I’ve been pondering a few things this week. Dangerous, I know.
At what point does a person move from an acquaintance to a friend? I’m on several BDSM boards and there are often posts about ‘coming out’ with friends and family. My question is – if you are in the lifestyle, if it’s a way of life for you, not some kinky fun you enjoy in the bedroom – and your friends don’t know – are they really your friends?
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think ‘friends’ need to know what goes on behind closed doors, but if they know nothing about a major component of your personality/life, I wonder if they count as friends. For me, the answer is no they’re not. They are someone I chat with on a superficial level.
A friend is someone I can trust. Someone who has my back and I have theirs. Someone that shares my same values. We don’t have to agree on politics or brand loyalties, but underneath all the fluff, we need to be in sync. I don’t share that with many people.
The biggie for me is respect. If you run down your significant other, we’ll never be friends. This is the person you’re supposed to love above all others. As soon as I hear a phrase such as – ‘you won’t believe what my stupid ________ (bf, gf, wife, husband), did now’, I’m out. People think they’re being funny. They’ll tell you, if you call them on it, they don’t mean it like that… Geez, what’s your problem?
My problem is, it’s hurtful. You’re diminishing how other’s look at your loved one in order to gain something – attention, sympathy, laughs…
Of course there with be times when something happens and you’re confused or hurt by your SO’s actions. But shouldn’t the conversation at least start between the two of you? Your lunch buddies won’t be able to tell you why your (bf, gf, wife, husband) overdrew your checking account or has a questionable picture on their phone. So sharing your laundry with them only serves a negative purpose.
This one person I’ve known for more than half my life thought it was perfectly fine to eat lunch daily with coworker they were attracted to. They had no intentions of taking it beyond a coworker/friend relationship so what could possibly go wrong? I’m sure you can see where this is going. A hell of a lot went wrong. Bashing their respective spouses turned into a frequent occurrence. Instead of talking to their loved one about an issue, they’d let it fester. They’d chat with their coworker and garner sympathy. The coworker, who only heard one side of the issues, naturally sided with their ‘friend’ and would converse accordingly. “Why do you put up with that? They shouldn’t treat you that way!”
Then my long time buddy made the fatal mistake. In an argument, they told their spouse what the coworker had said about them. The spouse knew immediately that the coworker had been privy to all their dirty laundry. The spouse felt betrayed (in my opinion – rightfully so). The marriage dissolved.
You may be wondering how we went from telling the difference between a friend and an acquaintance to divorce, but in my warped mind they connect. The road linking them is called trust. The difference between a friend and an acquaintance is the level of trust you have for that person.
The person you give your heart to, should be the person you trust more than anyone else. Period, end of sentence. If something isn’t right between you two, trust them to care enough to listen and to make changes. Trust them to have your back and give them that in return.
See it was a twisty, dirt road, but it did eventually get to the point.