friendship, relationships

“What About Your Friends……”

Dear T,

I have this best friend and we’ve just not been clicking lately.  I’ve been with my current boyfriend for about 8 months, and ever since then my best friend has been distant.  We don’t talk as often, and I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve seen him lately.  And before you think it, I’m not one of those people that get lost in a relationship and completely forget about his friends. My other friendships are just fine.  I talk to my other friends nearly all the time.  I thought maybe my best friend had some issue with my boyfriend, but my bff claims to like him.  Plus, my boyfriend is the nicest guy and gets along with everyone.  What do you think the problem is?  What should I do to get my friend back?

Sincerely,

Mysterious Gay

Dear Mysterious Gay,

Thanks for visiting my site and writing to me.  Friendships are extremely important in a person’s life.  We like to think these types of bonds should stand the length of time and every situation, so we always do what we can to prevent the destruction of such bonds.  I have three theories about what could be going on here.

My first theory is pretty simple.  Your best friend has become jealous.  He may never admit that to you, but he really may be just that.  I have a hunch he’s single, and now that you have found a boyfriend, he’s jealous you got out the single life and not him.  And if your boyfriend is this great guy, your bestie may be wondering how you could catch him and he couldn’t?

The second theory I’ll offer is this, your friend feels a little pushed to the side.  I know you said you aren’t one of those people that gets in a relationship and forgets about his friends, but I have to challenge that.  No matter the person, anytime anyone enters a romantic relationship, he will ALWAYS take time usually spent with friends to spend with his partner.  That’s just the way it is.  I’m not saying you don’t make an effort to speak with your bestie and hang out, but I am saying it’s impossible for the dynamics of your friendship not to change slightly with a boyfriend in the picture.   Think about it!  How many times have you pressed ignore to an incoming call from your best friend, because you were with your boyfriend?  And how many times have you not been able to go with him somewhere because you’re out or at home with your boo?  Now don’t feel bad about being “Crazy In Love” or whatever, just realize that it’s perfectly natural and in human nature to spend a little less time with friends in order to grow a partnership. It becomes your job however, to find the perfect balance of time to spend with all the people in your life.

Theory number three is that your best friend wants your boyfriend, but knows he can’t have him because you’re in the picture.  So in your best friend’s mind, he’s distanced himself thinking it was best for all involved.  And in this case he’s probably right.  This theory is a little too Young and the Restless or Laguna Beach for me, so I won’t spend much energy discussing it.

Going forward here are my suggestions.

  1. If your suspect your friend is jealous, I recommend just giving him space and time to come around. If he is a true friend, he will get over his jealousy and learn to be truly happy for you.
  1. Invite your friend on a “bestie date.” Take him out somewhere that is reminiscent of old times, and that reminds him you’re the same guy he bonded with however long ago.
  1. Either on the “bestie date,” or on a separate occasion, put your cards on the table. Tell him you’ve felt he’s been distant, and ask what the deal is.  Best friends should be able to have these conversations.
  1. Without telling your best friend, set up a time at least twice a week where you either call or schedule to meet up with him. This will help your best friend to know you haven’t forgot about him, and he’s still a big part of your life.  Just make sure you change up the dates and times, so this comes across as natural as possible.
  1. Try not to talk about your relationship with your boyfriend with your bestie. I know that seems strange, but until you figure out what the problem is between you two, throwing your partner in his face won’t help matters.
  1. If after you try the aforementioned suggestions and he still acts weird and distant, then it may be time to call it with your friend. Sometimes friendships are temporary bonds and not meant to extend a lifetime.  If your friend can’t be happy for you now while in an 8 month relationship, what happens should you decide to get married one day?

As always, nothing but love,

T.

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