How to Deal When Your Best Friend Only Wants to Spend Time with Their SO

Your best friend just started dating someone new, and you’re so hyped for her. You can’t wait to hear all about their new cutie over brunch and help them pick out perfect outfits for all their dates––but then she cancels brunch and is suddenly too busy Netflix & Chilling to hang out with you.  Oh, and that night out at that new place downtown you had planned? She doesn’t think she can make it anymore. Suddenly, your friend’s new relationship can seem way more frustrating than cute, even if you think it’s not going to last very long. And if you hated their SO to begin with, it all seems ten times worse.

Or, maybe your bestie has been in a relationship forever and you’ve been dealing with all this for what seems like decades. Tbh, that’s almost worse: there’s a much bigger chance that her and her SO are super attached to each other, and it may be a lot harder for you to get your bestie back.  Aside from planning an elaborate scheme to break them up,* what can you do?  

*Kidding, please don’t do that. Try this instead:

Tell your friend how you feel. 

Whatever you do, don’t start icing out your friend–– you guys will end up not talking at all. Make sure you communicate with her and let her know that you miss her. She might be so caught up in the excitement of her new relationship that she hasn’t even noticed that she’s ignoring your friendship. It’s best to have this convo in person, but if you can’t even get her alone for five minutes, shoot her a text asking about making plans.

If she says no because of you-know-who, use the opportunity to bring up how you’re feeling. Hopefully, she’ll try to make more of an effort to see you in the future! You could even mention that you really want to reschedule that brunch so you can hear more about how things are going with her SO. (OK, maybe you don’t, but if you really want to see her and that’s what it takes, why not?)

Boston University student Erica knows firsthand that this method is far from flawless. “My best friend/roommate has been dating a guy for about a year,” she said, “And she's increasingly ghosted me more and more as their relationship has gotten more involved… I’ve brought up the issue with her and talked about my feelings a few times, usually saying something like: 'Hey, it's been a while since we've had one-on-one time and that's making me feel a little left out of your life, can we go get brunch?' It doesn't always go well and I don't think there's really been a significant effort on her part to be better about spending time with me and valuing me, but I do feel better knowing I said something.”   

Related: What To Do When Your SO Is Your Only Friend

Try compromising. 

Don’t worry, no third-wheeling here! Instead, compromise by inviting your friend and her SO to a large group activity, like going out for a hike instead of a small dinner. It’s not the one-on-one girl time that you’ve been missing, but it’s def better than going weeks without seeing your friend. 

You could also agree to go on a double date, if you want a better chance of actually getting to catch up with your friend.  Just make sure that you go with a guy who you’re sort of close with and knows the situation to avoid any extra drama. When you text your friend asking about planning the date, mention that you and a guy would love to grab dinner or something her and her SO sometime. Don’t let her guilt you into going with one of her SO’s friends if you wouldn’t date them otherwise.  

Ofc, these options aren’t foolproof. Maddie, a student from Purdue University, has learned not to be that picky when trying to hang out with her non-single friends. “I have a personal curse where all my best friends date regularly which leads to a lot of me feeling left out or never seeing my friends cause they're always with a partner,” she said, “For a lot of people I just suck it up, pretend that nothing is wrong, and try to hang anyway and make the best of the situation, just because I'd rather have what little of my friends' time they give me instead of none of them at all.”

Even if you and your friend are finally in the same room together, she could totally ignore you and cling to her SO the whole time. Rude? Yes. But don’t be disappointed if that’s the case, because you already knew that they were inseparable.  

Related: How to Stay Independent While in a Relationship

Give them space. 

Tbh, you might want to give her a little space and try to branch out. Even if it’s been going on forever, you constantly trying to get between her and her SO probably isn’t helping your case. Make plans with other girls you haven’t seen in a while, join a new club, say hi to that girl that sits behind you in class.  It’s not that you have to replace your bestie, but put a positive spin on the situation by using your free time to make new friends.

When your bestie finally realizes that her and her SO will survive more than 10 feet apart from each other, you can introduce her to a whole new squad. And maybe, in the meantime, you’ll meet a new SO of your own. Just don’t forget to show up to brunch and fill in your friends about what went down.