Thursday, May 03, 2012

Ask a Bougie Chick - Out of the Friend Zone, now what?


Today, we have a letter from Rae. She and E decided to move out of the Friend Zone and take the relationship to the "next level" but now she's seeing a few changes she's not sure what to do with. Take a look -
Hey Chele,
I have a question for you. I'm writing cause I'd love to get your feedback & the feedback from the BnB'ers on a situation in my life right now. So I've had this friend, E, since 2005. For years we were just e-friends, we would email, IM, text, etc but we were on opposite coasts so we hadn't met in person. Over the years we developed a very close friendship & we told each other a lot. We finally met in person & there was a lot of chemistry...so much that we decided to be in a relationship, with the goal of us being the same city within the next year.  
I absolutely adore him, I love him & I love our relationship. There's just one problem - something has shifted in our relationship since we went from being just friends to being bf/gf. His interaction with me isn't the same as it was when we were just friends - he seems to be more territorial about me. Is this what happens when you go from friends to romantic relationship? Can you date a friend & have nothing change about the interaction? Was it wrong for me to expect that nothing would change?
Thanks a bunch! Rae
Hmm. To answer your questions in order - Yes, No, and Yes. :-) Since you two already had a solid foundation, once the clothes came off or the love was declared, that's all in. Once you go all in, the game gets serious. A man is entitled to be a little insecure in the beginning. Before when you didn't return his phone call for a day because you were out with your friends? Cool. Now - where you at, mami? The fact that you don't live in the same city just intensifies that insecurity. He's all in, he wants to make sure you are too. But I'll turn it over to BougieLand.

Good people, what can you expect to change when you move out of the Friend Zone and into LoveLand? How much leeway do you give in the beginning of a relationship for a bit of insecurity/jealousy/territoriality? What can you do to make it better from a distance? Thoughts, comments, insights for Rae? Do share...

28 comments:

thinklikeRiley said...

If I gives a damn, once we nekky - I'm invested. And I don't know about you, but I likes to keep an eye on my investments.

Riley out.

Deb B said...

I'm curious - what did she expect? That they would go from friends to romance and everything would stay the same?  If that's what she wanted they should have stayed friends. I don't mind a little bit of claim-staking but when it cross into suspicion and possessiveness, I'm done. The only thing you can do move past those early jitters (especially long distance) if s just to continue being open and honest while confirming your commitment to the relationship.

taut_7 said...

i agree with riley. if dude acted like she was still just his friend i bet she would feel some type of way about that too. i'd be invested too if i really cared. my intensity would increase. comes with the territory. 

MsJamie14 said...

Yeah, I'm confused as well. Isn't the point of a relationship to determine if this is the person you'll spend your life with, exchange deep vows with, have children with and essentially take a bullet for? (<-- a past BL discussion, LOL) It shouldn't be the same as dealing with your homie.

Girl, get right or get left! LOL

Mr. Skyywalker said...

He cares. Be glad of it. Next question?

Lady Ngo said...

What kind of nonsensical nonsense is this? How can you legit expect to start a romantic relationship and not expect dude to stake his claim? I agree with taut_7, if he kept playing like they were just friends I bet she'd be mad at that too. Homegirl is just all kinds of confused!

Jasmin said...

The other comments are on point. She neglected to mention the extent of his possessiveness, but unless she suspects he's abusive, it sounds pretty normal to me.

As for long distance, my relationship started pretty much the same way Rae's did (except we weren't "just friends" for very long), and we were long distance for the entire first year. Open communication, trust, and a strong commitment are key. Planning to just see where it goes while LD isn't the best idea.

CaliGirlED said...

Rae, in 5 years of being friends, what did he display in the relationships he had with others? And what did you display in yours? He was probably this way with others and now that you see it up close and personal, it's like whoa. And perhaps what you displayed is making him concerned now that he is in a relationship with you.

Anyway, yes you should have expected a change because the dynamics of the relationship changed. However, the change shouldn't be too different than who you both were prior to, it's just more personal because you're now involved.

As with other letters in the past, there is WAY too much left out. So it's really hard to say if he's being unreasonable or if he is justified in his concern. Best of luck to you both, hopefully you can find a good middle ground and be happy!

blackprofessor said...

Rae, some of the best relationships start off as friends who decide to take things to the next level.   You have the friendship aspect down but now you need to work through the romance kinks.  I wouldn't trip on him staking his claim as that is what men do when they really want you.

I would worry if his behavior started to feel possessive, suspicious and/or controlling.  Those are serious red flags that you should pay attention to and not ignore. 

BlackLizLemon said...

Game. Blouses. 

TrulyPC said...

Rae-  

I think you are wanting the relationship to feel as comfortable as the friendship and there is nothing wrong with that.   Long distance love requires more effort to replace the physical absence.  When the heart becomes involved the stakes are higher for most people and when we become vulnerable and exposed we can be a little wired.  Give it a little time but if "all in" evolves into possessive and overbearing then it's time to reevaluate.

GrownAzzMan said...

Chele nailed it. Once you move out of the friend zone expectations and accountability are heightened. Oh, and you can't go back...

GrownAzzMan said...

Love that phrase... I use it often.

GrownAzzMan said...

Great point Cali. Sometimes we over-share with our friends. Things she told him in the past may be coming back to bite her now. I have female friends that I could never get with cause they already know too much...IJS

SingLikeSassy said...

I need more specifics about the changes cause without that, this letter seems....silly.

Lady4Real said...

Is this what happens when you go from friends to romantic relationship? Can you date a friend & have nothing change about the interaction? Was it wrong for me to expect that nothing would change?

Rae- Like Chele said, yes. no. yes.

My husband and I have known each other since 3rd grade, we dated for 3 1/2 years and then remained close friends after we broke up. We spent 9 years as friends, our friendship relationship was different from our dating relationship and then we became a couple again 2 1/2 years ago. Our dating relationship was and is totally different from our dating relationship.

When you are friends, that is exactly what you are; FRIENDS. There is nothing to claim in a friendship, no jealousies to worry about, no insecurities to worry about. Friends call when they have the time, remeber birthday's, aren't required to make purchases on holidays and can be kept at a distance. A significant other is just that; SIGNIFICANT. They become a priority, you call and speak everyday, you give gifts on birthdays and holidays, you invest in each other: time, emotional support, money, etc. In a dating relationship the curtains are pulled open and you get to see your once friend for who they really are.

I went through a serious culture shock when my hubby and I went from friends to lovers. He treats his lady totally different then he treats his homegirl. When a relationship gets more serious things always change. When you go from friends to lovers, Lovers to spouses, Spouses to parents there will be changes.

Monica said...

Good points have already been made, so I'll just say that you can't have it both ways, Rae. Some territoriality comes with being in a relationship. I feel like we need more info. What exactly is he doing that is unsettling? Calling at all hours? Sending angry texts when you don't respond immediately? Or are you simply going through a period of adjustment?

Yep. Definitely need more info.

 

M Dot said...

y'all want some pancakes? LOL

SouthernWes said...

My wife and I started out as "just friends" for about a year before we decided we were wasting a real opportunity. And yes, things shifter. You look for more meaning in words and deeds and once there is a commitment in place, you look to solidify that. So if you're really into him, just dig in for the long haul and over look minor inconveniences.

OneChele said...

I really should just let Riley answer these and be done with it...

CaliGirlED said...

 YES!!!

ishtar_79 said...

Oh...I was really waiting for that part of the AABC letter where he started ignoring some of your calls and acting like a douche.

J DoubleU said...

I'm currently in the same situation, as I was friends w/ a woman for a long time, we didn't live in the same place and now that we do and are in relationship, things (#reallymeans I) have changed. So I can understand where this young lady is coming from. My advice from experience is to just be patient w/ him. It's natural to be territorial, BUT there's a big difference between that and being possessive or over-bearing. It's up to you to know when he crosses that line.

The other thing is long distance relationships must have to plan to close that distance. You said you plan to move in a year, but how realistic is that "goal"? If neither 1 of yall are actively planning to move, then you're basically still just friends who had sex.

OneChele said...

Kinda like this answer

GuessImJay said...

 Ever.

Chriscogmta said...

Things always change, even in friendships, especially when you move in the "LoveLand" from a friend zone.  its tough b/c where when we were friends i could clown you and spit and scratch in front of you.  Now that you are my boo-thang, that's not as acceptable. 

And I wouldn't say he was being territorial, he is just showing that you matter differently.  if it bothers you, it should definitely be discussed.   Hit him with the E. Badu line "if you don't worry bout where, I been or who I saw, what club i went with my homies, baby don't worry, you know that you got me"  and if you sang it right he'll be on the next flight!!!

GuessImJay said...

 cosign. +1. vehement agreement.

CaliGirlED said...

"If neither 1 of yall are actively planning to move, then you're basically still just friends who had sex."...Well alrighty then!

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