When I got engaged, I didn’t expect the world to fall at its feet in congratulations and happiness for me. As someone who’d been previously single for many years, I knew the mixed emotions first hand that single friends feel when another good friend announces they’re going to get married.
It can suck. It can hurt. It can make you feel bad about yourself and, as result, perhaps make you harbour some hard feelings towards your newly engaged friend without meaning to. After all, here you are unhappy and alone and here your friend is glowing with the happiness of Ever After. You can’t help but feel a bit of resentment.
I’ve been on both sides of the coin; I’ve been the jealous one and I’ve been the engaged one having to deal with the jealous friends, and frankly both sides of that coin are awful.
That being said, the jealousy part is much easier to deal with than the exclusion part.
I know I’m being left out. Some days I feel like having a ring on my left hand means I’m not allowed to hang out with my single friends anymore, like I’m no longer a part of their club. Some friends have stopped calling me or don’t text as often. Others make little digs at me in conversation or lie to me about plans.
The most common theme is when friends don’t invite me out with the rest of the single girls as if my relationship status will scare off all the hot guys at the bar. Just because I’m married doesn’t mean I’ve suddenly started to hate dancing or having drinks out on the town.
And you know what? That behaviour hurts me, all of it, and some of my friendships haven’t recovered.
As much as people make fun of the fact that married couples hang out with other married couples, I’m starting to see why they do. I used to think that married people gravitated towards other married people because they no longer had much in common with their single friends, but now I’m starting to see that the reason isn’t just because they’re married; it’s because of how they can treated by some of their single friends, another thing married people can bond over.
That being said, I’ve made some new single friends who don’t hold my marriage against me and include me in their plans on a regular basis. It feels nice to be wanted.
But the other day another friend of mine told me that this exclusion treatment gets even worse when you have children and your friends don’t, and frankly I’m not looking forward to that either. It’s like it doesn’t stop.
But, like most things in life, everything is a cycle. You lose friends and make new ones as you grow and as your life and lifestyle change with you. I suppose it’s natural, but that doesn’t mean it ever gets easier.
All we can do is move on and accept it – or become a hermit, which is looking more and more like an attractive option to me. Real Housewives of NYC marathon anyone?