When the relationships we’ve had with close friends suddenly change, it can be a really difficult adjustment. Maintaining friendships can become much more challenging as people move, get married, and have children.
Many times I’ve worried friends would just “fall off the face of the earth” as soon as they start seriously dating a guy. Now I’m the one the one in a new relationship. And I recently moved to a new city—so a lot has changed in my life and in my friendships. I tried to reach out to several of my single friends, but it seemed like whenever I called or texted them, they were unavailable. As weeks went by with very few phone calls or messages from some of my best girlfriends, I grew concerned. Was it because I had started dating someone? I never thought I could be so happy while also feeling rather lonely.
One morning, I complained to my sister that I felt like some of my closest friends had suddenly become distant. My sister, now married with a child, reminded me that she had once experienced something similar. When she got engaged to her now-husband, she felt as though many of her friends (including me) acted as though she no longer really needed them in her life. She had to tell them how much she still wanted and needed their friendship. No one person can ever fulfill us and we need healthy relationships in order to grow and become who we are meant to be.
Since speaking with my sister, I’ve tried to approach things a little differently. Navigating through life can be a huge challenge. We’re all busy. But whether married or single, each person has to find her own way to balance family, relationships, and friendships. I’ve spoken with my girlfriends about my need and desire keep our friendships strong.
I am truly grateful for my boyfriend, but dating him has also placed a fresh perspective on just how much I treasure my relationships with my girlfriends. I’m trying to figure out unique ways to maintain those friendships, even if it’s from a distance. These people are truly gifts in my life and I want them to know how much I appreciate them. I think the best thing I can do is to continue to reach out to my friends and listen to their joys, hopes, sorrows, and frustrations whenever I have the opportunity.