Saturday, February 26, 2011

Relationship or friends first ?

It has been a while since Maya, a university undergraduate, started a relationship with Thameera one of her batchmates. Her friends witnessed a big difference in the way she associated with them. Now, she hardly sits with them during lunchbreak, or at the lectures. Even the usual walk home with them has become a walk with her newfound boyfriend.

She rarely finds the time to talk to her friends because throughout the day, she is with Thameera. However, on the other hand, Thameera, after dropping Maya at her house, goes out with his friends and stays until late with them. Nothing has changed in the way he associates with his friends.

Sounds familiar to you? Is this the story revolving around young couples in the country? “This is 100 percent right. I went through this. Once he was my world. I could not think of a day without him. However, when we broke up, I had no one around. My friends had left me and gone for good because I neglected them for the sake of my love. I did not have anyone to share my sorrow,” said Chathurani, a 28-year-old graduate.
“It was too late when I realised it,” she whispered.

A 26-year-old software engineer, Aravinda has a completely different view about this matter. According to him, this is not true. “The girl never knows the difference between love and vanity. Loving a person does not mean leaving friends at all. Friends too need to be around. It is about mutual respect and gratitude. The moment either one forgets it, that’s it, then you are back with your friends,” he said. Bhanuka, a 24-year-old engineer, also supports this side of the argument. He holds on to his view with one of his own life experiences.
“What really happens here is that we spend less time, than the usual with friends. I see this as something normal, since you have added responsibilities now than before. However, this does not mean that any party leaving their friends in the name of the partner. Neither my girl nor I have left our friends to keep up with the affair.” 

According to Angel, a 30-year-old doctor, this happens quite often when the girl has had a protected upbringing, or has a shy personality. When she has not had the opportunity to build mature relationships with her peers (both male and female) then the attention and the security of a romantic relationship means that her boyfriend becomes the world to her. 
“While a breakup may be devastating to both parties, it is the shy introvert (and even boys may fit this description) who suffer the most from the lack of security and support, strong friendships give,” she said.

Damitha, a 20-year-old college student had experienced an incident similar to what we are discussing today, through one of his closest friends. “This goes both ways, my best friend started hanging out more with his girlfriend than us, when she joined our college. She was always with him and vice versa. I noticed that she was not with many people when he was not around her. The same thing happened to him when she was not around, but at least he had me to hangout with,” he said.

This type of incidents depends on the ‘type’ of the relationship between the girl and the boy. Whether both of them love each other, it is a one sided love or whether this relationship is there for a different purpose. According to a 34-year-old, Quality Assurance Officer, Dulip, it is natural for a person to become distant, intentionally or unintentionally, from his/her friends when he/she entangles in a romantic relationship.
For example, some boys do not like when their girlfriends have boys as friends. Then she has no option, except keeping them away from her life. However, if a person has no friends at all, then the relationship is not the one to be blamed. It is something to do with their personality. Finally, every person has a right to have friends.

Men and women are social animals. Leaving friends for the sake of a relationship is not appropriate. With proper understanding between the couple, having a balanced life between a lover and friends would not be a difficult task.