We’ve all been there—when one of our nearest-n-dearest friends gets into a relationship and proceeds to disappear off the face of the planet. They reassure you they’re alive and well, but given the infrequency with which you now see them, who could blame you for thinking the contrary? We can’t push all the blame outwards, either. We’ve most likely all played both roles—the culprit or the stranded friend. While balancing boyfriends and friends isn’t always easy, it’s super important.
Being ditched sucks. There’s friends I haven’t seen IRL in yonks. Months. Sometimes, even years. Oh, the friends I have missed dearly when they hit the honeymoon phase. The good times lost. And, I know I’ve done it too! I don’t know which one I find more disappointing? However, over the years, I have learned some important lessons when it comes to navigating all sorts of relationships. Friends are so important, and we must put keep our friends at the North-end of our priority lists. No more pushing them to the bottom, or hitting snooze on their invites to hang, just to sloth around in bed with your lover boy/girl for the zillionth time.
Here’s a few persuasive reasons to pull you, or your friend, out of the trap…
One person can’t be your everything (and vice versa)
You’re my everything, some of us say. And, while it’s a cute notion, I’d consider this a death trap. One person cannot be your everything, and you cannot be theirs. Psychologists urge us away from this mentality, as it puts immense pressure on one person. Whilst our partners end up playing many roles in our life, they can’t play them all. One needs insane amounts of energy to constantly be there for one person. All the time.
Friends are a beautiful resource for support and sharing—sometimes it pays to lean a little less on your partner and sway in the direction of a friend instead. It’s hard though, I know! Life can be so cozy, and you spend so much time together. But, even a little can go a long way. Feel like a massive vent? Give your partner a break. Confused about your future? Get a fresh perspective. Super excited about a new jacket? Yep, yep, yep. We get it.
Grow yourself through experiencing others
As babies, we learn to talk through mimicking those around us. As kids, we follow our siblings. In our preteen years, we dress in weird trends—stud belts, skate shoes, ra-ra skirts—and listen to questionable music because our friends do too (fun times). We learn from others. We trial and error, but we learn. That’s how we grow. We also learn a lot from our partners—about them, ourselves, life, and what’s important to us. Yet we must remember they’re not the end all.
To continue to grow in ourselves and in our relationships, we need other springboards, faces, emotions, stories, opinions, and most importantly, friends. We need to expand our circle outside of one. We are the sum total of our experiences, said B.J. Neblett, and if only give attention to one relationship in our adult life, well, we might end up feeling pretty one dimensional. Plus, it feels good when there are new experiences to be shared or listened to.
Friends are fun
Whether you have a wide circle of companions or just a close-knit gang of one or two, I bet the memories you share live in that weird fuzzy place in your hearts. And, you know before honeymoon life, without them your world would have been a lonely place. So, don’t forget about them now. Rude. Remember instead all the fun you’ve had and get your butt wiggling over there!
Grab a cheeky red, a block of chocolate, the password to your boyfriends Stan account so you can binge on The O.C., or maybe some old magazines for throwback collaging (fave past time!). Anything your heart desires. Just get within your friend’s presence and have fun. Whatever you decide, I’m sure they’ll be happy just to be in your presence.
And as for all the abandoned friends reading this, what do you miss about your whipped friend? Drop that comment below, then send them this article! Good luck.
Words, Sian Henderson