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Pandemic special: Is my friend competitive or am I insecure?

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  • #346186
    Anna
    Participant

    I’m almost 50, divorced about 3 years and dating someone 1 year. Have an 8 year old.

    Started dating around the same time I met an also single friend (woman) – who is now marrying the man she met online. I get a bit jealous of how easy she found a mate online at times but I’m happily dating someone for about a year – he’s awesome and building a relationship with my 8 year old!

    Things are going well, but we’re not getting married or living together yet. I hope that happens in the next year or two.

    Every single time I talk to her, she asks about where things are at with my boyfriend, and then I tell her, and then she ALWAYS says something like ‘well when X and I were at X stage, we were doing X’ .

    Conversations like: 

    HER: So, any other thoughts about your boyfriend just moving in soon?

    ME: Well we are having a good time and he’s been really great through all this pandemic stuff, etc.

    HER: Well, if X and I were in the middle of a pandemic,  we would have decided he should just move in.

    I go into our conversations with her feeling great about my life and myself but then feeling incredibly insecure, and unwanted and like my friend doesn’t support me at all.

    It’s like she’s poking this insecure spot — obviously it’s hard to be dating, going through a pandemic, no one knows where their life is going, etc.

    Am I totally insecure and being blind in my relationship? or is she a rotten jerk?

     

    #346216
    Inky
    Participant

    Hi Anna,

    It sounds like she is being a competitive jerk! She is using you as a foil or a benchmark for her own relationship.

    You can do a few things here:

    1. Tell her directly, “This isn’t a competition.”

    2. Give her a patronizing, “I’m sure you and your fiancé are doing great”

    3. Double down on YOUR decisions. “Well, I guess my boyfriend and I are old school. We decided to take things slow since there is a child involved.”

    4. Give her no information on your boyfriend. NOTHING. “*shrug* We’re doing OK.”

    5. Cut the conversation short when she gets competitive OR when fifteen minutes have elapsed. “Gotta go! Meeting on Zoom!”

    6. Don’t call/text/Zoom back. “I never imagined I’d get so much work/things done now that I’m social distancing!”

    Good Luck!

    Inky

    #346228
    anita
    Participant

    * Inky, so good to read from you again, a semblance of normalcy in this abnormal time, glad you are here!!!

    Dear Anna:

    If your friend’s intention is to make you feel bad and therefore make herself feel better in comparison, then she is not that happy in her new marriage. Happy people are not motivated to make other people feel badly.

    If her intention is to help you by.. pressuring you to  pressure your boyfriend to move in with you.. I figure that’s how she got her boyfriend to marry her, via pressure. No one likes to be pressured, some succumb to it and move in/ get married, and others, wiser people, get away from the pressure source.

    anita

    #346236
    Anna
    Participant

    I really appreciate your responses, my initial reaction is to do things like cut it short, to let her know I”m not into discussing it with her. I can’t figure out why she feels such a need to keep emphasizing how awesome and amazing her relationship is going; they are getting married, so obviously that’s a total success! I’ve never said anything but ‘great!’ or ‘congrats’ to her, or shown any jealous behavior.

    It really does feel like she HAS to bring it up, I NEVER initiate any conversations about my relationship ever with her. It’s always the same pattern.

    I think you guys are right, although it’s very hard to admit.

    And she might be right! maybe I AM wasting my time on the person. Maybe I AM really not asking for what I really want. But I feel like a friend should really support you, even if you’re doing things they wouldn’t do themselves. To just BE THERE.

    But like you say I don’t want to pressure anyone, children take a lot of time with these new situations (new boyfriend) and I certainly don’t want my relationship decided by the time-sensititve dynamic that this pandemic brings into play.

    If we’re really meant to be, he will be there after all of this. I can’t say ‘move in now before we’re quarantined’ is a great reason to marry or be with anyone….my last relationship ended up with cohabitation because we were together and my man got in an arguement with my neighbor so I want my next big relationship to be more about ‘I LOVE YOU let’s be together, etc’.

    Anyway thank you for your thoughts!! Peace 🙂

    #346250
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Anna:

    You are welcome. “I can’t figure out why she feels such a need to keep emphasizing how awesome and amazing her relationship is going”- I figure her  need is to feel better, and it makes her feel better to brag about her relationship to you and to point how yours is not as good as hers. Why does she need to feel better? Because her great relationship.. doesn’t make her feel that great.

    “they are getting married, so obviously that’s a total success”- only if you go by fairytales that end with “And they lived happily ever after”. You can read many accounts on the forums here about women getting married being far from any success, let alone total success.

    “And she might be right! Maybe I AM wasting my time..”- she may be right. But even a broken clock is right twice a day. Don’t give her that much credit.

    “Maybe I AM really not asking for what I really want”- maybe you don’t. If you want, this conversation doesn’t have to end here. If you want to continue, then you are welcome to answer: what is it that you really want, what is your idea of a “happily ever after”, and how different is what you want from what you already have in the past?

    anita

     

    #346268
    Valora
    Participant

    Hi Anna,

    From what you’ve said, I can’t help but think there’s something wrong on her end. She’s either trying to convince herself that her relationship and the pace in which it moved is the gold standard so that she can feel better about it or she’s very, very bored and needs to try to tell someone else how to live their lives. Maybe telling you what you should do just makes her feel powerful. Either way, what she’s doing is all about her trying to make herself feel better in some way.

    The real fact of the matter is that every relationship is different. Every couple is different and they all move at different speeds. The timeline of their relationship likely wouldn’t be right for yours, and it’s wrong for her to try to push that onto you and make you think there’s something wrong with your relationship just because it’s not moving in the same way hers did.  If you tried to make your relationship move the same exact way, that would likely put unnecessary strain on it, so it’s much better to just let it flow naturally, just as you have been.

    I agree with the others, just end the conversation with her when she tries to bring it up. Don’t let her opinions affect how you feel about your relationship. If you feel good about your relationship and you’re being treated well, then your relationship is good! Nobody should be trying to tell you any different. If you reach a point where you feel like you would like things to move a little faster, then that’s a good conversation to have with your boyfriend, but don’t let anyone outside the relationship pressure you into feeling that way. It’s perfectly fine (and sometimes WAY better) to just let things move slowly but surely. It’s quite possible that you may end up with a relationship that is more solid than hers because you took the time to build a strong foundation before moving to more serious steps.

    Also, I have an 8-year-old son and a 14-year-old daughter and I 100% agree with relationships moving at a snail’s pace when kids are involved. It’s best to be SURE before you make important decisions like moving in or marriage, and it really does take a lot of time to get to know someone and to truly find out how well everyone’s personalities and values mesh together because people often hide parts of themselves for a long time. Slow and steady wins the race and keeps the relationship strong (as long as you don’t let any outsiders get into your head), in my opinion.

    #346300
    anita
    Participant

    * Valora: good to read from you! Your absence of 18 days was noticed, and I was hoping that you will be back. I hope you and your children are doing well, considering our global crisis.

    anita

    #346366
    Anna
    Participant

    This is sooooo helpful to hear from other people — my gut was saying things to me. Sometimes I’m not sure if I should listen to it 🙂

    #346464
    Valora
    Participant

    Anita, thank you so much! I’ve been very busy lately with my kids home from school and I’ve been taking the opportunity to deep clean my house 🙂 I hope you and all who you love are doing well, too!

     

    Anna, I’m so glad you’re finding our comments helpful. Please feel free to post here any time you aren’t sure on something. Oftentimes our gut feelings are right, as long as they are lead by intuition (a calm “knowing”) rather than fear or anxiety.

    #346474
    anita
    Participant

    * You are welcome, Valora and thank you for your  good wishes. I appreciate your note, it just made me smile, not a frequent happening these days.

    anita

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