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Oct 8, 2016
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Scenario: You decide to leave the country for greener pastures because you already want to settle down with your longtime girlfriend. You ask your closest pal to look after her while you're gone. You know she'd be in good hands with him.

At first, everything seems okay—she reminds you of how much she loves you, sends you the sweetest greetings during your monthsary, and regularly updates you on her whereabouts. She even tells you all the fantastic stories about how your friend is taking care of her. And then, a few months later, she starts to be cold and distant. You wonder what went wrong. You know you can't lose her, so you immediately book a flight back to Manila to patch things. But to your surprise, your S.O. now has a thing with your best bud.

You want to punch your friend and yell at your ex-girlfriend. 

In situations such as this, it's normal to feel angry and assign blame, says Cherrie L. Ragunton, MP, PRm, a counseling psychologist from Interspect-Training Services. Both your friend and girlfriend should take responsibility for their actions. 

"A true friend knows their boundaries and in some cases, is willing to sacrifice their own feelings to avoid conflict between all parties involved. He should not have meddled with other people’s affairs unless the relationship already ended," notes Ragunton.

Your girlfriend, on the other hand, failed you for being dishonest. She kept it a secret from you, Ragunton says, because she didn't want to hurt your feelings. "She possibly didn't have the courage to admit her faults and face the consequences of her actions and choices," the Marikina-based psychologist explains.

However, it's important to note that their budding romance is not entirely their fault. You (yes, you!) were also wrong in so many ways. You were too trusting.

"Distance and lack of quality time are factors wthat can affect a relationship. With the technology and various apps we have right now, there's no reason not to be able to communicate. And if you value a person in your life, you should sure to allocate a portion of your precious time." She adds: "Humans are social animals. We live through interactions with other people, where we experience warmth, love and care." If a person is able to provide these kinds of needs, we tend to reciprocate the same affection andthis could possibly develop into a romance. 

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To be able to move on from this betrayal, a conference is recommended to give each other a chance to express their thoughts, feelings, and choices. It doesn't need to be confrontational, but instead an opportunity for clarifications.

"If the involved are not confident that they can handle the conference, then a mediator such as a life coach or counselor is highly recommended," Ragunton recommends.

In any case, turning away from a toxic relationship can be the best decision, because if you don't, then you will never find the right person.

Cherrie L. Ragunton, MP, RPm is a counseling psychologist at Interspect-Training Servinces in Marikina City. She may be reached via 401-7864 or Facebook.

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