A platonic relationship requires one thing – no hanky panky or the desire for said hanky panky. Seeing or wanting to see a “friend” naked changes the dynamic of a relationship. Before you know it you’ve gone from friends to lovers (if it’s mutual) or to estranged acquaintances where awkward silences abound due to unrequited love.
The awkwardness is even more challenging when it’s a pair of exes who are trying to be friends. A friendship between exes is almost impossible unless the breakup is mutual. Question is: is there such a thing as a mutual breakup?
In a relationship, one partner is almost always more invested than the other. It goes in phases.
- The Courting Phase: The courting phase occurs within the first three months of a relationship. The man is often the chaser, eagerly waiting for the next kiss, the next date and to dig a little deeper into her soul. She, on the other hand, is playing it cool. Like an alley cat, she purrs her way into his heart, slipping out of his grip when she feels she’s in too deep. Her mystery keeps him interested and keeps her heart protected.
- The Decision Phase: By month three (give or take a month), there is a decision to make. The relationship will either sour or strengthen. If it sours, the man will call less, text less and, sometimes, just disappear. She will feel used, abandoned, relieved or just pissed off.
- The Opening Up Phase: If the relationship progresses, the balance shifts. She has the title of “girlfriend.” She can relax a little. He can stop wining and dining. The phone calls ‘just because’ become less. He doesn’t put on cologne anymore. And forget about receiving flowers out of the blue. She, of course, notices the shift. Women immediately recognize a change in behavior pattern. Concerned, she questions him, wondering if she should have let her guard down. The balance has shifted. She is much more emotionally invested. He is freaked out. What happened to the confident woman he met? He wonders. Why is she stressing me out?!
The Opening Up Phase can occur at any time in the relationship. The level of emotional investment between couples also shifts throughout the years, especially when the relationship is at a crossroads. This is why a mutual breakup is hardly ever mutual.
Someone always wants more. Someone didn’t see it coming. Someone wants to make the relationship work. Someone always gets hurt.
There is nothing mutual about that.