We’ve all been there – that wonderful friend of ours who starts dating and we cringe, knowing things will change in our friendship. And you know what? They will. But that doesn’t have to be a bad thing.
Your friendship isn’t contingent upon you both being single. It might feel like your singleness was a big part of your relationship – you both never had plans on the weekends, you both made fun of couples at school, you both always talked about how content you were being single – but it isn’t. A true friendship isn’t based on your relationships with other people. It’s based on the relationship between the two of you. Focus on those things that draw you together and deepen those aspects of your friendships.
Don’t make her feel bad for dating. With all your good intentions about wanting to keep her “grounded” and “focused,” you can actually start to make her feel bad for dating in the first place. Yes, she’s going to talk about him. Yes, she’s going to make plans with him. That doesn’t give you the right to cross your arms, roll your eyes, and sigh with frustration every time his name comes up. Be happy for her! Ask her questions about him. In fact, take the time to get to know him! It will mean so much to your friend.
Keep her accountable. One of the best things single friends can do while they are both single is set up standards for if and when they date. Then, when one of them starts dating, they have someone whose head isn’t in the clouds and can remind them of how they wanted their relationship to look like before there even was a relationship. And that’s where you come in. If you see her struggling and compromising, call her on it. Hold her accountable. You will be a lot more objective than she is. And don’t be that friend who rushes her heart along, talking about how serious they are and the future. Just…please don’t be that girl.
Curb your jealousy. I know you, tough girl. You might tell everyone how happy and content you are being single, but I know you struggle. And nothing makes it worse than when your friend starts dating and you start throwing a major pity party. So what’s the cure? Focus on her instead of on yourself. Focus on loving her and being there for her instead of lamenting, “Why not me?”
Pray for her. Pray that she will stay pure. Pray that her standards will remain high. Pray that she keeps her feet on the ground and her identity secure. Pray that he won’t become her everything. Pray that she will guard her heart. Pray that their relationship will glorify Jesus.
Show her grace. She will have less time for you. There may be a time you’re in the middle of something and he texts her and she forgets all about you. She’s going to be giggly and dramatic and all those things dating girls always are. She isn’t perfect and she never was. And neither are you. So show her grace. Be patient as she navigates the dating world. Be her shoulder to cry on and her enthusiastic cheerleader. And remember…
“…there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother.” – Proverbs 18:24
“A friend loves at all times…” – Proverbs 17:17
“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up…” – 1 Thessalonians 5:11
Question: What kind of friend are you to your dating friends? Do you encourage them or harbor too much jealousy and criticalness to be a good friend? Are you keeping them accountable? Are you praying for their relationship?