As those of you who know my life story are already aware, my first love was one of my best friends for years before we ever bumped uglies. As a result, he was thoroughly integrated into my social life. Our friends were our friends and they were all up in the mix of our relationship; smiling fondly at us when things were good, gossiping about us when things were rocky, and gunning for a reunion when things ended.
That was the first and last time I merged my lover and my circle of friends. Since then I’ve kept the two as separate as I possibly can. In the Spectacular Asshole era, some people caught a glimpse of him a time or two, but very few of my friends ever had so much as a 5-minute conversation with him. With the next one – Mr. Max as I like to call him – we had many of the same friends but still made every effort to fly under the radar. We didn’t go to parties together or leave them together, we were never affectionate in public, and we’ve been known to flat-out lie when asked direct questions about what went on between us.
I’ve been single since the demise of Mr. Max and more than ever I strive to keep my dalliances separate from my friendships. I don’t bring my next victim to our parties, don’t launch him on society at our bbq’s. If I’m seeing someone I don’t bring him to weddings or ask him to pick me up at the spot. Blabbermouth though I may be, I keep my ish so low that my closest friends have no clue who is waxing my ass on a regular.
All things considered, I think that keeping your friends and your man separate makes for a more peaceful life. When your friends don’t have a ringside seat for the goings on of your relationship, they’re less likely to make comments and give unnecessary advice. If your boyfriend has never had to sit and listen to your girls squawking like a bunch of magpies, you won’t have to have that annoying conversation with him where he warns you not to tell those girls what goes on between you because they talk too damn much, you swear that you never will, and both of you know you’re full of shit. And if, like me, your social circle is inhabited by dirty birds and habitual line-steppers, your boyfriend doesn’t have to witness the relentless groping and harmless flirtation that you know is meaningless but will set him to swinging.
But as much as I advocate keeping the line between your friends and your lover squeaky clean, at the same time I have to admit to feeling a teeny bit wistful when I see other people seamlessly integrate their significant others into their circle of friends. How nice would it be to be in your homeboy’s living room laughing at some dumbass shit your friends are doing, and looking over at your girlfriend and having an entire conversation with her with just the raise of an eyebrow? What could be nicer than going in for your bff’s birthday and getting pissy drunk, knowing your boyfriend is right there waiting to pick up your shoes and purse, fling you over his shoulder, stuff you in the car and put you to bed? And of course if you are a line-stepper like me, what better way is there to make sure you behave yourself than to have your boyfriend right there watching your every move when you’re out with your rowdy ass friends?
The problem of course with mixing your lover and your friends is when you’re done with that lover but your friends aren’t. Ever had the experience of introducing your man to your friends and the next thing you know he’s more homeboy than you are? And then when you fire him he’s still everywhere you go because your friends love him just as much as they love you. Not a good scene, as I know at least one of my readers will tell you.
Bringing a boy around my boys is the utmost honour I can bestow on a human being. More than succumbing to monogamy, more than introducing him to my family, more than allowing him to sleep over at my house, nothing says you are the real deal than permitting Mr. Max to meet my crazy crew. And so far there’s not a man on earth that has warranted such an honour.
But what do you guys think? Do you believe in mixing your SO with your friends? Have you had this blow up in your face before? Share with me in the comments.
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