My long-time single friend finally has a boyfriend. I'm jealous. How should I deal with that?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (24 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I'm a straight guy. My friend, A, is a straight girl. We have been good friends for several years. We're not really attracted to each other--yes, you heard that right, we LIKE being in the "friend zone." We've both been unhappily single for most of that time: I was hopelessly in love with someone else, B; likewise, A was always into various guys who never liked her in return--she was always freaking out about the latest one, but, unlike me, she quickly moved on to liking someone new.
Since we're both very interested in trying to understand "human relations," we talked about both of those situations a lot, and we each made the other feel better about our problems. Knowing that we weren't going to date each other let us be honest, since we didn't have to make ourselves seem better than we were. I think the relationship I have with A is unique, not something I could re-create with someone else even over many years. Maybe I feel a certain attachment to her that I might not feel if we were the same gender, but it's really not real romantic/sexual attraction.
Unlike me, A is very focused on the short term: she gets totally wrapped up in her present situation, thinking it will never change. She can never really take anything seriously when she's happy, and when something bad happens, she's all doom and gloom and thinks nothing will ever be good again. She likes to talk to me more when she's unhappy because I reassure her, but less when she's happy because I can't get wrapped up in it in the same way.
This has been a problem in the past: when I was especially miserable due to B, A became really happy because she got her first boyfriend ever (we're that young; it was really late). She had been making me feel better, but when this happened she started to ignore me, which made it more painful. But when guy quickly dumped her, she was miserable too, and she wanted to be my friend again. I did mention that I had been unhappy about her ignoring me, but of course I had to swallow my resentment, and we went back to how we always were. I realize this is a bad thing about A, but I like her despite that.
Now, finally, A has met a guy who likes her back (and I think he's pretty good too). I want A to be happy, but I'm starting to see a repeat of the situation before--now that she has this guy, she'll have no more use for me in the foreseeable future. We live in different cities now, so drifting apart is easy, but so far we still talk/write.
I know it's unfair for me to be anything less than overjoyed for her. I know this is my problem, and I have to suck it up. So far I've been doing that. But I'll miss her, and I'll be lonely.
What should I do? I could tell her how I feel, but I don't know if it would even sink in, and I'm not sure what purpose that would serve anyway. I could try not communicating with her, at least for a while, but I don't know if that would make me feel better or worse. Of course, I could try dating someone too, but that's not going to happen right away, and I think I would still miss A just as much.
I'd appreciate advice both on what to say (if anything) and on how to deal with it mentally.
In case of anonymous responses: firstname.lastname@example.org.