Skip

Friend has a new boyfriend - am I overreacting? Am I too jealous?
January 15, 2013 9:26 AM   Subscribe

I am jealous of the fact that my good friend is hardly around because she's got a new boyfriend. Very happy for her, but am very uncomfortable with my jealousy. Need some perspective and help dealing.

I have a jealousy problem. I would like some idea of where on the normal spectrum I fall and also some of your lifehacks regarding how to deal with friend jealousy, in particular.

Generally I don't have many friends (which really doesn't bother me) and I have a few very good, very reliable friends with whom I am in sporadic contact with. I would say for each good friend, contact occurs with a maximum frequency of once in two days. Most times it's a text/IM interaction of around ten minutes, or half an hour if on the phone. Sometimes long emails. Phonecalls are very, very rare -- maybe once in two months max. So in my opinion I am pretty independent, and really not that clingy.

I am female, and I have a female friend (a good one, who follows the above "definition") who was single for a while. We are both students. She's a really sweet, wonderful and patient person, and we're good friends. She confided in me quite a bit, we go out for lunch maybe around once or twice per month. We used to check in with each other at least once a week. She got into a relationship with someone really awesome a few months ago. Our contact has dropped quite dramatically -- to around once a month.

Let me just put it out here that I am very very happy for her. She is a very good person and I really like her.

On an intellectual level, I accept that it's par for the course that a good friend, once in a relationship, would generally disappear. But my feelings in response to certain events seem to suggest that I'm exhibiting really abnormal reactions, ones that a mature adult should not be having.

1) She said she would come over one night. Waited for her the whole night, she never came and no explanation. I was hurt but never said a peep and let it go.

2) She hardly ever initiates contact these days. I do the initiating, and maybe once in a while to check in on her. Although she does tag me on Facebook once in a while. Not really a big deal I suppose.

3) In a moment of emotional weakness (I was undergoing a very stressful period and needed to simply get out of my mind for a little while, after a few weeks of trying to do it on my own) I asked her out to dinner, but she postponed the time.

The last one is where I started to get worried with my response. All she did was postpone the time! In response to her postponement, I texted her saying that we'll just do it after my busy period is over. I felt hurt after I thought, "Hmm, why do I have to compromise on anything, and her boyfriend and his friends get her 100% of the time?" (which I know, is really silly and kinda possessive) I thought of being gracious but I just couldn't arrange dinner because I thought I'd be too hurt to see her again. She texted back saying dinner was okay after all. After some thought and calming down, I agreed to it to (came up with the excuse that dinner was a superb time after all).

Is this normal? Am I hypersensitive/somewhere off the normal spectrum? What can I do to mentally bring myself back onto higher ground/into a better place? Specifically one where I can deal with her postponing without having a crazy overreaction?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (22 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
First off: 1) She said she would come over one night. Waited for her the whole night, she never came and no explanation. I was hurt but never said a peep and let it go.

It is, generally, pretty rude to do something like this and not contact the person to let them know you can't make it. Is there a reason you did not call her that night? I mean, if she said she'd be over, around 9 P.M. (or whenever is past fashionably-late or whatever) you ought to give a call and ask what is going on. Either way, don't let this stuff go. You don't need to be mean or rude about it, but part of being a good friend is calling out friends on shitty behavior.

The other stuff: is this the only close friend you have? You sound like you are way, way more invested in this friendship than she is. Far too much of your desire for socialization/companionship/etc. is being put on her and she clearly isn't interested in a relationship on this level. You can't make a person be a more conscientious or attentive friend (I mean, you can ask, certainly) so you'd do well to find other people with whom to hang out and tone down your expectations for this relationship. Otherwise, you will just keep freaking out over small things because there's no other people in your life occupying your time.
posted by griphus at 9:38 AM on January 15, 2013 [11 favorites]


1 and to some extent 2 are her not being a very good friend. It is totally okay to feel hurt or upset when your friend stands you up / seems disinterested in maintaining the friendship. Not dealing with those feelings of hurt, though, can end up causing little things to blow up into big things, and it seems like that's what's going on with 3, to me.
posted by gauche at 9:38 AM on January 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Are you sure it's jealousy and not the straw that broke the camel's back? I'd be kind of annoyed too, especially at 1. Agreeing that you need more friends, you won't be as annoyed.
posted by Neekee at 9:52 AM on January 15, 2013


I think you're relying too much on the few friends that you have. If you had a wider group of friends, you wouldn't feel so lonesome if one of them gets a new interest. I am sure that when I went to grad school, some of my friends wondered when I fell off the face of the earth. But it was easy enough to pick up again once my schedule freed up after I graduated.

I agree, getting stood up is pretty bad. You should have called to find out what the dilly-o. "Hey Lisa, I'm starving, what's your 20?" Is a perfectly reasonable call to make. "OMG, are you okay? Are you dead in a ditch?" Not so much

Most of my friends initate contact with me. I have to make a concerted effort to reach out. Kind of like the Sims.

So my recommendation is for you to back off of her for a bit, visit with other folks in your circle, or perhaps go out and explore a new hobby or interest.

I will say this. Every time I've felt possessive of a friend when I've been introduced to her boyfriend, he's always turned out to be kind of a dick. If I like the guy and I enjoy hanging out with the both of them, then he's good people.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 9:53 AM on January 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


You're not reacting abnormally if you take into account that this is something that you're kind of allowing to build by not mentioning it to her, so eventually it builds and builds and gets to the point where it sets you off that she postpones the time.

She has a new boyfriend which is a really exciting thing, he is huge in her mind and she thinks about him lots. She wants to make him mix tapes, probably, and borrow one of his shirts, one he's slept in, so it smells like him. This is a period in which contact with other friends sort of tapers off, because if she's got free time, more likely than not she wants to spend it with him.

If she does stuff that's uncool - like flaking on your plans, for example - just shoot her a quick text and ask what's up.

It makes sense that she's initiating things less often - again, contact will taper off a bit here - so if you want to see her, just make the invitation yourself. She'll be busy more than she was, but you'll still see her some.

But really - if she does something that you know is out of bounds, be cool about it but say something (in a chill way). It sounds like the big issue here is that you're letting things go without comment when they really bother you. There are ways to bring things up without making waves, and the alternative is that little things start setting you off.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 9:56 AM on January 15, 2013 [5 favorites]


Just wanted to say, I feel for you. I don't think you're way out of line to be feeling ooky or abandoned about the situation

I know the people who say, "you need to have more friends/be less reliant on this particular friend" are not wrong, exactly, but--some people just aren't wired to have huge circles of friends, and sometimes you need a *close* friend around, not just *any* friend. And frankly yes, your first two examples are just straight-up rudeness on your friend's part.

Also, it's not "emotional weakness" to ask a friend out to dinner, yo. Fuck that noise, why do we even HAVE friends if we're not allowed to contact them?

That said, you are correct that it's pretty normal for friends to disappear into relationships, and as much as it sometimes hurts you do have to just suck it up and try to be happy for them. But you are also allowed to have boundaries and to tell your friend when she's overstepped them. Dropping out of circulation? OK. Being rude and standing you up? NOT OKAY.
posted by like_a_friend at 10:00 AM on January 15, 2013 [6 favorites]


I don’t think you’re overreacting, but you’re probably also not dealing with your feelings very well.

1. Your friend standing you up, without explanation, was rude. But you not asking her about it is also a bit strange. Why are you walking on eggshells with her? If a good friend made plans with me and didn’t show, I would be calling or texting her within 20 minutes of our expected meetup time. It wouldn’t have been clingy of you to ask her why she didn’t show up, unless perhaps the plans were ambiguous -- e.g. did you set a concrete time, or did she mention she would “try to drop by” and you took that to mean it was definite?

2. If it’s been a few months since she got together with her boyfriend, it’s probably time to reset your expectations of how much time you’ll spend together going forward. It’s not that she cares for you any less, but now she has to fit an extra (and important) relationship into her existing sphere. It’s nothing personal; it happens all the time. Friendships ebb and flow. People get busy and they have to make choices. Give yourself time to adjust to this, and permission to grieve the loss of what your friendship was. Obviously your friend is very important to you, and you miss the contact you had with her. This is perfectly normal and ok. If your friendship is solid, it will survive – just with a decrease in the frequency of communication. The key question is: how is she treating you when you DO communicate? Is she still the same sweet, wonderful and patient person? Is she attentive, interested in your life? Would she be there for you if you needed help? That to me defines a friendship much more than the frequency of interaction.

3. I agree with others here, #3 only happened because of #s 1 and 2.
posted by yawper at 10:06 AM on January 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


I wouldn't worry too much about whether you SHOULD be feeling what you're feeling. You're not abnormal or crazy. I think your expectations may be off, since the beginnings of relationships tend to absorb people, but of course you feel hurt that she doesn't seem as invested in your friendship as she used to be. Ideally, maybe your friend should be less wrapped up in her relationship, and you should have lots going on in your own life and accept that this is a period that you won't see her as much... but in reality, neither of you has attained this zenlike perfection. That's okay. She is not rejecting you by being flaky right now. You may have to reach out to her more than you'd like, but it doesn't mean you're weak or that something is wrong with your friendship. You will probably have to do more of the asking for a little while until things stabilize.
posted by chickenmagazine at 10:23 AM on January 15, 2013


Short answer, 1) is rude, 2) is not technically rude, and 3) is something to be avoided if at all possible. My guess is that your friend corrected 3) because she realized she'd been a bit rude.

Long answer: The other stuff: is this the only close friend you have? You sound like you are way, way more invested in this friendship than she is. Far too much of your desire for socialization/companionship/etc. is being put on her and she clearly isn't interested in a relationship on this level.

This is the kind of thing that's making you feel that the problem is you, that you're clingy, that you're too jealous, that it should be obvious to you that this person is just an acquaintance who can't be expected to find much time for you. How dysfunctional of you not to see that. If you were really independent, you wouldn't miss your friends when they're not there.

But how about this: you had a good friend that you used to see a lot and hear from a lot and now she doesn't bother any more. She stood you up with no explanation, and when you finally swallowed your pride and asked to see her for dinner, she put you off.

Maybe you miss her and feel a bit friend-dumped. I would.

In a moment of emotional weakness [...] I asked her out to dinner because healthy, well-adjusted friends don't need each other's company and don't miss each other when they're gone. A well-adjusted person would have a hundred friends, and if one went missing, she would be too busy with the other 99 to even notice.

That's what's supposed to be normal, but I'll tell you what I think is normal: it's normal to be somewhat attached to our friends, to feel rejected when they blow us off even if they don't mean to, and to feel hurt when one of our formerly close friends very obviously has better things to do than spend time with us.

I'm in a situation where all my friends are hours away from me geographically, and I also have a long commute and a demanding job. By contrast, all my friends have SOs and/or kids plus a gaggle of local friends, so they've automatically got higher priorities and easier opportunities than me. As hard as it is under normal conditions to get face time in today's fast-paced jet-setting world, it's even harder for me right now, and I lately find it hard to force myself to make the effort. I've cultivated a form of not caring as the only socially acceptable response, but the result of that is that my social circle consists entirely of wonderful people that I rarely see and have no especially strong attachment to. Perhaps this is not a "normal" or attractive thing to admit to, but it is my truth at the moment.

The solution is always to get out more and make more friends so that any one person's waxing and waning doesn't have so much of an impact. That's what I would suggest. When I'm able to make time to do it, it does work for me.
posted by tel3path at 10:36 AM on January 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


1, 2, and 3 would all annoy me. (3 would be especially bad if she had already canceled once without notice.) In fact, I have a very good friend, by your definition. I got into a relationship. And I'm certainly around less (some of that is geographical since we no longer live in the same building, some of it is me being an introvert with an overly-full-for-me social schedule). But I would never cancel without telling her. And she has called me when stressed, and we'd go out to dinner or just talked on the phone for a couple of hours. That's what friends are for. (Otherwise, who are you supposed to call in a moment of emotional weakness?)

I guess I would (1) tell her that I still have expectations of clear communication, even it's just so I can make other plans instead of waiting around, and (2) go make other friends, who are hopefully less flaky. If she JUST got into her relationship, I'd give her 3-6 months to get over new relationship energy. But otherwise, she has no excuse at all.
posted by ethidda at 10:40 AM on January 15, 2013


In a moment of emotional weakness ... I asked her out to dinner

Maybe your problem is whatever this attachment is to.. detachment? I don't even know. What's emotionally weak about asking someone whose company you enjoy to spend time with you? You like your friend and the quantity of contact you had with her, now you have less contact and you miss that contact you were enjoying.

I am having a hard time understanding why you'd feel this is somehow Wrong.

There's certainly a wrong way to REACT, but your feelings are your feelings and you're entitled to them. You're also entitled to tell someone that you want them to respect your time when they make a commitment to do stuff with you.

One screwup and a slightly busier schedule are forgivable offenses, mind you, so you should be measured in your response. But there's nothing at all amiss about saying "hey, I know you've been busy lately but I really miss hearing from you. What's up?" That's not inappropriate, it's a nice thing you say to someone... and a way you try to address your own perfectly justifiable needs.
posted by phearlez at 10:42 AM on January 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Standing you up is rude, and it doesn't matter whether the person is dating someone or not. If you say you will be someplace (especially for a one-on-one friend-date), you should show up.

some people just aren't wired to have huge circles of friends, and sometimes you need a *close* friend around, not just *any* friend.

I see what you're saying, but the reality is that the social priorities of any individual person are going to change over time, and inevitably romantic relationships are going to take priority over friendships at least some of the time. So unless one makes an effort to cultivate at least a small circle of friends, you're going to find yourself in a situation where you are competing for the attention of your only friend with other friends or a significant other, and sometimes you will end up lower on the priority list without any other alternatives.
posted by deanc at 10:47 AM on January 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


I think it's completely OK to be upset when a relationship changes or ends. There doesn't seem to be anything weird or unusual about that at all. It's completely OK to expect a friend to, you know, act like one.

A similar thing happened to me. A good friend went radio silent when her new boyfriend came on the scene. We went from texting random nonsense to one another several times a day, chatting at least once a week by phone and seeing each other a couple of times a month, to her responding to my texts a week later, never talking on the phone and not seeing each other for a six month stretch.

And it hurt. She just vanished, and it seemed like any connection that we had was lost. So I tried acceptance, in the Buddhist sense. I accepted that this was how our relationship was now. What used to be, isn't what was any more. It took a month or so of reminding myself that things had changed, but it sank in eventually. The new way of doing things was what was going to happen, henceforth. Once that clicked, it was much easier to handle the new situation. I could make a choice then to continue to be friends with this person, or decide that it wasn't what I was looking for, and move on.

I backed off too, not wanting to expend time and energy on someone who wasn't going to meet me half way. Ultimately, she's put more effort in since, after a conversation involving her complaining that we never see each other, me saying lets meet up and her saying that she couldn't, she had to do things with [boyfriend]. At that point, the light clicked on. We're still not as close as we were, but that's the way things are now. We've managed to find what I'd consider to be a happy medium.

Your thoughts regarding 3) seem to me to be sensible, in a way. She's supposed to be your friend and yet she can't take a night off from her boyfriend to see you when you're upset? She might have been really busy, of course. To my mind, though, actions speak a lot louder than tagging someone on facebook.
posted by Solomon at 11:14 AM on January 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


1) She said she would come over one night. Waited for her the whole night, she never came and no explanation. I was hurt but never said a peep and let it go.
Ah, but you didn't let it go. Better to say a peep and hash it out than to keep silent and let resentment build. I'd have said something about a half-hour after she was supposed to show. "Hey, thought we were on for 8, I'm here, you on your way?"
3) In a moment of emotional weakness (I was undergoing a very stressful period and needed to simply get out of my mind for a little while, after a few weeks of trying to do it on my own) I asked her out to dinner, but she postponed the time.
Did you say "help me escape from my stress!" or did you say "wanna get dinner?" Because they're two very different invitations.
In response to her postponement, I texted her saying that we'll just do it after my busy period is over. I felt hurt after I thought, "Hmm, why do I have to compromise on anything, and her boyfriend and his friends get her 100% of the time?" (which I know, is really silly and kinda possessive)
What's silly about your response is that it wasn't honest. You said "no biggie I'm busy too" instead of "I could really use a night on the town w/y'all."
She texted back saying dinner was okay after all. After some thought and calming down, I agreed to it to (came up with the excuse that dinner was a superb time after all).
I don't understand this. You invited her for dinner on day X, she says sounds good then changes it to day Y, you say yeah or even day Z, then she says X is ok after all, and you say oh yes I can make X happen. Angry and hurt all the while but not saying anything.

Your friend may be behaving badly but how is she to know? You haven't actually told her anything.
posted by headnsouth at 11:15 AM on January 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


1) She said she would come over one night. Waited for her the whole night, she never came and no explanation. I was hurt but never said a peep and let it go.

As lots of people have noted, this is rude.

2) She hardly ever initiates contact these days. I do the initiating, and maybe once in a while to check in on her. Although she does tag me on Facebook once in a while. Not really a big deal I suppose.

When things are okay with friends, I don't pay attention to who initiates when. I'm sure there've been periods where it's imbalanced, but it doesn't necessarily matter. Once I start counting things, I am already upset with this friend.

3) In a moment of emotional weakness (I was undergoing a very stressful period and needed to simply get out of my mind for a little while, after a few weeks of trying to do it on my own) I asked her out to dinner, but she postponed the time.

I'm not sure why you consider it emotional weakness to want to see a friend, to be honest. You sound like you are a really closed off person -- which I am too, very much so -- and that has good points and bad points, and the bad point is that often people don't catch your subtle clues that you need them, so they aren't there for you even though they would have been, had they known.

I see what you're saying, but the reality is that the social priorities of any individual person are going to change over time, and inevitably romantic relationships are going to take priority over friendships at least some of the time.

Well, sure, but if your romantic relationship is always taking priority over your friendships, you're either in high school or in a very fucked up relationship (or both).
posted by jeather at 12:01 PM on January 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


Aw, I feel for you. When you're close to someone, any change in the nature of that relationship can feel like a loss (even when it's a happy change, like your friend falling in love with someone.)

First, your feelings of loss and frustration are not an overreaction, no. Your feelings are legitimate. Tell yourself that and really accept it, because it's true.

The way I see it, there are basically two things you can do from there. First, you should let her know you miss her, if you haven't already. It could be that she just doesn't realize how much of her time she's transferred over to her new paramour at the expense of her friendships. This doesn't have to (and should not be) melodramatic, but you should definitely be honest about missing how things were. The next time you see her or invite her to do something social, it's totally okay to say, "I feel like I haven't seen you in forever and I miss talking about stupid TV with you. Can we get drinks on Tuesday?" This may help her take a look at the changes in her behavior. You may or may not see a shift in her attention, but at least you'll have been honest.

Second, give yourself some time to sit with the change in the relationship. Accept that the division of her social time may swing back the other way once the honeymoon period is over (or if they break up, or whatever), or that it may be more permanent. Try to feel okay with whichever way it goes. The only thing that helps with this is time, like on the scale of months. It may sound silly, but it's almost like you're mourning a little breakup. Allow yourself some time to feel better about it.
posted by superfluousm at 12:30 PM on January 15, 2013


To clarify, deanc, I'm not saying that it's abnormal for romantic relationships to take priority, or that it's in any way a bad idea to cultivate a circle of friends.

But friends aren't interchangeable Sociability Cogs. They're individuals you presumably love for individual reasons, and sometimes you want or need to spend time with *that* person, not just any person.

It's okay to feel hurt when someone you love rejects you, even if that rejection is normal and natural, even if the love involved is platonic. It's not okay to lash out and be uncompromising about it, but it's okay to feel hurt and it's okay to express when someone isn't treating you well.

(To be honest, I've never dated someone so exciting that I wanted to see them 24/7 or make mixtapes or anything...so I acknowledge that part of me just doesn't get the disappearing act. It took a long time to recognize that it wasn't personal, because I just kept thinking, there is literally no way anyone likes anyone that much, he/she just wants to get rid of me. And then once it wasn't personal, it took a long time to understand why I was still stung.)
posted by like_a_friend at 12:35 PM on January 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


friends aren't interchangeable Sociability Cogs. They're individuals you presumably love for individual reasons, and sometimes you want or need to spend time with *that* person, not just any person.

And the truth is that even your "best friend" has at least a couple of other friends, as well as a significant other, and sometimes the person they "want or need to spend time with" is someone who is not you. I'm not trying to invalidate the OP's feelings but just point out that while you might only be "wired" to have a "bestie" that you have an intense friendship with, it's inevitable that you're not always going to be the social priority in that person's life. I think it's completely fair to suggest to someone to branch out socially beyond a single person she's solely dependent on as a social outlet.

part of me just doesn't get the disappearing act.

There is a limit of 24 hours in the day. The addition of a new person in your life leaves less average time-per-person. Certain circumstances, like the formation of a new romantic relationship, end up meaning that the romantic relationship gets "first priority" sometimes. I've certainly had invitations to social events that if I weren't dating anyone I would definitely have gone to, and might have intended to bring my SO along to but on the night of the event turned into, "why don't we just have a quiet night to ourselves together?"
posted by deanc at 2:30 PM on January 15, 2013


There is a limit of 24 hours in the day. The addition of a new person in your life leaves less average time-per-person. Certain circumstances, like the formation of a new romantic relationship, end up meaning that the romantic relationship gets "first priority"

Oh, I understand that now, deanc. I just frankly have liked all my friends much much more than I have ever liked any of my boyfriends. So, I had to be taught this rather than learning from experience. I'm the one who's like "please, anyone, can we make plans? I don't want to have date night again, can we go bowling or something..."

I'm sorry if I seemed to jump on you as being particularly critical of the OP; it's more that there's a tendency in certain circles to view friendships as just vastly inferior to romantic relationships and so any knocks your friends have to take, in the wake of YOUR TWUE LURVE, are just to be sucked up and never acknowledged.

And since the OP seemed to have a firm grasp on:
it's inevitable that you're not always going to be the social priority in that person's life.

I thought it was right and proper to acknowledge that this is a real, and serious, change for her which may in fact be a loss.
posted by like_a_friend at 2:46 PM on January 15, 2013


part of me just doesn't get the disappearing act.

There is a limit of 24 hours in the day. The addition of a new person in your life leaves less average time-per-person. Certain circumstances, like the formation of a new romantic relationship, end up meaning that the romantic relationship gets "first priority" sometimes.

Yeah, the "disappearing act" isn't mysterious, it purely and simply means your friend wants to spend most of her time with her SO.

I've certainly had invitations to social events that if I weren't dating anyone I would definitely have gone to, and might have intended to bring my SO along to but on the night of the event turned into, "why don't we just have a quiet night to ourselves together?"

Which is also the explanation of why your friend might have stood you up. Of course, since there was no discussion afterwards and your friend has (apparently?) never stood you up before, it's possible that she simply forgot she was supposed to visit you.

On the other hand, people who disappear on their friends for long periods of time may find, when they eventually decide to reconnect, that the friendships have faded or disappeared on them too. And anybody who just decides to stand their friends up at the last minute for no other reason that preferring to spend time with their SO, accepts the risk of losing the friendship.
posted by tel3path at 2:54 PM on January 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


I am sad to say that I am the friend in your situation. When I get into a new relationship, I drop off the radar for a month or two because, hey, I no longer have to leave the house to get love, companionship, attention, and affection. It's right there, in a person I chose!

Of course this feeling eventually wears off and then I crawl out of my hole and realize what I flake I have been and how many of my friends' important-life-events I have failed to be there for. I feel ashamed and embarassed and vow to not do it again. I am getting better, but... I still have a long way to go.

So, even though it's not right, it's not cool, etc, it definitely is a thing that happens. When I have been the left-behind friend, it hurts. I don't have much advice for you except: this happens, it sucks, and I feel for you. I would suggest that you mention it to your friend (gently) whenever you see her again. Something like, "Hey, it's cool to be hanging out with you again! I've missed you for the last --amount of time--."

I suggest something this toned down (even though I would want to read her the riot act) because any other way you risk getting a guilt cycle the next time it (inevitably) happens.
posted by BusyBusyBusy at 7:38 PM on January 15, 2013


From the OP:
Your replies have all been so so helpful to me in gaining some perspective.

Firstly, to answer some questions:

Griphus: She's not the only close friend I have. I actually have quite a few more. The problem is that I'm geographically isolated from most of them (studying overseas now), so she's the only close friend who is physically near me. Time to make more friends.

Neekee: Come to think of it, you're probably right.

Yawper: She treats me as per normal when we do text or call - cheery, asks about me, stuff like that. The standing up thing in my opinion was a one-time thing and very unlike her, and at the time I attributed it to her being in a honeymoon phase.

Tel3path: We're in a very similar situation. I'm actively trying to make more friends these days. I really appreciated reading your answer.

Headnsouth: I asked her if she'd like dinner. The best explanation I can offer for that sequence of events is that I hate to "force" a decision on someone (ie by saying I really wanted something, so they'd capitulate out of wanting to make me happy, but at the same time they wouldn't be happy about it). I wanted her to want to do something, not to make me happy. Which is why I felt kinda crappy about her agreeing to dinner after all, and also why I avoided it by indefinitely postponing it to after my busy period. I guess it's like those wives who don't want their husbands to grudgingly wash the dishes, they want them to want to wash the dishes... Haha.

Deanc: I get what you mean and agree with you. Very often feelings have a life of their own though and can't be rationalized away, that's the thing. But I agree with what you wrote.

Like_a_friend: At the same time though, yeah, I don't want just anyone around.

I apologise if I've missed out some questions. All the feedback has been extremely helpful to me, whether in gaining perspective, validating what I've been feeling or offering solutions.

From here on, I've also got an idea of what to do: namely, to be more direct (and simultaneously tactful, of course) when someone crossses a boundary or hurts me. I had always wondered why I seemed to overreact to really small things, but it's obvious to me now that I simply did not deal well with my feelings (by being more direct), I just smothered them and allowed resentment to breed. That's not fair both to myself and to others.
posted by taz at 1:59 AM on January 16, 2013


« Older My cats both seem to choose di...   |  My fiance and I have different... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.


Post