Accidentally Intentional

My Friend Started Dating Someone - I Feel Abandoned & Forgotten. What Do I Do? | (HELP! Series)

July 20, 2023 Zoe Asher Season 2 Episode 15
Accidentally Intentional
My Friend Started Dating Someone - I Feel Abandoned & Forgotten. What Do I Do? | (HELP! Series)
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

You may find yourself in this exact situation right now. Feeling ignored, abandoned, forgotten, and more. You're frustrated because you didn't do anything wrong, and want to know why its happening and what you can do next. In this episode, we cover what science actually reveals about this phenomena, as well as action steps you can take to preserve your friendship, and not let this current feeling have the final word.

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70% of people do not have a single person that they can call in the middle of a crisis. Let's face it, we are relationally broke. And my mission is to make that percentage zero. But how? By building relational wealth, the embodiment of all your relationships with yourself with others and experiences that enrich your life. I promise you this podcast will help you build wealth in every way that money cannot. And it all starts by being accidentally intentional. Let's begin. Hey, what's up, guys, and welcome back to another accidentally intentional podcast episode. Now, if you've been listening for a while, you know that last summer, we did a help series, where people brought in their questions, and we kind of talked through the scenarios and how to best navigate a new relational dynamic that they found themselves in. And I'm gonna bring it back, I have another help series episode for us today. And the topic for this one is, my friend just got in a relationship, and I feel completely abandoned. What do I do? Now, if you're listening, my guess is that you either want to know about what to do and help someone that feels this way, or you yourself, feel this way, right now. And so before I say anything else, I just want to say, I'm sorry, that's really difficult. Because you've invested a lot of time into a friendship. And right now, in this moment, it might feel like, it's all gone. And it's all over. And I definitely have some encouragement to speak to about this. But I just first want to address what you're feeling. I'm sorry. It's really difficult. I've personally experienced this. And I have personally caused this experience for other people, which I'll get into shortly. But it's difficult, and yet hope can still remain through it. Research has been done by a sociologist, Robin Dunbar, who you might recognize that name, if you listen, because a couple episodes ago, we discussed her research about how many types of friends people need to have in their life, and what types of relationships we need in our life. And we talked about the Dunbar principle is what it's called, where basically it puts in concentric circles, the max amount of relationships you can have in each of these circles in your life. And the tightest circle with the lowest amount of relationships is the core group. These are the most important people in your life. And the max limit for us is to have two to five people, that's when we cognitively tap out, we can only keep two to five close people in this first and most important, most important core, concentric circle. And I bring that up because this dynamic also often happens is someone who feels abandoned right now, because another friend entered a relationship means that they were in this core tight group. And now it might feel like you've been replaced. But I kind of want to explain that you're not being replaced. You the relational dynamic just is shifting, it's not dying. It's not ending. It's just shifting around. So you might have been in the core, the two to five people, but Robin Dunbar actually shares research that whenever someone enters a relationship to friendships, take a backseat as a result. Now that might feel deplete that that might feel deflating to you until you realize something important. I said backseat, meaning you're not out of the car, nothing has moved, stopped moving on, you're moving together. You're just in a different seat in that person's life. And that can feel really sucky at first. And I also want you to know that other people will feel that from you. When you get into a relationship one day yourself. And I didn't really ever believed this until I started dating. Who was now my husband because I I've seen it happen in my life. There's so many different ways this friend would get in a relationship. This friend is having kids. This friend is doing this and I'm like, Oh my gosh, is everyone else's life changing except for mine? Why do I always get shifted around? Why is my life the one that has did change as a result of everyone else's. And it got deflating for me for a long time until I realized, I'm still friends with them. So we talked about the core being two to five. And if this research is true, which we're going to believe it is, for the purpose of this exercise, then I moved from someone's core group to the next concentric circle and wrung out, which is still considered close friends. And the cognitive limits that we have for the amount of close friends we can keep, is 12, to 15. So we can't think of it as a demotion in someone's life, or Oh, my God, this friendship is over, it's not over. And the most important thing you can do, if you have found that someone is in a relationship, and you feel completely abandoned, is to support them through it. And I purposely said, support them through because they are going to have to go through it just like your relationship has been through it with them to date. But if it is, a relationship worth fighting for, then keep fighting for it. And keep asking to hang out. And you can know that things have changed, but things have not ended. And that's the important difference here. If you're in this position, you might honestly be thinking something along the lines of well, do I just wait for them to come to their senses and stop abandoning me or maybe they'll break up? You know, we can't, we can't think like that. Because if we truly care about someone, then we want to support what is best in their life, not saying that we are not great friends in great relationships for them to. But when a dating relationship happens for someone, things shift around. So yeah, I say support and support them through it. And how I should probably better articulate it is support and move forward. Don't Move on, move forward. One of the things I didn't realize I had started doing whenever I started dating, who's my now husband, is because he became priority, I would forget, literally forget to ask my close friends to hang out at the same frequency that I was asking him to. So basically, it would look like this, we'd hang out probably every other week. So every two weeks. And when I started dating, it dropped down to every month. And so one of my friends had this exact conversation with me, they're like, Hey, I, I really support your relationship. I also kind of feel forgotten. And I don't want to feel that way. And I am so glad that that friend had the courage to tell me that, because it didn't even dawn on me that I had made them feel that way, just because I wasn't initiating the same hangout frequency that I did before. And you know what else they did that was so helpful and bold, they continued to ask me, that's why it continued, that we would still hang out every month, because they kept repeatedly asking me showing me grace, through my forgetfulness, and our relationship between me and that friend is still very much alive and intact. And well, today, both of our lives have shifted and changed, but our friendship was worth it. And I also use that example because there was something important that had to happen, one that needs to be brought to my intention. But also there has to be an agreement that we both want to keep that friendship alive. And so I have a good rule of thumb to give you so if you are this friend that feels abandoned, keep asking to hang out, spending time together. Now know that there might be certain places or certain activities that you guys did together that were super fun. And because they had so much fun, who knows? They might take the person that they're dating there, and that's gonna get hurtful, because then it's going to feel like no, we did that. That was that was our thing. And I'm speaking to someone with that. It's okay. That's okay. Because we aren't confined to certain places, or certain activities in order to build great relationships in our lives. And you can get creative and you can make new you memories together, as your friendship continues as you support them and move forward with them, just from a different seat. But here's my rule of thumb with this after three attempts of asking to hang out, and I would put a month or two months between these three attempts, so it shouldn't be like, after three days in a row, I asked this person hang out, and they're like, Sorry, can't I'm with this person tonight. Don't do that. Give it some time. After two months, if there hasn't been any kind of response from that person to want to hang out with you as well, then it's time to have that conversation. So three attempts over the course of two months, trying to make plans with them. They're like, oh, sorry, I can't do this. What you're looking for, is them to say, hey, sorry, I can't do that night. Because you know, hanging with the person I'm now dating. But can we do this, that's what you're looking for. You want to find that ability, where they're coming up with alternative solutions, because the friendships important to them as well. So if that isn't happening, then it's time to have this conversation of hay might be an accident, and I'm gonna believe the best. But honestly, this is how this makes me feel. And I just wanted to share it with you, because I'd love to hear what I can do better, how I should communicate to you. And if this friendship is something that is important to still? Is that gonna be a hard conversation? For sure. Is it going to be a worth that conversation? Yes. Because you have either just extended the runway of your friendship and preserved it, because you both shared your heart with one another, or you found out that it might be time to pivot, and start building some new, rich relationships and rich friendships in your life. And so if that is you, I'm gonna go through four questions that you should have in the back of your mind, as you're looking for potentially new, great friends. It's a test of is this going to be someone that's a great friend, ask these four questions to yourself, one, can you tell this person, the good things? It's pretty important. You want to be able to find people who celebrate with you and can cheer you on in your life? And of course, vice versa, too. Can you tell them the bad things as in the bad things you've done or the bad things you've experienced? And they can hold that? And also hold you accountable? That's a good friend. Someone who can say, Man, that's a lot. I'm sure that feels like a lot to you. And I'm sure that you feel X. And also, I want you to know that I'm going to be here for you to support you in X. Moving forward. Three, kind of an offshoot of two, but can you tell them about the darkness, and they sit with you? They don't need to fix it. They can literally just sit and exhale with you. Wow, that's a lot. But they don't judge you for it. Will they show up? When there's darkness in your life, as well? Now not making them the crutch to taking away the darkness in your life? But can they show up for you when times are dark? And for? This is an important question. Do you do I do we give people the opportunity to show up for us? And do we show up for others? Because if we want a friendship, and especially if we're trying to build new relationships and friendships in our lives, yep, we're not willing to do the very things that we're looking for. Then we are not setting ourselves up for success either because that's all built on completely fake, unrealistic expectations that are gonna get you hurt and the other person hurt, as well. But here's the deal. This situation, this specific situation about feeling abandoned because a friend just entered a dating relationship definitely sucks. But it's not over. And what I just outlined are tools in which you can implement and use to navigate this new dynamic in your friendship with this person and perhaps build some new relationships in your life as well. Well not to replace, but to add more people in your life because you're worth amazing relationships. And we're not supposed to do life alone. So hey, I hope this episode helped you. We'll see you next time on The accidentally intentional podcast.

what research has revealed about the amount of friends you can handle before reaching a social limit
research that reveals the social dynamic that happens when someone gets into a romantic relationship
the most important thing you can do if you're in this situation
Zoe shares her personal experience and how she accidentally made someone else feel abandoned
if you feel abandoned, do this.
4 questions to ask yourself when you are starting to make new friends