Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Take the Backseat

It seems like nothing can go wrong. You’re on Cloud Nine and everything seems perfect. There is no one else except for you and them. It’s the precious time when you first enter a relationship with someone. They are the moments you will remember and cherish. They are the dates which set the foundation of the relationship.

But when does your investment in a new relationship start to erode the foundations of your friendships? Are you able to balance your new life with that of your past? Do you risk losing the friends that have so fiercely worked to protect you or can you combine the two into a harmonious existence?

As with most people, the moment you enter a new relationship, your friendships take a backseat to your relationship until you are able to find a way to share your love with everyone in your life. But can it happen with your closest friends? Will they ever feel the same after all those years you shared together? In most circumstances, your friends have to learn to adapt and understand their new role in your life, understand that they are no longer the ones you share your woes, thoughts and opinions with. It’s like being thrown a curve ball and they do not how to catch it. And as human nature goes, sometimes the change resembles rejection and they end up feeling hurt, unwanted and unimportant.

In my experience, I’ve been fortunate enough in some circumstances where my closest friends have found their partner. So the effect on my life was kept to a minimum and my ability to adapt to their new lives was minimal. One close friend moved overseas for the love of his life and although the initial change was hard, my ability to adapt was quick and minimal. He had moved to another country, so I didn’t feel as neglected as I would have if he was still here and didn’t maintain our friendship in those initial weeks of the relationship. It helps that his wife and I are practically the same person.

Of my other friends who are in long-term relationships, all have made conscious efforts to ensure their partner becomes integrated and part of our original group. And we all make efforts to welcome them. Ensuring your partner can become part of the group and can interact with your friends is one of the most important factors whenever I date someone new. Nowadays, as our group gets larger (due to partners) the dynamic changes but remains the same at its core.

But it’s not always plain sailing, particularly in those initial first dates. Having fallen for his newest flame, one of my closest friends has become a victim of the inability to balance his friendships with his relationship. And with the emotional attachment he has established for his lover, it appears that this relationship may be one that is everlasting. But here lies the problem, there is no balance to the point where his friends have not seen him in more than a month. No calls, no emails, no real contact.
For me personally, nowadays I am the one who is making all the contact, when in days gone by, it was balanced interaction. It’s been extremely difficult for me, given our usual contact per week prior to the relationship. To me, I’ve lost a friend and I know I will never get it back.

So what do we do? Do we let it be and hope that within a week things will go back to how they were? Do we say something? Do we hope that he finds a way to balance his life out and finds a way to introduce his relationship into his friendships? I would be inclined to say something, but does that run the risk of ruining your friendship? I guess, for me, time will tell. Balance is the key, but lose your balance and you could fall of the edge in ways you might not have expected.


tristan said...

if he is a true friend, then he will come back to you blah blah blah...

actually, send him a msg or give him a call and tell him to get his head out for a minute and smell something other than his new boyfriend's...

come to think, just tell him not to be a snobby bitch and say hey once in awhile.

p.s - i didn't give you permission to use my photo ;P

River said...

I've heard and experienced it time and again -- in the gay world at least, friendships usually last longer than relationships do... but we're human, love knows no rhyme or reason... ;)