I’m dating my friend and it has changed our friendship. How do I handle it?

Deepak Kashyap
Couple by Barn

Q: We have been in a relationship for about two years now. Before this, we were good friends. Ever since we have expressed our feelings for each other, the camaraderie we share has changed. Earlier we could pat each other on the back. Now I am not sure.

Your question is not very clear about the answer it seeks, but I will give it a go from what I think it is after, as an answer. I think you refer to being able to be happy in each other’s success and appreciate each other’s talents.

Paid Counselling
Related reading: The four bases of dating in the Indian dating scene

Very rarely would you find literature on the competitive natures of spouses? It can manifest in many forms, where one starts comparing one’s achievements to those of one’s spouse or lover. There could be many triggers to this; the higher-achieving spouse being condescending, or too showy about their accolades. It could also be because the lower-achieving partner is experiencing low self-esteem because of other reasons in life, which is being amplified because of smaller professional accomplishments.

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In such cases, open and vulnerable communication is necessary. During which, both are allowed to share their insecurities and fears and their hopes and ambitions. Professional vulnerability does put a lot of strain on one’s relationships.

So to get your friend back in your partner, you need to be friendlier towards them. Make them realize that they are not loved only for what they have achieved in life, but for who they are and how much they contribute to your happiness. This illogical but accessible connection of ‘who I am,’ defined by ‘what I have achieved alone,’ has to be broken once and for all. If not in the world at large, but at least in the place, you call your little world. All the best.

Signs when a friendship becomes a ready ground for an affair

Finding someone special outside marriage in a friendship

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