I knew the day would come; it was pretty much inevitable. Yet, I still felt as if I had been kicked in the stomach the moment I got the phone call. My best friend was engaged. When I got off the phone, I cried. Oh, and not one sweet, solitary, I'm so happy tear. No, these were my puppy just died tears. Now, I know what you're thinking: An engagement is good news, right? Well, yes and no.
I firmly believe there are certain moments in life that regardless of age, cause normally rational adults to revert into children. For me it is getting sick. When I am sick, I return to the age of six and all I want is for my mother to fawn over me until I am better. For women, the moment you find out your BFF is engaged is another one of these times. Yes, you're happy for her (assuming the guy is not an asshole), but your inner child is thinking: You're going to go off and get married and now I will have no one to play with. Admittedly, this is an immature and somewhat selfish thought, but it happens. For women, your BFF is your other half. You picked out your first training bras together, rehashed the gory details of every date and have probably made some very memorable bad decisions together (drinking raspberry vodka in a parking lot in the dead of winter… sounds good). Now, someone else is seemingly stepping in to replace you as "partner in crime."
There is a reason the movie Bridesmaids was so popular with women. Of course, the cast was fantastic, but the movie explored an issue that many female friendships go through. For those who have not seen the movie, Kristin Wiig's character must cope with her best friend's (played by Maya Rudolph) impending nuptials. She does not handle the situation well and hilarity ensues, but the fear of the friendship changing is something to which most women can relate. Granted, relationships change over time, but when it comes to the sacred BFF bond the thought of those changes can prove quite unsettling.
Female friendships are source of love and support. No offense to romantic relationships, but your girlfriends are often the first phone call when something major goes down, good or bad. Studies have actually been conducted and found what women have known for years: having strong female friendships boosts your emotional health. Your friends literally help in keeping you sane. Now, one of the people who has played such a major role in your life is taking on a new role: wife.
So what can be done?
There is no doubt that the relationship will change. In a way, it has to and both parties have to be cognizant of these changes. There must be a concerted effort on each side to keep the connection going. Those spontaneous nights of debauchery will likely be more planned and less spontaneous. That's okay. Like any relationship, friendships experience different phases; they must grow and evolve as the people in them do.
Your friend is probably experiencing her own bit of anxiety as well. Toward the end of Bridesmaids, the bride-to-be (Rudolph) confesses that she too is concerned about the future of both her romantic relationship and her friendships. Committing yourself to another person (hopefully) for the rest of your life is a huge deal, plus it is freaking scary. Your friend may be worried about how they are going to juggle the title of wife along with every other title they already have (i.e. daughter, friend, etc.). That brings along its own type of stress. So, cut your girl some slack.
The engagement phone call unsettled me in a way I did not expect. To be clear, I love my best friend dearly. She has stood by me through some of through worst moments in my life and I would never begrudge her any happiness. I do worry about how our relationship will change in the future; there will be some bumps I am sure, but I think we will be okay. We have to be. Who else is going to run barefoot through Midtown Manhattan in the rain with me? Or, blow off work to drink beer on the beach all day?
So, when that day comes, I will celebrate and support her as she has done for me countless times in the past. And, I will take solace in the fact that marriage may be for life, but partners in crime are forever.
**Author's Note: I did not actually cry. That part was only added for dramatic effect. I firmly believe that crying is only appropriate for death and Lifetime movies.**