How People Change When They Get a Significant Other

30 Apr


One of the most awkward things for me when dealing with interpersonal relationships is when a friend acquires or loses a significant other. There are multiple reasons for this, but one of the biggest is that I don’t like when my relationships change. I don’t like change period, but I start to get worried about my future relationships with those people. Why? Because people change when they are in a relationship.

More importantly, I feel like I have to change when they are in a relationship. I start thinking more about the things I say or do, and I find myself holding them back. I could usually care less if the other party (the girlfriend/boyfriend) gets offended, or thinks my comment or action was inappropriate, but I don’t want there to be any backlash for my friend.  Its even worse when the friend gets offended, because you know that something within them has changed.

There is also that awkward moment when your opposite sex friend says that they can’t hang out with you because their significant other doesn’t like it.

They also sometimes start acting completely different, and doing things you have never seen them do before.

When I was in high school, this guy that I was friends with got his first serious girlfriend. He was a super smart guy, who didn’t drink or smoke, and he didn’t really party. Then, he got his girlfriend, and all of  that changed. I think the fact that he took up smoking was hardest change to swallow. Maybe this situation was the turning point for me. Maybe I just see doom in the future when people start to date.

It also makes me think about how I’m still single, but thats a whole other cookie.

Then there is the reverse. You have a friend who has been in a relationship the entire length of your friendship. When I sit and contemplate that, it makes me wonder if I even know this person at all, or if they would be completely different when they became single again. On top of that, do they really know me?

Not to mention, the addition or loss of a significant other changes any group dynamic, especially if that person was part of it before.

How do you feel about change? Do you find yourself feeling awkward when friends start dating? Do you agree that people change in ways like this, and do you change? How do you handle it?

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