Getting Left Behind

Being single can be a lot of fun. You get to meet new people, experience things you may not have otherwise, and build new social circles. You will encounter other single people who may not fit as partners, but who will still become great friends. You will find you have a unique camaraderie and companionship with these people, and you may even find yourself spending more time with them than with your existing friends. 

New friends can be just as exciting as new lovers; you get that surge of excitement at the prospect of something different, the feeling of self-gratification that comes from a total stranger liking you, and the opportunity to swap stories you haven’t told in years. You get to be you, without having to worry about being sexy at the same time. It is important to remember to still be careful though, as there are a few things you need to watch for when you are making your new friendship connections through online dating.

The first thing you should keep in mind is your existing friendships. No one expects you to take your friends along on your dates, that’s just weird, but that doesn’t mean you can’t include them in anything. Talk to them about what’s going on and introduce them to the new people who become important in your life. Most of us have a habit of keeping our circles separate; we have our work friends, our school friends, our weekend friends, etc. Now you will be adding your dating friends to the mix. If you really think about it though there’s no reason all those groups need to be kept separate. If you make friends with someone through online dating because you have a lot in common or share a similar outlook on life with them, it’s pretty likely that at least some of your existing friends will like them just as much, for the same reasons. Merge your circles and you will have lots of time for everyone.

It is also important to remember that most of the other people you are meeting are trying to fill a space in their lives. At first your friendship may seem like a great way to do this, but as time progresses and particularly if they find that person they are really looking for, you may find that your services are no longer required and that they don’t have time for you anymore. This can be a heartbreaking experience, whether it is a conscious decision on the part of your friend or an involuntary side effect of their new relationship. They may not have realized there was something you were lacking until they found someone who had it, or they may have hoped that they would have time for both of you only to realize they were wrong. Either way it is very likely that you are going to come out second best in that equation, and that it is going to hurt. A lot. 

There are few things in life quite as tough as feeling like you have made a great connection with someone who will be in your life forever, only to find out later that you were just a placeholder for them until they found the thing they were really looking for. We expect to spend less time with someone when they are building a new romantic relationship, what we don’t expect is to be left behind completely, or to be replaced by a shiny new friend. Friendships should be something that fall outside of the dating cycle, that are immune to it; unfortunately they often aren’t and they suffer as a result of new relationships. Try and keep in mind during your dating journey that your friends are important too, the existing ones and the new ones. 

Author: The Happy Traveler

The Happy Traveler lives in a northern Canadian community of about 80,000 people. She has a professional career, a wicked sense of humor, and a teenage son that spends a lot of time shaking his head at her. She is taller than most women, more robust than a fashion model, and smiles incessantly. In her spare time she immerses herself in sci-fi and fantasy culture, plays card and board games, and explores the outdoors whenever possible. She eats meat, nuts, and bread, and cannot stand the taste of artificial pumpkin spice.

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