Shortly after my divorce I began dating a man of another race. When I told my best friend about the relationship, she freaked out and didn’t hold back her disapproval about man that I was seeing and the fact that he is white. Since then our friendship has changed. We have been best friends for over 20 years and often talked on the phone two to three times a day. Since I told her about my new relationship, we barely talk once a week. And when we do, I am usually the one to call and our conversation has been strained. I don’t want to lose my best friend, and cannot imagine my life without her. I can’t believe she is acting like this. I want to save the friendship, but at the same time, I do not want to end my new relationship. Things are getting pretty serious and I want to see where things go. What should I do?
Friends Til the End
I am a proponent of true friendship! My best friend and I have been friends since I was five years old. Over the last 30 years she has been there through the good, the bad, and the U-G-L-Y! I cannot imagine her not being a part of my life and not having her support over the years. In my opinion, a friend’s job is to be there for you no matter what, even if they do not agree with our decisions and/or circumstances. Now I can be honest and admit that there have been times when we disagreed about one another’s decisions, but we have always been there for one another.
While you friend is free to have and express her opinions, she does not have the final say about your relationship. Regardless of how she feels about interracial dating, that should not interfere with her being your friend. Nor should you have to choose between relationships. And while her concern for you may be coming from a good place, her primary role is to be there for you and support you.
Talk to your friend. Hopefully she will come around and if not, you may have to make some tough decisions. As hard as it is to let long-standing relationships go, if your friend cannot accept your relationship and allows her personal views to hinder your friendship, you may have to move on or at least give each other some space. Friendships and relationships can and do change over time. I am not encouraging you to automatically let the friendship go, but if things cannot be worked out, then you may not have a choice but to move on. You have to ultimately make the decision that is best for you and your life. If your friend can no longer be there to support you, maybe the friendship is not what you thought it was.
Author of the upcoming book Been There Done That: And Lived to Tell About It (due out Spring 2011). Email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
. You can follow Tamara on twitter @tamararallen or check out her daily column and archives at www.tamararallen.com
This was printed in the December 18, 2011 - December 31, 2011 Edition