It’s inevitable that when we enter into romantic relationships (especially in the beginning) we see less of our friends. There are only so many hours in a day and days in a week! Eventually, most of us learn how to find a balance between friends, romance, and everything else.
But there are some friends who seemingly vanish the second they get into a new relationship. Usually, they’re repeat offenders: Suddenly, they barely text you, let alone make time hang out. To help you cope, here are 8 ways to handle the girlfriend who goes MIA when she’s in love.
Don’t Take it Personally
Your friend is excited, infatuated and does not yet know how to balance her life with her new boyfriend’s life, explains relationship expert and therapist, Kimberly Hershenson. “It is not because she doesn’t care about you or you did anything wrong.” You also don’t want to make her feel guilty or appear jealous so give her the space she needs in the beginning.
Gently Tell Her How You Feel
Many people get away with this disappearing act because their friends refuse to say anything. You may think if you say something she won’t think you’re happy for her and if you don’t say anything, you won’t see your friend. Start with something like, “I miss hanging out, and while I am so happy you met X, it’s still important that we see each other.”
Try to See Things from Their Side
They could have confidence issues, says relationship coach, Chris Armstrong. “She may get lost in relationships and forget about everyone else because she fears that if she does not, her partner will drop her. Or, perhaps a romantic relationship is all they need and want in terms of companionship.” Understanding why will help you understand how to deal with it.
Schedule Time Together
Hershenson suggests getting into the habit of setting friendship dates. “Now that she has less time for you, get a set day/time when you will get together or talk on the phone.” And, make sure these dates are kept. Hold her accountable if she cancels on you to be with her new flame.
Befriend Your Friend’s New S.O.
If you’re single, give into being the third wheel and suggest going mini-golfing or something casual. Or, if you’re also in a relationship, suggest a double date. It could be that your friend’s partner doesn’t have a lot of friends and she feels bad leaving them. Involving their partner in your life can do wonders. Your friend may also be grateful for you taking that step to involve them in the first place.
Don’t Be a Doormat
Some friends may pull the disappearing act because they know you’ll always be there when they need you. If being nice about it didn’t work, create a bit of distance if they come running back or act like they’re doing nothing wrong. It might sound spiteful but friendships are a two way street. Chances are she’ll realize what she did and will hopefully apologize.
Find New Friends
Seems harsh, but we all know how friends who always disappear when in relationships get. One minute you’re hanging and talking everyday. The next minute, it’s like they don’t even know you. Instead of dealing with this annoying pattern and begging for their time, cultivate friendships with people who have a better understanding of friendship and life balance.
Consider If It’s Worth Your Effort
If you have expressed your concerns and they continue to do it, you must decide how long you can and should stay in that friendship, explains Armstrong. “After all, we teach people how to treat us by virtue of what we expect (in friendship, time and attention) and what we accept (desertion). This is especially true if you believe that you are just a filler-friend anyways.”