When She Became We. You have sleepovers together. You watch movies together. You are there for each other and cry together. You celebrate each other’s triumphs and laugh together. Having a best friend is a gift, and the bond you share can be stronger in some ways than that of a significant other.
You want your best friend to be happy, you know they deserve the world. But sometimes it can be hard when your best friend is in a relationship — especially once it gets serious. The jealousy that can occur from this is not caused by malice, but from missing your best friend when they are busy with their significant other. Though you want them to be happy, a happy relationship for her can sometimes mean that you get put off to the side.
If you’ve ever had a female best friend who has had a boyfriend, then it’s likely that at some point you’ve been blown off more than one time for the happy couple to be together. Of course, any successful relationship will have its moments when the couple needs to be alone together, whether it’s due to a fight or a spontaneous, romantic moment. And I think we all get it. As the supportive best friend, of course we know that this will happen sometimes and it doesn’t mean anything personal.
It can also be hard to understand if you’ve never had a serious relationship. It all seems simple until you are in the situation yourself, but there is a limit to how understanding you should have to be. It can turn into a problem if you get blown off too many times. Or if they start bringing along their boyfriend to your girl’s nights. Every. Time. It’s happened with nearly all of my friends. It’s not that I don’t like hanging out with their boyfriends, and I try to have an abundance of understanding for the two of them wanting to hang out together, but it can go too far.
When the third or fourth time turns into the eighth or ninth that you get either blown off or become the third wheel of your own plans, however, it is time to talk. Depending on how comfortable you are with confrontation, this can be a difficult task. To conquer it, tell your friend that you need to talk, and be sure to let her know the following:
Make sure she knows you are on her side, and be careful not to put any blame. Be open to what she says. Sometimes, the significant other might feel left out or intimidated by how close the two of you are, but it is also good to spend time away from each other.
There is a big difference between feeling left out and feeling worried that your friend is in an unhealthy relationship. Sometimes it can be hard to tell, and even when you believe you have legitimate concerns, it can be hard knowing when you should step in. As a close spectator and confidante, you may be privy to some of the more intimate details of the relationship. But even if you think you know what is good for them, the reality is that you are not part of the relationship and your input could potentially cause tension in your friend’s relationship.
On the other hand, if your friend is in an unhealthy situation, you should try to help them and do something about it. If you reach this point, you should find one other person that you trust. It’s best if it is a mutual, close friend. Talk to each other about concerns, and come up with a plan for confronting your friend. Sometimes, all you can do is bring up concerns, and sometimes, that won’t be enough for them to realize that something is wrong. Make sure that you let your friend know that you care and that you just want them to be happy. If you think they are in danger of physical harm, you can call the police or help them get a domestic violence protection order.
Sometimes, even when the relationship is not abusive, it can be hard to leave even when it is doomed or unhappy. When you talk to your friend, listen to any concerns they have. While you don’t want to place any doubts or fears in their mind, it is important to listen and help them make the best decision they can. Sometimes, all you need is a little support to get out of an unhealthy situation, and if you have been a bit distant with your friend, that might be the case.
It can be hard sharing your best friend when you didn’t have to share them before. Though it can get hard to get used to, you should try to see it as an opportunity to gain a friend, not to lose one. It’s not always that easy, and when you start feeling neglected, you should talk to your friend. In some cases, it might mean that you need to move on and start spending your time with other friends, but it’s always good to do what you can to fix your relationship with your friend first.
Guest Post by Geo Sique