A Cautiously Optimistic Friend

A Cautiously Optimistic Friend

When my friends start dating, I get lost in the shuffle and that’s okay, I will always be there regardless of what happens.

I have not been in many relationships. I am hoping that will change someday. But I have had some close friends in my life who have been in and out of relationships over the years. When it happens, I get lost in the shuffle.  Does it bother me? I’d be lying if I said it didn’t. When does this happen? In the honeymoon phase when things are amazing and they’re so happy. They want to tell me about this new person in their lives and how happy they are. I genuinely listen with excitement and am thrilled for my friends, but I am also cautiously optimistic at the end of the day because I know the honeymoon phase won’t last forever and reality will kick in.

I have this one friend who was in a relationship on and off for years and when it was in its honeymoon phase, I did what I always do. I listen to every amazing thing about this person, even if I have heard it a million times before, etc. Why? Because that is the kind of friend I am.  I even went to this friend’s engagement party and met their significant other at the time.  After this phase, I would take a backseat for a while to their new relationship.

Long story short, it did not work out and I was there at the time when my friend needed me, even though I had been pushed aside. My friend needed a supportive friend. At the time, she needed me to be that for her, no questions asked, no judgment, no matter how I felt about the relationship itself or the fact that deep down I had my doubts and fears that my friend would end up heartbroken; it didn’t matter. If my friends are genuinely happy, living their best lives with a boyfriend or girlfriend, I am perfectly fine getting lost in the shuffle. Is it hard? Yes, 100 %, but at the end of the day, I will do it. However, many times it happens. Regardless of the outcome of my friend’s relationships.

I personally think (and I think I am not alone in feeling this, but I can’t speak about others’ experiences) that when a friend of mine starts dating, my first thought is, ”Where do I fit into this situation? Am I being replaced or sidelined? The answer to that is, no, you are still a part of your friend’s life, yes, but this relationship has become their first priority right now. Even if they are in a relationship that you might not be the biggest fan of.

Maybe you get bad vibes from the person that your friend is dating. Maybe you see red flags with this person your friend is dating, but your friend is not seeing them because they are thinking with their heart, not their head right now. That is okay don’t try to point them out. Hopefully, your friend will see them as the relationship progresses. Do not sabotage your friend’s relationship and happiness just because you have a fear of being replaced.

At the end of the day, we all have to come to terms with the fact that being sidelined when our friends are dating is something we all have to deal with at some point. We must face it regardless of how we feel about the whole situation.

The bigger question is, are you willing to be the cautiously optimistic friend that your friend will need, or are you going to be the “I Told You So” friend? I know which one I would be.

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