Just Because You’re in a Relationship . . .
How to treat – and keep – your single friends
Have you noticed that ever since you hooked up with your fab boyfriend or fiancé/husband that your single girlfriends have become scarce? Your calls go unreturned and your e-mails unanswered?
There are two reasons this might be happening: One, they might be too busy seething with jealousy over your newly perfect life to bear being in your presence. (Admit it — you think it’s this one, don’t you?)
Then there’s possibility numero dos: You may have become utterly unbearable to be around. Unthinkable, I know. But take a look at this list of behaviors and see if you recognize yourself:
• Have you morphed into a “we” person? Have I, me and mine been replaced by we, us and our? Sure, in certain situations it makes sense. For example: “We both have the flu” is fine. “We loooove French movies, don’t we, hun-bun?!” is not. In fact, you get extra points off for squealing and the use of lame terms of endearment. Plus, if he tells you he loves French movies, he’s either lying or the kind of pretentious jerk who will eventually dump you for mispronouncing baguette.
• Do you give your single girlfriends the sad face and generally act as though their not having a boyfriend is akin to having an open sore on their nose? Stop it. They’re single, not sick.
• Along the same lines, are you constantly trying to fix your friends up so they can be as happy as you and your boo? Unless it was specifically requested, quit it. It might shock you to discover that many of your pals don’t want what you have.
How to treat — and keep — your single friends:
• Don’t include your man in every activity. You are still an individual, and even if your friends like your guy, they may not want to get waxed alongside him.
• Recall that there is life outside the sphere of your big fat love. Remember when you used to read books? Go see bands? Stay out too late and get scandalously drunk? It’s okay to still do those things once in a while, you know.
• He doesn’t always have to come first. Are your ladies always second-best? Not cool. I had a friend who once interrupted me midsentence to run outside the bar we were sitting at because her boyfriend had just pulled up. She didn’t want him to have to wait … for the five seconds it would’ve taken me to say “the end.” Who do you think is still going to be there when he dumps you? Answer: Not her, if you keep up that kind of crap.
• Don’t assume that because you’ve managed to land yourself a man that you are suddenly the expert on all things relationship-related. Do not offer advice unless it is specifically requested.
• Quit with the constant PDA. The quick kiss hello/goodbye is fine. Dry-humping at the hostess station is not. We get it, you’re together. Now take your hand out of his pants-that’s just gross.
• If you are a bride-to-be, be realistic. This may be the moment you’ve been waiting for your entire life, but even the kindest friend is not going enjoy debating Jordan Almonds v. commemorative matchbooks for longer than five seconds.
• Also, nobody ever wears a bridesmaid dress a second time. Especially chartreuse taffeta. So don’t even say it, because you might get a punch. If you want to be generous, pay for the thing. Isn’t it enough that she’ll spend the entire day itchy and ugly?
• Combining households does not mean you should combine e-mail addresses. Sure, maybe there’s nothing you wouldn’t share with your sweetie, but I’ll bet a lot of your friends don’t want him reading about their irregular pap smear or their latest crush.
• If you’re married, don’t treat your single friends like pariahs. They can be invited to dinner with other couples. Just because there’s no ring on their finger doesn’t mean they’re going to leg-hump everyone else’s guy.
Sorry to burst your bubble, but if you recognized even a little of yourself in any of the above scenarios, you may be the kind of smugly coupled woman who drives her girlfriends away in droves. Before you comfort yourself with the knowledge that it’s OK because you still have your new special someone to fill all your needs, recall how many relationships have failed before this one. And then remember who was always there to pick up the pieces. Now pick up the phone and start mending fences.