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You Can’t Inherit A Man

My dear wonderful Jil, you can’t inherit a man. That you’re friends with someone doesn’t automatically mean he must marry you. It’s still his choice who he chooses to date.

You can’t edit a relationship on your own, change the terms of the relationship and assume the other person must come along and take on your new definition. That’s presumptuous. You were friends with this gentleman. To all intents and purposes he kept to the terms of the friendship. You went out together as friends do. You never dated. You were just his friend. What changed? You never showed you were interested in a relationship. With the benefit of hindsight now, of course you were dropping hints here and there. The timeline of the relationship is littered with hints. But you also gave contra indication you weren’t really interested in a relationship, that you were just platonic friends. Turns out you were pretending and it was all a strategy. Unfortunately he genuinely respected your wishes. Why then blame him when he married someone else? How can you turn around and say he used you, and should have known you wanted to marry him? And why would you assume platonic friendship must end in marriage?
If you’re going to be honest with yourself at some point you began to manipulate the relationship towards a certain goal – marriage. But you kept on giving the impression your actions were totally platonic. Sort of counterintelligence strategy. But HE approached the relationship with sincerity and honesty, looked on you as a true friend. It’s why he kept confiding in you. But you read that as your strategy working. You know I’m normally hard on guys who string girls along, use them and dump them, but I find no such scenario in this instance. You assumed you owned him, that there was no competitor possible. How can you turn around after years of what seemed genuine friendship – during which period you even dated another guy… How can you assume the reward for your friendship with this gentleman has to be marriage? When things changed for you why didn’t you have a sit down with him to let him know, like a friend. I mean, what can’t you discuss with him! You should have let him know you’ve developed a different kind of feeling for him. Such discussions often sway men. But if you never said anything, never asked him where your “relationship” is headed, never bothered to find out about HIS feelings but began to assume you owned him because of propinquity, is it then right for us to blame him? Propinquity is nearness, kinship, proximity, closeness. You took full advantage of it, derived emotional nutrient from it and then took things to the next level without his input. He never knew you had such feelings for him. Everything looked the same. Accuse him of naivety, cluelessness, whatever… But you can’t accuse him of deceit or manipulation. You were the one manipulating things. Not sure you even admitted your emotions to yourself.
There’s that saying men are gullible and women easily manipulate men. Perhaps. But something gets lost somewhere once insincerity and manipulation creep into a relationship. I can imagine him wondering about your behaviour now. Your friends are of course condemning the guy; your mum is full of righteous indignation, adding kerosene to the fire. Everyone is making the guy look evil when he’s not. Your expectation and their assumptions were just disappointed. You have to be honest about the whole thing. At least to yourself. This gentleman NEVER misled you. He has too much character for that. He saw you as a very valued friend, treated you like one, cared for you like one. And now you turn around and say we must assume that all those things he did must necessarily signify intention to marry you? How so? YOU started playing him, reinterpreting basic facts. I wish you had told him about your feelings. Sometimes it’s best to share these things as he might not be where you are. You just assumed you have him. Every innocuous act was interpreted in that light. And so when he kissed you on the cheek you “felt” he lingered for a few seconds and passed on a message; that he didn’t want to kiss you on the lips because he was reserving that; and people were around. You generated an amplified version of every act.
You can’t inherit a man. The reward for friendship is not necessarily marriage. There are platonic friendships between boys and girls. Besides, many other considerations come into play when marriage is on the table. For example, when there is no marriage consideration looks might not matter. The moment marriage is on the table it becomes a legitimate subject for consideration. The question of attraction and beauty arises. When marriage is not in view certain character traits might be stomached. The moment marriage comes up character comes under closer scrutiny. Can I live with this person becomes a proper subject. And there are so many other subjects. He might be able to stomach your stubbornness as a friend but may not be able to handle it in marriage. In which case he will rule out the idea of marriage. There are other subjects like moodiness, poor hygiene, selfishness, emotional stinginess, self-centeredness… Friendship can absorb all those negative things but marriage may not be able to. You can’t say if he truly loves you he should be able to tolerate your excesses. That’s a funky argument. That’s license you’re asking for. If you love him too why do you do such things? In other words you feel you should be able to do anything you like irrespective of his feelings. Which means you know what you’re doing is wrong. If you’re emotionally vicious and uncaring, or if you’re emotionally stingy a friend may be able to accommodate all that… But as a spouse he may not be able to. And for that he may rule you out of consideration for marriage. And so there’s no contradiction whatsoever in his accepting your excesses as a friend but refusing to accept same as a potential spouse. That you get away with something among friends doesn’t mean you’ll get away with it in marriage. That your friends can tolerate a certain trait doesn’t mean it won’t be a matrimonial disqualifier to a potential spouse.
I repeat that you can’t inherit a man matrimonially just because you’re friends. Any more than a loyal and dedicated secretary can inherit her single boss just because she works closely with him and understands him. Marrying someone is not a right. The reward for that secretary’s hard work and dedication is promotion and salary increase not matrimonial inheritance of her boss. Matrimony is another subject entirely. The parameters are different. This of course raises questions about your motive for all those things you did for this gentleman. When he was going through those trials were you there as a friend or were you doing it with a view? See what I mean? You can’t cling to your claim and not lose moral ground. He was responding to you innocently believing you were a genuine friend, only to discover years later he was being set up for marriage. It was his belief he was talking to a friend and a sister that made him inform you when he met this lady. You used to discuss such things. You discussed YOUR boyfriends!
You should learn from this, as should any young lady: Don’t assume you own a man. You can’t own anyone. They just surrender themselves. That’s lesson No. 1.
Lesson No. 2: Discuss things when feelings change in a platonic relationship. Some things are best confronted head on. If you’re genuine friends the relationship will continue. May seem embarrassing if he’s not exactly thinking the same thing, but he’ll appreciate you more; and you save yourself bitterness and heartache. This guy was so innocent concerning your feelings he even involved you in his wedding plans. He never knew! Your subterfuge was so effective it never occurred to him to propose to you.
And so we have Lesson No. 3: Don’t pretend you don’t want a relationship when you really want one. You may just be a very good actor and convince the other party. Ladies of course view these things differently, and I get that. But that doesn’t change the facts. What differs is interpretation of facts, not the facts.
Which leads us to Lesson No. 4: Don’t be manipulative. You erode trust in a relationship. This is hard for some girls to understand but the way men view these things is quite different. To you the end justifies the means, but to men the means justify the end – the end of the relationship. I keep telling you the most beautiful relationships are built on sincerity and honesty. They build a trust quotient, make someone attractive and easy to date. No convolutions. It means a lot in a relationship to be able to trust someone, and I’m not just talking about cheating or no cheating. I’m talking about emotional vulnerability without which relationships can’t bond at a certain level. But if you think you’re smart you’re not going to reap the benefit of a sincere and honest relationship. The irony is, that’s what you really want.
I’m afraid this train has passed however. He’s married now. I don’t think your response should be nastiness to his wife. I think you should engage him critically and talk things through, like old friends. Will take some time to talk through but at least you’ll get to hear his views. This is very important.
However, if you can’t handle it leave it, until you’re able to. Let some time pass. Then engage. That is if you’ve not moved on. But life calls for maturity. Be mature. Only don’t make the same mistake in your next relationship. Don’t assume that because you’re of a certain age and you’re friendly with a guy he must necessarily know the only basis of that friendship is marriage. Not every relationship will lead to marriage. Not every relationship can lead to marriage.
Marriage or no marriage drop those bad traits. Who knows, they might have prevented your friend from taking the relationship to the next level. That you keep getting away with something doesn’t make it right.
We’ll talk later, ok?
Your mentor, LA
© Leke Alder |
The reward for friendship is not necessarily marriage. There are platonic friendships between boys and girls. Click To Tweet
Don’t assume you own a man. You can’t own anyone. They just surrender themselves. Click To Tweet
Don’t pretend you don’t want a relationship when you really want one. Click To Tweet
Tags : Character, Friendship, marrying my friend

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