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Friendship Interrupted

In the beginning, you were so happy Jen found a great guy to date. She had been through a series of relationships that weren't quite the right fit. You two spent many girls nights laughing, conversing, relating and sharing. But you knew this time Jen's beau would change things between the two of you. This guy was different. Over time, it became obvious. This was her Mr. Right.

But while she fell head over heels for him, you sort of felt left behind. Gone were the morning calls about the details of last night's date each of you couldn't wait to share. Gone were your standing Friday and Saturday girls nights. There was someone else in the picture now. You became her, if-I'm-not-with-him, friend. You began to feel like the third wheel.

So how does a friendship last through the ebb and flow of guys coming into the picture, either temporarily or forever? Is there room enough for another person? Is your friendship solid enough? Importantly, what you really have to ask yourself, is: are you and your friend both mature enough to ensure your friendship continues, even when one or both of you have found love?

With maturity comes responsibility. We all learned that concept leaving for college, the first time on our own. Yet, it's not just financial or academic maturity that matters in life. It's emotional maturity. Equally, if not more, important, emotional maturity means you're able to consider the impact and changes of a friendship and how that other person is feeling about them. In a two-way friendship, it's not about one-way feelings.

So while your girlfriend, Jen, is now infatuated with a new guy, his bulging biceps, soft curly hair and an apparent insatiable appetite he has to be with her, it's important both of you realize you can't just drop your lives before a guy, just to be with a guy. We all know the gamble in doing so...hurt feelings and broken friendships may result. Plus, there's always the risk of having no friends left, should the relationship with Mr. Fabulous not work out.

No one really wants to be disrespected in any relationship, or kicked to the curb if someone seemingly better comes along; albeit male or female. For a short while, you understand Jen's in love. Of course you do. But when it feels like you are paying a price, you are giving more than you are receiving from the friendship, that's when it's time to talk.

Even if a new guy in your friend's life is fabulous and oh-so-right, friendships should still be respected. It's important to continue meeting for some girls nights; still meet for coffee, lunch or shopping. Continue to spend time with each other acknowledges you both value the friendship, even if you give her some space and time with her new boyfriend.

After all, if any new man is going to be around for a very long time, he would want to know how he fits in with the rest of a woman's life; not that he is her 'entire' life. We all know if a gal drops everything in her life for a man, including time with friends, she's less likely to keep that man in the long run.

The best advice for any gal is to take time when meeting a new guy and don't abandon friends. If friends have been there as a source of strength, fun and companionship, the last thing they should be is left by the wayside because a man enters the picture. Balance. Give time, communication and scheduled activities to both relationships.

Sure it's exciting to spend time with a new guy, but be mature enough to care and be grateful for the friends who were there for all those girls nights; the friends who would still be there, through thick and thin.

Besides, what better wedding to have than one with a loving partner and girlfriends standing beside you, the ones who have traveled with you on this path and plan to stay by your side forever as well. Could you ask for a better future?

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