It’s a known fact that when you’re single, your fellow single ladies are your absolute life source. They’re the ones who will clear their jam-packed schedules on a random Wednesday to join you for a night out, just because you feel like drinking a margarita. They’re the ones who will listen to you bitch about whatever prick is pissing you off at the moment and reassure you that you’re right, even though you’re probably overreacting. They’re the ones you can be sure to freely text on a Sunday because you know that they, too, are sitting around eating popcorn and watching Sex and the City reruns. Your best single friend is your right hand woman, practically residing at your place and co-living your life. But then something happens. She comes over one day and tells you that he asked her out, and isn’t this great? And you’re excited for her, because you love her and you want her to be happy… but now what? What happens now that your beloved wing woman has crossed to the dark side, and ventured into a relationship with a guy that you were sure would never be anything more than a slam? Calm down, try not to panic, and whatever you do, don’t buy a cat.
You’re sad — and that is understandable. It’s not that you’re jealous (okay, maybe a little bit), but you realize that things are going to be different. For me, the weirdest part about losing a single lady to the monogamous lifestyle is that our nights out are completely different. I’m still doing the same weird shit I’ve been doing for years, like neglecting to monitor my alcohol intake, singing loudly on bar stools, and accepting dances with questionable strangers. Meanwhile, she’s moved past that. She considers the outcome before agreeing to slam a few more tequila shots. She worries more about the people we’re hanging out with. She doesn’t even think about accepting drinks from the boys who offered to buy us another pitcher, because why would she? She’s got a man, and she’s not interested in anybody else. When I forget for a second about her, uh, condition and ask what she thinks about a rando in the room, she gives me a death glare so powerful that I think I might actually be looking into the eyes of Satan himself.
It’s not just your social life that has changed. She’s different at home, too. She’s happier, and at times seems as though she’s floating on air. To her, the world suddenly revolves around this new boy, and everything that comes out of her mouth starts with “Dan thinks…” I’m not saying that every girl who has a relationship instantly forgets about her friends and spends every waking moment with her man, but it can happen. The girl you once relied on for a good time, a shoulder to cry on, and an ear to listen is now breaking plans left and right. When she gets serious enough about her relationship, she’ll spend all of her time being with him, talking about him, or thinking about him. It’s possible that she could ditch you for him over and over again, until the most contact you have with her is a few texts now and again when something catastrophic happens. It sucks, but it happens. Maybe she comes to you sometimes when he fucks up and she has to vent to someone about the situation. Your first instinct is to be like “Screw you, you ditched me for a fucking guy.” But she’s still your best friend. You’d rather make a twenty mile walk of shame than see her cry.
Perhaps the most surprising change is when your friend starts reacting differently to situations that she used to offer input in, like when you start talking to a new guy. She knows (or at least thinks she knows) how a boyfriend should act, so the second a boy does something a little different, she’ll warn you to pass on him. It’s understandable; your girlfriends are practically reflections of your life. They help you make sense of what you have, what you aspire to be, and what you really want. So just grin and bear it when she lectures you on what she didn’t like about a guy you were talking to. She’s different now, and she thinks you should have a sensible boyfriend, too. I love it when my friend pities me for being single, as if I’m really upset about it. Sometimes she’ll offer me lines like “I remember, being single is SO hard.” The best is when her passive aggressive attempt at consoling me is paired with a sympathetic head tilt. Okay, sure, I should probably be at least slightly ashamed that Honey Boo Boo’s mom has a boyfriend and I’m still single. But being single is a blast. I don’t ever have to share my bed. Or feelings. I can remain psychotic all the time, and no one is there to tell me how much of a bitch I’m being. Relationships aren’t for everybody; I don’t need a stable relationship — just a stable internet connection. Excuse me for partying, but I’m young and I want to get it all out of my system before I have to settle for a entry-level employment and a strict, self-inflicted curfew.
So, what’s the solution? How do you get your partner in crime back? Through all of this, I’ve managed to take a few things away from the situation. First, you have to come to terms with the sad fact is that you might not get the friendship you had with her back. Maybe she’ll realize how important you are in her life and work something out. Maybe not. Second, you have to realize that she now has more than one very important person in her life. She cares about this guy and wants to be there for him. You can’t blame her for being with someone that makes her happy, and even if you could, it’s not your place. Lastly, you need to always be there for her. No matter how bitter you might feel about the situation, you have to let her know that you will always care. Things could end badly and you should be there if they do, offering tissues and a bottle of wine rather than a snarky “I told you so.” You obviously care about the well being of this girl, so stick around, even when you’re feeling lost and forgotten. Bear through the nights of third wheeling, cancelled plans and passing out alone. Friends don’t give up on each other.