Show & Tell - The Value of the Great Reveal

“He’s not one for crowds and stuff like that, you know, all the pressure,” said my friend. She has mentioned her mystery man at the oddest times. Maybe she is attempting to reassure herself that she is truly happy by affirming it out loud. In fact there has not been a happy couple photo or public outing of importance to date. The general consensus is our friend is sexually satisfied. Somehow this has translated into a euphoric peace about all things in her life.

Now enters the reoccurring critical mistake, the “circle of friends” and family has never met her new man. He is another faceless name with vague references, who takes up way too much of her time and energy. The end result is always the same. There is no reciprocation on his part and the relationship fizzles-out sans the fanfare.

The practice of allowing important family and trusted friends to meet your major steady or potential mate is critical. However, ladies who take this to the extreme run into issues. They introduce their dates or bed partners to children and others who then become accustomed to a parade of forgettable characters. The men I am referring to hereafter, are the ones you have deemed worthy of not only claiming, but to proclaim.

Recognize that a good test drive, viewing, or analysis is a must before most major purchases and investments. For those who argue that your family and friends are not in your relationship, your argument is duly noted. But, if you are a person who enjoys a good amount of quality time with your trusted group, problems will ensue.

Should adults allow parents or friends to live out their dreams or worse, impart their fears on our relationships? No, but acknowledge that the people who know you best, will recognize that which complements you, as well as what does not belong. Your past relationship behavior, tells a great deal about your current situation. The group has been there each step of the way, hopefully, providing solid support.

If you are dating or dealing with someone who you are too ashamed to bring around your group, ask yourself why. If any of the answers hinge on what your loved ones deem is good for you, ask yourself if you are selling your own self short. If your guy refuses to meet people, think about whether or not you are willing to accept an “undercover” relationship and the drama or emotional toll it entails.

It is not easy to see the fatal flaws in a love interest. It is akin to a doting mother seeing her son as a fallible man instead of a saint. Sure, it happens, but the examples are rare. The delicate balance of a barbecue or birthday get-together, rides on the co-existence of family, friends, and your significant other.

Child-rearing, house-hunting, job loss, career moves, etc., affect any close-knit unit. Nonetheless, there is always a reason to celebrate. Do you want to put yourself in the position of isolation from loved ones? Do you relish the duty of breaking up tension and disagreements? The time you will spend diffusing difficult situations could have been used for laughing, building relationships and enjoying company.

On a recent episode of Basketball Wives, one of the characters invited her “made for TV girlfriends” to meet her professional ballplayer boyfriend. It was an important step. In the beginning the women asked highly inappropriate questions and made it clear that they were evaluating her beau. They wanted to observe interaction and give their “blessing” for the relationship. Later, they berated an unwelcome ex-member of the group. The afternoon ended with a walk-out and the friends splitting into two camps.

Clearly a vetting process of family and friends is necessary whether or not you have a love interest or not. If you have not already, you need to decide who has your best interest at in mind and who does not. Too often we give multiple chances to people who consistently show us they have no regard for our feelings or well-being. Sometimes the culprits are family members. No matter the title, if they cause more pain than wellness, do not introduce them to your new friend and limit your interaction.

Tragedies, miscommunication, and others mishaps will occur in life. The better everyone is able to “get along” and successfully communicate, the better the reaction time and help in a bad situation. I learned the hard way that the delicate balance of relationships is better when your man and your “crew” comfortably interact with each other. It is NOT enough just to be in the same room. This may be a sign of weariness, unease, secrets, and perhaps serious issues.

Appreciate both your love interest as well as your support team. I am not implying that your man needs to be best friends with or uncomfortably too close to your family and friends. However, he does need to posses the ability to sincerely make the most of the time through solid interaction. It is up to you as the link between the two worlds to foster the growth of that association. Your relationship health will be strong if your “community of trust”, stands with you in agreement.

Keisha McLean has always had a passion for words and writing. Her love for God, community, music and youth can be attributed to the women in her upbringing. She enjoys singing and listening to a broad variety of music. Keisha admits she spends a bit too much time on social media networks and blogging. However, she stays grounded by facilitating life skills workshops for teenagers. You can find Keisha on Twitter as @KJayTruth or on her blog

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