Dear Straight Up!
Two of my best friends have started dating each other and although I’m happy for them, I’m starting to feel like a third wheel whenever we hang out. It’s so weird for me to see them together romantically because we’ve always been good friends. Now it’s transitioned to something else and I don’t know how to handle it. I find myself getting more and more frustrated and angry at them. Whenever they ask me to hang out I come up with some excuses to avoid them. They are both great people and I should feel happy for them, but I don’t know how to handle it. I feel like I’ve lost both of them. What should I do?
I understand how you feel. I’ve been there with two friends and even now it can still get a bit weird. What has helped me is that when I am with them, they are not all lovey-dovey and affectionate. Even though I know they are together, there is still that feeling that when the three of us are together, it’s just good friends chilling. I can understand how hurt you must be; first being part of this circle and now they share a special bond which you are not a part of – no wonder you feel like you’ve lost them!
But you have to understand that you haven’t lost them. The situation has just transformed into something else and you just need to adapt. If you feel weird around them for whatever reason then talk to them about it. Be open and honest about what’s making you comfortable when the three of you are together.
When I say this, I’m not saying to voice disapproval of their relationship. What I’m saying is if there is anything they are doing that makes you feel awkward then you need to share that. I do that with my friends. I don’t mind if they peck each other hello or goodbye. But if I see a full make-out session, I’ll just throw water at them and tell them to stop. Especially when there is nowhere else for me to go!
So have a sit down and talk to them. Once that is done, give them their space to be with each other. Hang out with your other single friends and give them their space. Resisting the situation is not going to make you feel better or change the situation. Just accept it and be happy for them.
Dear Straight Up!
I’ve known my best friend since childhood. We’ve gone through everything together and have stuck by each other. I love her to bits. However, with the recent guy she’s dating… let’s just say that I have to bite my tongue to keep myself from sneering at him. I cannot stand him! He is so full of himself, loud, obnoxious and I don’t know what my friend sees in him.
She brings him to outings and parties and it really bothers me. I want to be happy for her. But I honestly think she can do so much better. I’ve been contemplating telling her how I feel but I don’t know if that would be a good idea. How can I have a courteous relationship with someone I hate?
Dear Frustrated Friend,
Let it be. Your annoyance and frustrations with him are your problem. You have no right to interfere with your friend’s happiness. If she likes him then that’s all that counts. You need to figure out why he bothers you so much and get over it. Whether she can do so better or not is for her to realize, not you. You just need to stand back and be happy for her.
You don’t need to like him – just force yourself to be civil. Don’t put him down or talk badly about him either to her or to anyone else. Don’t voice your grievances about him to anyone. If you do that and you keep doing it, you will slowly destroy your relationship with your best friend and I’m sure you don’t want that.
I know that you two have been through a lot together. But trust me, long-term friendships can be ruined, especially if another man or woman is involved. Keep him at arms-length and at the same time show your friend that you are happy for her and are there to support her. Even if you have to fake happiness, so be it. She’s more important for you to keep than your annoyance at her boyfriend!
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