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Your Turn: “I Feel Like a Third Wheel”

In a feature I call “Your Turn,” in which you, the readers, get to answer the question, I’m presenting the following letter without commentary from me:

I am writing to you for some advice on how to be mature and forget these feelings of jealousy I am having about a budding friendship between two of my girlfriends. I’ve known the people in my social circle for many years, but I’ve noticed over the past few months that two of the girls, “Meghan*” and “Kristen,” have gotten VERY close. They talk on the phone every night, write cute messages on each other’s Facebook walls, and always want me to take pictures of them. I’m feeling a little left out. The other girls in the group I consider great friends, but I see these two most often and I had thought Kristen and I were really close until I started to see these two ladies professing their undying love to each other on the daily. I feel like a jilted lover…

Now here’s the thing: I KNOW that I shouldn’t be jealous of them. I KNOW that I shouldn’t begrudge my girlfriends for finding something really special in each other. Every logical cell in my body is telling me to let it go because jealousy is the most useless of emotions, but I just can’t. Every time we hang out I feel like a third wheel, like they physically sit closer to each other and farther from me. Every time I see a cute little post on Facebook, this hurt feeling wells up inside me. I’m 28 years old and I can’t help but have the reaction of a high school girl.

I have a few friends that, even though I don’t them see very often, they are like sisters to me. I have a wonderful boyfriend who loves me unconditionally. I have a big family that would do anything for me. There is no shortage of love in my life. Why can I not let them have some more love in their lives without feeling like it’s an affront to me? Any advice on how to deal with this BFF jealousy would be greatly appreciated. — Third Wheel

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{ 66 comments… add one }

  • avatar bethany January 12, 2012, 3:06 pm

    I have nothing to say to you because I feel the same way too, sometimes!!! I know I’m a grown up and my friends are allowed to have other friends, but sometimes the jealously gets the best of me too!

  • avatar AKchic January 12, 2012, 3:11 pm

    That’s a tough one. You recognize that you are feeling jealous, and you have other friends/family that you can busy yourself with.

    From your letter, it sounds like these two are in the “honeymoon” phase of their friendship/relationship/whatever. You don’t say whether they are actually just friends or dating romantically (it is 2012, after all). If they are romantically involved, then you do need to reaffirm to yourself that this has absolutely nothing to do with you and that your friendships are just taking on a new dynamic and hope that they work out.

    If it is a friendship, then maybe being content in the knowledge that you set two friends up to become “besties” (I don’t really like that term, but it does seem to fit), and that right now, they are just trying to solidify their friendship. You are the reason they came together, so you don’t lose your place in their hearts, you’re just not as new. Once the newness wears off, you won’t feel like such a third wheel. The dynamic needs time to adjust, that’s all. In the mean time, by all means, feel free to associate more with your other friends.

    Just keep the old song in your head:
    Make new friends,
    But keep the old,
    One is silver,
    The other is gold!

    You’re still gold, but the shiny silver piece has the attention right now. Until they learn to incorporate and accentuate multiple accessories, find another gold friend to shine with for a while.

    • avatar kittyk January 12, 2012, 3:26 pm

      Love the girl scout song reference!

    • avatar Sarah January 12, 2012, 3:30 pm

      Girl Scout 4 Lyfe!

    • avatar PFG-SCR January 12, 2012, 3:38 pm

      Speaking of Girl Scouts, does anyone want to buy Girl Scout cookies? My daughter is selling them at the discounted price of $4/box!!

      • avatar PFG-SCR January 12, 2012, 3:45 pm

        ^^ That’s a joke…well, just about asking people if they want to buy them. They really cost $4/box for all of a dozen or so cookies.

        • avatar plasticepoxy January 13, 2012, 12:15 pm

          I know you’re joking, but seriously, I would LOVE some. I haven’t been able to get my hands on any for the last several years and I want to buy from a troop, not direct from the organization. If anyone knows a Girl Scout in the Minneapolis, MN area, let me know! I miss my Thin Mints and whatever those chocolate covered cookies with peanut butter are called.

      • avatar Renee January 12, 2012, 4:14 pm

        Off topic…

        It’s OK for moms and dads to advertise, but when I purchase GS cookies I always have the Girl Scout make the sale. I like to ask questions about what they do in scouts and what they like best, eventually with some prodding they warm up and talk about scouts.

        • theattack theattack January 12, 2012, 4:43 pm

          That’s what they’re supposed to do! Cookie sales are supposed to be an opportunity for the girls to pick up some people skills. Now my dad would sell cookies to his coworkers in his factory, but that’s because I wasn’t allowed to go in. Otherwise, the girls should really at least do some of the talking.

        • CatsMeow CatsMeow January 12, 2012, 5:43 pm

          Yeah, I totally used to go door to door in my neighborhood. I know that’s not a possibility for everyone, though.

      • avatar spark January 12, 2012, 8:08 pm

        Come to think of it, I’m not sure that I’ve ever bought Girl Scout cookies from a Girl Scout herself… That’s really sad.

        • avatar Renee January 12, 2012, 8:31 pm

          My son had a fundraiser, and because due to distance and people working, it is hard to see all relatives and friends in a two week time period. He got into his Cub Scout uniform and he made a poster, sent it via text to family/friends. He took the order over the phone.

          If you going to advertise Girl Scout Cookies via email to work/friends, it might be a nice idea to have your daughter wear her uniform/GS sash with a nice poster and take a photo to upload.

          • avatar bethany January 13, 2012, 9:17 am

            That’s a cute idea!

          • avatar LittleLuWho January 13, 2012, 7:39 pm

            My mom used to do this in her office! Every year I had to get into the full GS uniform and pose for a photo and she’d help me write some cute little blurb about how much I love being a girl scout and that most of the proceeds go directly to supporting our troop so we can go on trips and yadda yadda yadda. I loved it. My mom was also cookie mom for a few years so we’d have cases upon cases of cookies in our garage. That was definitely the best part.

      • avatar Maynard January 12, 2012, 8:17 pm

        I will, pfg-scr… Just send me your address and I’ll mail the check ;)

    • avatar oppositeofzen January 12, 2012, 3:49 pm

      We sang that song in Campfire too!

    • avatar lets_be_honest January 12, 2012, 4:08 pm

      Girl Scouts!! Awesome.

  • avatar amber January 12, 2012, 3:15 pm

    First of all I think it’s normal to have a little bit of jealousy when two friends in your group grow closer and sort of leave you out of their twosome. That being said they really they talk on the phone EVERY night and write cutesy messages on Facebook, is that all the time too? Are they secretly dating or 16? I mean I have friends I am very close to, like you said sister close, that I don’t talk to every day, I don’t even talk to my own sister on the phone every day. Do either of them have a SO right now? I think Wendy actually posted an article on The Frisky a few years ago (?) about how friendships change when you’re in a committed relationship and how when you’re single you just have more time to devote to friendships. Perhaps this is part of what you’re seeing if they are the two single girls in the group. I would just keep focusing on the positive things in your life that you mentioned and if the notes on FB really bother you that much hide them or whatever you do to block those messages.

    • CatsMeow CatsMeow January 12, 2012, 3:26 pm

      Good point. They might just both be single, while LW is in a relationship. When I was single for an extended period of time, I VERY much gravitated toward other single and childless folks.

    • avatar kittyk January 12, 2012, 3:29 pm

      Good point about the single/relationship aspect- this has often played a role in these situations in my life- with some exceptions, I inevitably am closer with people in relationships when I am in relationships.

      Maybe it has to do with the whole ‘single’ scene- going out to bars and meeting guys, etc. It just isn’t as fun when you have a BF at home- you can look but you can’t touch ;)

      • avatar SweetPea January 12, 2012, 4:43 pm

        It’s already been mentioned… but I’m curious as to whether these girls are single (while you are happily involved).
        If that is the case… set your jealousy/hurt feelings aside. Single girls tend to bond and enjoy having someone else who isn’t involved. It is nothing personal LW!
        In the meantime, try to explore a relationship with a friend that you’ve never been super close with. A woman at work that you’ve always had a ton in common with, but never taken much time to get together after work? Ask her to grab coffee. Maybe join a book club. I know these suggestions may be cheesy, but maybe you just need your “own” to feel less jealous.
        And I know your friendship with both of these ladies is special- otherwise, it wouldn’t bother you. So make an effort to make the plans when you hang out! If you are the one calling up to go get drinks, they may realize how much you care. They might have the feeling they most of your free time is spent with your boyfriend. Let them know that is not the case and that you value them a ton!

        • avatar SweetPea January 12, 2012, 4:44 pm

          Oops, wasn’t supposed to be a “reply”

  • Budj Budj January 12, 2012, 3:20 pm

    You have a bf….if they are single that is why they are bonding to eachother more than you.

    • landygirl landygirl07 January 12, 2012, 4:30 pm

      That is exactly what I was thinking.

    • avatar Mainer January 12, 2012, 5:48 pm

      Totes, Budj. Totes. They probably don’t like the idea of splitting their time with a boy, so they decide to devote all their time to each other. Then when you all hang out, they’re like “oh, look. It’s the one with a ‘re-la-tion-ship.’ I’m so glad we have each other, Trish. BFFs for LIIIIFE. Ahhhhhhh. Let’s get matching bracelets.”

      • Budj Budj January 13, 2012, 8:53 am

        Until one of them gets a boy friend….and then the LW won’t have to feel jealous anymore because she’ll be playing the damage control friend role instead.

  • avatar kittyk January 12, 2012, 3:25 pm

    I’ve been in your shoes. I’ve also been in the friends’ shoes, and had another friend of ours be vocally (albeit subtly) jealous because we were getting so close. At the end of the day we just had more in common and our schedules allowed us more time together, but she took it as a personal attack. It got really irritating really fast, and made us not want to spend time with her or tell her when we did things just the two of us because we were tired of the comments.

    It is just one of those things you have to accept for what it is and try to move past. Recognize the negative emotion and try to remind yourself that it is useless and cut it off before you start ruminating over it. When I was in your position, I made myself think of it in a positive way- instead of being jealous that my friends were hanging out without me, I thought of it as a positive thing that they were doing something fun, because they are my friends, and I want them to be happy and enjoy themselves. And I’d be more proactive about calling/spending time together/etc.

    So, basically, you’re not alone in feeling like this, and you can’t control your knee jerk emotion, but you can try to rationalize it like an adult and not stew over it like a high school girl. (I’m your age, I don’t mean that in a mean way at all :))

    • theattack theattack January 12, 2012, 4:47 pm

      Definitely agree about how bringing it up could make it worse. I’m currently the new friend to a couple of girls who’ve been close for a long time. I’m much closer to one than the other. The other one is really jealous, even though we’ve been including her in everything. But she’ll start up drama because she’s mad about it, which pushes both of us away from her. It’s the opposite effect of what she wants! So LW, don’t confront these girls.

  • avatar rangerchic January 12, 2012, 3:30 pm

    Watch the movie Bridesmaids – sooo funny and reminds me of your situation.

    Sometimes our lives take different paths than our friends and we grow closer to someone who is in a life situation more similar to their own. Maybe that is what is happening. This happened to me and a really good “sister like” friend. I haven’t talk to her in more than a year now because our lives are just totally different – we don’t have much in common any more. I’m still kind of sad about it but have moved on. I’m not saying to move on from the friendships but maybe take a “break” from the friendships and hang out with a different crowd for a while.

  • avatar ele4phant January 12, 2012, 3:32 pm

    Oh, this is certainly frustrating, and I think we’ve all experienced friend jealousy before.

    As others have said, this isn’t personal, or about them pulling away from you. Its about their new found closeness, and again as others have said, they’re in their “honeymoon” phase. After the novelty wears off, they’ll probably stop being so intensely insular.

    In the meantime, maybe you could try to hangout with them one on one rather than with both at once? Or conversely, it sounds you’re all part of a bigger friend group, so hang out with them when the bigger group is all together to mitigate their cliquishness. Basically, just try to avoid situations where its just the three of you until they get past the honeymoon phase.

  • avatar *HmC* January 12, 2012, 3:35 pm

    For the record, this is a good example of someone experiencing less than logical/ideal feelings, but not acting on them! I feel for this girl because 1) she not only knows that it’s somewhat illogical to feel what she feels but importantly 2) she hasn’t sent some passive aggressive email telling people what to do in the interest of being “direct”. Letter Writer from the dentures letter, can you see the difference? Having feelings is unavoidable and understandable, while acting on them in a way that respects the feelings of others is fully within your control and responsibility. Ok sorry, didn’t mean to go beat that dead horse again, but this letter just reminded me of that concept.

    LW for this letter- I can relate to your feelings. And as silly as it is for a straight girl to get “jealous” of other girls’ platonic friendships, sometimes it can’t be helped. All you can do is be a good friend and focus your energy on the people that clearly want to spend time with you. You can’t stop these two from being close, and I’m sure you wouldn’t want to. Just know that it’s not anything against you as much as it is that they probably have stuff in common, are both single, etc. If they start driving you too crazy and acting creepily attached at the hip, it’s your choice to spend less time with them. You should spend time around people that make you feel good and not left out all the time.

    • avatar ele4phant January 12, 2012, 3:57 pm

      Good connection.

      I think this LW might actually have a case to approach her friends, if she couched it in terms of how their behavior was affecting her, ie “I’m sure its unintentional, but the way you are acting makes me feel left out”, whereas the previous LW approach was more “Something that you cannot control bothers me and/or I don’t trust yourself to to behave accordingly”.

      I think people can discuss their feelings, even if they are somewhat irrational, so long as its focusing on how the behavior of others (intended or otherwise) makes them feel and isn’t, you know, shallow and hurtful.

      • avatar *HmC* January 12, 2012, 4:03 pm

        Good point, and I agree that you should be able to discuss your feelings, even the irrational ones. But you’re right, it’s all about the context of how you do it.

        That said, I might let a situation like this settle a bit before bringing up the need for more attention etc. It seems like it’s just the shiny appeal of a new friend that’s making them act this way, and it will likely die down somewhat.

        • avatar ele4phant January 12, 2012, 5:20 pm

          Oh, agreed. If I were in her shoes, I’d wait and let the novelty wear off. But, if it were to persist and she still felt left out, I think it’d be okay if she wanted to bring it up.

    • avatar ForeverYoung January 12, 2012, 4:45 pm

      I totally saw that connection when I read this letter and was almost wondering if Wendy posted it so soon after the teeth letter on purpose. If so – Wendy, I like your style. Teaching by example.

      I also feel for the LW. I’ve been there. I think it’s important to recognize that most long term friendships have peaks and valleys. Sometimes you hang out all the time and have a million inside jokes (college), sometimes you’re both really busy and when you see eachother it’s all about catching up, and sometimes you are just at two different points in your lives. This is just one more phase in your friendship, and like any relationship, if it is supposed to last, it will.

  • avatar Yammy January 12, 2012, 3:44 pm

    You might consider hiding (or is it unsubscribing?) their facebook posts. Facebook seems to have weird psychological effects on people. I’ve hidden friend’s posts before because they are super annoying on Facebook (but great people in real life).

    Truth be told, I’d probably feel pretty jealous, too. Don’t tear yourself up over it. Jealousy is an undesirable emotion, but a natural one. No need to add guilt to the mix, too. I think if you are kind to yourself and give yourself time, the feelings should subside.

    If you’re super close with them, perhaps you could tell them how you feel? Maybe that would make things awkward, I don’t know. I’d like to think that they don’t realize that the way the orient themselves and asking you take their pictures and so on makes you feel left out. You could also try to focus on spending time with other friends, you know, the ones you don’t feel bad after hanging out with.

    Anyhoo, probably not super helpful, but those are my initial thoughts on your situation. Best wishes!

  • avatar Morgan January 12, 2012, 3:56 pm

    I’m not really sure how to deal with it, but I’ve been there, and I feel ya. It’s hard not to feel jealous, even though you know you shouldn’t. Things I’d recommend:

    1.Hanging out with them one-on-one
    2. Try to get closer to the other girls in the group by planning a couple of smaller get togethers
    3. Just keep telling yourself they’ll be back to normal eventually.

    Seriously though, I’m going to compulsively read the advice on this one, because I feel like every time I’m in a group of friends, everyone else pairs off with one bestie except for me, and its hard not to feel jealous even though I’m not really the best friend type (I tend to form and prefer more close friendships than one or two super duper intense bestie type friendships.) And yet, It’s still hard not to feel totally irrationally jealous sometimes.

  • avatar Renee January 12, 2012, 4:20 pm

    And when women have a baby around the same time, we tend to bond like that, but 20 times worst.

    Be forewarned.

  • avatar Mel January 12, 2012, 4:25 pm

    Why do I see everything in italic?

    In any case, my two cents: when this happens to me, I distance myself. Probably not the most mature thing to do, but if doing something makes me sad, I try to stop doing it until I can deal with it differently. I don’t mean cut yourself off from their lives, but limit the contact with them. Hide the Facebook exchanges, only hang with them when there are other people around, and so on.

    And as someone already mentioned, maybe they’re interested in each other romantically, which is a whole different story completely.

    • JK JK January 12, 2012, 4:30 pm

      The italic thing has happened a couple of times before, can´t remember why it is though.

      • avatar mcminnem January 12, 2012, 4:54 pm

        It reads in my head as everyone suddenly speaking with dramatic italian accents. :P

        • avatar Mel January 12, 2012, 5:14 pm

          Dammit, now I’m doing that too D:

    • Budj Budj January 13, 2012, 8:53 am

      I actually like the italics…reads easier…seems fancier…fancy friday…woo.

    • Dear Wendy Wendy January 13, 2012, 8:59 am

      It happens when there’s an extra ‘>’ thrown into the coding by accident. The smallest thing can make the biggest difference. Now that I know what causes it, it’s easy to fix, unlike the first time it happened and I was all, “HOW DO I MAKE THIS STOP???”

      Have I ever mentioned the the tech part of running this site is not my favorite?

  • avatar cporoski January 12, 2012, 4:25 pm

    I feel that way on Dear Wendy if I write something clever and I get no likes or responses.

    • avatar mcminnem January 12, 2012, 4:55 pm

      I see what you did there.

      • avatar cporoski January 12, 2012, 5:20 pm

        :)

    • avatar AKchic January 12, 2012, 5:28 pm

      Sometimes, our wit is not appreciated. I just think that it’s because everyone else is having an off day, or jealous of my unattainable brilliance.

      Yeah, I couldn’t even type that with a straight face.

  • avatar OneSpiritEternal January 12, 2012, 4:27 pm

    Something similar happened to me. I had a friend I was very close to (since 4th grade). When I went to college, I started hanging out with a new group of friends. A time came when I introduced my childhood friend to my new college friends (we all went to see a movie together). Childhood friend and college friend and I were sailing along in friendship until they each had some . . . curiosities to work out about each other. I was jealous on a few levels, but just downright pissed when they both stopped talking to me completely, but wouldn’t say why. That’s when a mutual friend told me what was really going on.

    They’ve since stopped that, I moved away, Childhood friend moved away, got married and had three daughters. We reconnected several years later on Facebook, but nothing was ever the same. Childhood friend did let me know that she was sort of embarassed by her feelings for college friend, and everything was so confusing for her, she just didn’t know how to have a conversation with me so she reacted by getting angry with me instead.

    This may or may not be the case with your two friends. Have you told either one (or both) how you feel? They could be completely unaware of your feeling like a third wheel. We all get jealous, we’re only human, after all. And we all have irrational jealousies too, I’m sure.

    I agree with Yammy’s suggestion for dealing with the whole FB thing – just hide their status updates from your newsfeed. That should help. Or, if things seem to get too ‘cutsie’ between them on FB, comment on the status and say something like, ‘hey, get a room!’

    Above all, be kind to yourself. And good luck.

    • avatar amber January 12, 2012, 5:47 pm

      i think that commenting on their exchanges is just going to cause issues. it’s better to ignore something like that than to be passive aggressive.

  • caitie_didnt caitie_didn't January 12, 2012, 5:23 pm

    I love that so many other people connected this to the infamous “dentures” letter because that was the first place my mind went too!!

    This letter totally speaks to me because I sometimes feel like a friendship “drifter” or “outsider”. I have a big social circle, and some really close friends that mean the world to me, but in other groups I feel like the 3rd or 5th wheel. I don’t think anybody is excluding me on purpose, just that I maybe have difficulty bonding closely with people (it does take me a long time to make good friends).

    So I don’t really have any good advice for the LW- maybe to remind herself that they probably aren’t doing it on purpose, and to plan get-togethers with other girls in your circle? Also, I definitely agree with other posters that if these two girls are the only two single gals in the group, that is probably why they’re bonding so intensely. (Also: full disclosure, I sometimes don’t like hanging out with my couple friends when I’m single because it makes me jealous/sad that I don’t have that, so that could be part of it too).

  • avatar smalls January 12, 2012, 5:58 pm

    Definitely have felt like this before with two of my girlfriends, and recently. How I got past it (for the most part) is to remind myself that people have *different* relationships with everybody. My friendship with someone is not going to be the same as someone else’s. People do connect on different levels.

    I still wished that I could be as close as my two girl friends seemed to be…but when I stopped and looked at it, I am close to them – just in a different way. It’s super hard to remember that sometimes – they text each other all the time, they also do the thing where they sit closer to each other, sometimes I feel ignored, etc. What helped is I made an effort to spend time with each girl individually and get closer that way – it made being with them during their “honeymoon phase” a lot easier.

    When the jealousy pangs hit, I remember the good times that I’ve had with them, good conversations we’ve had, all the moments that make me feel good about my friendship with them. And sometimes I just butt right in when they get super focused on each other. I find that sometimes they aren’t even aware they’re doing it, and they always re-fold me in if I do. I’ve also expressed times when I’ve felt left out or looked over – and things changed a LOT when I did that. i don’t think that people have bad intentions when they get this way – they are just really connecting with each other, and they might not even know how it occurs as exclusive to the rest of the world.

    • Betsy LW January 13, 2012, 9:21 am

      Thank you, this is helpful.

  • katie katie January 12, 2012, 9:31 pm

    i think the main thing to remember is that they aren’t doing this as a personal attack on you (atleast i would hope/assume they arent- if not thats a totally different story!). they are not calling each other and planning their next method of attack to make you feel left out. that is something that i have had a very hard time learning about other people. usually when people make certain desicions, I dont even cross their mind. and so if i am left out or forgotten or whatever, it wasnt a personal thing.. you know? try to remind yourself of that whenever you start to have those feelings…

  • avatar MiMi January 12, 2012, 9:32 pm

    God I feel nauseated..cutesy-poo junior high school gushing by adult women gives me the willies. Are you sure you value the friendship of women who behave like this?
    Seriously, though, LW, no one wants to feel un-preferred and it sounds like you are maintaining your dignity and graciousness, so kudos. Jealousy is a complex emotion – I have struggled with it myself – if you can break it down into its components, it might be easier to understand and conquer.
    For me jealousy is fear (of not being good enough, of being abandoned), hurt, a sense of injustice (if I’ve put in a lot of time or effort), etc. Investigating the underlying feelings makes it easier to identify the insecurities or baggage that you must deal with on your own and what the other party might really be responsible for.
    I usually find that most of the problem is mine, a lack of self-esteem, failing to maintain my boundaries, giving more than I could afford and unrealistically expecting too much in return, etc. Sometimes I find that I have nothing to reproach myself with and there’s nothing I can or should do about the other person’s emotions or actions.. In your case, even though these women are a pretty big pair of insensitive clunks, it doesn’t sound like they’ve purposely behaved heinously to you..so perhaps this is the moment to dig deep and find out what is really making you tick (and ticking you off) about this situation. Good luck!

    • Betsy LW January 13, 2012, 9:19 am

      Thank you, this is very helpful.

    • Betsy LW January 13, 2012, 9:23 am

      Thank you, this is very helpful. I think a healthy dose of introspection is what I need.

  • avatar Allison January 12, 2012, 10:13 pm

    I can understand how you feel. In college, I was in a group of three friends. The two other girls shared a few more similar interests than I did with them, and some of my extracurricular activities kept me busy during times when they wanted to hang out. We’re out of college now. Though we all live in different places, I feel like those two are still closer than I am with them. Somehow, though, I just got used to it being that way. I just decided to look at my friendships with each of them separately and acknowledge that they are still each my very best friends. Maybe you should start coming up with ideas for the three of you to hang out? Or with each friend separately sometimes? I feel like a lot of times how friendly people are is directly related to how much you reach out to them.

  • avatar jubietta January 12, 2012, 10:44 pm

    I think there’s something confusing about relationships which have competition (or some form of comparison) involved in them. One of these days I’m going to go back to school and study this :)

    When I hear stories of competition in relationships I always go back to a place where I ask if everyone’s needs and wants are getting met. My sibling and I had a highly competitive relationship growing up and I will point to the fact that each of us got about 10% of our needs met by the adults in our lives, and we sure as hell didn’t get much of we wanted, either. When one or the other of us did get a need or want met, miracle of miracles, it set up an ugly dynamic where we got angry at each other instead of being angry at the butt-head adult that wasn’t doing their job. Stupid logic, I know, but we were little and we were in each others faces all the time.

    LW, I wonder if you can find some peace by looking at the things in life that you truly need, and the things in life that you want, and see if those boxes are getting checked off by the sum total efforts of you and the people who care about you. And then look at the needs and wants of your two girlfriends and see if you can understand how they are meeting those needs for each other. With a careful look I hope you’ll find that either you’re doing well in the “needs and wants” department and you can let go of what’s bothering you because you feel so good about where you are in your life, or maybe you can find something that isn’t getting covered since the change in the way y’alls freindship plays out and then find a way to get that need/want met constructively. (As opposed to getting it met destructively, ’cause that’s when the DW readership busts out a smack-down people’s bad behavior.)

  • avatar Meredith January 12, 2012, 11:09 pm

    I think what you’re feeling is totally normal. When I’ve felt this way in the past, I’ve made plans with a couple other girlfriends in my circle. After a few dinners and drinks and meet ups for coffee with other friends, it helps me feel more “socially accepted”. In other words, helps me convince myself that I’m still a good friend who people like to hang out with even if a couple of my friends are too busy hanging out 24/7 to pay me any attention ;) as others mentioned I do think friends can go through a honeymoon phase in a friendship where they want to hang out with each other all the time. It always fades out, so I’d give it time.

  • avatar RhyanShae January 12, 2012, 11:43 pm

    Understand completely where you’re coming from, LW. I know it doesn’t feel like it, but I think some of the other comments are correct when they bring up that this friendship between your friends is very new, and so they’re pouring a lot of energy in it. My best friend and another mutual friend were very much the same way a few years back. I admit, I was jealous as hell, especially since, before they were so close, I was the closest friend for both. Soon, because my schedules collided badly with theirs, they were spending a ton of time together, and if I was free, I was usually included with their already made plans on a spur of the moment basis. It made me feel as if I was tag-a-long, and not a “bonus!” to their plans. But, eventually, they weren’t spending so much time together, and while they still were great friends, it’d developed much into what I had with each one of them separately.

    Give them time. I wouldn’t confront them. Perhaps withdraw back from occasions where it’s only the three of you all the time. Visit with them individually, or make an effort to get to know other friends within your social circle. That way, Maybe the next time they suggest you take a picture of the two of them, gently request one of the three of you be taken so you can have a moment captured with YOUR two friends? I mean, really, if they object to that request because it’s not just one and her BFF alone in the picture, are they really worth it as friends?

  • avatar Calle January 13, 2012, 2:21 am

    Maybe they are secretly dating. Maybe they are just regressing back to high school. Maybe these two share a similar experience in their past that has bonded them together in the present. Maybe they are jealous of the LW…LW seems to have it together, and as much as we all like to pretend it is sunshine and roses it may be hard if one of these (or both of these) girls is going through family/boyfriend/money issues and LW is not. Maybe it is just a weird twist that these two have become super close. Anyway, there is nothing LW can do about it but deal. We don’t always get what we want, and in this case LW only has a partial, but not full, part of a sisterhood. It is what it is. She needs to realize that a lot of times that “sisterhood” you see on film doesn’t really translate to real life, and that is okay. LW needs to be happy that she has decent friends, a great family, and that she is happy with her boyfriend.

  • avatar Zepp January 13, 2012, 2:52 am

    I have a group of 7 girlfriends from college and at different points everyone has been closer to some than others. Like other commentors have said, its about things in your life lining up. Right when my friend Nikki and I were both living/working abroad we were really close- we would meet up for trips once a month and talk almost every day. Now Nikki is back in our home state and single, and SUPER close with another friend of ours who is also there and single. They are totally obsessed with each other right now! But I don’t think its permanent. I used to be super close to our friend Megan, and it made Nikki jealous! But then I moved and Nikki and Megan were closer etc etc. Anyway, don’t take it personally. Thats just how life goes sometimes.

  • leilani leilani January 13, 2012, 9:34 am

    Blehh. I think we’ve all been there, and its never fun! I think the only positive thing that I can is that whenever I have been in this situation/felt this way, it has always passed sooner or later. Eventually, they’ll most likely chill out and the novelty of their newfound friendship will wear off, and the dynamic will more or less go back to normal (or even if its different, it won’t be uncomfortable). And I know its hard to accept sometimes, even when we know its dumb, but sometimes, people do just have a really special friend connection with someone that is more intense than what they have with us. Not everybody is going to your soulmate/sister level best friend. They might have found that really intense kind of connection with each other, but that doesn’t affect how either of them feel about you, and it doesn’t have to change your friendship with either of them. Its still annoying to feel like the third wheel though, so I can definitely emphasize!

    Also, as a side note, I agree with other commenters that if both ladies are single, that could have a lot to do with it.

  • avatar Jillie Z January 13, 2012, 10:25 am

    i’m in my mid 30s and this totally happens in my circle of friends. Most of us are married, or are in LTRs, and i think some of the girls crave the crush-like feelings that you’re not getting anymore from your significant other, so they get them from their girlfriends. One my close girlfriends will have ‘flavor of the months,’ or year, or whatever, and she’ll be attached at the hip to a new girl. Will text her constantly, leave flirty FB messages, hang out all the time… it used to make me a little jealous, but then i realized how exhausting that must be! It’s hard enough to find the time to have a job, work out, have a close relationship with my husband – that much time devoted to a girlfriend is a lot of extra work! =) Eventually the ‘crush’ runs its course and my friend will want to do stuff with me again, and i enjoy that time together without wanting all of the additional stuff that comes along with being a flavor of the month. So i would recommend not saying anything, hang out with them when you can, and try not to be jealous (i know that’s hard), and eventually your friendships should resume in a more normal fashion.

  • avatar Anna January 13, 2012, 7:44 pm

    I understand how you feel…we women really do fall in love with our girlfriends. Of course it’s a different love than the romantic love we feel for our SO’s but it is still a powerful emotion. I’m guessing your friends have no idea how much their budding BFF-ism is bothering you or that you feel left out. Maybe you should make solo plans with Kristen (whom you said you were closer to). If she still cares about you (and I bet she does!) she will be down for a one-on-one shopping day or lunch date or something. My bestie has other very close friends as well, and it’s understandable because they live in the same town as she does whereas we live about 20 miles apart. I go join in her parties with the other friends sometimes and it’s always fun, but at least once every couple months we go out on a shopping/lunch date by ourselves and it’s awesome. It helps me to have that time together where we aren’t focused on other people.

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