always looking out for my best interest. The casual friend could be accused of hating or trying to stir up drama or discontent, but I know that’s not even an option with my tier ones. I know that if they are sharing something with me, it’s out of true concern for my well-being. Their methods aren’t always perfect – but their intentions are not doubted.
DELIVERY IS IMPORTANT
Some of us are capable of being more delicate and diplomatic than others but if you want your concerns heard then deliver it in a compassionate way. This is about your friend, not about her man. The more you bring him up the more defensiveness is likely. Keep the conversation centered around your friend.
SAY YOUR PIECE AND LET IT GO
9 times out of 10, no direct action will come out of your conversation. That doesn’t mean you get to keep having it. At the end of the day, it’s not your life or your choice. By let it go, I don’t just mean don’t bring it up again. I mean release whatever misgivings you had and work towards acceptance of the choice that your dear friend has made. After all, you could be wrong and you have to be prepared to accept that down the line. Time will reveal and we have to let it run it’s course.
It was my own life lessons that led me to form this opinion. I was in a long-term relationship all 4 years of college and one of my tier one friends let me know how disappointed she was that I was planning to move to Las Vegas and questioned what that meant for my relationship. She was a supporter of the relationship and thought I was being selfish and throwing away an opportunity to build with a good man. She thought that moving out to Vegas and leaving this man behind was a big mistake and told me about it.
At the time I was upset because it seemed as if she was more concerned with him than me. It was my life and I knew that if I stayed in Rochester, I wouldn’t have the life that I envisioned for myself, and although they had developed a friendship she was my friend not his so why was she trippin? It created a tension for a spell but that was 15 years ago. This woman was a bridesmaid at my wedding to someone else 8 years after the fact and we communicate almost daily today.
Ah, my wedding – another instance in which a tier one friend , actually my best friend, made her voice heard. While we were engaged my then fiancée cheated on me. After convincing myself that this wasn’t his m.o. and he had just made a mistake (spoiler alert: I was wrong) and going to a little counseling, I decided to move forward with the wedding on the scheduled date. I told everyone that I had made a choice and I was moving forward. Everyone let me know I had their support. She was the only one that questioned me, that asked if I really wanted to do this and urged me to at least push the wedding back so I could really evaluate the situation thoroughly. I didn’t. We ended up divorcing after 5 years because he was having an affair. Shocker.
In both cases, my friends sharing their concerns didn’t result in me changing my mind. I moved forward with my own decided upon course of action because as a Taurus woman -I’m about as headstrong and stubborn as they come. But I appreciated them for looking out for me. I’m grateful that I’m not surrounded by a bunch of yes people and that I have friends who have enough courage to share their feelings with me even when they know it’s not what I want to hear.
The point isn’t really about whether your friend stays or leaves the relationship you may feel isn’t best for her it’s about feeling that you have the type of sista friends who can be transparent and not just laugh and joke and share in the good times, but also have the harder conversations with you even if they aren’t sure how they’ll be received.