Friends and Lovers

An old couple visiting Venice

My mother once said, “you are the one living with the person you love. So why worry if someone else loves him?”

Love is great and wonderful and sometimes shameless. And while I agree with her, I also believe that the person I love should try to make themselves acceptable to my family and friends. I don’t mean to change that person that family and friends will love. Each of us have different taste in partners and personality will clash. It’s about respect, understanding of each others’ boundaries, and time management.

Respect is so important to me because I grew up in a family that holds a lot of customs and traditions despite the fact that I’ve grown out of many of them. Basic hellos, treating your elders well, not mocking tradition even if they are not your own, not making fun of or being rude to friends, controlled PDA, and attention to your surrounding among many things.

I am all about love and touching but there’s a time and place for it and not in front of family and friends because you never may know who has just had a breakup, divorce, death, etc. It shows a lack of disrespect to your surrounding. I’ve known men who have spoken poorly of my friends and I have always made it a fact that I would choose my friends over a man because they’ve been with me longer, been through tough times and bad times, good times and dull times. When I see friends whose lives suddenly only revolve around a man, I am saddened by it because I realize they do not hold the same esteem in our friendships. And these relationships start to fade away.

And while relationship change people, and your friendship will alter because of this, it’s important to know the boundaries in which your friends can handle this person you choose to date, spend hours with, and possibly years with. You have to understand the limits of your loved one and of your friends so that neither feels like they want to kill each other.

If you’re lucky to find a loved one whom your friends are also friends with, it makes it easier. But if you see your friend is uncomfortable around him or her, you limit the interaction between the two if you want to keep both people in your life. That is the hardest thing to juggle, friends and lovers. Neither are things you want to lose but if they clash, you have to learn to separate them.

So while I may be the one dating this man, and not my family or friend, I always have to be aware of whether they get along, can get along, whether they make effort, respectful of each other, and most of all, avoid when possible. Not everyone will like the person you date but you don’t and shouldn’t have to choose between people.