Ever felt neglected because your best friend is in a new relationship?

I have.

Today, on the train back to London, after spending a month at home I felt sad about leaving my best friend behind. For the first time in a long time she’s living at home, and although she’s working constantly she’s still up for grabs. It feels to me that it hasn’t been that way since we were 17. Part of me wants to stay, have dinner with her every night, watch movies, dance around the kitchen and block out any thought of growing up. But the reality is, that growing up is inevitable and to be honest, she’s already done it.

I met Faye when I was 10. I was overweight, with a very short bob and a love for hot pants. Faye was pre braces, with a head of curly hair and long legs that the rest of her body hadn’t quite caught up with. We were a match made in heaven. She was, and always will be the sister that I never had. Our friendship proceeds friendship and lands in blood (sounds dark but I meant in the family sense not in the red stuff.) We are walking and talking proof that opposites attract. I can’t think of one thing that is the same in our personalities, except for our love of chocolate and shit rom coms. But we never clash, just compliment.

As we got older plenty of obstacles attempted to challenge our bond and none have succeeded. (Like that time that I accidentally slept with your brother lol, sorry about that.) It is now however, 2 years into her relationship with boyfriend George, that I am realising that this is the most challenging obstacle to date.

I’ve had boyfriends before, Faye’s had boyfriends before but neither of us have ever been with someone that we thought was the ‘one’. Faye knew from the minute that she met George, that he was the person she wanted to spend her life with. It sounds crazy and at the time it was crazy, especially as the last thing he wanted was a relationship. She would ring me crying one week, and laughing the next depending on how her night with him had ended. Nothing, not my advice or George’s dismissal could throw Faye off what she knew inside, and thank god. Because she was so right.

They are perfect for each other and when they finally got together I was both concerned and over the moon. George was quick to calm my nerves with his charm and kindness. So my protective friend alarms stopped ringing and the silence left me wondering where I would now fit into her life, of which I had been centre stage for a decade. No longer was I the point of call for family parties, holidays or gigs, I wasn’t even the first person that she called when she received good news.

I would be lying if I said that I didn’t struggle. I have a flaw in my nature, a jealous streak which I try constantly to restrain. In this situation it was harder than ever to silence the green eyed monster. The worst thing was, that I loved and still do love George. If I was going to hand over Faye’s attention to anyone it would be him. He’s funny and generous and he never makes me feel like I’m intruding when it’s just the three of us.

It took me a while before I realised that I needed to sit myself down and have a stern word about my behaviour. I had been stroppy and snappy and it wasn’t Faye’s fault that she had fallen in love. It was her fault that her contact with me had become less frequent and that she wasn’t brilliant at juggling both of us, but this has to be excused at the start of a relationship. If she didn’t give the time and energy that she normally gave to me, to him, her relationship wouldn’t be what it is today. I also realised that my own loneliness and my need for Faye’s love and support had to be my problem, and not hers.

So here I am on the train and I’m missing her, because I just had a glimpse of what our lives used to be like. In and out of each other’s pockets, sharing beds, endless meals and gossip. Going out and being a double act, never one without the other. But it shouldn’t be sadness, but fondness and gratitude. Fond of the memories and grateful that we had them at all. I’m still adjusting to not being her everything but I no longer feel a loss. I’ve gained a friend in George and a happier friend because of his love for her. Honestly, their love is both desirable and repulsive depending on my mood. I mean could you have at least one argument and talk about marriage less? Thanks x

All I ask of her now is that she makes time for me, girl time that we both still need. And although it has lessened, I treasure it more than I ever have before. And when she’s got her head in the clouds and only has eyes for George, I’ve learnt to politely remind her that I still exist and need some tlc, rather than sulking and eventually saying something mean to her.

It’s a skill: being able to juggle platonic and romantic love. It’s something that takes time and patience from all parties involved. I think the trick is being honest. If you just stop seeing your bff because you got a shiny new love interest, that bff is bound to have a bitch fit. Whereas, if you openly admit that you’re full throttle in love and want to spend every waking moment with that person but, once you get bored you’ll be back and eventually figure out a balance, it’s so much harder for your partner or your bff to be angry at you. The word balance gets thrown around a lot nowadays but, here I think it’s relevant.

I hope Faye knows that when I’m mean and jealous, it comes from a place of love and the need to have the support of someone that has grown with me, and knows things that I don’t even know about myself. Because, actually those friends can’t be replaced. Not even by boys with pretty faces and bright futures.

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