Valentine’s Day may be a celebration of love, but it’s largely celebrated by those in the honeymoon phase. Relationships become complex over time – with some even dictating to partners who they should hang out with, which ultimately sees the relationship sizzle out.
DJ Zinhle and rapper AKA (Kiernan Forbes) had us all in our feelings when they rekindled their love. AKA cheated on her previously with Bonang Matheba. But the couple split again this year, allegedly because of Zinhle’s friendships with Pearl Thusi and AKA’S nemesis, Cassper Nyovest. But does you lover have the right to tell you who to be friends with?
Relationship expert and sexologist for TEM consulting, Elvis Munatswa, says for two to exist in a relationship, a tacit agreement is entered into. “Those in the in-group have shared and similar characteristics, which give shape and form, and reason for belonging. In the event that two people are in a relationship, being involved with [the other’s] arch-nemesis creates tension and people could easily break up. Following lessons from ingroup, out-group conflict, it is within the ambit of belonging that allows people with shared characteristics to exist as an entity. People create rules for belonging, and these would include whom to engage with and whom to consider an enemy,” he says. “It is thus axiomatic that there are people one may or may not hang out [with],” he says. When it comes to disclosing exes, it’s often a rule that you don’t get involved with partners who your friends once dated. But what happens when you find out that your partner dated a close friend before you guys hooked up? Is it grounds for divorce or breakup when you find out and neither of the two parties told you?
Munatswa says disclosure depends mostly on the quality of communication within the relationship. “If previously known information is withheld, like in any other contracts, once discovered,i t opens up a pandora’s box with unlimited questions,” says Munatswa. He says, though, that is far-fetched that this would lead to a relationship falling apart. “Unless there were other issues in the relationship.” Disclosure of exes before tying the knot is also not a must. But he says the rule of not dating exes of friends is wrong.
“No one, not a single person, should claim ownership of another, including who they should or shouldn’t date. Once you move on, consider that other person to be at liberty to do whatever they want to for their own happiness. You need to move on and not attempt to control the other person. Sometimes it requires tact to move on or to date your ex’s friend. Observe your relationship dynamics before you make a move that might drastically change your interactions.”
Being involved with the other’s arch-nemesis creates tension.