It has been almost a year since I moved back to my hometown. I had a brief stint in New York and left because money was tight and the freelance opportunity that got me there was not enough to stay. My best friend, who I will refer to as Sandra in this article, was still living in my hometown though. That was one of the only positive things I saw about moving back home.
From the time my mom received her cancer diagnosis during my first semester in college to the thrill of moving to my dream city to pursue my dream job, Sandra was always there for me. Friendships tend to suffer after high school, but in our eyes, we were different. We were best friends.
I slowly began to hear about Sandra’s new boyfriend somewhere between my second and third year of college. Sandra was going through some issues and had to stray away from a four year college degree plan and only complete an associate’s degree. She managed to stay happy because of him.
Midway through college I noticed that the constant text messages became weekly messages. Weekly messages became bi-weekly phone calls. Bi-weekly phone calls became monthly social media likes or comments. It became this way when she started dating him.
This was natural. Once you start dating someone, you spend a lot of time with them. When you live in the same city and have not seen or talked to your best friend more than once however, the “best” part of best friend is not the only thing that leaves your relationship. The friendship goes soon after.
The only time we had communication and got together was when our other best friend was in town. During that get together we talked about my sister, and she said something along the lines of “Yeah, she’s married. She’s too busy being a wife. That’s her life now – being a wife.’’
This is where my internal debate began. I could not help relating her perspective about a marriage to the relationship she was in.
Do some women lose their identity once they’re married? What if this is how Sandra sees her relationship? Does she think she is too busy for our friendship because she has a boyfriend?
I am all for commitment and did not see the moment as the right time to confront her about her friendship. Months after this visit, the only question I still keep asking myself: Do some women have to change their life status (and not just their relationship status) to ‘’in a relationship’’ when they are in one?
I do want to get married one day, and I look forward to finding the perfect partner. But I am not basing my life around that. And when I eventually do find someone, I don’t plan to change my identity and my friendships along with my relationship status.
At the end of the day, the times that Sandra failed to be there during my personal struggles or even that time she changed the plans we had on my birthday because she was going to the movies with her boyfriend, will all be distant memories. I can only hope the memories of ourselves the next time we are in relationships won’t be also.