You’re walking around with a smile on your face, your heart races every time the phone beeps and you can’t seem to concentrate at work. Yup, you’ve got a new love interest and they all you want to think about. You’re excited to introduce them to your BFF. That first meeting goes great, they like each other; your world is complete. You spend A LOT of time with your BFF, so when she joins you and your new crush for brunch or a matinee, it feels like any other weekend, but better. After a few months of bliss, you start to notice there’s a lot of silence from your new crush when you talk about your best friend and they start objecting when you suggest she tag along for a flea market excursion or a day at the beach. Is your best friends participation in your activities starting to ruin your newly formed relationship?
Set Some Boundaries
Always a threesome.
As much as you probably enjoy having your two favorite people all to yourself where you can glow in attention from both of them, it’s probably not as much fun for either of them. Eventually, they will start showing you this. It might start with a snide comment posed as a joke or an eye roll, but before long you will feel caught in a tug of war. Each will demand you see the faults of the other. While you may find yourself thinking, “they are just going to have to learn to get along”; this is actually your problem to fix.
For your BFF, start by acknowledging the change. She’s undoubtedly feeling left on the sidelines by your new romance. The two of you used to bar hop together on Saturday nights, and now she’s got the choice of staying at home, trying the night scene solo, or finding a replacement gal pal to dance the night away with. Build time when just the two of you can hang out like you used to. You can also try to encourage group activities for more than just the three of you. Wouldn’t it be great if their BFF and your BFF hit it off?
For your new love, make sure they know their importance in your life isn’t threatened by your friendship. This can be tricky. You can’t tell them they’re important, but then when you need advice or have exciting news to share, you reach for the phone to call your BFF before sharing with your new love. You and your BFF may have years of relying on each other, that won’t change, but you need to lean on your new love once in a while. Give them a chance to tell you what outfit would be perfect for your class reunion or let them be the first to hear that you received a raise at work.
Expert on you.
After all the years you and your BFF have spent together you know each other really well. You know she will buy mint chocolate chip ice cream and a bag of Ketchup flavored potato chips when she’s had a bad day. She knows not to call you on a Sunday night because you’ll be soaking in a bubble bath trying to gear up for the work week ahead. However, it will only cause friction if she seizes every opportunity to remind your new love how much she knows about you that they don’t yet. Maybe you’ve always hated cream cheese, but having your BFF tell them that just as they pass you a bagel they spread thickly with the stuff, will only cause embarrassment and ruin the romantic gesture.
You and your new love need to explore who you are together without being locked in by former likes and dislikes dictated by your BFF. Anyone being an “expert” on you, isn’t allowing you to grow and evolve. Maybe you haven’t tried cream cheese since you were a teenager and your tastes have matured.
You’re going to need to have a tough heart to heart conversation with your BFF about their behavior, but you’re also going to need to ask yourself whether you are encouraging this behavior. Are you asking your BFF to tell your new love how to handle you when you’re upset? Her suggestions may have the intention of being helpful, but you and your partner need to navigate how to be together in a way that works for the two of you.
So even if you’ve always preferred to be left alone when you’re upset, maybe with your new person you’d prefer a hug. Your BFF instructing them on your emotions will only prevent you from discovering what works for you as a couple. Working through a tough moment with your partner allows you to grow closer, form bonds and build trust. Your BFF’s involvement could mean you’ll miss those moments.
The bottom line is that change can be hard, but it allows us to grow. Too much nostalgia or adherence to how things used to be can prevent new great moments from happening.
Articles of Interest: 10 Ways to Detect a Lasting Friendship: A True Friend or Not?
©Love Wide Open