My best friend and her boyfriend are always making out and now I hate hanging out with them.
You can’t change their behaviour, says our elder. But you can try to see the funny side.
I love my best friend. Throughout my childhood, it’s been really difficult to find healthy, meaningful friendships, and I am so lucky to of found one in high school. We had a complicated friendship in 7th/8th grade and we only really became best friends starting freshman year, but it has been really, really lovely. I genuinely feel that it is a true friendship and for the first six months, we were basically inseparable. Since becoming friends, I’ve introduced her to my childhood friend group, who have all known each other for probably a decade and at this point, we’re siblings more than anything. Anyway, my best friend developed feelings for one of the guys in the group, and later they started dating.
I was really excited for them and I think they do have a good chance of lasting a while, but they have been pretty on and off which is really annoying because we’re one big group now, so everyone has to deal with it. Also, I hate hanging out with them together. I really have tried to be supportive and I think it’s very sweet how they feel for each other and I get wanting to be close to your s/o all the time when you’re around them, but it’s so gross to have to be a part of it. I don’t hate PDA, in fact, I could really care less if I witness a random couple being physical in public. I think it’s adorable! But it sucks when the couple is a part of a group. I feel like it’s different if you came to hang out with the whole group and then just ended up being all over your s/o the whole time. Is it selfish to say that I don’t want to hear them kissing right next to me while we’re all watching a movie? I know I’m guilty of doing some of the same things, but never in a big group that I came specifically to hang out with. And it’s not like they never get time alone! Unfortunately, this is actually starting to cause problems with my best friend, because every time we all hang out, I can feel myself getting more easily irritated and slightly heated, because it’s uncomfortable and gross, and she (rightfully) gets upset when I lash out at her for no apparent reason. I wish they could be satisfied with just holding hands and still being able to maintain a conversation with everyone else who they came to hang out with. How do I stop getting extremely annoyed?
Ms. Mary replies
You are not selfish because you don’t want to hang out with your friend and her s/o. Actually, that isn’t entirely true. You are selfish, but that is a very good thing! Kudos to you. We are all selfish by nature, and that is a good thing. We are programmed to know what we desire and what serves us best. If you think about it, it is funny how people say, “Don’t be selfish and do what you want,” which really means that they want you to do what they want. So, who is the selfish one? I hope you followed that.
You can’t change the conditions. Those two are going to do what they want no matter what you or anyone else says, though you could try saying jokingly, “Get a room,” — though that might make things worse. Your options are to spend less time with them, which is a great option, or at least distance yourself from them physically. Don’t sit next to them. Or you could decide not to let them control how you feel (e.g. anxious). I read once in an English class that nobody else is responsible for how we feel. The lesson was never to say, “You make me feel _____), but instead to take responsibility and say, “I feel ____). Each one of us gets to choose our reactions. I’ve always remembered that. When I catch myself thinking something like, “You make me so mad,” I remember that somebody else observing the same thing could perceive the situation quite differently. For instance, they might think the situation was funny or no big deal. My point is that everybody has their own perception. You always have a choice with everything in life to make the best of it or the worst of it. I try to remember that. Anything we focus on gets bigger whether we like it or not. We build momentum one way or the other with our thoughts.
One of my favorite quotes is by Wayne Dyer, “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” I recommend watching his video on YouTube. That might be helpful. The first step in trying to change your thought is the desire to change it. You are already there. How could you look at them differently? You understand that they are excited about the relationship (as most couples are in the beginning). Would it help to think that this will pass; it is just a phase? Try to determine if there is a light-hearted way you could look at it. Could you focus on how much you appreciate the friendship overall with your girlfriend? It will take practice to change your attitude, but it is such a good feeling not to let others’ actions control you.
I’m happy to talk with you further if I can be of more help. Who knows, by the time you get my email they may be fighting. Seriously, I hope you can laugh this off. You are a kind and caring friend. She is lucky to have you in her life. Someday, you two will laugh about this as well as many other experiences you’ve shared. Think about that! Sending good thoughts your way, dear girl!
Letter #: 444809