She Loves Me/She Loves Me Not: Why Grown Women Shouldn’t Waste Time Trying To Entertain ‘Frenemies’

April 9, 2013  |  

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I should probably start by telling you that I’m guilty. I’m guilty of entertaining “friendships” with questionable women who display suspect behavior. Why? I’m not exactly sure, but I believe that part of it is due to my constant efforts to see the best in people. So much so that I tend to overlook behaviors that clearly indicate a person probably doesn’t have my best interest at heart.

I met my first frenemy in elementary school and it took her burning me several times in middle school before I finally woke up and realized that I’d better cut this girl off before she does the unimaginable, and of course, I’d have no one to blame but myself. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no fool. I was always fully aware of her shady behavior, but I was in my early teens and I frequently second guessed myself. I believe that’s the tricky thing about frenemies. They are not fans of the obvious, but instead, they’re crafty masters of subtlety and doctors of deception. A frenemy will almost never do something so blatantly obvious that they leave you walking away determined to never speak to them again. Oh no, that would be too easy. A frenemy would rather strike you soft enough to come across as playful, but hard enough to cause you to want to strike back. They commit shady deeds that are so illusive, they’re almost unidentifiable and often leave you asking yourself, “Did that just happen?” which eventually leads to “Maybe they didn’t mean it that way,” and somehow becomes, in many cases for me, “I’m probably overreacting.” And of course, the cycle continues. As subtle as they may be though, you can almost always count on a frenemy to eventually go overboard and hurt you in an irreversible way. It may come now, it may come later, but I’d bet my last dollar that it will come eventually.

It took me encountering people like this throughout high school and college before it dawned on me that entertaining frenemies was like playing Russian roulette. Dealing with sly and underhanded people may seem harmless while in your teens, but as I got older, I quickly learned that the stakes are higher once you enter adulthood because you have so much more to lose, which brings me to my latest revelation. Several years ago, I formed somewhat of a friendship with a woman who eventually began displaying frenemy-like behavior. It was like a full-time job to show myself as someone welcoming enough to carry on a friendship, but keeping enough distance between us so that she couldn’t burn me. Letting her know enough about me for us to get to know each other, but not enough that she could use any of the information she knows about me to hurt me. I would literally attempt to  stay five steps ahead of her just to protect myself from the wrath of the frenemy that I knew would eventually come. Then one day I slowed down and asked myself, “Who the heck has time for this?” Who has time carry on a not-so-sincere friendship with a person you can’t even let your guard down around because you have apprehensions about their loyalty? Either you’re with me or you’re not, right? I mean really, what grown woman has time to play the frenemy game? It’s silly, time consuming and in the end, a snake will always be a snake. In that moment, I made up my mind that my genuine friendship is gift, my time is precious, and neither will be wasted on insincere people.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned since entering my twenties, it’s that real women don’t entertain frenemies. There are much better ways to spend your time, and with much better people.


Follow Jazmine on Twitter @jazminedenise.

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  • Keisha Samoht

    This was a good one, it sucks when the frenemy is a related to you.

  • Reese

    This has come into play recently with dealing with some of my linesisters. One of my linesisters stabbed me in my back and tried to justify it. I dealt with frenemies in middle school as well as high school. I refuse to entertain it on a collegiate level.

  • JMichelle

    Totally agree! Deal with stuff like this in the workplace. I give chances but when I see you are not for me, I cut them off!

  • Women who are frenemies are the same women who say things like, “I just don’t get along with women.” “I relate better to men for some reason.”

    I have a tight circle of friends and ton of casual women that I know and am friendly towards. There’s a big difference.

    • Kam

      Some friends and I were just talking about this over lunch today. We were saying that we don’t have too much trust in a man who says he doesn’t get along well with other guys, or women who say that they don’t get along well with women. Both signs point to people who can’t get along with others and are usually guilty of underhanded behavior.

      • I agree with this 100%. If you a grown woman and you don’t have at least one unrelated woman in your life that you can trust . . . might mean you aren’t a trustworthy person.

        • CRich

          I disagree with this sentiment. It is completely within reason to decide that mental sanity is better than continuously allowing people into your life who are so jealous of you that they want to be your friend, only to get close enough to try and tear you down. This experience is the reason why I say that I don’t get along well with women. If you haven’t had that experience, you can’t necessarily invalidate why someone else would feel this way.

  • Amy Justice

    Great article!!!

  • angiedelorez

    I so love this article…for this one- a great big THANKS!

  • pickneychile

    So true! And frenemies are not limited to just female/female relationships. There is a couple that we know who I consider to be frenemies. My husband considers the guy his best friend, but I’ve seen him burn him and be conniving one too many times for me to trust him…talking behind our backs, trying to play other friends against him during disagreements, instigating, and calling him horrible names anytime they don’t agree on something. And his girlfriend is a farce too and can’t keep anything to herself. I’m cordial when I happen to see them but I’m thankful we no longer live in the same state because it is sooo tiring dealing with fake people! I just hope and pray that my husband will begin to see for himself that these relationships aren’t adding anything but drama to his life, smh. Nobody should have to deal with frenemies!

  • GoodCookie

    Great Article. True loyal friends are a rare. Frenemies are so jealous til that can’t help but to want to be around u. They actually try to imitate u which is scary. So when it’s all good their mad and when it’s not they are happy as a mug. The more I grow in my faith with God the more I pray for discernment from friends and frenemies. Which by the way is my show!!! Lol

    • pretty1908

      I had never truly experienced this until now. I am 26yrs old, and I have had the same friends since I was 8. I found out someone who was dear to me was trying sabotage my relationship with my then boyfriend. It hurt me so bad, but I learned that anyone who intentionally gets involved in the affairs of others is sad and vile. Think about how busy and crazy our lives can get, but some how she found time to mess with my life. I was glad that God shined light on this situation. I now know that I have to boundaries and discretion about who i let in my life.