Last week I wrote about how friendships shift, once marriage or a romantic relationship enters the equation. I know you didn’t think things were going to remain the same forever, but you probably didn’t have a clue that things would be shaken up like this! Even though your world is now different and the dust has settled, there are probably some aspects of your friendship that you would like to hold on to. Consequently, once in a committed relationship – marriage or cohabitation –things are no longer the same. It’s sad to say, but those are the breaks. If you feel you are experiencing a devastating loss, and you think you have cause to mourn – then have at. But don’t throw in the towel just yet. It may not be necessary.
It’s nothing personal:
If this has happened or, is happening to you, let me offer a fact that may help to ease your pain. It’s not your fault! When your best friend falls in love with someone, it has nothing to do with you. Their love only involves them, which is one of the reasons you may feel alienated. The focus is no longer on your friendship. The attention is now on their new relationship. If it seems all your friend talks about is their new romantic situation, you’re not imagining it. That is really a-l-l t-h-e-y t-a-l-k a-b-o-u-t.
Changing of the guards:
Research shows that once a romantic relationship begins the friendship energy starts to end or transform. That doesn’t mean that your bestie doesn’t love you, it just means their partner has taken priority. Your friend still considers you a valuable part of their life they just don’t have as much time now that cupid came to call. Even though this portion of your journey together is over, another one has begun to blossom. According to William Rawlins, Stocker Professor of Interpersonal Communication at Ohio University, friends will always need “Somebody to talk to, someone to depend on, and someone to enjoy.” And I agree with him!