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Let's be honest It secretly sucks when your BFF gets a boyfriend

I’ve been ditched by my best friend because of her new boyfriend. Maybe you think I’m jealous or I’m chasing after someone who has no interest in hanging out anymore, but this is my best friend, writes Christine Allen.

MY BEST FEMALE friend has recently entered into a relationship and while she is very much alive, a minutes worth of silence would feel entirely appropriate.

Now an official inhabitant of planet relationship, she, to quote Michael Jackson, is ‘out of my life’ - well, kind of.

While we do still communicate online (when initiated by yours truly), our chats which were once ’DMC’ material now merely skim the surface, our dialogue sounding rehearsed.

Following years of spontaneous and enthusiastic communication, we are now undoubtedly going through the motions – and it sucks.

‘Luke says hi’

In my view, the decline in both the quality and frequency of our conversations can only be attributed to the fact that her boyfriend now practically lives at her place. (Often, before I’ve managed to compose four characters, I am alerted to his presence with a ‘Luke says hi’ text.)

From her perspective, his neck nibbling is a distraction. From mine, I no longer feel comfortable confiding personal information via an app with her boyfriend perched over her shoulder.

shutterstock_291151640 Shutterstock / El Nariz Shutterstock / El Nariz / El Nariz

Yet when I attempt to take things off-line, I must deploy persuasion tactics that Missus Doyle herself would envy, and despite my best efforts, a night in with Netflix and her BF usually wins out.

On the rare occasion that we do meet up in person, it is clear that her mind is still at home with Luke, watching re-runs of The Big Bang Theory.

Painful conversations? What’s happened?

Case in point, three weeks ago, we met at our favourite cafe. Offering an underwhelming greeting, my friend then proceeded to sit languidly for the duration of our meeting, offering minimal information about her own life, and responding with short answers to my attempts at conversation.

Feeling as deflated as her body language, I excused myself to select a treat at the cafe’s counter, pushing thoughts of my Slimming World consultant from my mind.

Upon returning, I wasn’t surprised to find her tapping rapidly on her phone’s screen.

“Luke says hi,” She announced, her mood instantly lifting.

I gave a half-hearted wave, hoping she would pick up on my irritation and drag herself away from her smartphone.

When she didn’t, I considered dunking her iPhone into her mocha, before biting on my heated cherry scone with admirable restraint.

Now, if you have never been ditched or neglected by a best friend due to a change in their relationship status, perhaps you’re thinking that I’m a jealous beast of a woman who’s in need of her very own ‘bae.’ That I should cut my friend some slack, in the understanding that she has fallen in love and is not, in fact, her sane self.

Then again, you may view me as a right eejit for chasing after someone who evidently has no real desire to be in my company.

And there would be some truth to your beliefs.

I miss my best friend 

For one, I am jealous. I miss my best friend. I miss our randomness and our silly conversations, underlined with in jokes that only we share.

However, with regard to my persistence, keep in mind that this woman is one of my BEST FRIENDS - not some casual acquaintance. Cutting ties is therefore easier said than done.

And while I may now have a touch of the green eyed monster about me, when I first heard the news about her relationship, I was (to quote Miriam O Callaghan) ‘genuinely’ pleased for her.

That was however before I knew the extent to which falling in love would impinge upon our friendship. Before I realised that for some people, a partner often fulfils the role of best friend, as well as lover.

shutterstock_124549840 Shutterstock / Preto Perola Shutterstock / Preto Perola / Preto Perola

While I can somewhat understand her lack of availability (I have been in love myself – mostly with carbs, sometimes with people), what I can’t comprehend is why she has chosen to dedicate all of her time to one relationship, sacrificing everything external to it in the process.

And chosen she has.

No matter the depth of your infatuation for another person, time can and should always be made for a life outside of your partner.

While the notion of both yourself and your other half, fighting side by side against the world may in theory sound romantic, in reality it can only serve to foster an unhealthy relationship.

In fact, new research has found that couples who go the distance ‘stay apart’ in order to ‘stay together.’

According to an unpublished study by Terri Orbuch, a psychologist and research professor at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research, having enough space or privacy in a relationship is more important for a couple’s happiness than having a good sex life.

Despite this, the idea that the intensity of their relationship may have an adverse effect on its lifespan has not yet crossed my friend’s mind. Perhaps in time, that will change.

Until then, where does that leave us?

Well, we haven’t spoken since a last ditch attempt on my behalf to organise a night out failed – she declined, before going a step further and clarifying that her weekends were booked up for the next month or so.

Yet while her lacklustre attitude in regards to our friendship is frustrating (and a little hurtful), I’ve decided to take it on the chin. To focus on expending my energy on the people who are here for me, today.

With that said, I still care for her immensely. Up until Luke entered the frame, her commitment to our friendship was also beyond reproach. She has been there for me through thick and thin (quite literally. )

And so, despite her bad behaviour, there’s a strong likelihood that I’ll be there at the other end of the phone, if and when it all goes pear-shaped.

Following some heavy duty grovelling of course.

Christine Allen is 27 and has just completed a three-year IT course at DCU. Her writing has been published by Gay Community News and DIVA magazine.  You can follow her on Twitter here

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