Are you a Relationship Recluse? Don’t be THAT friend

When Boyfriend and I started dating I made a conscious effort to stay in touch with all of my friends; as a gal with a tumultuous relationship with her family my friends are literally the most important people in my life. My friends keep me sane, they are my brunch buddies, they are my sounding board, they are brilliant, they are my happy place and they are the people who will be there for me if Boyfriend ever leaves me. So when we got together I decided I wouldn’t be the girl who gets a boyfriend and promptly disappears from existence.

It isn’t easy to be a good friend, a good girlfriend, a good pet parent and keep it together at work but it’s doable, even if it’s a little stressful at times. But my friends were here first, they’ve had my heart for years and in some cases decades they’re my heart and soul and I’m lucky that Boyfriend has never had a problem with that. Sometimes the best thing about Boyfriend is his ability to be logical, something I sorely lack; he never gets emotional when I bail on him to spend a night in with my roomie or a night out for wings with the boys and he never intrudes on the most holy of days, Sunday brunch – unless he’s been invited.

While I’ve managed to see my friends with almost the exact same frequency as I did prior to Boyfriend a lot of that has to do with the fact that my friends love him and he loves them. After a recent conversation with one of my best buddies I realized that this isn’t always the case when you enter into a new relationship. His ex didn’t like most of his friends and she found it difficult to make an effort with his people so more often than not he went out without her or he stayed home to cuddle; there’s nothing wrong with cuddling but it’s easy to see why their relationship fizzled when she wasn’t willing to make an effort with his people.

But sometimes even if your partner digs your people you still drift away from your friends, which is hard for those of us left behind wondering what we did to make you want to ditch us. Because “I’m finally getting some and I haven’t left my bed in days except to eat and re-hydrate” is a terrible excuse even if we’re totally happy for you.

One day you might break up, I hope you don’t, but you might, and then what happens? Do you come crawling back to me like you never left? Are we all of a sudden friends again because you have time for me now? What about last week when work was nuts and I just needed someone to sit and have a pint with; you remember, don’t you? You weren’t picking up your phone that day.

The truth is, I’ll always be here for you, I will always love you — but it still hurts when a new bed-mate turns you into a missing person.