The Friendship Drop

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It happens to a lot of brides: You get engaged, and your friends say you’re pulling away.

Or maybe they even accused you of dropping your friends when you started getting serious with your fiancé. Whoa, since you’ve started dating him?

Adding a serious relationship to a friendship mix can definitely make things touchy for a bit, especially if your relationship gets serious quickly. You have to recalibrate how often everyone sees each other. Your single friends can suddenly feel like fifth wheels when everyone is coupling around, and your go-to girlfriend for weekend clubbing can feel abandoned.

The wedding planning process only intensifies those feelings. You are, as a matter of course, going to be thinking and talking about your relationship a lot. If your friends are already worried about losing you, this could be a strain.

Assuming they’re wrong about you pulling the friendship drop, this won’t really be a tough one to solve. Most people understand that a romance is going to pull your attention, especially at important times like, oh, you know, getting married. Your friends will come around, especially when they see you’re still up for Thursday night drinks again once the honeymoon’s over. And, yes, when they get wrapped up with their own wedding plans later, you’re allowed to razz them.

So if your friends feel threatened or even a little jealous for no real reason, it’s understandable, and not all that hard to fix.

On the other hand… Is it just possible that they do have a reason?

If you’re wrapped up in the planning process or the you-and-him cocoon, you may not even realize that you’ve dropped your pals.

When is the last time you went somewhere with your friends and didn’t bring your fiancé along? Yes, he should be included most of the time, and your friends should know that. But significant others aren’t going to be invited every time your social circle gets together. Be honest: Have you brought him to an outing that looked a lot like it might have been intended as a girls’ night? And how many times have you avoided or bailed on plans in the last few months so you can do something with him instead?

If you’re hesitating over any of those answers, take some groom-free time for the girls – time that has nothing to do with wedding planning. (You can take a couple of hours. Your groom will be there when you get back. That’s the point of marrying each other.) Secretly designate a girls’ night or brunch as a wedding-free zone, and don’t bring up the planning process unless someone asks. If she does, give everyone a brief update or one funny story and then toss the attention to someone else. A little one-on-one time to catch up with your closest pals is in order too – don’t forget your best guy friends when you start making plans.

Your guy is a genuine catch and you’re supposed to want to spend time with him. But your friends need to know they’re important too, even if that should go without saying. Plus it will keep them from feeling competitive with your fiancé. And might make them less likely to hide 400 travel alarms in your wedding night suite.