Tag Archives: friends

But you say she’s just a friend

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The creation of security within the boundaries of a relationship should be a major priority between partners.  When this security is breached or not given the attention due it allows distrust, doubt and anger to creep through the door and settle into your relationship.  I was with someone who had a lot of friends, particularly of the female persuasion.  The issue wasn’t the gender of some of his friends but more so the way the relationships were presented and handled at least in my eyes, I’m sure he would beg to differ.  When I brought this to his attention, his stance on the issue was that they were my insecurities to deal with and had nothing to do with him.   I wasn’t completely sold on his position, but did partially agree as I believe my personal insecurities within myself are totally my responsibility to work on.  But insecurities felt in the relationship that were based on things he did or said had more than a little to do with him and vice versa.  I will admit that I may have over reacted slightly to all of his female friends initially, as I allowed my past experiences to guide my thinking many times in the relationship, but none the less I had some real concerns.

My ex had one female friend in particular, let’s call her Fern, that sent my cheating radar into alarm mode.  Granted I never found out they were anything more than friends but the entire situation didn’t sit well with me.  He initially told me they were just friends, but I found out later that they had been in a sexual relationship years prior, he still had photos and video of her in his phone, would pick her up from work and he texted or talked to her constantly.  When I began acting suspicious, I was made out to be the irrationally jealous girlfriend that just didn’t want him to have any friends, which wasn’t true at all, I just didn’t want the secrets that came along with these relationships.  This led to me looking at his other relationships with a bit more side in my eye because I wondered about what else he was hiding.  I’m not really the type to have a huge issue with my boyfriend having friends of the opposite sex as I do as well.  But I am a huge proponent of knowing exactly where the relationship stands and expect honesty.  If you are having similar concerns, I would suggest speaking to your significant other, communicating your concerns and ask them to do the following four things then watch for changes.

1. Be open and honest:  Had my ex disclosed the fact that he and this woman were more than friends in the past I may not have had such an issue with their friendship, but I felt that pertinent parts of their relationship were kept from me purposely and it made me extremely suspicious.  I understand that the past is the past and had their relationship remained in the past then fine, but she was still in his present.  You shouldnt have to feel as if you are being naggy because you ask questions about a relationship if they be reasonable and it shouldn’t be like pulling teeth to get a truthful answer.  Honesty should always be extended in regards to legitimate concerns. Relationships are all about communication, if one party feels as if that communication is one-sided it will only cause them to shut down, leave or continue the relationship in doubt, which only ends badly.

2.  Include you: if your partner and this person truly are ‘just friends’   they shouldn’t have an issue including you in their discussions or outings if that’s something you’re comfortable with.  When you enter into a serious commitment, the dynamics of your other relationships are bound to change and not necessarily for the worse, who knows you could gain a new friend out of the deal.  There were times when if I was at my ex’s house and he got a call from someone who asked what he was doing, his responses would never include me, except for with certain people in his life.  He was very selective about who knew we were together and who didn’t and I believe that Fern happened to fall into the latter category.  Had I been included in their discussions I would have felt somewhat more comfortable and not as if he was hiding the fact that we were together from her.

3. Be present: If your significant other spends tons of time on the phone or texting their friends everytime you are together, you’re bound to feel slightly neglected or at least slighted in some way, unless you’re doing the same.  I can recall a time when we were watching a movie together and he was constantly texting Fern.  Instead of focusing on our quality time he was focused on her, telling her how she would like the movie, sending memes and other messages but when I got upset and called him out about it, he saw nothing wrong with his actions.

4. Put themselves in your shoes:  I’m sure if the shoe was on the other foot, your significant other would feel some type of way, unless they really don’t care.  Unfortunately, I often learn from making mistakes and am a pro at playing tit for tat and I began doing many things to spite him.  Many of the things he did, I became guilty of and them some. Since he would constantly chat with his female friends, I began to engage more and more with my male friends (some of who I knew wanted more than a friendship), I would talk to them constantly, go out with them and entertain talk that I probably shouldn’t have.  It got to the point where I would actually be on my phone more than he was when we were together towards the end of our relationship.  This is not, I repeat not the correct way to let someone know you want them to know what you feel.  This only created a deeper divide between us, it was childish and unnecessary because it exacerbated the real issues we had.

Hope this helps someone!

God Bless,

Court

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The Art of Friendship…

Your friends and loved ones are inside the inner most core of your sphere of influence. I have learned that who you associate and surround yourself with is a direct reflection of how you feel about yourself. In other words your friends are truly a reflection of you. Your relationships especially the friends you choose are extremely important in your walk with God. At times they could mean the difference between back sliding and pressing forward towards Him. It is important to choose friends that will uplift, support, encourage and understand your walk with God. If your friends are constantly trying to get you to do things you know are wrong, are always discouraging the things you try to do for the Kingdom or just have a general negative attitude about your journey you may want to consider loving them from a distance. At least until you are stable enough in your walk with Christ to resist the pull of the world. As Christians our goal is to bring people closer to God not have them pull us towards worldly ways. In 1 Corinthians 9:27 Paul says ‘But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway’. So it is possible that after all of our attempts to show people the light that we ourselves can be castaway if we do not practice self-control and continually renew our minds and spirits with the word.

In order to have healthy and Godly friendships we have to know how to be a great friend. This is one thing that I try to be purposeful about in my life because I truly value the positive, genuine friendships that God has given me to develop while on earth. Just as in any relationship, communication, listening and speaking life into your friend is so very important. I didn’t always have great friendships and I had to learn how to be a friend to the people God had placed into my life. Growing up I was bullied in school a LOT, I can remember going home crying most days because I was this socially awkward, uber quiet, lanky girl that was the tallest female in my grade (any grade) to top it off I had super short hair that refused to allow a little thing like a comb or brush to tame it. Basically, think of a black Olive Oil with a fro-perm! Unfortunately I never stood up for myself and would allow others to walk over me and speak to me any type of way. I ate their words, literally internalizing them and they manifested in the form of tears, hurt and self hatred. The more I heard that I was ugly, had nappy hair, was a nerd and weirdo the more I believed it. I brought a lot of those feelings about myself into my adult life through insecurities and negative self talk. I didn’t like me, I didn’t know who and whose I was. Yes, bullying can affect people so much that they carry it with them for years! But because of these insecurities and lack of self-love, I didn’t feel worthy of love. I allowed people to surround me that didn’t have my best interest at heart, this included friends and romantic partners. They would call me a friend to my face and talk about me behind my back, steal from me or make fun of me I would laugh with them on the outside but tears filled me internally. My boyfriend at the time claimed to love me, but the relationship was filled with anger and abuse because neither one of us knew how to love, ourselves or each other. Now there were a couple of people that I believed to be true friends and they are still around today, two people to be exact, but some people I truly had to learn to love from afar. I can remember going through an ordeal with one of my then friends where everything came to a head and I had to stop speaking to her. It was difficult because I thought we were best friends. She wasn’t a bad person at all, but not someone that uplifted and encouraged me. Around this time I wrote a letter to God to bring me friends where our relationship would be one of mutual support and genuine sisterly love. And guess what! God has answered my prayers, because that’s just what He does! God has since sent some awesome people my way that I truly love and consider chosen family. I have positive, uplifting and inspiring relationships with them and best of all they push me towards God through conversations, bible studies, invites to spiritual events and much more. This is in part because I learned that in order to have great friends, you have to be a great friend. I had to search my own heart and see where I contributed to my friendships in the past falling apart or why I chose those type of people to have in my circle. I make a conscious effort to check my selfishness at the door, to remember important things going on in my friend’s lives and to make a special effort to reach out and keep in touch. Because I’m human I fail, but when I do I woman up and attempt to make it right. Many times the efforts we have to make are small but there are times our friends will need us most, a big move, an illness or loss of a loved one and we should always try to be there for them. So often when we get boyfriends or husbands we forget about our sister friends that we traveled with while single or life just gets busy and we can forget to cultivate and tend to these relationships. But if we want the sweet fruit of a genuine, supportive, caring relationship we have to put in the work and effort to make it grow and blossom. My girlfriends are my confidents, my sisters in Christ and my truth tellers when I don’t want to hear the truth. I can count the number of people on one hand that I consider true friends and honestly quantity means nothing to me without quality so I’m extremely grateful for the few I have. I thank God for my friends and the things I went through growing up, it made me so much more appreciative of them and without the occurrences in my past I wouldn’t have a story to tell which hopefully will help others master the art of friendship.

Here’s to a purposeFULL life #kingdomfocused
Court

Hebrews 10:24-25 (ESV) And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

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One of my good friends and I white water rafting in Costa Rica, I highly recommend it!

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