It's easy to feel left behind if you're used to being two single Pringles with your best friend... and then she gets into a new relationship. Your hang-outs may dwindle in numbers, your friend may no longer text you back right away, and your single-gal vacations may fall by the wayside as they use their vacation days on couple getaways with their new beau. If friend ditches you for a boyfriend or girlfriend too many times, a conversation could help get your friendship on the right track.
In fact, Benjamin Ritter, MBA, MPH, EdD, founder of the Breakup Supplement and consultant for Live for Yourself Consulting says you owe it to your friendship to have a conversation about your friend's new behavior.
"If your friend ever ditches you — breaking plans, lying to you, ignoring you — because of a new partner, you should immediately bring up how you feel and the action that caused those feelings," Ritter tells Elite Daily. "There’s no allowance for disrespect in a friendship, and the worst thing you can do for your friendship is to ignore when you do feel disrespected."
Next comes how to address the actual conversation itself. I asked Ritter how you should handle the topic of discussion.
"The conversation you have with your friend should focus on how you feel, and the specific action or actions that you’re concerned about," he says. You want to make sure you stay on-topic — even if you don't like their new partner, keep this about you and your friend specifically. Ritter says that attacking their partner will put your friend on the defensive, and that won't be constructive to a positive conversation. "The conversation isn’t focused on the new partner at all, but on the situations that caused you to feel ditched."
After you've cited an instance to your friend in which you've felt left behind due to their relationship, and explained your feelings, show them a potential way for you two to move forward and mend your friendship.
"Make sure to really focus on your feelings, and then offer potential solutions to your friend," Ritter says. "How would you want them to act in the future? Can you sympathize with the feelings that come along with a new relationship? Discuss how the friendship may also have to adapt now that there is a new person in the mix."
You may be afraid to have the conversation with your friend, fearing that confronting them will only push them further away. But hear me out: It's valid to want to ensure that your friend still considers your bond to be a priority. And, like Ritter said above, you may just need to talk through navigating your friendship now that your friend has a partner. Friendships are fluid and the dynamic between you two will always be in flux depending on outside circumstances. That's normal. But discussing these changes as they come will help you both.
Remember to use a kind voice, state your feelings, and discuss moments when you felt pushed to the side.
"Your friend is not your enemy," Ritter says. "When you bring up the conversation, don’t use an argumentative tone, don’t 'set up a meeting,' [and] treat the conversation like any other you’d have with your friend, because, you’re friends!"
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