The day after praying to God to put to sleep my desires, along with these feelings that started popping up for this girl, Annie, I felt like a brand new man. I deleted any sexually toxic people from social media, anyone who’d possibly want to hook up with me in the future. I needed to start being the right kind of man Annie needed me to be, taking responsibility over my sexual temptations.
That same day, my best friend called me for a long conversation. He apologized for ruining my birthday with the whole cake situation and not hanging out with me afterward. He knew it was wrong from the start, yet he didn’t listen to his gut feelings.
I apologized for my reaction, wanting to harm him, and acting like a drama queen. While we were reconciling, he mentioned that he and the girl who ended my Bible study were now officially dating.
His revelation pricked my heart strings, but I knew I had to be happy for them. Even though something inside told me it wasn’t right.
Why wasn’t it right? I mean, I saw they were in love with each other, and I knew my best friend was a great boyfriend from all the stories he’d told me of previous relationships. I had many other friends who’d dated, then gotten married because of how in tune they were.
So, why did this particular relationship not sit right with me?
My best friend and I went to a Mexican restaurant for lunch. We discussed his new relationship, his desired outcome, and what he wanted to do for dates! I gave him ideas for future dates and asked about their first date after seeing her online postings the previous weekend. He gave me all the details, and I was ecstatic — or, at least, I tried to be!
Eventually, though, I couldn’t keep it in any longer. I told my best friend what was on my heart. That I didn’t want his relationship to end quickly while isolating himself with his girlfriend.
I’d seen too many people go like that: now that they’re in a relationship, they can act like a married couple. Even though they’re not married, cutting off other important people from their lives.
I’d seen couples do that, only for their relationship to end as all the other important people in their lives weren’t there anymore.
The food came, and we ate. I told him about my whole Annie situation, just to change the subject. I talked about my prayers last night and about removing all those toxic people from social media.
My best friend told me he was proud of me, that I was headed in the right direction.
The bill came for the food. I was still jobless, and he willingly paid for my food. We went outside, and I asked him what he was going to do that day.
Since he was now in a relationship, he’d need to rearrange his schedule and somehow squeeze in our usual hangout days along with time with his girlfriend.
We went our separate ways, and that questioning feeling still wouldn’t go away.
As time passed, I took the same approach with the girlfriend, hounding her on why they even wanted to be together. Of course, I got your typical “Christianese” answer as they spiritualized their relationship.
I didn’t like that. I didn’t like that they were under the impression they had to spiritualize almost everything they did. It was like they weren’t being real to themselves!
Several days turned into weeks, and I started seeing my best friend less and less. This started taking a toll on me, and I knew I had to say something. Again.
One day, we finally grabbed lunch together, and I just poured out my heart to my best friend. I pleaded for him to take his new relationship slowly and not to forget about me.
While saying that, something just clicked in my brain. I started tearing up; right then and there, I asked my best friend to forgive me for being a jerk.
I’d put a standard on him and his girlfriend that I knew they’d fail. I didn’t believe in them, and I wasn’t encouraging enough to help them out in their dating relationship. I was being a total jerk.
At the end of our talk, my best friend got a distraught text from his girlfriend. She’d been preparing for a yearlong missions trip for many months, only now to receive a message that she wasn’t qualified to go.
She’d ecstatically saved a bunch of money, only for that door to shut.
We went to meet her at Chick-fil-A, and she was in tears. I empathized with her situation, and I apologized for being a jerk. I told her what I’d told my best friend, and she gladly accepted my apology.
While walking to the parking lot, my best friend gave her some words of encouragement as the best boyfriend he could be. And during his talk with her, he said something I’d never forget. Something that would be prophetic:
. . . you know me and Matt’s friendship is going to end.
I was stunned by that statement. His words rang in my ears, but I brushed them off as I gave both friends a hug. We prayed together, and I left the two behind in the parking lot.
But now that statement was stuck in my brain, repeating over and over again.
“You know me and Matt’s friendship is going to end . . . “
Have you ever felt cut out of a friendship because of a new dating relationship? Or have you also experienced new feelings for the opposite sex?
I sent you a message, but honestly his kind of friendship doesn’t sound like something good for you now that he’s showing his colors. A loyal friend would have made time for you. He maybe changed… I had a friend that changed and others where I saw their true colors. Please take care of yourself.
Yeah, I’ve seen far too many friendships end because a guy assumed that getting a serious girlfriend meant having no close friends. Not sure how that became the trend in society but it’s now the expected norm. It’s too bad because guys need other guys. We need other men to challenge, encourage, empathize with, and support us. And guys who are in relationships probably need it even more so because they are now investing so much into another person in that relationship.
I’m sorry for what your friend did, Matthew. Definitely his loss.
Yes I have definitely felt cut out of a friendship with a guy when he found a girlfriend. It can hurt but I try to remember that, as it says in 1 Cor 13, genuine love is patient and not self-seeking. That means I need to do what is best for my friend and usually that means giving him as much time as he needs with his new girlfriend.
I appreciate the words of John the Baptist in John 3:29:
“The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete.”
[…] “How My Best Friend’s Relationship Affects Me” by Matt […]
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