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Relationships never consist of just the two people actually dating each other. When I was sixteen, I dated a guy for about a year, and in that time he spent about as much time with me as he did with my family. My sister was eight at the time, and she became very attached to him. He was the brother she’d never had, the brother who was always friendly to her, always nice, always playful without being mean. When he and I broke up, she was extremely upset, and very mad at me. After that relationship, I think she learned not to care too much about the guys who hung out at our house.

The extended relationships we form with our significant others’ families run both ways. In my last serious relationship before meeting my husband, I became extremely close with my ex’s sister and his mother. His sister and I traveled together to the United Kingdom for a study abroad program together for two weeks. His mother and I would get together to “jam” in the fall (actually making jam). We celebrated holidays with both families each year, and I spent a lot of time hanging out at his house with his family. When we broke up, his family still came to my college graduation party. His sister and I remained friends on Facebook until he threw a fit and told her that if she wanted to be a good sister she’d un-friend me. She talked to me about it before blocking me online, and we agreed that if he wanted to be childish then he had every right to be so. We continued to talk on the phone every once in a while, and when I’d come home to visit, I’d make plans to meet up with her or her and her mother to get ice cream or coffee and just sit and chat.

Today’s 30 Days of Truth is: Day 09: Someone you didn’t want to let go, but just drifted.

When I got married in July, I knew that his mother wouldn’t come to my wedding, even if she wanted to. His sister, however, did show up and had a great time. I appreciate her loyalty as a friend more than she’ll know, and I’m so grateful that we haven’t drifted as many would expect. Even though I don’t hear from her as often as before, we still keep in contact the best we can with our busy schedules. However, I haven’t heard from his mom in a very long time. We had a lot in common; we shared recipes, we talked about education, and just discussed life in general. She was like a second mom to me. Unfortunately, I think that the main thing we had in common when I was dating her son, was that we both loved her son. After those feelings changed on my part, I think we both felt like we were hurting him by remaining friends, so we just drifted apart.

I’m sad I don’t see her much anymore, but I know it’s a result of a natural course of events that I could not have changed even if I had wanted to. I don’t regret my relationship with him any more than I regret my friendship with his family; they both influenced me in different ways that made me who I am today. While my sister may have closed her eyes and heart to those I brought into the house, I continued to keep mine open, and I’m really glad that I did.