Is It Time to “Reframe” Your Relationship?

I sit in my room as I kick back and relax after a long day. My room is as girly-girl as it gets. It’s lit by a crystal chandelier (on a dimmer, of course), there are more than a dozen throw pillows on my bed (for decorative purposes only, of course) and the ever present,  and typical, pretty little picture frames dress my room everywhere from the wall, to counter tops, to shelves.

The picture frame is a staple in girly-girl rooms across the nation. Us girls love filling our room and home with images of our besties, boyfriends and our family. Plus, there are some ridiculously cute/trendy/fun picture frames out there that are insanely hard to resist (“How cute would I look in that?” I wonder, as if it were a new Herve Leger dress, before carrying it to the register). But as the frames sit in my room, time goes on, break ups occur, friendships sometimes sour, and we are left with an image in a frame just begging to be changed. So when is it okay to switch the picture in the frame? At what point do you go ahead and finally make the change? Is there a final straw? Do you throw the old picture out as you replace it with the previous persons, well…. replacement?

There are three photographs in frames in my room that are begging to be changed. For the past few months, I’ve been pushing the change aside, but I’ve been fully aware that it must happen. Out with the old, in with the new. The thing is, the change is sort of bittersweet. It’s acknowledgement that a friendship has faded, and ultimately, it’s accepting that end. The thing with these oh-so-familiar phases of denial, followed by acceptance, is that they are always made easier with a replacement. I already know which photographs I’d like to get developed to fill the void of said pictures. New, strong bonds have been made and are at this point, ready to be displayed. I feel a bit guilty about the change, since it’s the internal knowingness that a few close friendships in my life have been replaced. Something that seems like such a menial task, is, in fact, very emotional.

I like having a a good track record; sort of a who’s who of my picture frames. As soon as I develop the new replacement photograph, I open up the frame and put the replacement at the very front, keeping the old photograph in the frame. I just stack the image behind, and continue to stack images behind the newest photograph I want displayed. I don’t change my frames often, but it’s amazing to see over the years, who you have replaced, and reviewing what went wrong with those relationships and how you’ve grown from them.

My decision to put a specific image in a picture frame in my room is a very selective one. I place images in my frames of people who mean a lot to me, the ones who I don’t see leaving any time soon. The frames contain people who I like to look up at  on my wall, surround myself with, and who are positive people in my life. I refuse to put posed, cliche images in my frames. Instead, I choose images that reflect me as a person and the nature of my friendship/relationship to the person I’m with. Pictures are snapshots of who you are. Candid action shots, when the person taking the shot just so happens to catch you in the moment, are the pictures I use to fill my frames. Not only do they say a lot about me, my friends and my family members, but they speak volumes about the person who took the picture as well. Every picture has a story.

Do you put thought into the images you place in frames in your room? Have you gone to a new guy’s place and caught sight of the images he has placed around and then make an opinion of him based on those pictures? And what about when guys have no pictures in sight? Do you label him as shady?

I find it heartwarming going to a friend’s place, and seeing my smiling face gracing my own presence on their walls. There’s a fulfilling nature that comes with this realization that I’ve been selected, and my friendship promoted, in a home other than my Dad’s.

- Jenny Jen


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About the Author,

Jen Kirsch spent three of her first four years in College in a relationship. In her fourth, she let go of the idea of monogamy and did some very valuable “research”. This research has allowed her to make a name for herself as the go-to relationship expert, columnist and blogger in Canada. Her quick wit and all too honest tone (and background in broadcast journalism) make Jenny Jen the perfect role model for us college kids who need some advice from a best friend when our best friend doesn’t have the guts to say what we really need to her. Her blog Blonde, Bronzed, Twentysomething has the answers (and anecdotes) to everything and anything on your mind. Can we say twentysomething Carrie Bradshaw, anyone?