Thought Catalog
April 17, 2017

The Truth About What Happens When Your Friend Starts Dating Someone New

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What is the issue?
Unsplash / Tanja Heffner

You found a guy. Funny and sweet and kind. Someone respectful, someone who cares.

A friend. Not a boyfriend, but a special, be-there-for-you-always kind of friend. You share deep conversations and bond over television shows and tease each other about meaningless things.

Until it happens.

“I met someone.”

It starts out the same way each time, innocent and unassuming. He just slips it into the conversation casually, like the weather or your weekend plans. But for the all too familiar, it’s like a bomb going off, little pieces of your heart piercing your chest like shrapnel.

He will assure you that you are important to him.

You matter to me, he will insist, nothing will change.

You nod and smile. After all, you want him to be happy, right? You hide that jealous feeling in the pit of your stomach and ignore those gnawing thoughts that this is the end of something good.

It starts slowly, but you know the signs by now. Daily texts become weekly. Plans to hangout become infrequent, then non-existent. He checks on you a little less. Needs to see you a little less. Relies on you a little less.

Because he found someone else. He found who he was looking for.

And what is becomes what was.

What you have becomes what you had.

The special bond you shared as friends becomes a memory.

You were left behind.

For a while you ache. You grieve the loss of a friendship, the loss of a conversation partner who made you laugh, who hugged you as you cried, who listened to you talk about a bad day, or who took you to an art museum just to make you smile.

But slowly it gets better. Not at first, but eventually.

Someday you look back and reflect on your friendship and realize you are smiling. You remember the good times you had and appreciate the bond you once shared. You still hurt a little inside, but that’s okay. Not every friendship is lasting. Sometimes he is just supposed to be a chapter of your story.

But it doesn’t make it any less special. Or any less meaningful. Or the end.

Friendships may fade, but what matters is how you helped each other grow and how you changed each other for the better. The mark you leave on each other’s hearts and souls is impermeable and forever.

And sometimes getting left behind isn’t really behind at all, but a new direction. A new path. An opportunity for someone new to challenge you and inspire you and care for you. That someone new is out there. And he is looking for you too. TC mark