Between Friendship and Relationship

“Who was that young man I saw with you this afternoon?”

“Oh! Dave. He’s just a friend.”

“Just a friend?”

“Yes, Mummy!”

“Hmm, hope you realize that I’ve been watching you and that young man for quite some time now, and what I see between the two of you goes beyond what you’re telling me?”

“Oh, Mummy; don’t start again.  Have you been stalking me or what?”

“Call it whatever you want. You are my daughter so I must take interest in whatever you’re doing.”

“Com’on Mum; I’m a big girl now so I should know how to live my life.”

“What do you know? And who says you’ve grown past my guidance? OK, sit down, baby girl, we need to talk.”

“There you go again Mum, I’m no longer a baby so stop calling me your baby girl.”

“I hear you. Let me change it to ‘my baby lady’ if that will pacify you.”

“I’m your big daughter, Mum. It’s as simple as that.”

“No problem. Let’s go back to the issue of this your Dave. There is something I need to tell you.”

“What’s that? Did you hear something about him?”

“No, I want to tell you the difference between friendship and relationship.”

“But I’m not in a relationship with Dave!”

“Agreed. But I still want to talk to you. Don’t forget that I was once a young lady like you, so there is little you can hide from me.”

“OK, I’m all ears, Mum.”

“Fine. You see, my dear Kate, I’m not saying you shouldn’t go into a relationship; neither am I asking you not to have male friends. But it’s for your own good to know the difference between being a guy’s friend and being in a relationship with him.”

“But I know that already!”

“Then, tell me what you know.”

“Well, I know that you don’t date each other when you’re just friends.”

“Bravo! Is that all you know?”

“What else should I know, Mum?”

“Now you need to listen and learn. First, let me quickly correct you on what you just said. These days, those guys out there don’t know the difference between ‘dating as friends’ and ‘dating as two people in a relationship.’  It doesn’t make any difference to them. They are ready to go to bed with ‘just a friend.’

“Wow!”

“As a lady, it is your responsibility to guide this Dave of yours so that he doesn’t start going beyond the bounday between friendship and relationship. His thoughts may be totally different from yours.”

“But I’ve always been very careful with each of my male friends, Mummy.”

“It doesn’t matter what you have been doing, Kate. One question you must ask yourself is ‘Can I marry Dave if he suddenly proposes to me tomorrow?’

“Hahaha! You make me laugh Mummy. That will be a joke of the year because Dave already has his own girlfriend.”

“Hmmm, guys of these days? Anyway, if you’ve made up your mind to keep it at the level of ordinary friendship, it must be so between the two of you forever. But if he’s someone you may consider having as a husband in future, you have to be extra careful at this stage.”

“But how?”

“By keeping strictly to the rules of friendship, and not mixing it with that of relationship.”

“So what are these rules you seem to be so particular about, Mum?”

“You’ve said one of them, my dear. Thou shall not go to bed with each other because it may work against you later in future.”

“Yes, I know that.”

“You must not discuss things that are too intimate with Dave.”

“Mummy, I can’t connect with you on that. Isn’t friendship about sharing one’s thoughts and inner secrets with one’s friend?”

“Yes, Kate. That works well for little children. As adults of opposite sex, you have to be matured and limit what you share with each other. Though children share anything and everything with each other as friends, adults can only do thesame when they are in a serious relationship.”

“I’m truly learning.”

“You must also draw a clear line that marks the border between the two of you as friends. It is only in serious relationship that there are no hold bars between a guy and a lady.”

“Guess what Mummy? I’m beginning to understand you perfectly. Some of Dave’s friends even think we are dating because we’re so inseparable; yet there is nothing between us.”

“Good. Then think of what could happen if they see you with your own man tomorrow. Imagine what they would tell him about Dave.”

“It’s true. Men can be so jealous.”

“Yes, they are. But it also depends on how a lady carries herself. Every man wants a decent, unblemished lady for a wife.”

“Can I ask you a question, Mummy.”

“Sure.”

“What if Dave suddenly develops an interest in me and he wants … eeem …, eeeem, as in…eem…to go into a serious relationship with me?”

“Haha! Is my daughter making a confession already?”

“Not a confession, Mum. I’m just wondering…”

“Hmm, something tells me you have a spot in your heart for that boy.”

“Mum! You are not answering my question!”

“OK. I’m quite aware that deep relationship often starts as ordinary friendship. In fact, you can’t be in a good relationship with someone without first being friends. That’s why people claim they married their friends. So to answer your question, it all depends on how much you have told him, and how far you have violated the rules of relationship.”

“Well, I don’t tell him much; though he tells me everything about himself.”

“So you already know him inside out.”

“Yes.”

“Alright, with all you already know about Dave – his intimate secrets; his aspirations; his attitudes; his past behaviors and misbehaviors etc – is he the type of man you want for a husband?”

“Ah! That’s a tough question.”

“It’s a kind of reality check for you.”

 “You know what Mum; Dave is a good guy but I don’t think I can marry him.”

“May I know why?”

“Nothing much, but I don’t think we can…”

“Kaaate!”

“Mummy, I can’t marry him… I’m scared!”

“You said that before. But I want to know exactly why you can’t.”

“I can’t tell you, Mum. I just know that I can’t marry him.”

“OK, I won’t push you too much. I only hope you understand everything I’ve said.”

“Yes Mum. I appreciate. I now understand more than you’ve even said.”

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