Post # 1
I hope this is the right place to put this. Let me know if it’s not.
My boyfriend of two years proposed this past March. I keep a blog about the wedding planning for my long-distance family and friends (I was asked to), but the only person who’s opinion I actually want is my best friend’s. The problem is that she’s upset about it. Not just about my engagement, but that three of her other friends are engaged now, too. She’s upset that she’s the only one who is not engaged and has no boyfriend. I feel bad for being happy and excited when she’s so upset, but I know I shouldn’t feel bad about it. And it’s been five months, so I feel like it’s time for her to get over it. I try to avoid the topic of the wedding anymore because she makes it miserable. I have asked her so many times if it bothers her that I’m engaged and if I’m allowed to talk to her about it and she always says that she’s fine and wants to hear about it, but then she gets upset and either ignores me or suddenly has to go do something when I do talk about it. She also keeps getting on her blog and complains about how depressing it is that people are engaged and that she thinks people our age shouldn’t be allowed to get married because people our age just aren’t very mature (I’m twenty-two and will be twenty-three at the wedding). She also claims that she would never get married at our age because she doesn’t feel that she is mature enough.
I can’t just keep avoiding the topic of the wedding and I’m afraid I’m going to blow up and hurt her feelings (she keeps texting me saying things like, "being around all of these engaged people is depressing"). I just don’t feel like I’m allowed to be happy. And if it’s this bad now, what happens when I’m actually married or if I have children? What am I supposed to do about this? Is she right to be upset with me over it? I love her to death, but at the moment I would really like to slap her.
Post # 3
She definately has no right to be upset with you, and you should let her know how much it’s bothering you. Let her know that you understand why she’s feeling upset, but that she should not be directing it towards you.
Post # 4
I can see how the gets annoying. I know a few people like that. I would just tell her straight up the next time she complains saying something like "I’m engaged and I’m happy. I want to share this special time with you but it is difficult when you say things like this."
If she continues to be obnoxious about it, I would just stop sharing wedding planning with her.
Post # 5
Of course she doesn’t have a right to be upset. Adjustments with friendships can be really hard when you’re at a different place in life with your closest friends. Your best friends will be happy for you and work their their struggles and jealousy. Some friends just drift apart because their lives are so different.
I would say be as sweet and nice as you can, and ask her how involved she would like to be. Is she going to be your Maid/Matron of Honor or a BM? If after a little while she can’t get excited about the wedding, or isn’t willing ot be involved–I still wouldn’t give up on the friendship…just keep the wedding talk to a minimum and spend some girls-time with her. You’re stlil going to need it when you’re married, and she needs to know she’s not being left behind by all her married friends.
One last thought…it seems to me that her blogging about the irresponsibility of being married so young is most likely her way to deal with her jealousy, or to justify herself of the fact that she’s not part of the crowd that is getting married. Maybe she isn’t ready to get married that young, and can acknowledge it, but don’t take that personally! (and if that means not reading her blog anymore, so it). She doesn’t know how to deal with those emotions yet, and she likely needs a place to vent that isn’t to your face, but isn’t hidden from you either.
Hope things get better. Keep us updated!
Post # 6
It’s obvious she’s not being honest about her feelings. And really, can you blame her? You don’t think she has a right to be upset with you, and probably neither does she. Of course she is going to say it’s fine to talk about the weding. But it clearly isn’t. So stop talking to her about it.
It sounds like she’s being a little hypocritical too. On the one hand she seems to go around saying you all are too young to get married. Yet still feels jealousy over not being engaged. I suppose I can understand both. Maybe she really does feel like it’s too young to be getting married, but is still a worry wart about never finding someone. Or maybe she’s nervous how this will effect her friendships, if she has so many friends getting married. Maybe she just feels like they’ll all move on without her, and she won’t be able to relate to them. Also she doesn’t have a boyfriend. Has she ever ? Or often?
Perhaps I’m in the minority, but I think you should cut her a little slack. I don’t exactly know her situation, but if you were in this situation where all of your friends were getting married and you don’t even have a boyfriend, would you feel a bit depressed? I think I would. It’s hard to be a friend to her if you can’t talk about the most exciting thing going on for you. But all kinds of weird stuff goes on around weddings. I think you should do your best to not talk about the wedding around her. Try to just get her doing fun stuff with the girls. Ask her what’s going on with her. If she tries to ask you what’s going on with the wedding (because it sounds like she wants to attempt to be happy for you) I would gloss over something generically. "Oh just working on invitations now. Did you say you got that project at work buttoned up?"
Might it be as difficult when you’re married? Could be. But you’d like to think that she’ll eventually come around. If you find that you can only take her in small doses, that’s OK. Maybe that will help her realize she’s being a downer, and having married friends even if she’s still single, is better than not having a boyfriend or any friends at all. If you want to talk to her about this, do it delicately. I would talk to her about how she’s feeling, and what you can do to help her be excited about where her life is right now. And who knows, with all of these weddings, maybe she’ll meet the guy of her dreams. But she’s got to be OK being herself, first.
Post # 7
If you ask me, she is not showing many friend-like qualities right now. This should be such a happy time in your life and if she is your friend, she should be happy for you! I am also a younger bride to be and have found a little resistance to my engagement and wedding. I’m sure its hard for her to be the only one not engaged right now but that does not give her the right to try to make you feel bad about being engaged. I know wedding planning can consume my conversations and I’m sure its the same with everyone else. Try to discuss other things but if the wedding comes up or you want her opinion, give her a chance to be your friend. If not, move on to someone else. I’m sure you have tons of other friends who would love to help you plan. Maybe she will come around in the later months but if not, it might be a sign to spend less time with her and most likely less time hoping you are not gonna accidently hurt her feelings.
Post # 8
I’m with Tanya123 on this one. Your friend is lonely and sad that she’s the only one "alone". Sure, it would be more graceful for her to take a step back and just smile and be happy for you, but maybe she just can’t. Maybe this is as hard for her as it is for you. She obviously WANTS to be happy for you…she keeps telling you that talking about wedding planning is fine…but it’s obviously not. I would let her bring it up, not you.
It’s the same as infertile women being sad when their friends are popping out babies left, right and centre. You feel left out. You feel like "why can’t I have that?" "why me?" etc. And even if you know you should be happy for your friend, you still feel bitter. That’s just what the situation is like for her right now. Her ranting about how you’re too young? That’s a self-defence mechanism. She’s lonely, but she’s got too much pride to admit it.
It may not be fair to you, but the way she sees it, it’s no fair to her, either.
Post # 9
Thanks for all of the help, all of you.
I do want to clear up one thing. I don’t generally talk about the wedding – I’m not one of those "brides-to-be" who has nothing else on her mind. I hadn’t started doing any real planning until about two weeks ago, so it’s not like it’s all I ever talk about, quite the opposite. I’ve only mentioned it a handful of times to her. I just wanted to make that clear, so you know I’m not bombarding her with, "I want this cake and this dress and omg it’s so nice and my bridesmaids will wear this these flowers are pretty omg omg omg." I’m actually still in the stage where I may or may not just go to the courthouse, because I’m not a girly person and I don’t particularly enjoy weddings.
Ok. I just wanted you all to understand that I’m not torturing her with details. I’ve been tiptoeing around her emotions since the engagement.
Now, a couple of you have mentioned that she may be jealous and lonely, which I understand. I wanted to answer a question one of you asked about whether or not she has ever had a boyfriend. She doesn’t have boyfriends because she insists on locking herself up in her grandmother’s basement (she’s living with her to save money until she finishes college) and playing on the computer. She’s a perfectly nice, cute, dateable girl; she just doesn’t want to fix herself up or meet new people (I know she’s shy and I completely sympathize, since I’m also extremely shy around new people). On the very rare occasion that she does meet someone, she dresses as frumpy as she possibly can, as if she wants to be unattractive to him.
It doesn’t seem logical to me that she would be jealous that I have someone and she doesn’t, but that she insists on setting herself up to not have someone. So…I’m not sure if the problem is that she’s jealous, because she seems like she doesn’t care to have a boyfriend. Do you have any other ideas?
Post # 10
lonleycheese15 , I also have a friend who was having a very tough time with everyone around her pairing off. I can truely understand where that is coming from , I think we all can see how it would be a little depressing to have everyone around you have some one special but you! That being said , I don’t think your friend is being fair to you , or herself. I think some of us have a much harder time opening our hearts up with the chance of being hurt. I don’t have any advise on how to help you are your friend in this other than letting her know how YOU feel. either she will understand your fears or she won’t. Good luck and congrats , happy planning!
Post # 11
I have a girlfriend who is exactly like this. Doesn’t try to make an effort to date and when she does she picks the other person apart. And then she’s the first to complain about being alone. I think with my friend it is more of a depression thing that she’s scared of getting hurt by guys. So she just doesn’t go on dates or let the relationship go far. Then in turn she hears all of us getting engaged and married who are happy so that just makes her sad that she can’t find that same security. Has she ever had a boyfriend that broke her heart? Maybe that is the true problem and she just doesn’t realize it. Regardless it does stink to have someone not enjoying in the fun!
Post # 12
Lonelycheese, I think what’s going on with Staceyrp’s friend, could be going on with yours. It doesn’t make sense that she would be jealous, but then do nothing to try to get in on her share of the happiness in the world. But what she is doing is a little self defeating. Perhaps depression?? Have you ever tried something, baking a pie, rollerblading, skiing? Only to find someone else does it so much better, you think you could never catch up? Or that you must just not have what it takes, and give up trying. I know I have. I’d like to think that’s somewhat human nature from time to time.
Unfortuantely it sounds like your friend really doesn’t feel like she belives she can land a guy. Or maybe she’s really been hurt and feels like guys just can’t be trusted. But I bet there’s a hefty portion of low self esteem going on with her. And she’s trying to do the rejecting before she gets rejected.
Perhaps someday you can talk to her about this. And try to get her to realize the good qualities she has. Or maybe she needs to talk to someone. I’d be concerned that if this is how she realtes to people socially, that it won’t just be about guys. Her self image could also impact her career.
Post # 13
Is it possible that she’s attempting to replace the fulfillment of a relationships with her friendships?
Then even if she doesn’t want to be in a relationship, she would be affected by her single friends pairing off… there’s no one else left for her to hang out with.
Post # 14
Maybe that’s it MrBee; though she still has plenty of friends.
Whatever it is that’s been going on with her, she’s been fine the last few days. I haven’t mentioned the wedding to her (not that there’s much to mention right now ).
Oh! I almost forgot, though. She did talk to me the other night and tell me how she was feeling about her other friends getting married. She has a couple who she thinks are way too immature for reasons I don’t know (I don’t know these friends). She specifically mentioned that she was not upset about my engagement, which I hope is true. I don’t know what exactly possessed her to tell me this out of the blue (we had been talking about our cats or something similarly inconsequential only seconds before, so it was quite a switch). We talked a little about it and I think we both feel a little better.
In the end, I think you were all right in some way. She’s upset about losing friends, but I think she is really wondering why she can’t find someone. Well, no…I know she feels that way because she asked me why it was her more unintelligent, immature friends are finding men and she can’t. I wasn’t entirely sure how to answer that…. But, in the end, I think she felt a little better.
Thanks for all your help!
Post # 15
I think you should talk to your friend and tell her how her comments make you feel. It sounds like you’ve been understanding and try to keep all things wedding related at a minimum around her (I’d tell her this too).
Give her some grace – as it IS difficult to see all your friends married before you are – especially when no Boyfriend or Best Friend in sight. As her friend, remind her that she’s a great gal and her day will come, but it’s hurtful to read the negative comments about marriage, etc. and tell her how it makes you feel.
You both need to understand the where the other friend is coming from and I’m sure she doesn’t realize how much it bothers you (because all she can think about is how it’s not her ‘turn’… again)
Post # 16
Lonelycheese, what a tough situation but what a good friend you are for trying to find a solution. You’ve gotten some wise advice, and I hope I can add to it.
It’s terrific that you two have started to talk. Now, keep that ball rolling by deciding together how you want to define your relationship going forward. Sounds fancy- just means letting someone know what you expect from them as a friend and what you offer.
Most of us already do something like this. We have shopping buddies, or exercise friends who are in our lives but in specific way. This time your trying to find out how she can participate in your special event. You might say something like:
We’ve talked about how you’re feeling about all the engagements lately, and I’ve been worried about upsetting you with wedding talk. I really want to keep our friendship. You mean a lot to me. It would be great if I knew what works for you. Like when it’s too many details. Or when you don’t feel like hearing the details. Can we talk about that now or sometime soon?
What really works about saying things this way is that it’s non-judgmental and non-threatening. (although some might have a hard time responding to your honestly) You’re merging your two perspectives then asking her to join you in creating something new that works for you both. Personally, I’d feel much more connected to and happier with a friend who thought enough of me and our relationship to bring this up. And, I think your friend will too, although she may not say it at the time.
A wedding is a significant milestone that really causes everyone to think about our most basic desire as humans: to love and be loved. You’re wonderful to show your friend so much love at this special time in your life. All the best!
Love = Fun