You’ve been best friends for years, maybe even since school days.
Your friendship has survived high school graduation, university and/or work and you can’t imagine what life would be like without your bestie by your side.
Then suddenly, she gets a man and she doesn’t have time for you anymore. What do you do?
- Firstly, recognise and acknowledge the hurt you feel. Even though intellectually you may have realised that this could happen, it is still tough emotionally. You feel left behind and alone. However, it can help to realise that your friend’s behaviour is more about her than you.
- Now is the ideal time to focus on yourself and expand your interests. Taking up a new hobby, joining Meetup or similar social groups, or planning an upcoming holiday or solo camping trip can help. Keeping active is also important for your well-being so maybe it’s time to join a gym, get a personal trainer or find your nearest Parkrun.
- Journaling can be a good way to process your feelings as you can write freely and expressively without being censored. Even if it is ugly, it is for your eyes only and it can be a cathartic experience. If journaling is not your thing, perhaps you can talk to a caring professional counsellor to help untangle your feelings.
- At some stage, you may wish to have a heart to heart conversation with your friend and explain how you are feeling. Chances are she will realise that it is difficult for you, and be responsive; however, if she is not, then you may have to accept the hard truth, as painful as it is.
- Try to consider things from her point of view also. It can help to literally put yourself in her shoes. She may not be taking your relationship for granted; she may feel that the friendship is strong and solid enough to survive while she finds her feet in her new relationship.
- Another option is to meet her new man, and try to get to know him. He obviously likes your friend, so you have something in common. You don’t have to adore him; but perhaps you can learn to tolerate him. If that is too far a stretch, you may have to declare a truce and accept that he is a part of your friend’s life. If your friend is agreeable, you may be able to preserve your friendship by seeing her when he is not around.
It is normal for long term friendships to be tested when life circumstances change, and while it is never easy when your best friend gets a new man, hopefully some of these tips can help. But if you find you are really struggling, it’s good to know that you can chat to an online counsellor to find ways to cope with this upheaval in your life.