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When a Friend Ditches You For Their SO

Nothing is quite as exciting as when it looks like your bff's crush might like them back.  Exciting of course, unless that mutual crush becomes a relationship where there's no room anymore for you. One of the hardest things to navigate as you start to date is figuring out how much time you should spend together and how much time you should spend apart.  Some people do this well, and others...well, not so much. If you're on the receiving end of a friend who has ditched you for their SO, here is what to do.

Remember new relationships are exciting.  Some of the best advice for any conflict is to put yourself in the other person's shoes.  Remember that a new relationship can be really exciting—and even though it's not the best idea to spend every waking second with your boo and neglect all else, the temptation can be strong. 

Know this isn’t about ditching you as much as diving into them.  It's easy to take it personally if a friend stops making time for you, stops calling you as much, or stops sitting with you at lunch in favor of being around their SO.  But as hurtful as that is, remember it's not about YOU.  Assuming your friend is a good one, they're not trying to hurt your feelings by ditching you, and their actions have everything to do with excitement about their SO, not disappointment with you.  Although intentions only matter so much, it is helpful to remind yourself that deep down your friend does care about you and won't want to lose you.  (And if that statement isn't true than it's a whole other issue.)

Identify particular actions that hurt your feelings.  When we're hurt, it's easy to make global statements about the person who hurt us: "they're just lame now," "guess we know where their priorities are," "I guess X is just a crappy friend."  What's much more productive is to focus on identifying specific actions that hurt you.  Not only can that help you put everything in context, but it will be useful for when you confront your friend.  Oh yes, that's next...

Make a resolution to confront your friend. Okay, the hardest part here is actually having to talk to your friend about how you’re feeling.  But if you care about the friendship you have to say something—otherwise, it’s likely that your hurt feelings will make you act out some other way.  Trust me on this one, it’s impossible to keep feelings bottled up forever, so it’s always smarter to release them in a premeditated way on your own terms.

Lead with how much you care about them. Starting this conversation is going to be the hardest part.  Your best bet is to begin by expressing how much their friendship means to you, how much you care about them, and how happy you are that they are happy.  You may even want to explicitly say, “everything I’m about to tell you comes from a place of love—because I care so much about you and our friendship that I never want to let tension come between us.”  By leading with this, it's much more likely that you will bring down your friend’s defenses and put them in a state of mind where they can really hear you.  Then, explain how you’ve been feeling and cite one or two specific examples of something that happened that hurt you and how it made you feel—that way your friend will have a clear sense of what exactly is causing you to feel ditched.  End with, "I really miss you and I'm hoping that by talking about this we can figure out a way to spend more time with each other again."

Friendships can take some reorganizing when a serious BF or GF comes into the picture.  But just because the friendship will have to look a little different, doesn’t mean that it has to be lost.  The truth is, no matter how serious a relationship is, people always need their friends!

Author: Amber M.
Teenagers sitting on a tree limb

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