I sat with my friends in college talking about our dating lives. We discussed how we hoped we’d actually like whoever was lucky enough to date our friend – approve of them. After all, if our friends are our true soulmates, then shouldn’t we approve of who they end up with?
But as my friends’ relationships started to move out of the blissful first chapter, life’s difficulties appeared. We started to have sad, angry and confused discussions about who they were dating. My stamp of approval started to fade, and an X started to take its place.
At first, I was happy my friend dated someone who made them happy and gave them what they deserved. However, this person became someone I wanted my friend to leave behind. Just when it seemed like my friend was going to break free, I saw the text or answered the call that signaled they were giving this person another chance.
My mind raced about the days, weeks or months I’ve been supporting them through their dating struggle. And now that they’re back on track, I can’t forgive this person that hurt my friend.
But my opinion no longer seemed to matter. Maybe the love I felt for my friend didn’t carry the weight I thought it did.
Sometimes we’re not meant to love our friends closely, but from afar, so they have the freedom to make their own choices. Yet once we give our friend that distance, it’s hard to recreate the intimacy we once shared. We’re no longer soulmates intimately intertwined, but instead, two simply people supporting each other when needed.
As much as we’re invested in our friends’ relationships, our friends’ relationships are not our own. But maybe that’s better. You’re both free to experience life a little less interrupted by the opinion of someone else.