I always hated the trope when someone enters into a relationship, they completely forget about his or her friends and focus on the relationship. I never wanted to be that girl, and yet I fear I may have been her.
I had been studying in London for a month when I reactivated my Tinder. I felt comfortable enough with the city and my life there that I was willing to try and meet people. Before this, my Tinder life had been pretty lackluster; I rarely kept up conversations and had definitely never met up with anyone. But it only takes one thing to change your mind. British Boy made me laugh in our texting conversations, so I gave him my number and agreed to meet him for drinks. Something completely unprecedented for me, and I was terrified. It didn’t help that I had friends convinced that something bad was going to happen and I was going to be in danger; I was just worried the guy would be a jerk. I considered bailing the night I agreed to meet him, but I was a new, braver woman.
Of course, the date went well and we started seeing each other regularly. I spent most weekends with him and we did a lot of really cool things together. As we got closer I noticed the girls in my study abroad program growing closer as well. They would go out in groups on the weekends and come back with crazy stories. I sometimes wondered if I was hanging out too much with British Boy and if I should be spending more time with the people I went to school with, but I saw them during the days. So I wasn’t completely abandoning them right? I had only known then for a couple weeks more so did I owe them more?
In the middle of my program we had a two-week break with a trip to Paris for five days. My friend, who also goes to my college back in the US, asked me if I wanted to go on a The Sound of Music themed trip with her during the break. I like The Sound of Music, but wasn’t as big of a fan as her, but I was also interested in going to as many places as I could so I thought it would be fun. There were a few factors that I thought about when making plans, money being a big influence. The British Boy also popped into my head. I knew that if I went on this trip with her I would be giving up time with him. Ultimately the trip ended up not happening for whatever reason, I honestly don’t remember why.
My birthday was on a Friday and I made plans for that weekend well in advance. Thursday night I would go out with my friend from home because she had to leave for her own school trip Friday morning, and she wanted to celebrate with me. Friday night my friends from school were going out with me, and Saturday would be spent with British Boy. When my birthday actually rolled around, that Friday was pretty hectic and for a myriad of reasons my birthday plans with my friends were cancelled. They all wished me a happy birthday and said they were sorry, but I was still left alone on my birthday. So I texted Boy and asked if I could come over, of course he said yes and we had a great weekend. I was a little upset that my plans for Friday had fallen through, but I had a good time anyway.
It wasn’t until I came home that I started to wonder if I spent too much time with Boy and my relationship kept me from becoming closer with the other people in my program. I still keep in touch with some of the people I studied with, but not as much as I talk to Boy. I do not regret dating him or any of the things that we did together. I got to see and do things that I really do not think I would have if I hadn’t met him. I wish I could have travelled more around Europe while I was there, but there were other factors that stopped me from travelling. Studying abroad was the greatest experience of my life and those 14 weeks were the happiest I’ve ever been.
Author: Hannah Randolph
Author Bio: Hannah is a writer studying journalism at Iowa State University. She enjoys fashion, pop culture and empowering women.
Link to social media or website: Instagram @hannahkrandolph