I've discussed it on this blog before, I struggle with finding a balance within the relationships in my life.
Some of my loved ones/relatives are single, others are in relationships. One of the things that happens in a new(er) relationship is that your loved one introduces you to their new love interest. It seems to be a way of measuring the seriousness of the relationship. And often there is this expectation of welcoming the new significant other into the fold. All this makes sense. If you love the original person, you (theoretically) want them to be happy, and to be in a good and healthy relationship.
Over the past year, I've been working (diligently) on backing off and not getting involved in other people's relationships. I wasn't terribly involved before, but sometimes I did take other people's relationships seriously. I also got involved, sometimes emotionally involved (where my emotional state was tied to what another person was doing). Sometimes I even thought *I* knew what was right for someone else's relationship.
I'm working on that arrogance - and staying out of it.
So, staying out of it has both positives and negatives. For me, the negative is that I refuse to "approve" of someone's new love interest.
I want to be open and accepting. I want people to feel welcome in my home, with my family.
But when a relationship ends, I refuse to cut off contact with someone whom I've been friends with. Drifting apart is fine. But I ask that someone not ask me to give up a friendship.
I have had friends who have made these demands, and it's not acceptable to me. I know that they may be hurt or hurting after the relationship ends. There are exceptions (of course). But it doesn't seem fair to make that demand - because you have broken up with someone you were in a serious relationship with, doesn't mean that I have to end my friendship with them in order to show my loyalty to you. I also don't have to continue to invest in the friendship either, but that's my choice.
I think most all of my friends/loved ones already know this about me. I would hope they do at least. If my husband and I ever ended things, for example, if my sister(s) continued to touch base with him - it might sting. But they've known my husband for over ten years. That's not exactly fair for me to try to control their behavior. And children are involved as well, which makes things even more complicated.
For me, I just feel guarded. I will give people a chance, I'm not going to deliberately dislike someone. Or attempt to sabotage someone else's relationship. As I've said before, I have no idea what goes on behind closed doors. And, I still firmly believe it takes two people to have a problem. It's not that I don't love people, or want to be happy for them. I do honestly.
I just need to put up some boundaries to make sure that I'm safe no matter what happens.