Dealing With Jealous Friends And Your Relationship
Okay, you've fallen for this great new person and all of a sudden your good friends are starting to act strange around you. You've been friends for as long as you can remember and you've been through thick and thin together. You know everything about each other. What's up with this new behaviour. From the sarcastic remarks to the cold shoulder; it leaves you wondering what's going on?
Could it be jealousy?
Before you jump to hasty conclusions and write off your relationship with your best bud or count them as a fair-weather friend, it's best to get a handle on what's really going on with them. We're all very complex individuals and there could be more to the picture than what you're seeing. Additionally, new love can be all-consuming and in some cases a little sickening for your friends. Going on and on about a new flame to your friends can get old really quick. As their friend you have the responsibility to check in with them to see what's going on with them when things seem out of the ordinary.
Most times when a friend suddenly starts giving off these signals when you've found new love, it indicates that they miss you being available to spend time with them.Your new love has rocked your world and your focus becomes your next contact with them. You're consumed with getting to know them and many thoughts, word and actions revolve around your new love interest. Suddenly your time with your friends seems to be at a premium. Finding that time or inclination is more difficult. They're possibly feeling neglected by your inattention when before you spent hours with them on a regular basis hanging out and doing things together. Now they're playing second fiddle and you're doing all of that with someone else.
If your friends are single, there may be a fear of losing your friendship or that your friendship with them might never be the same. Friendship is based largely in the roots of common interests and common thoughts. Now you're hooked-up and they're still single. Self-worth can also be a problem for your friends as they may begin to think of themselves as a loner or perhaps a loser for still being single.
If you can, remember a time in the past when you were single and one of your friends started seeing someone they thought was the right person for them. Ask yourself how that made you feel? Did you support them happily or did you ask yourself when it was your turn to find the love of your life? Did these feelings make you like your friend any less, or did you just really miss them? Understanding yourself and being able to put yourself in someone else's shoes can go a long way in understanding how a friend might feel when you find new love. At best, a friend will express happiness for your new relationship and will celebrate your excitement. Good friends will often ask questions about your new partner and be happy to discuss your hopes and anticipations of what's to come. This kind of reaction is ideal in a friendship and allows you to see friends who are strong within themselves, and who can put your interests and happiness ahead of any personal insecurities that they might have. Conversely, a friend that is unable to put your happiness ahead of their own might resort to anything from snide comments and cold shoulders to hearing third-party gossip about your new love interest.
So how do you handle it?
- Your friend's behavior can seem ridiculous to you, and in some cases, you're absolutely right. But damaging a close friendship over a new romantic relationship is never worth it. Strive to make time for your friend even with your new relationship commitments. Not dealing with it won't make it go away. Make time for them and let them know that they're important to you.
- Start by asking them what they think and how they feel as soon as an opportunity arises. If one doesn't - make an opportunity. Good friends are hard to find, and even good friends can sometimes behave badly. Open up and share your thoughts and feelings; be sure to really listen to theirs as well. By acknowledging the issue and discussing his or her feelings up front and honestly, it will let your friend know that you value them as a friend and that what they think is important to you. It will also be a mutual place where you can have the opportunity to weather a storm in your friendship and perhaps make it stronger in the outcome.
- Don't come to the table with a pre-ordained idea-it could be something else completely apart from your new relationship. Jealousy might not even be the problem. Don't assume. Being a good friend can be a slippery slope in matters of the heart. What you mistake for jealousy of a new relationship could actually be a very good friend not wanting to rain on your delusional parade of being with someone who clearly is not right for you. Some may feel that bad choices in partners, tend to resolve themselves with time, so there is no use damaging the relationship you two share for the sake of something you'll find out anyway. If your friend does admit to having doubts about your relationship, try to resist the urge to get defensive and angry. If you are feeling super-mature in that moment, ask your friend why he or she feels that way, and really listen. Good friends often have a unbiased view to situations we are too close to. Otherwise, keep the conversation short, but still keep it civil. If it turns out your friend is wrong about your new partner, they'll apologize later, and if your friend is right, you'll thank them later. Either way, it's a positive thing. Good friends seldom agree on all matters anyway.Take the chance to let your friend that you still value their friendship.
- Once your friend has shared his or her feelings, remind them that you remember all the good times they've shared with you and that there will always be more. You're not going anywhere. Making time to spend with friends can be a balancing act with relationships, but true friends make time for each other. New-love jealousy is usually a fleeting emotion that can be overcome. You don't have to be single to remain good friends, but you do both have to be good friends to each other to maintain friendships while one or both of you explores the experiences and joys of love.