She texted me saying: “Shared my news with the bestie and didn’t really get the excitement I was looking for.”
That feeling when the best time of your life is equally the worst time of your life.
Somewhere in between ‘finally being found by your Boaz(or your Billy)‘ and being thrilled to share that with your closest friends, also comes this weird grieving space where she says without words ‘I’m happy for you, but not really.’
Look, we’ve all been there. Or not. Some of us, on both sides.
Disclaimer: It is possible, and it’s normal, to be happy that your friend found love and at the same time be sad about what that means for your friendship.
…and here’s my take, from both sides…
When I was single:(3) things that bothered me about my closest friends getting into relationships:
- Sloppy Seconds – I would no longer be their first phone call when something excited or sad happened. Which meant, I would get the leftovers to sharing in that special moment with them. They were MY friend, I should have first dibs on the turning points in their lives. Right?
- Single and Still Searching – It reminded me of my singleness. Yep! Going out with my girlfriends helped soothe the disappointments of my search, and if she was no longer searching, I was left to deal with this on my own.
- Sharing Life with No One – She became less interested in what was going on in my life. Now all of her attention and energy was devoted to this new character she didn’t even know 3 months ago. *Scoffs* It was cool that she had someone to share life with? But what about me?
Now that I’m married:(3) things that bother me about my single friends:
- Giving Me Space – Did I ask you for space? There’s like this imaginary rule written absolutely NO WHERE that when people get married, they need some ‘space’… as if our friendship now occupies more space because I’m married. Uummm, wrong! I still want my friends around.
- Treating Me Like “I’ve Made it” – Whew! That was a close one! Almost didn’t make it to the altar there! Marriage is not the “I’ve Made it” in life Certification. In fact, marriage is revealing how much more work I’ve got to do on myself! If you think you’re a Christian, try getting married. Ha!
- Giving me a Degree in Psychology. Look y’all, I just got married… I didn’t get my license in the psychotherapy of human relationships. But what I CAN offer you, is my experience… that’s it. And now that I’m married, I know MORE about how DIFFERENT every relationship is, because people are different. Are there underlying principles we can apply across the board like patience and forgiveness? Of course. But I can’t say that your man will act like mine in the same situation, because they are different people.
So Vulnerabites, what am I saying? As singles and marrieds, we have to learn how to co-exist. We have to learn to transition (or not transition) with each other.
We have to get more honest conversations going.
…as a single, I should have been able to tell my ‘married friends’ — “Hey! I miss you friend and I fear being left behind as you start your new life.”
..And now that I’m married … Being intentional about ‘creating the time’ to connect with my loved ones and sharing life with them in a way that ‘includes’ them, even while I figure out this married life. Fighting the part of me that wants to sort through my emotions, understand them and THEN come and share my great revelations, but what about the joy that comes with sharing the journey?
For Clarity’s Sake: If we want to maintain a relationship, its up to us, not the other person, even if we’ve shared how we feel with them.
At church this past Sunday, there was an announcement for the Singles Ministry meeting (a discussion on self growth) and I lit up! Anybody who knows me, knows that I’m a personal development junkie. That topic had my name written all over it, BUT… it was for the singles.
Yuck! What was that feeling?
In that moment, I had this gut check that somehow ‘separated’ me from them.
Oh heck nah!!! I do not want to be stuck in this ‘married peoples corner’ (the same corner I cried and prayed many nights about — oh the irony of life).
I can remember asking the host of a ‘singles & married’ conference a question, and in his exact words he said, “I am too far removed from the single experience and can not understand or relate to you.”
In the Issa Rae thought bubble of myself : What the *&%)*? So you was born married?!??! Or were you betrothed as a toddler?
I decided then that I would not be like him. The person “too married” to be of any use to singles. And this entry is my first step in that direction, getting this conversation started with my Vulnerabites 🙂
So, Vulnerabites… how do “we” learn to co-exist authentically?
Singles, what are some things you want from your married friends?
Marrieds, how can we be intentional about our single friendships?
The Naked Writer