Deutlich posted another debate on 20SB, and I find myself in desperate need to defray the neurotic pressures of the end of school. So here's the question.
Do you pose questions to your boyfriend or girlfriend's friends to figure out what to do within your relationship? Do you think it's all right to do so?
To Ask or Not?
That is the question.
Well, personally, I don't do that, but that's more a matter of my own flawed personality than anything. It seems I'd rather crash and burn spectacularly than ask for help in most things. It's irritating, and I'm working hard to improve in that respect. But that's neither here nor there, because we're arguing what I think, not what I do.
As with most topics, I fall somewhat in the middle. I think that third party perspective is one of the most powerful tools you can have, if used properly. It's a lot like a light post, use it like a traveler, for illumination. Do not use it like a drunk, for support. When you talk to a mutual friend about the relationship, don't try to get them to take your side, try to get some perspective on the situation. If you're looking for support, or somewhere to vent, get a blog, because real life is more difficult to keep under wraps. Get a blog anyways, it's fun.
The side of this debate that I have a lot more experience with is playing the part of the man in the middle. One relationship in particular, I'm very good friends with both sides, and as such, I think I know more about the relationship than either of the people in it. I like to think that I've helped their relationship survive. The key thing to remember when you get to play Henry Kissinger, is that you're being trusted with sensitive information. You need to be careful with what you say, and you will wind up keeping secrets. If you just push everything through, you will wind up alienating one, or both, of your friends. That's never fun. If you can't handle that, you need to let them know, so you can dodge that particular topic.
In a perfect world, such subterfuge wouldn't be needed. But this is far from a perfect world, and it has imperfect people in it. People present a different face to different people, so talking to another person can give you a new perspective on the relationship. Just be smart about what you do, and try to avoid putting your friends in compromising positions.