My best friend just got a new boyfriend and she has totally disappeared. I feel hurt, but I also feel like I don’t have a right to be because she’s so happy. How do I handle this?

by Simone Kornfeld

We love this question as it speaks to a topic we feel truly passionate about—friendship. Funny, we wrote a book about flirting and dating, yet our appetite to preach the merits of nurturing friendships is never satiated. So with that said, we hear that you want to be excited about your friend’s new romance, which is wonderful. But we also get that it’s difficult to be jazzed cause she’s dropped you like a piping hot potato in favor of the shiny new pickle that just rolled onto the scene. It sounds like your friend has disappeared into the foggy lovey-dovey fantasy that this new guy will satisfy all of her needs—emotional, mental, spiritual and of course, physical. This is a seductive dream indeed. All of the fairytales and diamond commercials tell us that romance is the food that will forever fill us, so when we finally get our dose, we think it’s our duty to disappear and gorge ourselves.

The reality is that romance is thrilling, but it can also be fleeting. The love gained from friendship may not provide the sugar high of romance, but it does give sustenance that is grounding, stabilizing, inspiring and deeply accepting. Friendship is a place you can be free, real and cared for without the conditions inherent in romance. So when your friend chooses to put all of her eggs in her boyfriend’s basket she does so not only at the expense of your friendship, but at the expense of herself. Even if the relationship with her new guy becomes the meatiest one in her life, it will still not be an entirely balanced meal. And there will probably be a day when the high wears off, her blood-sugar level drops, and she reaches back in your direction. But if the absence goes on too long, she might find you’ve got nothing to give. And that thought makes us sad.

So in order save this rift from become irreparable, you must communicate your feelings and ask that she set aside time for your friendship. There is no substitute for time spent together. And when you do hang out, request that she commits the time solely to you and that she’s not rushing out of the restaurant to meet her boyfriend before you’ve even finished your pudding. Muster as much patience as you can while she figures out how to find balance. If she fails to make consistent efforts to maintain your connection, let her go. It only really makes sense to offer your gift basket of friendship to those who truly value the hearty offerings within.