Long before our tongues learnt to enunciate the word ‘feminist’ the women before us had found ways of cementing their friendships with oaths and trickles of blood.
As children, we locked hands and promised to be true to each other no matter what. We did break most of these promises and suddenly learned of the term frenemy coined for friends who were considered double-faced. We had not anticipated the kind of situations life would throw our way and as we would later realise, in some circumstances disappointing a friend may be the only sane option left.
With such experiences to draw lessons from, it is ironical that as dating adults we still want to subject our friends to more ridiculous measures of friendship.
There is this silly phrase ‘bro before hoes’ peddled by men that is supposed to affirm their loyalty to each other. It is a pact that is meant to remind men that their friendship with each other comes before amorous unions with girlfriends and wives.
While we may not have a similar phase to affirm our solidarity, women too demand such loyalty from their girlfriends. The notion is based on the assumption that romantic relationships do not last and the front seats in our lives should always be preserved for our friends who have been there long before we fell in love. Their major role in our lives during relationships is to help us pick the pieces when a relationship ends. They are wary of any positive strides in our relationships and will always receive good news with questions like, "Are you sure you want to take this to the next step?”
As children we always saw the other gender as some enemy and we did our best to stay away from them. We sulked when teachers made us sit next to boys because boys were bad and we just wanted to stay with our female counterparts. Boys treated us with equal disdain and would coin several banters that were aimed to belittle us.
Having grown up however, we realise that the other gender is part of the jigsaw that is supposed to complete us. We are like pestle and motor and we need the other half to thrive.
Mother nature in her wisdom limited asexual reproduction in plants and decided that animals like us we had to mix with the opposite gender, and even threw in some fun to encourage its agenda of procreation. We therefore belong with the person we are in a relationship with and not besties as we call them.
It is laughable that we expect our friends to prioritise us before their significant partners and will not fail to remind them of the numerous times we stood by them when previous relationships failed. It is as if we are always waiting for relationships to end so that we can continue being needed. How does a friend put you before a partner they plan to spend the rest of their lives with? Partners in a relationship share a far deeper connection, that it's absurd we would expect our friends to put their lovers aside for the platonic friendship that we share.
After marriage a man and a woman will leave their respective families and start one of their own. Never do we see parents and siblings jostling for relevance in their children/siblings lives yet we that call ourselves friends want to be saved a spot right in the middle of the marital bed.
Hard as it may be to accept, we need to learn that love shifts with time. The moment a woman gives birth, her children become her priority and even though she still loves her family and friends, the child takes the priority.
Friends should therefore not feel shortchanged when attention dwindles. We must stop cursing our friends when they cannot show up at every party or join us for a football match. Guilt tripping friends simply because they can no longer spend time with you will only widen the rift between you two.
Perhaps the only lasting pact we should have is that of our friends promising never to drool over our partners. That no matter what, they will never make our partners secret lovers unless we are dead and buried and they have only stepped in to take care of the children we left behind. Thinking that your friends will place you above their partners is a pure delusion!