Lovers and Friends...

Anyone who has ever been a relationship knows the moment things become serious, tension with close friends can start. As you and your significant other grow closer and spend more time together, creating your own intricate language of code words and inside jokes, your friends might start to see you as becoming distant, having less time to hangout, and or, as some in my circle succinctly put it "You don't fuck with us anymore."

Since my first serious relationship was a long distance affair, I really didn't have to deal this fact. But since me and my current boyfriend have gotten closer, this fact has become increasingly clear. Two friends in particular feel I have less time for them and don't hangout as much as I used to. I'll admit this is true. It's difficult to balance close friends and maintain a romantic relationship. I'll also admit that a flaw of mine is that I tend to focus my attention, emotions etc., on those I come in constant contact with. In other words, if someone is not part of my daily job/sex life/side interests then I tend to communicate with them less. It isn't out of malice or anger. If anyone of these people were in danger or fell ill I'd be at their bedside in a heartbeat. But this is a flaw nonetheless.

With all that being said, a friend of mine recently spent a weekend in the hospital with swollen arms. He's also part of the community choir I'm in. Since he was absent for both events we had to sing at, everyone in the group called his cell phones and tried to text him. I ran into his brother at church and he had no idea of his whereabouts either. Finally he texted a choir member yesterday about his two-day ordeal. Being concerned, I called his phone, which he actually answered for a change. His response to my questions about how he was doing were cold and confusing. He said I called "too late", despite the fact that only his mother, who lives in California, was the only one who knew what happened. After he said that I "needed to hang out with my new family," (i.e. my boyfriend and other choir members) in a dismissive tone. Needless to say, I was highly pissed off and responded with a simple "Alright," and hung up before I said what was really on my mind.

Now like I've said before, I'm not always the best at keeping in touch. But communication is a two-way street. And over the past few months, his side of the road has gotten some deep-ass potholes and speed bumps. Everytime I've called this person, they don't pick up and never call back. I text them to find out what's going on with them, they never responded. I attempt to chat online, with no response. This person also has their own significant other, yet whenever I ask how their relationship is going and ask about things I've heard through his brother (who's also a friend of mine), I get shallow, indirect answers. It's like he doesn't trust me anymore. I'm not asking he divulge every detail of his day, but it seems a wall has been built up.

However, whatever's going on in his life is no excuse for what I was met with on the phone yesterday. Granted we may not hang out all day every day like we used to, but I still have love him and really don't know why he's pulled away from not only me, but the rest of our mutual friends and his family. As I said before, he's also in a relationship and said he understands that our friendship would change somewhat since we have other stuff going on.

I guess my question is how does anyone else handle the tension that occurs when you try to maintain friendships and a relationship?

Leave comments please and don't hold back.


ToddyEnglish said…
You definitely have to delegate your time between the two, for sure. Afterall, your friends were around long before the partner.
So, it is wise to take a little time for each. Each party has to know that you were an individual before them and you'll be one AFTER them...

However, sometimes people do grow up and apart. The person who was your friend at 15 may not be a suitable friend at 21. That is just how it goes.

It sounds like your friend is kind of toxic though. While I was reading it alarm bells kept going off. I recently went through this. My ex-friend was extremely clingy and ALWAYS made me feel guilty whenever I didn't hang out with him. And if I wasn't at his absolute beck and call then he'd guilt trip me (much like your friend did)about it.

I don't know all there is about the situation; however, do take the time and ask yourself some questions...

1.) Does this friendship feel like a job?
2.) Do I feel bad whenever I'm around him?
3.) Is the pattern of guilt a regular occurrence?
4.) Do you get anxious just knowing you have to be in his presence?
Kevin said…
I don't know if it feels like a job, but I would definitely say it feels high maintenance. I personally think he has some personal stuff going on that for whatever reason he doesn't want to talk about.