We all have that friend in our lives who has trouble balancing their role as a boyfriend/ girlfriend and as a best friend. When they’re single, they were your right-hand man, going to the bars with you and practically living at your apartment. But then it happened. They came over one night to tell you that they’ve been seeing someone and they’re really happy and isn’t this great? You feign excitement and tell them, “Oh my god, that’s amazing. I must know more!” but in your mind, you’re thinking, “Andddd I’m never going to see you again. Bye!”
It’s not because you’re jealous (okay, maybe a little bit). It’s because you know that your BFF disappears whenever they get into a relationship. Here today, gone tomorrow. They get consumed with being in love and only reemerge when things have gone to crap and they need someone to cry to. When they reappear with tears running down their cheeks, your first instinct is to be like “Screw you. You go MIA for months and expect me to console you when your relationship hits a rough patch? As if!” You’re totally in the right for feeling this way. You might end up forgiving them though and become super close friends with them again. That is, until they find someone new to love and then they’re gone, baby, gone. Cycle repeats.
Here’s the thing I’ve learned throughout the years: Sometimes it’s okay to choose dicks before chicks. Sometimes it’s okay to go off the grid and just do the whole “I’M IN LOVE!” thing. The first few months of a relationship are always intoxicating. It’s like you’re on drugs and going on a love binge — it’s very “Hit Me Baby One More Time” — so it’s totally acceptable for you to ignore texts and become a selfish lovesick monster! It’s a beautiful period and as their friend, you really have to set aside any hurt feelings you might have and just let your friend drink the love Kool-Aid.
If your friend has been neglecting you for a long period of time, however, you’re totally allowed to be like, “WTF? Can we have some one-on-one time?” Hopefully it won’t come to this though. Confronting your friend about not spending enough time with you is always uncomfortable. You’re going to feel like the needy single friend who’s too demanding, even though that’s typically not the case. You’ll also be worried that your friend will bite back by saying, “You don’t know what it’s like because you’re single.” Ouch.
I’ve been in this situation before and it’s not pretty. Even if my friend is receptive to my criticism and starts to put more effort in, you become paranoid that they’re just hanging out with you because they feel obligated and guilty. It’s the worst when you can tell your friend is just meeting with you to kill time before their BF/ GF becomes available. I’d rather my friend completely ignore my phone calls than pencil me in for an hour lunch. Don’t EVER insult our close friendship with a catch up lunch. Those are only reserved for friends from high school and people we’ve fallen out of touch with.
We have to accept that, as we get older, it will be dicks before chicks more often. And that’s okay. Someone isn’t being a bad friend just because they’re enjoying life on that love tip. Give them space but also recognize when they’ve gone from being a friend in love to being just a crappy friend. When that transition occurs, you have free range to go Gwyneth Paltrow on their Winona Ryder ass.