What’s worse than being friends with a couple? Being friends with a couple when they break up. You are constantly pulled in each direction because one is trying to make the other jealous, and everyone gets mad at you when you hang out with their ex. It’s a common hardship in the world we live in.
You’ve been friends with the male factor of this equation forever. Neighbors. Classmates. You’ve always had great chemistry, and that’s why you’re great friends. Let’s be honest, you are only friends with this girl because she dated one of your good friends, but now you’ve been sucked into the quick sand that is girl code. And once you are in, there is no escaping it. I’ve recently found myself in this similar situation, trying to decipher what is real friendship from real connection, and I’m having some issues.
Ten years ago I met Mitchell. We grew up on the same playgrounds. We ate at the same lunch table. We liked all the same music. And we were best freakin buddies running around at 10 and 11 years old. Our relationship always stayed on a friendship level, although everyone around us would always say, “We’ll be at your wedding someday” or “Why don’t you and Mitchell just date already?”
I would be lying if I didn’t say the thought has crossed my mind on occasion, but the opportunity never came up. We were always in different relationships, but kept our friendship alive, well, and healthy.
So fast forward ten years and a couple of relationships later, Mitchell is going through a break up with Dani. Dani is a cool ass chick. She’s funny, always fun to be around, and we have a great connection as well. I can ignore the fact that ironically the only time she has ever asked me to hang out with her one on one was once she and Mitchell broke up, but I’m trying to be optimistic about her character.
“Oh you’re out!? Who are you with!?”
“The usual! Zach, Mitchell, Aly, Becca, Nate…”
It’s your typical, Laguna Beach bullshit. Dani gets mad when I hang out with Mitchell, which is to be expected (which is also why I hate being friends with girls).
“Why would you do that, Lizzie?”
“Uh…well… because I wanted to go to the bar with my friends?”
What has changed in the past year other than the fact that they broke up? Our relationship is still the same, Mitchell and I have never crossed the line. Never even talked about it. So why am I being scrutinized for staying friends with a friend I’ve had for my entire life?
“Hey, Mitchell is going to be at the basketball game tonight. Just wanted to tell you that we will probably hang out! I wanted you to hear from me rather than someone else.”
Like. Damn. It makes you start to question this chick’s intentions. I am going out of my way to be upfront and honest with her about EVERYTHING. Like literally checking in with my mother to make sure everything is okay and I can sit by my friend and a basketball game. Is she just befriending me because she knows I am such good friends with Mitchell? Is she keeping her friends close and her enemies closer? Are we going to argue every time I’m in a group setting with her ex-boyfriend? All this garbage is clouding my mind and my judgement.
Then you have Mitchell, who quite frankly, does not give a shit about any of this drama. We never talk about Dani. We never talk about their relationship. So why is their lack of a relationship affecting my relationship with Dani? She’s jealous? Insecure? I don’t really know at this point.
After racking my mind and studying all history of celebrity love triangles (because I know they are the only people who have genuine and honest relationships), I have decided the best thing to do, is to not do anything. Yes, I have a great connection with Mitchell, and I’ve been single so long that I don’t even remember what it feels like to be touched by a man. But, if Mitchell would have been the one for me, I think it probably would have happened sometime over the past ten years. I’m not a backup plan for when other relationships fail. And we have a great friendship.
And as far as Dani, she’s just going to have to get over it. I respect the code. And I understand why me hanging out with her ex is going to make her uncomfortable, but as long as I don’t cross the line, I’m not doing anything wrong with staying friends with a friend. She knew before we became friends that I was friends with Mitchell. And through all of this, it actually has made me appreciate my singleness. I don’t have to worry about any of this shit. I might just stay single forever (and maybe not by choice, but at least I would have severe anxiety about my ex)..
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