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Protecting your relationships from your friends' judgement

Even in the closest friendships, your relationship secrets need boundaries
Even in the closest friendships, your relationship secrets need boundaries

Bringing a new person into your circle is a big deal. When you have good people in your life, it's expected that they be protective over you. Even when you're unaware, your significant other is being vetted by your friends and family. Women, being the more communicative sex, often engage in descriptive pow-wows about their men. There is an unspoken freedom that exists among women and their friends where they feel comfortable discussing relationships and at times seeking advice. Sometimes another perspective can impart some wisdom on a situation that may not be as obvious while you're in it. However, there is a downside to sharing insider information about your relationship. Our friends can be curt and very unforgiving. It's easier to latch on to a person's mistake and decide that that's what defines them versus seeing things as a snapshot.

The manner in which men and women converse with their friends about relationships and their significant others are polar opposite. But for both genders, there are several secrets about your relationship that you should never share.

Money problems: It's more acceptable for women to fall on hard times, but a man? Nope. Guys are sensitive about finances and money. Even though you may be okay with dating on a budget or loaning him money every now and then, your friends won't think that's kosher. Nothing will make your friends side-eye your boyfriend harder than them knowing that he can't financially provide for you.

Bedroom issues: Men don't typically brag about their current girlfriend's prowess in bed. It's a matter of respect, which love is based upon for men anyway. Women are the opposite. The more you talk about how great sex is with your boyfriend, the more envious and curious your friends will become about him. On the flip side, if you're unsatisfied and sexually unfulfilled, you'll make your boyfriend the laughing stock every time he walks into a room.

Putting him on a pedestal: When things are going well, you always think your boyfriend is the best thing since HBO-Go. But then he forgets the spot where you had your first date or gets drunks and embarrasses you at a party. No matter what your friends tell you, when you have a really great guy and fawn over his greatness "too much", they are secretly waiting for him to mess up. You may even have a frenemy who views your boyfriend as being too good for you. The irony of that! When it comes to highlighting your boyfriend's failures, your home girls can be just as bad as the men camped out in your friend zone.

That one big fight: Couples fight. Things can get ugly. Many times I've gone to bed angry and I'm sure my partner has too. The natural course of action when you're not speaking to your significant other is to go vent to your friends. The problem with that is your friends only care about you and your feelings. Depending on the maturity level, your friends may not even call you out on your wrongness in the fight. In order to protect your significant other's image, discussing fights and faults should never be a a constant among your friends.

That reappearing ex: There are some instances where there's an ex we can't get rid of. Sometimes, it's because you resolved to be friends after an amicable breakup. Other times, you can't avoid dealing with an ex because you share a child/children together. Whatever the case, when you bring up exes to your friends, it may cast a cloud of doubt on your current relationship. It may reveal that you're not over that ex and old relationship. But if it's your boyfriend's ex who won't go away, your friends may plant seeds of insecurity that normally aren't there. Exes are off-limits and that's a topic that should never be debatable.

Friendships are sacred. They're built on trust and transparency. When you have friends who know the intricacies of you, they're able to see past the surface. Your friends want to see you happy in your relationship. And of course you want to share that happiness. But we forget that even if the bad times are infrequent, that's what friends might be stock in. You shouldn't have to be in defense mode about your relationship. The time will come where your relationship will have to supersede your friendships. If your friends are supportive of your new relationship, that shift won't be a big deal. Discussing your relationship with outsiders is playing Russian roulette. The thing is you have sole control over shaping the impression from outsiders whose opinions you value.

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