An honest dialogue about love, life, and everything in-between...

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Disappearing Acts

Why your friends 'disappear' when you get a new boo…

So you're in love.  You've got a new boo thang and things are going great.   You two laugh together.  Share common interest.  Everything is just wonderful.  One day you look around and realize all of your friends you had before your relationship seem to have all but disappeared.  Where did they go? 

You're first reaction will probably be that they're haters.  They are jealous of your relationship and are not talking to you because they want what you have. 


As a friend that has been banished out of the coupledom kingdom I can tell you that the hater explanation is truly rare.  And if your friends really are jealous and hating on your relationship, your friendship wasn't that strong to begin with. Honestly, most of your friends are really happy that you have someone to love.  They're happy that you're happy.  If your friends have backed away it's usually because:

You Only Do Couple Things
A lot of times, friends who have boo's only hang out with other friends that have boo's.  So if you don't have one, you're left out of a lot of the activities.  Never-mind trying to help out the single friends!  Have mixers with your boo's single friends in hopes to help your singles become new couples?  NOOO! You just leave them out in the cold. And though you're single friends are flying solo, they can still be invited over for cookouts, birthdays, and game nights. We're not predators.  We're not going to use our single wiles to lure your boo's away. You don't only have to invite other couples! Sad thing is, most of you don't even realize you're leaving out your single friends. 

You've Gotten Annoying
Let's just be honest.  Many of you new couples are annoying.  With your baby talk, your constant attached to the hip-ness, and the public displays of affection. All you do is talk to each other and about each other while staring in each other's eyes.  Nothing else and no one else matters. Sometimes you two just make your single friends feel like the third wheel. Sorry. We're happy you're happy but no one wants to be around all of that.   

Your Relationship Needs Time To Grow - You Don't Need Us Like That Anymore
Friends know that in order for a relationship to flourish, you have to step back a bit.  Let the two of them spend time together and get to know each other.  Things that you all used to do together as a group of friends now become more activities for you and your sweetie.  For example, there's no need to call up your friends every Friday night to see what they're doing when you and your new partner can do things together.  Instead of checking out the newest movie premiere with your best friend, you take your new boo.  Going to dinner?  Take your girlfriend.  Staying in and chilling?  Call your boyfriend.  

Ultimately, the things that you used to do with your friends now become couple activities.  That's not a bad thing.  However both the friend and the one in the relationship have to remember to reach out to one another every now and then to keep the friendship strong. Both have to make it a point to continue to talk and do things together so neither feel neglected.

As a friend on the outskirts, I have admittedly not reached out as much as I should just because I automatically assume that my friends are with their partner. And for the most part they usually are.  So I think that if they were available they'd reach out to me.  At the same time I know that my friends are wondering where I've gone, and why I don't call or invite them out as much as I used to.  I think as the friend in an effort to be respectful to the relationship we can pull away too much and put too much of the responsibility on the friend in the relationship to reach out.  At the same time, I think the person in the relationship has to work a lot harder to reach back to the friends and make that space in their lives for them.

In general both the friend and the friend in the relationship need to find a balance between giving space and being around. Both have to make special time for one another to keep the friendship alive. To be honest, most of that responsibility is going to fall on the friend in the relationship.  You have more things to work around.  You're time is going to be a bit more restricted than the single friend.  If you're friend calls you up more than a few times and you're always saying 'Oh I'm out with such-and-such' or 'Oh me and blah-blah-blah' already have plans, the less your friend will call you. The more comfortable you make your friends with the fact that you still want to hang out with them, the more the friends will be willing to call you.