The Handbook No One Gives You


Dear Dharma,

I’m writing to you because you’re great, for starters. Also, I need your help with my best friend. I’m getting so annoyed and upset by her!

She just starting going out with this guy from our class. They have been dating for almost a month. Ever since they first started seeing each other, my BEST friend never even bothers to return my calls anymore, never wants to hang out with me, and claims she’s always busy and has homework. We are in pretty much all the same classes, so I know she doesn’t have THAT much homework. She is clearly lying to me and wants to spend all her time with her new boy.

What do I do? I don’t know how to confront her about this. I don’t want our friendship to be destroyed over a guy. I feel like I am her last resort and not a priority in her life anymore.

Did I also mention that this guy hangs out with the “popular crowd”…  I’m also suspecting that maybe I’m not “cool enough” for her anymore. Please help me!

Chopped Liver

Dear Chopped Liver,

I think it’s safe to make the assumption you’re in high school, and that’s a really important distinction in answering your question… because in high school, everything changes.  They don’t tell you that in the handbook of life (oh wait, they don’t even give you the handbook!) and it’s something so clearly seen in hindsight.

All the rules have changed, Liver, and to be honest, it can really suck.  Dating and boyfriends often take priority over BFF’s and suddenly you’re left behind.  And hey, it could just as easily have been you that started a new relationship and left her behind.  Oh I know, I know, you would never do that… except… you might!

When the opposite sex enters the picture, the lines suddenly get blurred, the attention is flattering and intoxicating and politics are high.  It’s all new at this age with no precedent to rely on so everyone is floundering.

So what to do!

I think it’s okay to say something to her, but not in a confrontational way.  Tell her you miss spending time with her, even though you understand (even if you don’t!) she loves spending time with Mr. Cool.  And then leave it alone.  She’ll either come around or she won’t.

In the meantime, don’t fixate on this – and certainly don’t question whether you’re hip enough to fit in with his crew!  I think you’re cool and so do your other friends, so let that be enough to get you through til tomorrow.

Find productive ways to spend your time and other people to hang out with.  As much as you have always enjoyed her friendship, build something independent from that.  And your parents would want me to tell you to spend some time studying for that next test.

Remember this though – just because her attention has been pulled away with this new interest, it doesn’t mean she’s not your BFF anymore.  Life is nothing but ever changing and a solid friendship should be able to withstand some ebb and flow.



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