In high school, it was so easy to be best friends with our best friends. We saw them every day, because we had to. We hung out every weekend, because we wanted to. We were rarely separated by more than a few miles and always around to answer the phone when someone needed to talk in the middle of the night. We took for granted how easy it was for us to be close. Once we went off to college, the distance and change weeded out friendships that weren't strong, and amplified friendships that were. We'd visit each other on long weekends, talk on the phone while we walked to class, and look forward to every single holiday break. We all had the same priorities then: to hang out whenever we were free.
When we left college and entered the real world, new strains were placed on our friendships. Our locations scattered, our work loads got heavier, our free time varied. While we still cared about our friendships, new priorities made their way into our lives which inadvertently bumped our friendships out of the number one slot. It's not that they were less important, it's just that other things became equally as important. After some adjustments we found our rhythm, but as it turns out, our rhythms are not all in sync anymore.
Some of us are focused on career, family, relationships, travel, or independence. Drifting becomes the easiest thing to do. So, we make monthly dinner plans and get together for each other's birthdays, but someone always can't make it and we all get way too used to not seeing each other regularly. And then big relationships happen. When you're in a serious relationship, it's probably your top priority. Sometimes it's not just your priority, but your responsibility. Like when you have to miss your best friend's birthday party because your fiancé has work event. But after a while, when you've been in a serious relationship, your friends become a part of your partner's life, too. Your partner meets your other friend's partners and they become friends. Now you go on double dates, triple dates, have dinner parties and go on trips together.
But what happens if you don't have a partner? Suddenly you have the choice of being a major third wheel, or letting your friendships drift. While that might seem easier than dealing with the awkwardness of being the only single friend in a rental beach house filled with couples, you've got to fight for the friendships that are worth fighting for. Here are six ways to avoid drifting from your friends who are all getting married:
Get Over The Awkwardness
You probably don't want to hang out with a bunch of couples because you think it will be awkward. It will be awkward. But get over it. Your friends don't want you drift just as much as you don't want them to drift. So do your best to show up when you're invited somewhere and don't spend so much time pitting yourself for being the only single person there. If they're good friends, they won't make you feel that way.
Don't Blame Your Friends
If you were in a relationship, you might be doing the same things your friends are doing. Try not to blame them for letting their priorities change. It happens in life. Your friendships can't stay the same as they were in high school.
Be Open About Your Feelings
Don't let your feelings build up. Be as open and honest with your friends as much as you can. Otherwise your anger and sadness will show up passive aggressively and you'll get nothing accomplished.
Learn When To Say No
Sometimes it will be the appropriate response to say no. If your friends are going on a romantic couples dinner, you're allowed to say no. Sometimes you won't fit in to the group of couples and you just have to be OK with that. And sometimes you'll have more fun than you expect. Be open to both possibilities.
Make Small Plans
Make "just friends" plans. Let your friends know that you love their partners but would like to have a night together with out them every once in a while. They'll be more understanding than you think, especially if you have a good attitude about it and don't insult or put down their partners.
You never know where life will take you or your friends. Relationships end and begin and you never know who that will affect. Don't compare your life to your friends all the time, you're different people. You are exactly where you're supposed to be, even if that means alone on the couch watching murder mysteries on a Friday night while your friends are getting couples massages.
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