Do Women Really "Drop" Their Female Friends When They Get A Boyfriend?

Back to the sitcoms. (Someone get me a job and save me from this fate LOL)

I was watching *One Day At A Time * and Barbara has a new friend who’s driving her nuts. Julie’s answer is to find her a boyfriend. Everyone knows that when a girl gets a new boyfriend they drop their girlfriends.

The same plot was also repeated on an episode of Mary Tyler Moore, and is now being repeated on Father Knows Best

So is this true? Or a familiar sitcom device?

Most people spend less time with their other friends while in that shiny new “you’re so awesome, let’s spend every waking moment together” phase, yeah.

In my experience, some women do and some women don’t. There are women who are completely boyfriend-oriented - nothing is more important to them than having a boyfriend and being with that boyfriend. Other women add a boyfriend to their existing life.

I was that girl once upon a time, until a friend yelled at me for it and made me realize what I was doing. I’m glad she did, and was careful after that not to be so thoughtless.

That heady rush that comes when you’re totally into someone was powerful enough to make me neglect everything else. You know how when you first fall for someone they’re all you think about and everyone else pales in comparison? At the time it was my first semester at college with no parents or curfew to restrict how much time I spent with him, so I spent as much of it with him as possible. It was a shitty thing to do.

My Druidess hasn’t done so, nor would I want her to. I think it’s a good thing for her to do stuff with the girls, same as I do stuff with the guys.

It depends on the woman, and it doesn’t just apply to female friends; platonic male friends get dropped as well, sometimes.

<shrug> I don’t see it as “dropped” so much as “lack of time.”

When I was in high school, it was common for a big group of both males and females to hang out together. If a couple was dating, no biggie, they just hung out with the group together.

But as an adult? You bet I dropped girlfriends. Not totally, it’s not like I never saw them again, but if I go out one night a week, that’s a lot for me. Generally when you’ve got a boyfriend and are in the seriously-dating stage, you’re hanging out at least once a week, many times more. I simply didn’t have time for weekly hangouts with friends at all.

The occasional lunch, the once-a-month get together, sure. But once a week, like it was when we were all single? No way. Not of lack of liking them, it’s just a lack of time.

Heck, it’s like that now; I barely see family that I want to hang out with, much less friends. And it’s no reflection on the friends at all, I just have no time.

Well on sitcoms sometimes the friend understands.

From the Mary Tyler Moore Show


No, not really, IME. But one of my best friends came out as a Lesbian, had a beautiful marriage (and fun! lots of wine! plus her wife is cool), and I haven’t spoken to her, even on the phone, for over a year. We shared beds frequently, went on road trips, lived in the same apartment building, but she’d got enough going in her life, apparently. Can’t say I’m not hurt.

Never known anyone else that extreme, but this was her first real relationship, so that explains a lot, it seems.

An ex-friend of mine was somewhat the same way, though it wasn’t her first lesbian or first real relationship (and I’m not a woman.) In our case, though, it may have been a case of missed signals. We were very close for quite some time, so much so that people mistook us for a couple on occasion. When she became involved with someone, I deliberately pulled back a bit because I didn’t want to fuck up her relationship; it just didn’t seem appropriate for me to hang out at her house every night till all hours, or to hang out in her house while she was showering. She, of course, was caught up with her new love, but also a little put off by my spending less time with her, because she misinterpreted it as jealousy. The whole thing heterodyned until we were hardly friends at all.

Agreed. IME, men do it too.

In my experience this is more a teenager thing than something a lot of adult women do.

In addition to the more benign reasons already offered by others, people in abusive relationships often seem to “drop” their friends. This is because many abusers attempt to isolate their partners from others who care about them.

I remember when I was sixteen, my best friend invited me over after I worked half a day on a Saturday at a job I hated saying we would go to the movies. As we walked to the fast food joint to pick up her paycheck and went to cash it, she spotted a hair salon, and decided she just had to get a perm. So I sat with her while she had it done, about three hours. I didn’t care, I thought we’d catch an evening show. We went back to her house to read the paper to decide what movie to see, when her boyfriend called. She raved to him about her new hairdo that he just had to see on her. She then got off the phone and told me to get lost, her boyfriend was coming over. Not quite in those words, of course, but that’s how I heard it. Her mom yelled at her for doing that to me, but I just said no problem. And left. I had the mother of all anxiety attacks that night.

Needless to say, I no longer considered her my best friend after that.

Just because you’re in love is no reason to treat your friends as disposable.

Some do, some don’t. It also happens with some women when they marry.

Years ago, two (what I thought were) very close friends got married, while I was still single. I went to numerous showers, bachelorette parties, shopping trips, did my bridesmaidenly duties, and bought wedding gifts. One was a “destination” wedding that I had to scrimp and save to attend. Both weddings were rather expensive for me, but I did it. These were my dear, dear friends (I said to myself)!

And that was pretty much it. Except for the occasional baby shower gift, I was no longer in their sphere. Always too busy for phone calls or lunch. Incommunicado.

Then, years later, coincidentally, they both separated from their husbands. Suddenly they wanted to hang out with me. They wanted to be best friends again. Needless to say, it didn’t happen. Sorry.

I have no idea what became of either of them. Don’t care.

I don’t. Who else would I talk shit about my boyfriend to if I ditched all my girls? :smiley:

I have usually been the one who got dropped, so as a matter of general principle, I take great pains to feed and water my platonic relationships. If the intimate relationship goes south, it’s my platonic friends who will be there to help me pick up the pieces… if I didn’t ditch them along the way.

I will turn down a date with my BF if I have already made plans with The Girls. I don’t like to un-accept invitations because the second one I got was “better” somehow. If the BF/GF relationship is healthy, then we should be able to endure a night or three away from each other with no detriment to the relationship. I would also be highly suspicious of any guy I was dating who seemed to have no other friends or relationships aside from the one he has with me. Typical healthy people nurture all kinds of relationships. Desperately insecure people wrap their identities around the person they are with so that their happiness depends on the other person until they cannot bear to be away from them. Bleargh.

Most of my friends will introduce their new boy/girlfriends to the group, but that’s because most of us are either still in or barely out of education, so there’s still a lot of common ground and it’s unlikely that they will be unable to strike up conversations.

This will probably change as we get older, no matter how much we resist :frowning:

I have mostly guy friends and let me tell you this is absolutely not a female-only thing. Guys will drop their friends for girls just as fast as a woman would.

My friend group is still on the tail end of the college experience, so we’re scattered about a few cities for school and work. The worst part is with long-distance relationships. When you’re in the same city, it isn’t so hard to find some time for your friends, but if you live in a different city? Daaaamn.

In the mother of all ‘why the hell did you ever think this was a good idea?’ incidents, one of the boyfriends needed to move to a different city for university. One of the female friends living there happened to need a roommate. Uh huh. No, they never hooked up. But the girl in the relationship became bitter that whenever she came to visit her boyfriend, she had to make time for the friend living with him. She’d drive up and want to spend a weekend with him, but couldn’t just ignore her friend. And if your roommate is a stranger, you don’t feel so bad when caught with your proverbial and literal pants down in the living room. If the roommate is your best friend since 7th grade, it gets more awkward.

One of my friends came to visit me and stayed over. She left early because she couldn’t stand to be away from her boyfriend for the entire weekend. I usually go visit them, because I’m cool with her boyfriend and I get my own bedroom. :smiley: But if the boyfriend and I didn’t get along I’d see my friend a lot less.

Yep. Some women do it, some men do it. I’ll agree with the though that the behavior skews younger.

Some people are co-dependent when they are in relationships. They become a unit, sometimes an exclusionary one. I’ve see this in men and women, but almost all my good friends are women. It’s usually an either-or thing; joined at the hip to every boyfriend to the point that they have almost no interest in maintaining friendships, vs normal people with their own lives. Sometimes though if a relationship is really intense, it’s more of a temporary thing. This is just as likely to occur because they’re dating someone very emotionally abusive, as it is because they’re ‘so in love’.

This is a pet peeve of mine because I don’t enjoy the company of most guys and yet a lot of my female friends are unable to ever spend time apart from their boyfriends. So I have no choice but to spend time with their boyfriend too, if I ever want to see them again. If he’s a douche or boring this is torturous, and even if he’s okay it’s often annoying because interacting with my friend while her boyfriend is right there is not at all the same. I like to spend time with people one on one. This is only going to get worse when more of my friends get married…

I agree that it gets better with age. Most older (say over 40) coupled people seem to have decent independence from their SO/spouse.

I do definitely spend less time with friends now than when I was single. When I met my boyfriend I was a pothead teenager, glorying in being out my parent’s house and working less than 30 hours per week (at a job where I was friends with nearly everyone) - almost all I did was hang out with friends. But I almost never ‘drop’ friends, and in fact I have more close friendships now than when I met him all those years ago, none of them mutual.