I started dating my first boyfriend in high school. I realized pretty quickly that it was going to be a challenge to balance a relationship and academics, let alone spend time with my other friends. I would always choose to hang out with my boyfriend during lunch instead of the two friends that had been there for me since first grade.
I could tell they were disappointed in me, but I had no other time to or get to know my boyfriend! Whenever I did get a chance to hang out with my best friends, I could feel the distance growing between us – they had their own jokes, knew what was happening in each other's lives, and had a day-to-day connection that I had lost.
I thought that I could fix the problem by just spending more time with my boyfriend. How would that help? My friends and I sometimes got a chance to hang out in the library while we were doing homework after school, and we continued making jokes about each other and chatting about the latest dance or our weirdest teachers.
One day, I saw one of my friends in the hallway and I sociably waved and smiled. She walked right past me, without even a glance in my direction! Now what did I do? Why was she always being so moody and getting annoyed at me? Doesn't she understand all the different pressures I have to deal with?!
I was shocked and hurt. I didn't want to be a bad friend; I just got caught up in the other aspects of my life. I cried all the way home and it took me a long time to figure out what to do. I knew she wouldn't talk to me if I tried, so I sent her a message online.
I calmly explained that I was feeling overwhelmed with school, a relationship, my family, soccer, etc. I let her know that I would much rather talk about what I had done to hurt her instead of giving each other the silent treatment.
For the entire next day, I was biting my nails wondering if she would ignore my message or send me a fuming response. Fortunately, she responded sincerely and rationally, explaining her ideas of what we could do to make our friendship stronger. She even understood how difficult it is to schedule time for friends when there is so much else going on in high school.
When the fight began, I thought that we'd never be able to go back to being best friends again, but just a day of calming ourselves down and discussing what was bothering us alleviated the problem.
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