Monday, July 5, 2010

When friends join the "Mommy" and "Married" Clubs

WARNING: This post may be perceived as whiny and selfish, so if you wish to spare yourself, don't read!

Over the past three months, I have had two friends get married and one friend have a baby. I am thrilled for all three of them. One friend came off of a very difficult first marriage and finally found a man who loves her and cares for her deeply. My other recently married friend finally found someone amazing after years of less-than-stellar partnerships, and many tears shed over, "Why can't I find a guy?" And my friend who just gave birth finally did so after years of trying, thinking of foster care, and fertility treatments.

And yet...there's this other side of me which feels...well, bitter. Depressed. Left out. On the outside looking in.

My friends and I have a lot in common, as you know. We've all had our share of adversity when it comes to men and children. I had another wedding to go to yesterday, and during the ceremony, I started to think, "I'd like for that to happen to me." And then later, during the reception, I thought, "Why hasn't it? So-and-so has a girlfriend, and so-and-so is now married, why am I still single?"

And then I was sitting next to this guy at the reception, and we really hit it off, and we had a good time. My friends couldn't understand why he didn't ask me for my phone number--and then the bride tells me that he, well, plays for the other team. I told her that I was kind of disappointed that we didn't exchange information, and after she told me, I felt awful. Awful that I felt like he was leading me on, and awful that I told her that I was sad--on her frakkin' wedding day!--what was going through my head! So now I've hurt my friend's feelings, and I won't be able to talk to her until after her honeymoon--if I do.

After the ceremony, people were talking about getting together with the bride, mostly couples. Well, I'm single. This really started to hurt. Badly.

Here's the thing: I have never complained about my lack of a romantic partner, but yesterday, it hit me like a ton of bricks. Now I realize I may be missing something. My philosophy is to never complain about something unless you can do something about it, but the thing is, I'm scared as hell to join an internet dating site or put myself out there to meet someone. And at this point I must confess something: I've never had a steady boyfriend. I'm afraid of dating right now because my lack of experience is going to count against me. That, and I'm afraid of getting my heart broken. Basically, I'm either the gay man's best friend, or guys aren't interested in me more than friendship. What is wrong with me?

And my friend with the baby: Yes, I know she has new priorities now, and can't spend as much time with me. She's spending time now with her mother friends. Again, I'm feeling left out, and I shouldn't be. It's a pretty damn cute baby, too, and I really would like to spend more time with her and the baby. But as my friend says, weekends are saved for family time.

And I am not a part of the family.

So why am I taking this to the blog, as opposed to face-to-face contact with my friends? Easy. I'm afraid of pushing my friends away. They're going to think I'm acting like a two-year-old. Which I am. So I am better off putting a smile on my face, faking everything's cool, and pushing my feelings way down into my gut and not saying a word.

Not like they'd care. My friends are a very tight-knit bunch. They all live within the immediate area--except for me. They're all in a choir--except for me. They all get together for dinner before choir rehearsal--except for me. Geography, I realize, pays a huge part in this. I have a mortgage; it's not like I can switch apartments. And I have a steady job; not like I can switch in a jiffy (especially in this economy).

I'm at the point where I plan not to return phone calls, to isolate myself from the world. And I know that's not healthy. I just can't believe I'm feeling this way, that I'm not stopping myself from doing so. Not like anyone would care; I've pretty much come to the conclusion that I'm always going to be on the outside looking in, career-wise or friend-wise.

I used think that I was okay being the single, crazy cat lady.

I'm not sure about that anymore.


Anonymous said...

it is definately important to keep your friends but now their priorities have changed. Friendships are always weird and trying to find new friends is just as weird especially in New England. But that might be the call to order.Finding some new frends that have more in common with you and you never know, somewhere in that buch you just might meet mr hubby to be.

Momma Hunt said...

Let me put my two cents in here for whatever they are worth

1. I think a lot of people (I am one of them) that gets a lot of enjoyment as well as feel goods from spending time with my friends. I need them, always have always will. Your feelings are normal and don't feel bad about them. Just maybe not at the wedding

2. Have you ever thought your friends feel the same way? In this equation I am the other friend, the one who got married first and the one who had her children first and let me tell you, it can be isolating as well. I have great work friends but it was like I had a baby and they stopped asking me to go out (I wanted to go out more once I had the baby) even my best friend who I am super close with didn't call me as much or ask me to do things because she figured I was busy the the baby. Well the reality was I was busy with the baby but I still needed a life outside that baby and my family. So maybe your friends who you are missing are missing you too.

3. (ok so that would make it three cents not two) why not try online dating. Go for it, what is the worst that happens in the beginning you get to go out for for a nice meal. I have so many dear friends who are now married to the people they found online!

Hang in there

Celia said...

Sugar, the Big D loves to isolate you from your friends- don't forget that. I left almost all my friends behind because I was so overwhelmed with infertility and my Mom.

I never felt isolated from my married friends, but I could not stand being around them once they had children, it was too hard for me.

Sometimes I feel so much pressure for Peter to be a "good baby" when people who do not have children come to the house. Maybe your friends baby cries a lot and she thinks it will disturb you too much? Or maybe your friend is freaked out that her house is not as clean as it once was? Both of these things worry me.

My sister is like you, but she seems to be handling it differently. She is an honorary Aunt many times over.

Attracting a partner is a whole different ball of wax. You need to go where men are. You also need to know what you want and if it is realistic. My sister is looking for someone who does not exist.

septembermom said...

I met my husband when I was 17. Sometimes I think I took the easy way out by getting married at 25. I know that I would have HATED the dating scene. Did you ever check out that I heard that it's a great way to meet people with similar likes and interests. I know that you have so much to offer the right guy. He's out there, and looking for you (even though he doesn't know it.) Maybe even a redhead :)

Hold onto your friends even if you don't answer every call. I lost touch with so many of my single friends in the early days of motherhood. I miss them. I just found a few of them on Facebook. It's nice to reconnect.

Jenners said...

Oh ... I've been there and done that. It isn't easy AT ALL. It can feel like the whole world has someone but you or are having the life that you want and you are the ONLY one who doesn't have it. But that isn't true ... though it does feel that way. It is hard to give advice in these situations other than to have faith and put yourself out there ... which I see from the next post that you are doing.

Hugs to you!