Friends’ relationships most of the time feel like our relationships. “You met someone! Let me see ‘em on Facebook!” “Did you text him first or did he text you?” “What happened when you saw her out?” “AHH have you really been together this long!” We want our friends to be in happy, healthy, and fun relationships with amazing people we can in turn be great friends with too. When can we make that double date happen!?
Eventually, though things take a bad turn. We’re left walking the fine line of advice giver.
Whenever my friends ask for advice about a bad situation in their life love, I feel a need to preface it. I don’t want them taking my advice and being unhappy if they follow through with it, or to get back together with that person and feel like they can’t talk to me about them.
The truth is, our friends’ relationships are not our own. We don’t experience the feelings they experience, and we don’t share in the moments they have. There have been many times my friends thought I should move on from situations, but I knew I had to act out those feelings fully for me to have closure. That said, our friends want what’s best for us and can many times offer better advice than we can give ourselves.
I remember freshman year a great friend getting upset every time I mentioned a certain guy’s name. I understood why she would be upset, but thought at the same time she didn’t understood. I recently was faced with a situation where I was in her place was finally able to empathize with why she was be upset. I was the one who didn’t understand.
We see our friends get hurt by people but when we see them hurt by the same person, we want to push them behind us and protect them with everything we have. In the moment we feel anguish, and as I type this I realize what we really want to say is, “You deserve better. You don’t deserve to be treated like this and they don’t deserve you.” What we want to say is, “You’re an amazing person, and if I can just be enough to you as a friend in the interim, someone fantastic will come along to treat you better.”
But we forget to say these words. We instead feel flustered constantly hearing the same situation told to us.
If we could remember these words, but also tell our friends, “I’m going to be there for you either way, because it’s your love life,” one relationship will remain untainted. The one that matters most – the friendship.