Raise your hand if you couldn’t see your life without your best friend? *raises both hands in the air, and waves ‘em like I just don’t care* For me, my relationship with my best friend is the longest running and most fulfilling relationship I’ve ever had. The bond you share with a best friend is special; you endure everything from breakups to breakdowns, but when you’re linked up, honey, the world is yours to destroy. A best friend is more than just your partner in crime; she’s your stylist, your therapist, your financial advisor, life coach, workout buddy…she’s your sister. You fight like sisters and you love like sisters, but there’s nothing you can’t resolve over a bottle of wine. Nothing except him…and “him” being the new man in the picture.
Yup, after years of being on the singles scene, you found happiness and got serious about a man. Don’t get me wrong — it’s fantastic that after years of weeding out Mr. Wrong, Mr. Right came along and kicked in the door. It seems like you and your girl have talked about hypothetical wedding plans and shared ideas about your baby shower on a Pinterest board forever – a serious relationship means great news for you and your BFF couldn’t be happier…but you start to notice the dynamics change in your friendship. Now that you’re in a relationship, your priorities have shifted and you’re not as available to hang out anymore. Friday Night Happy Hours have been swapped for Date Night and she hasn’t been shy about letting you know that she’s feeling like her BFF has gone M.I.A. It’s said that boyfriends ruin friendships, but that can’t actually be true…right?
The fact is, boyfriends may not ruin relationships per se, but they definitely play a key role in changing them. Whether you know it or not, being in love alters your vision for a short amount of time – it’s like beer goggles. As happy for you as your friend might be, she’s struggling through this transitional period and is sad to know she’s no longer your franchise player, but is now sitting somewhere on the bench. You love your man and you love your friend, but it’s tough to emotionally multitask. Even though you’re trying to do the best you can, you may slip up a time or two and unintentionally make your BFF feel replaced. To avoid that “him or me” confrontation, here are some tips at how to be a great girlfriend to your man while still being a great friend to your girl:
Since you’ve been friends forever and have talked about everything under the sun, you should open up the dialogue about the shift in your friendship. Give her the floor to express if her feelings are hurt, but don’t let this turn into an opportunity for her to bash your man. You know how each other is, so keep the convo honest and respectful without purposely trying to cut the other with words.
2) Single Girl Swag
Admit it, there’s a part of you that feels like your friend is just hating on you and your man. Don’t pull the jealousy card. Whether she feels inadequate because she’s currently not seeing anyone special or she’s more empowered taking on the single scene alone, it is NOT your job to throw it in her face that you have a man and she doesn’t. Just because you’re in a relationship right now, you are not allowed to act like being single is a disease and you need to pray for all the ill women in the world. Support her singleness without judgement the same way you would want her to root for you in your situation. Be empathetic – you aren’t that far removed from serial dating.
3) Don’t Be “That Girl”
Do not, I repeat, DO NOT pull a Houdini and completely disappear on your BFF when your relationship is all Marvin Gaye and lingerie and expect her to welcome you over with chocolate and red wine when things get rough. Best friendship is an all-inclusive two-way street and it’s unfair to only contact or use her when you need something. To have a friend, you have to be a friend.
4) It’s Only Temporary
Lastly, assure her that your drunk in love beer goggles phase will wear off and that you can never replace your best friend with anything or anyone. No matter how good or bad things get, they eventually will pass. You girls may grow apart to pursue other things, but the fundamental things that initially brought you together will always keep you connected. Make sure she knows how important she is in your life and that she isn’t going anywhere.
There’s no reason that your best friendship and your romantic relationship cannot co exist. Of course your friendship won’t be the exact same as it was, but that’s all a part of growing up. Life is always changing and evolving, but what makes navigating the journey easy, is having an amazing co pilot. Samantha Jones from Sex & The City (the Friendship/Relationship Bible) said it best in the second installment of the film: “We made a deal ages ago. Men, babies, it doesn’t matter. We’re soul mates”.
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