What To Do If Your BFF Is Getting Too Wrapped Up In Their Relationship

You're living your best life with your BFF, and suddenly, they start dating someone and go MIA. When you text them about important things, you wait days for a reply. Your Friday nights are no longer the two of you causing a raucous at your favorite bar because they're out with their new partner. It's a total bummer, but sometimes when the people closest to us get into a relationship, they leave others behind. It's not that they're being a bad friend, it's just that you're no longer their priority. And it hurts.

According to 2015 research published in Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences, with every new romantic relationship, we lose two people in our lives. Although the study didn't say which people within our network are more likely to get the boot, the fact remains that romantic relationships are costly to other relationships in our lives. "The issue is simply time," evolutionary psychologist and study author Robin Dunbar told Mashable. "People become so focused on the new romantic interest and devote so much time to them that they don't have as much time for all their old close friends... so they get bumped down from the category of being intimate friends to the category of good friends."

Because the heartache that comes with losing all that precious time with your BFF is real, you can't let yourself stew in your emotions. Instead, you need to do something about it, especially before you become one of the two your BFF unintentionally drops.

Remind yourself what's really going on

First and foremost, be happy for your friend. If they're so wrapped up in their relationship, it's because they're in love. This is a great thing! Not everyone will fall in love so deeply, so when it happens to someone we care about, we should be excited for them. Also, keep in mind that, especially early on, there's a very good reason for them making you second in their life: the human brain on love is crazed and addicted. Seriously.

"[Your brain] is becoming active, is giving you that pleasing sensation, is pumping out the dopamine to make you feel more optimistic, energetic," biological anthropologist and chief scientific advisor to Match.com Dr. Helen Fisher told NPR. Dr. Fisher then explained that this is the same reward center of the brain that is also activated when you do cocaine. 

That's right: cocaine. What's one of the most addictive drugs according to American Addiction Centers? Cocaine. With this in mind, give your friend some slack during the early stages of their relationship. They're literally at the whim of their own brain that's high on love.

Don't beat around the bush

As much as you should give your best friend space and time in the beginning, you also don't want to keep your feelings to yourself. When we don't allow ourselves to be honest with the people in our lives, those relationships can become brittle and even permanently broken. Instead, pinpoint where the problems are, what your BFF might be doing to make it more painful, and how they can be a better friend to you during this time. 

"If your friend ever ditches you — breaking plans, lying to you, ignoring you — because of a new partner, you should immediately bring up how you feel and the action that caused those feelings," relationship coach Benjamin Ritter, MBA, MPH, EdD told Elite Daily. "The conversation you have with your friend should focus on how you feel, and the specific action or actions that you're concerned about... The conversation isn't focused on the new partner at all, but on the situations that caused you to feel ditched."

While your BFF might be in love, you two also have something unique and special. It may not be romantic love, but it's still a type of love and devotion that shouldn't be ignored and tossed aside for someone else. Remind them of this in a direct, clear way, and as Ritter points out, with the focus on how you're feeling because of their behavior. This is where "I" statements, those oh-so-important conflict resolution skills, come in handy. 

Be open to compromise and change

One of the best things you can do when your BFF is wrapped up in their relationship is be open to compromise. Not only should you understand that you now have to share your friend, but sometimes seeing them might involve them bringing their partner along too. It may not be the most ideal situation, but things have changed for your best friend and you need to adapt to those changes if you want to keep them in your life. Basically, if you love your friend, you should do your best to welcome their partner into your life on a level that's comfortable for you.

"As friends, it is important for us to sometimes connect with our friends' significant others, whether we like them or not," Shasta Nelson, author of "Frientimacy: How to Deepen Friendships for Lifelong Health and Happiness," told Insider. "It's part of getting to know our friend better and witnessing [them] in [their] life. And it's also okay for us to ask for alone time... without needing to blame anyone."

You don't have to be best friends with your BFF's partner, nor do you even need to like them, but you have to accept them. At some point, the obsession will calm down as the first two stages of falling in love — lust and attraction — fizzle into attachment. Remind yourself of this often, because it's very, very true. 

Realize it's going to take some effort — and this is only temporary

Although all relationships take work, when your best friend has a new partner that they can't get enough of, it's going to take even more work for you two to maintain the friendship. What was once easy is no more because it's no longer just the two of you. If you have to, schedule times to hang out alone, set up boundaries about how often they can bring their partner to hangouts with you, and remind your friend that they don't need to talk about their partner the whole time you're together. It may seem silly, but as Dr. Fisher pointed out, you're essentially dealing with an addict. So, what you might be rational about, they may simply be unable to rationalize. The brain in love is no joke.

Eventually, your friend will untangle themselves from their partner and once again learn how to manage the time between you and them. It may take a while, but if your friendship matters to you, then stick it out. The best thing you can do is be patient and don't judge. Someday you, too, will be head over heels for someone and your best friend will be Googling what to do when your BFF is too wrapped up in their relationship — just like you did today.