No, your friend has not been taken over by pod people. Something even worse has happened. They have a new boyfriend/girlfriend.There comes a time in every young man’s life when he must face the inevitable hardship of his friends all falling helplessly in love, and being left on his Tobler as a result (well, provided the young man in question is a freak and can’t get a girl himself that is).We all face it at some stage. Without warning your close friend just up and vanishes, with no explanation as to what happened. This can cause a few problems within a group of friends: first come the “that’s not on” remarks from some of the saltier dogs, followed by the “you don’t understand our love” defence from the guilty party.Jokes are made about balls being kept in shiny trophy cabinets. Names are called. Tears are shed. The whole thing can get pretty ugly.However, I am out to defend the accused. I will spare the terrible details for everyone’s sanity, but recently my heart has been punched in its little hearty face and I have felt the dramatic angst of the hurt.Things like this bring with them certain realisations. Am I an idiot? Yes, I think so. Are all women the devil? Hmm… possibly. Above all, though, it shed some light on the disappearing act for me. I realised that my friends are only doing what I myself would do if given the chance.If I had a chance to spend every waking moment with said heart-puncher, I would – I wouldn’t even care what abuse I earned as a result. It’s a cliché, but the heart wants what it wants. It is easy to feel hurt and betrayed and think that a friend is picking their new partner over you, and yes, that may very well be the case.What you have to realise, however, is that your pal can’t help it. The opposite sex (or same, we’re all inclusive here) can make us all act a little crazy at the best of times, but your friends always come back. So when they do, don’t do the “oh, look who came crawling back” dance – that’s not productive.Try a little understanding with the love-struck fools, and realise that they can’t see the wood for the trees. It will happen to you one day too – so beware!