Don’t Hate at Your Best Friend’s Wedding
You saw it coming for a months. Your BFF has gotten really close with that super-nice guy who seems to love her down to her dirty drawers, and you feel like your mere presence interrupts the orbit in a world that revolves only around them. Then that day finally comes. She gets engaged, and you have to drop some dollars on a bridesmaid dress with dyed shoes to match, and do something quick about that sinking feeling in your gut.
Of course you’re happy for your friend–she’s your road dog. Perhaps you both grew up together or forged a strong bond in college. You both dated losers and laughed about it later, and cried on each other’s shoulders about ‘the one that got away.’
But somewhere along the the way, your friend stopped dating non-committal men with “L” tattoos on their foreheads, and found Mr. Right. But in your case, Mr. Right Now or Mr. Bed Warmer doesn’t hold a candle to what your friend seems to have; and despite your best efforts, you’re feeling a little jelly about the whole thing.
But no matter what emotions you might fight with yourself internally, you better be all smiles and daisies when your bestie asks you to actively participate in helping her order the invitations, choose the dress, manage the boat load of wedding shower gifts and help keep Crazy Uncle Ray Ray from sitting next to any of the 30 cousins he owes money to.
Then you can go home and have a good cry about the injustice of all of it, and wail about how the universe is so spiteful and random, because… you’re beautiful and educated too, and dagnabbit!, why does she get to be the one married?
You might not realize it now, but this experience could be your Dr. Phil moment.
“We can always learn from those we envy. If you want what she has, figure out how she got it. What kind of guy did she find? Is he what you want? Are you staying in your relationship with the guy who won’t commit because you’re afraid you won’t find another? The quickest way to find out if a guy is willing to commit is to leave him. Not threaten, but actually leave. If he’s just lazy, that will shake him out of his dream. If he really doesn’t care, you’re better off. If your good friends have what you want, then go and get it! Don’t wast time in envy — put that energy into action and make a plan to get what you want,” says Tina B. Tessina, PhD, licensed psychotherapist and author of The Unofficial Guide to Dating Again.
Take this an opportunity to double and triple-check “The List.” If your must-haves are about 100 ways he must be FIOONE and drive the pre-approved luxury car and wear the requisite designer clothing labels, you might want to think a little deeper than that. If your Dream Man List is a mile wide and an inch deep, then it’s time for you to reevaluate what characteristics really contribute to a long-lasting relationship, like intellect, the ability to provide and protect, honesty, loyalty, a good sense of humor and a love of puppies.
But if you can’t remember all that, just take this away: Beauty fades. Dumb is forever.
Christelyn D. Karazin is a health writer and the co-author of Swirling: How to Date, Mate and Relate Mixing Race Culture and Creed (to be released February 2012), and runs a blog, www.beyondblackwhite.com, dedicated to women of color who are interested and or involved in interracial and intercultural relationships. She is also the founder and organizer of “No Wedding, No Womb,” an initiative to find solutions to the 72 percent out-of-wedlock rate in the black community.