Ask Iman: The relationshiped and the relationshipless

Dear Iman,

My best friend recently got a boyfriend and has been spending an awful lot of time with him. She cancels our plans and prioritizes him, sometimes she'll even invite him to hang with us last minute. I am happy for her, however, I just wish she made more time for me.

What should I do?

Talk to her! Bite the bullet and bring it up — nothing ever gets better by keeping it in.

Open communication can be (and often is) difficult, but by airing out your frustrations you’ll be able to better understand each other's viewpoints while crafting a plan on how to move forward. If you hold everything in and don’t say anything, someone will get unnecessarily hurt, whether that’s you or your best friend.

While talking with your friend, it’s important to acknowledge that it’s tough to be in both positions — the boyfriended and the boyfriendless, the relationshiped and the relationshipless. It’s difficult being the friend left out and it’s difficult being the friend who learns that they are unknowingly leaving people out. It’s important to keep your conversation fair and balanced. Even though you're upset, you need to listen to what your best friend has to say. She could have completely thought she was spending tons of time with you or she could know that she needs to put more work in, but you’ll never know until you talk to each other.

You also need to keep in mind that new relationships will change the dynamic of old friendships and that’s ok! Things are always changing and it’s natural for things to be different. It is a hard pill to swallow, but your relationships would also change if you were dating someone, too. It’s not a bad thing, it’s just a different thing.

Lean into the different!

Time alone is gold and it doesn't have to be time spent being lonely. You can hang out with yourself more (which is often better than usual when you romanticize it properly), pick up a new hobby or two, make some new friends or join that club you’ve been eyeing at clubs day for years. Learning how to spend time with yourself is important, so you might as well take this opportunity to do so.

So yes, this situation sucks and there’s no way to get around it without a good old chat. But keeping open communication and making the best out of a less than prime situation can make everything a lot easier and better overall.

At the end of the day, your best friend is still your best friend and for good reason, too. Yes, it hurts to be pushed aside but there’s no way to get pulled back up if you don’t take matters into your own hands and talk it out.

You’re doing great. Keep it up!

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