Let me paint this picture for you: Your BFF goes on a great date with a great person. You’re excited for them but don’t put too much thought into it, as they always go on awesome dates with people they never speak to again. You text them the following week to see if they want to come over and watch “The Bachelor,” to which they reply, “I wish I could, but I’m going out with [said great person] again!”
Well, this is new. A second date? On “Bachelor” night? This person must be really great. Still, you don’t give it much more thought, pour yourself a glass of wine, and watch the show alone.
Fast-forward to Friday night. You hit up your BFF because you’re not drinking solo (again) and need a dance partner for once the liquid courage hits. You basically know they’ll be down, so you start getting ready to have a night. While you’re picking out what to wear, your phone vibrates. “Sorry, I can’t tonight! [Said great person] is taking me to see a double feature! I’ll call you tomorrow.”
They’re going to the movies? On a Friday? Single, 20-somethings don’t go to the movies on a Friday…unless they’re not single anymore. It is date number three. The last person they went on a third date with was their most recent ex. You try not to panic as this revelation hits and you text your backup friend to join you on your tequila tour.
As promised, your single-but-maybe-not friend calls the following day and has lots to update you on — the highlight being that they and Mrx. Double Feature are now, as you suspected, exclusivo. While you should be ecstatic at this news, for some reason, you’re not stoked. At all. You let out a faint “yayyy,” not dissimilar to Kristen Wiig’s in “Bridesmaids” upon finding out her best friend was getting married. The kind of “yayyy” that screams, “I know I should be happy for you, but I mostly wish you’d be single so that I have someone to do all the things with.” And, you know what? That’s valid.
“I know I should be happy for you, but I mostly wish you’d be single so that I have someone to do all the things with.” And, you know what? That’s valid.
It’s totally normal to have lukewarm feelings about your BFF’s new relationship status. I know, because I’ve experienced both sides of this debacle and lived to tell the tale. I can remember being overcome by waves of guilt as I struggled to feel genuinely happy for friends who got into relationships, not because I was jealous, but because I knew that I now had to share my friend with someone who’d been around for, like, five minutes. I knew that our late nights spent laughing, eating, crying, and dancing would happen less frequently. That our brunch parties of two might now, sometimes, require making a reservation for three. This was always a huge adjustment, but each time, I ended up adapting to my new normal.
When I started dating my current boyfriend, I finally understood the internal struggle my newly cuffed friends were battling in the early stages of their relationships. While I wanted to continue business as usual and spend as much time with my friends as possible, I also wanted to spend all of my free hours getting to know and learning about my new person. Although the start of any relationship is exciting, I found that I was also quite anxious for a lot of the beginning of mine, as I wanted to make sure my friends’ lives stayed as normal as possible while also making sure my boyfriend felt fully integrated and welcomed into mine.
It took some time, but all of my friendships eventually adapted and found their rhythm. They took varying amounts of time to get there, but I learned that communication was the solution to any hiccup that could (and did) occur during the interim. If you’re feeling as though your friend isn’t being as attentive to your relationship as you’d like, let them know. Chances are they’re feeling the pressure as well and by no means want you to feel shut out. Talking through these situations prevents any tension from rearing its ugly head and will only strengthen your friendship in the long term.
Remind yourself that you aren’t losing them, really. Sure, it’s an adjustment initially, as they probably won’t be available for every wild adventure you conjure up on a whim. But that hardly means that they won’t be there for you and, soon enough, things will start to feel normal again.
Except watching “The Bachelor” alone. That’ll never feel normal.