Sometime last week, a friend told me the story of a woman, Aaliyah, who had a male bestie, Bolaji, with whom she had been friends with from childhood. They had attended both Primary and Secondary school together.
There was a time that even their parents had thought they were going to get married, only for both of them to date different people, meeting just to talk about these partners of theirs.
Even their respective partners sometimes felt insecure, but their protestations of “She’s just like a sister to me” and “He’s just like a brother to me” oftentimes calmed their frayed nerves.
One young man that didn’t let Aaliyah’s and Bolaji’s closeness stop him was Dele, and he ended up getting married to her, Aaliyah. He was so different from Bolaji, his love for her was beyond brotherly. It was the real deal. Aaliyah realised that she loved him more than anything else, and nine months after dating, they got married in an elaborate wedding. But Bolaji was front, right and center in the wedding planning.
Of course, he was part of the wedding party. While Aaliyah’s sister was her maid of honour, Bolaji was the one doing the real business on her wedding day.
Wedding over, the new couple went on honey moon for a month and stayed off social media for the same length of time. On their return, they were met by a whole army of people, who had missed them like crazy, Bolaji inclusive. He went in straight for a hug, that didn’t sit well with the new groom, and he made it known jokingly that Bolaji couldn’t be hugging his wife anyhow now. Everyone laughed it off, but that was the beginning of the insecurity brought on by his wife having a male best friend.
Aaliyah’s husband began to mark his territory, where his wife was concerned. It was so obvious, that friends and family close to them told Bolaji to stay off the new couple. Aaliyah noticed the widening gap between them, and when she mentioned this to her husband, he said it was a good thing.
She was surprised by his admission, and asked him if he felt threatened by Bolaji. His answer was even more shocking.
“As a matter of fact, I do. How can he be expecting to continue being your best friend? What am I then to you? You are married now, and things have changed. Let him go and find another bestie, or better still, a girlfriend.” he’d said.
After several weeks of thinking about this stance of her husband’s, she shared the situation with her mother, who sided with her husband. Aaliyah was like, “You too, mom? But you have known Bolaji since forever and know that there has never been anything romantic between us. We are just friends. He is my only friend.”
“In that case, make new friends. You’re now a married woman! There must be someone else you can be friends with out there, asides from a man.” her mother retorted.
With this gang-up, friends, who used to see each other at least once a week, now turned strangers, bumping into each other at family parties, barely having time to catch up before having to go their separate ways.
Not until Bolaji got married seven years later, did their friends and family let up on keeping an eagle eye on their friendship. With Bolaji married, everyone breathed a sigh of relief; Dele could now relax as Bolaji’s wife was bound to hold his attention and keep him away from Aaliyah.
To say I was surprised by the level of shenanigans Aaliyah’s family was willing to go to break up an innocent friendship is an understatement. If this were to be the other way round, with Dele being the one with a cute childhood friend, there certainly wouldn’t have been this much pressure to cut off the relationship…especially in our clime. The wife would have been expected to be understanding, and ensure her husband didn’t stray with his childhood friend.
In another clime, we see the likes of reality TV star, Kim Kardashian with her 43 year old male bestie, Jonathan Chebam. They go out together, have fun, and do all the usual bestie stuff. The same way he had been an active part of her life as a single gal, is the same way he has been a part of her life as a married wife with two children. The clouds have not yet fallen oh!
We haven’t heard Kanye West complaining about the amount of time his wife spends with Jonathan, and he might never complain.
What you can do
Stay optimistic. Some might argue that a lady should cut off her friendship with her male bestie, just because her partner doesn’t like it, but I beg to differ. I prefer that the partner accepts that fact, and is content in the fact that she chose him, and not her friend, to be romantically linked with.
While doing that, try to cultivate a friendship with him, your lady’s bestie. That way, you show that you do not consider him competition or an obstacle in your relationship, as he is only her platonic friend.
Talk to the guy, find common interests, and try your best to really get to know him. It will help your relationship a lot by being friends with him, because your lady will see how much you care about the people in her life, and that will score you points with her.
The downside to meeting and cultivating friendship is that, if it does not go well, you two may possibly become enemies.
Have confidence in yourself. Again, do not act like you are jealous of her male friend. Be secure with yourself and realize that you are the person she chose to be in a romantic relationship, not her friend.
Let that sink in. She chose you…and not him.