When You Rely On Your Friend Instead Of Your Significant Other

So somebody broke your heart. Or, more accurately, is currently in the drawn-out process of slowly breaking your heart. At this point you feel miserable more often than you feel happy, anxious more often than content, hopeless more often than excited. You are at the point where you recognize the relationship is not going anywhere and yet you still sincerely believe it can be rectified. If only X, Y, and Z could somehow be fixed through extreme, concerted effort on my part, well then everything would be fine,” you think. But that’s hard work and you’re losing steam, and losing yourself in the process of trying so hard to fix the relationship for the relationship’s sake.

Given that you are not the asshole in the relationship, you probably are generally considerate of other people’s feelings. This implies that you have good friends. Good friends tend to be there for you. This means you probably spend a significant part of your day chatting and/ or texting and/ or depressedly walking through a mall with someone who is willing to listen to your problems. Endlessly.

And that’s good, right? You probably can’t imagine having no one to talk to about your crappy relationship. If you actually paused to think about it you’d acknowledge fairly quickly that this is how your day goes: wake up feeling anxious as hell, worry about how this day is going to go with regard to The Person, contact friend(s) to talk through your feelings. If you didn’t have that you’d stay in phase one or two, worrying all day about where you stand and if their feelings have changed and when you’ll see them next and who they are with. Talking to your friends distracts you. Pro.

But unfortunately, there is a major, unforeseen downside to that. And that overwhelming con is the danger of friend equilibrium.

Because here is what you think is happening: you are depressed/ in a bad place and your friend makes you feel better.

Here is what is really happening: you are depressed/ in a bad place and your friend makes you feel better.

Key phrase: your friend. Listen, I’d never dream of begrudging you someone to talk to in a time of need. Lord knows I’d be in an asylum (or worse, married to a guy who works at Best Buy, seriously) if it weren’t for my friends’ advice and thoughtfulness.

However, the problem here is that it is your friend — not your significant other — who is making you feel better. Notice in the above explanation that you wake up feeling terrible and you only don’t feel terrible because someone hears and helps you out (and, honestly, coddles you a little bit) — not because the person who is hurting you and causing you anxiety in the first place hears you and helps you out and coddles you a bit.

What this all boils down to is the fact that as well-intentioned as they may be, your friends when so heavily relied upon end up creating an artificially comfortable atmosphere where you’re vulnerable to feeling like ‘things are okay again’ enough so that you stay with The Person.

The moral of the story is if you wake up feeling anxious and awful every day, it’s okay to look to others for support, but you should ask yourself if it’s the person who you’re dating that’s making you feel better, or an uninvolved third party. TC mark

philolzophymacro

image – Ghost World

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  • Mila Jaroniec

    I don’t know about the argument, but I’d just like to point out that the image for this article is AMAZING. <3 Ghost World.

  • Internetpollution

    “Your friends when so heavily relied upon end up creating an artificially
    comfortable atmosphere where you’re vulnerable to feeling like ‘things
    are okay again’ enough so that you stay with The Person.”

    I’m sorry?

    That wouldn’t be your friends’ fault. That will be your overdependence. Your friends have nothing to do with it. When you have that sort of problem, you would end up using even strangers as crutches.

    • Veronica

      I think that was close to the point of the article. The author never put blame on the friends, as far as I can tell.

  • Lu

    so my friend is sleeping with my significant other … so then what? 

    • Anna

      Doesn’t sound like a friend. Or a good friend at least.

      • Lu

        OH okay smart ass, clearly that’s evident. but obviously up to this point this friend is the same person that’s helped me through every bad fight, those late night ice cream binges, picked me up when I fell, held me when my grandmother was rushed to the ER at 3 in the morning. this friend has proven herself to be everything that is exceptional and amazing in my life. clearly that’s where the dilemma is coming from. for if they weren’t ever a real friend to begin with, then probably, you’re right, i wouldn’t be as freaked out and upset about all of this. but hey, thanks for your input. and hey, clearly i have no idea what i’m talking about since you know and understand my life perfectly.

      • Anonymous

        Wow. Jesus.
        Pretty sure if you post something as vague as “my friend is sleeping with my significant other…so then what?” you’re going to get a response that’s short and to the point and doesn’t take into account every detail of your friendship with this person/life in general, because hey, you’re posting it on a comment section of an article (that actually isn’t about infidelity) so why would anyone on here know any detail of your life?

        If you aren’t prepared to get an answer to your question (even one you may not like), then don’t ask it.

        Also, Anna is probably right. 

      • Anna

        Woah. I didn’t mean that to sound smart. I meant it sympathetically. That’s an awful situation for anyone to go through. I didn’t mean it personally, just from one anonymous human to another. Sorry you took it that way.

  • AnnieGirl

    this basically sums up my life right now, you have no idea.

    i dont k now where i’d be without my friends.

    • Anonymous

      I’ve been to hell and back dealing with my significant other lately and this article couldn’t have came across at a better time…

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VYDVROKY4PUBOKUHB3QF42FH2Y Paul S

    The “point” of this essay (if there was one) is completely muddled. 

  • Sophia

    “If you actually paused to think about it you’d acknowledge fairly quickly that this is how your day goes: wake up feeling anxious as hell, worry about how this day is going to go with regard to The Person, contact friend(s) to talk through your feelings.”  The extent to which that applies to my last relationship makes me feel really pathetic.

  • Southernvtgal

    My friend does make me feel better when I am beyond pissed at my significant other…but it’s more like they help me see how maybe I should act a little different. More than not it is my girlfriend who can make me feel better, and we usually work it out with eachother if we have a fight. 

  • Mongoose

    Cripes. If your relationship is that bad day in day out then end it. Biggest regret of my life was the amount of time I wasted in my twenties on two relationships after their “best before” dates expired.

    And when I’m the “friend” I decline to offer advice-people always do what they want to in these situations regardless of their friends’ advice and it’s pretty embarrassing to cut loose on what an awful person your friend is dating and then watch them get back together anyway…and know they probably told the awful boy/girlfriend exactly what you said.

    Then after you’ve dumped the ex, then call your friend up and ask them to help you by taking you out and getting drunk or something and getting over it. Much more productive than moping endlessly about a dying relationship.

  • Thought Catalog

    Reblogged this on Yours, truly. and commented:
    i am actually guilty of this since last time …….how true

  • http://chobangs.wordpress.com chobangs

    Reblogged this on random thoughts… and commented:
    *sigh..long endless sigh…

    maybe its not rude to make some of my friends see this? ( any friend actually)

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