The Community Boyfriend
When you’re in a relationship with someone it’s commonly understood that the person you’ve been dating will have friends who have been in their life much longer than you have. Whether you’ve been dating six months or six years, there are people who have depended on your significant other for friendship and have established meaningful, platonic relationships with him throughout the years. Simply put, you will always be sharing your special someone with friends, family and possibly ex- girlfriends. These external relationships can be a healthy time-share that enables everyone to maintain a sense of individuality while you build a strong couple identity. For many women, a man with a healthy amount of friendships is a sign of a balanced life. That said, regardless of how much you admire your man’s generosity, nobody wants to date the community boyfriend.
Certain friendships can feel invasive and challenging, thus, upsetting the natural dynamic of your relationship. Usually these types of friendships are consistent and you can determine whether or not you find it disrespectful early on in the dating phase. On occasion there are situations that arise mid-relationship that can truly test your trust, leaving you to wonder how much of a priority your comfort level is to your significant other. For example, let’s say that you’ve been dating someone and out of the blue one of his friends (of the opposite sex) needs a place to stay while they get their living situation together. The first thing you should ask yourself is how normal this situation feels to you and whether or not you feel threatened by another woman in your personal space. Make no mistake; even though it’s not your place, where your man lives is still an extension of your personal space. Why? Because it’s still a space of where you probably share a lot of time and intimacy together.
Of course, you never want to seem as though you’d want someone to be homeless at the cost of your personal insecurities. If that’s the case then you probably have your own segment of soul searching to do. What really matters is the amount of thoughtfulness your boyfriend exhibits to this person’s situation compared to the situation that he is simultaneously putting you in. If you know the woman well and never had suspicions about her before, it’s probably safe to assume that your boyfriend doesn’t think you’ll mind. In that same spirit, you probably wouldn’t mind but why guess?
One thing that women know better than anything else in the entire universe is how to gauge another woman’s intentions. It seems like the first thing that develops in the womb is a woman’s intuition. The way she rubs his shoulder, the way she eats in front of him and the way she appears to be all too concerned with your happiness are only a few of the ways in which to gauge another woman’s intentions toward your beau. If she’s always strategically dressed in such a way that she can easily show enough skin to appear sexy but not too much so that you don’t raise an eyebrow, it’s probably worth raising an eyebrow. If she’s always calling your boyfriend about her relationship drama but you never see her with a man, it might be worth raising an eyebrow.
Women are subtle, crafty creatures who can justify anything (and I mean anything) in the name of love. We compare our situations to everyone else’s and we read between the lines at all times while pretending not to calculate. Sometimes, we even justify finding solace in the possibility of a relationship with men who are unavailable. This is why most women are so good at spotting other woman who are out for their man. All of these things aside, do we really need to see the pink elephant in the room to know that it exists? Wouldn’t you be able to smell an elephant if it were in the room before entering? Isn’t it safe to assume that you might see the signs of an elephant moving into your personal space?
The hardest thing about trusting someone is that you have to do it 100%. There’s no middle ground for trust. That small fraction of doubt opens up the possibility that perhaps you are blindly investing your time. This is why boundaries are so important to clarify early on. They help us define the where we might go too far in our relationship.