How to Use Your Friend’s Boyfriends To Your Advantage

Q:   My best friend’s recently have all gotten into serious relationships. Their priorities have shifted and to make a long story short – the people I would hang out with 24/7 just aren’t around anymore. I know you have to understand when your friends find “the one” and know that things are just different now but how do you do that?  Do you meet new friends? I just don’t want to be the 5th wheel but don’t want to constantly ask for a “girls night”

A. This is a natural cycle of friendship that happens many times over throughout the years. It’s a great opportunity to make new friends,  meet different people and uncover new opportunities. My friend’s boyfriends have helped me out with everything from moving apartments back in my twenties to contributing to the “guy’s eye view” on this site today. You never know…they have also introduced me to new job opportunities and cultures.

You can certainly still do things with your friends as a couple and alone. Hopefully they will remember another key lesson – don’t abandon your friends and interests for a guy. Make sure you still include them and invite them to a girls night out once a week. Being in your situation forced me to do new things like joining a beach house with a complete group of strangers. They ended up becoming a whole new set of friends that I still hold close today. It’s really a chance to expand your circle of friends rather than see it shrink.

So first, look at their boyfriends as new friends that are already built in. Then make new friends to fill in the gaps. Here’s some great perspective on how to maintain and deepen your current friendships and develop new ones from some amazing 40-something contributors:

Dear 20-something, This happens to everyone so don’t feel too badly. Looking back on having gone through the same thing here are a few things that come to mind:

  • While it’s natural for things to change when someone enters into a relationship, real friends will still make time for you without making you feel like the third wheel. Hopefully you can be friends with their partners AND continue to enjoy girl time with them.
  • Yes, make new friends!  Not because your old ones aren’t your friends anymore but because having more/new friends is enriching!  I have friends I call if I want to do something outdoorsy, and others I call if I want to do something cultural, for instance.
  • Feeling like the 5th wheel is generally something we put on ourselves, not how others feel about us being around. Just because you don’t have a boyfriend doesn’t mean you don’t bring something valuable and meaningful to the table. – 40-something, Washington, DC


Dear 20-something,

Why don’t you all just go out as a big group? My friends and I very rarely went out just the two of us. It was always five or more. Unless your friends are spending the entire night making out in front of you, don’t concern yourself about being the 5th wheel. No one cares. If they did they would not invite you out. Relationships come and go but friends can last a lifetime. Eventually you will meet someone and the shoe will be on the other foot. – 40-something, Brooklyn, NY


Dear 20-something,

I had this happen to me a few times over the course of my single life. I remember that conflicted feeling of being happy for them but a bit lonely and panicked. It only got harder when my coupled off friends moved to the suburbs. It was fun to visit them as they newly “played house” but not only were they less available emotionally they were geographically undesirable!

It can be daunting to make that first step of forging new friendships but it’s not as hard as you think. I literally looked around at my circle of friends and acquaintances and thought, “Okay, who is single and what can I invite them to that they would be interested in?” This would lead from one thing to another. I would even ask friends to organize a night out with their other single friends. There are probably other people in your same situation looking for a wing-person and would be thrilled to be set-up. And same goes for the new boyfriends. Maybe they can introduce you to some new guys to date if you are interested. – 40-something, New Jersey




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