I recently found out that both of my best friends are bisexual. I am straight, and I was slightly bothered by this, but I remained their friend. Now I have been best friends with them for almost my entire life, 6 years now. One of them, I'll call E, made a new friend, that I'll call L. My other friend, who I'll call B, said that E liked L. And today after school, E said that she would be going to starbucks with L, then going to L's house to "eat ice cream and watch anime". My heart sort of sank, but I didn't react. But B is also nervous. E hangs out with L a lot, and sometimes she leaves class without me, bringing L with her. I'm starting to worry that she'll leave us behind. Because just last week, both B and E liked the same boy. He told B that he liked her, and not E. E has been sulking around, and doesn't talk to us very much anymore. She spends more time with L, and today after school I already almost ended up crying. We've been friends for 6 whole years, and she's the closest friend i've ever had. And my parents have been thinking about moving. If we move, E will get only more attached to L. B will be left behind, with both of her friends robbed from her. I need some way to get E to either feel better or stop spending time with L. I prefer the former. How can I get her to stay with us?
Lela (age 11)
* * *
First point I have for you is that this has (or should have) nothing to do with whether or not your friends are bisexual (unless you think they are engaging in sex, which is another, matter since they are not of legal age). This is more a question about friendships. Assuming everyone involved here is 11 or around there, this is a very very young age. It is extremely rare for kids who have formed friendships before they were 10 to keep those friends throughout their lives (I have one such friend whom I've known since third grade, but that's it, and we've kind of grown apart anyway).
In your (hopefully) long life to come, you will gain new friends and lose touch with others. This is normal. You cannot force a new friendship, but you can deliberately lose or sabotage one with bad behavior on your part. It sounds to me as if you are against E being closer to L because you want E to stay your friend. I can tell you, however, that if you somehow plot to break E and L apart, you are going to lose any hope you may have had for E remaining your friend.
Instead of being selfish about it, you should be happy for E and L. They seem to have hit it off. Be glad for them, and tell them you are glad for them. Make it clear to both E and L that you would like to be a friend to both of them. Reach out with kindness, not selfishness. And do not allow B to use you as a tool for breaking up E and L.
You can remain friends with everyone: B, E, and L. One, two, or all of them may be closer friends than the others, but you should always remain friendly. Don't start playing these little games that humans so often play because you wrongfully believe you can manipulate others into being your friend.
That's not how to be a good friend.
If E and L should decide to leave you and B out of the picture, well, that is their choice. Tell them "bye bye" and wish them well. Stay close friends with B if you can. And, if you move away, be open to new friendships wherever you go.
Be kind to others, be friendly, be helpful, and you will never find yourself without friends.
A note on comments: Comments on letters to Papabear are welcome, especially those that offer extra helpful advice and add something to the conversation that is of use to the letter writer and those reading this column. Also welcome are constructive criticisms and opposing views. What is NOT welcome are hateful, hurtful comments, flaming, and trolling. Such comments will be deleted from this site. Thank you.