Q: My best friend and I used to hang out multiple times a week and we talked all the time. Now she has started dating and I feel like she has forgotten about me because she spends every day with this boy and we maybe hang out once every 2-3 weeks. I feel so sad and I can’t talk to her about it because I don’t want to upset her. I want her to hang out with her boyfriend but I also need her to make time for me. Am I being a jealous friend and overreacting? -Anonymous
Hello helloooo happy Monday my loves! So proud of you all for getting through today. Thank g-d it’s over and now you can finish your homework, watch some tv, and read a good dear monday blog.
Ok on to important things: your bestie and her bf. I bet the question for this week definitely resonates with a lot of you guys; it did for me. A few of my closest friends have boyfriends now. It’s so great and I truly am happy for them but yea, I guess it also really sucks. ALSO just clarifying that we’re talking about top 10 friends here… people that you have a lot of history with and that are super important to you. ALSO ALSO this advice pertains to situations with those friends who are (more often than not) making you feel disappointed and aren’t doing the best at balancing their social life with their love life. Obviously if your friend was still able to be an amazing best friend despite dating someone then this wouldn’t really be an issue. Just putting these clarifications all out there so it doesn’t seem like we’re being too over dramatic about our friends dating people.
First of all, having these concerns and feeling slightly hurt is not irrational. But is it fair? Is it fair for us to be mad? Is it fair for us to tell our friends how we feel?… does that make us selfish? Debating whether you should suppress your frustrations is not something that can be considered ‘overreacting’ when it comes to best friends. Who cares if they have a new boy toy… what happened to daily facetimes, asking me about my life, reaching out for plans. Now you are disconnected from your friend's life in a way that you never have been before. It’s really confusing to feel sad when you realize your friends are slipping away because you know you should just be happy… i mean if the tables were turned, wouldn’t you want them to be happy for you? While it’s true that this shift and their distancing have absolutely 0% to do with you or anything you did, it’s hard not to feel even a little offended by your friends' total new disregard for you.
The Honeymoon Phase Doesn’t Last Forever
For the first 3 or 4 months of a relationship, it’s like your friend is on this really amazing, luxurious honeymoon. It’s high school and your bestie and her bf are each other’s favorite people. Give your friend time to cool down and come back to reality.
If this is a close friend, you’re going to have to suppress your guilt or worries about ‘overreacting’ and have that conversation. During that first stretch where you and your bestie are barely talking, that distance is going to be glaring. Now you are the second option and you’re not their go to person but they are still yours. That one sided absence is painful. You NEED to have a long conversation, maybe even 2 or 3. This is a conversation that comes from a place of love and tries to refrain from making it about the boyfriend. In many instances she’ll try and get you to be the third wheel. Hell no. Make it clear that unless it’s a big group hanging, you’re not interested in being a third wheel. Share how you feel but also be a really good listener. Hear your friend’s side and listen to her feelings too. Most of the time your friend probably won’t even have realized she’s been so preoccupied and so you can remind them: ‘hey we haven’t hung out in a while and I’m feeling kind of distant. Let’s hang’
I know it sounds clichéd to keep saying ‘focus on yourself’ or ‘find new people’ like NO B*TCH i don’t want a new friend and now I feel abandoned and this is absolute sh*t. You’re probably wondering, ‘Does this just mean that any time one of my friends gets into a relationship I just have to be prepared to fully lose them and find completely new friends?’… so the answer is no. Definitely not. But also you are in control queen. This is your life and just because your friend is forging a new relationship in front of your eyes doesn’t mean you should just sit around and be available to be with her on her schedule. Make an effort with other friends with an open mind. That’s all. On a sort of subliminal level, you may be comparing yourself to her. A pang of jealousy and yearning for a cute, romantic relationship is normal. But just remember that she’s isolating herself. In that time you could be getting your friend group together and exploring your city/town, doing watch parties of your favorite shows and movies, muckbanging (is that a verb?) tacobell, and enjoying the freedom of not being tied down to a relationship that constricts you from seeing your best friends.
A Bigger Message on Change
While I love being spontaneous, meeting new people, and trying new things, change can be so difficult and we resist that change. Watching a friendship that you have spent years building up start to become unfamiliar is weird and frankly heart breaking. While change in this case isn’t necessarily working in your favor initially, I am certain that something great will come out of this. Middle school and High school are about taking risks, making mistakes, navigating your own interests, all with the added pressure you feel from everyone around you.
Let your friend have her moment with her bf, a grace period… and then maybe have that conversation. Tell her that you miss her and be willing to compromise.
You got this,