To feel a little irritated with old friends.

(4 Posts)
Redsrule Sun 14-Aug-16 06:22:26

Met up last night with three old school friends, we tend to meet up twice a year and have a lovely, relaxed and chatty evening. I was widowed just over 5 years ago and am now in my early 50's finally feeling generally content. My 3 DC are all mainly living away from home and I have a lovely home, good job I enjoy and a dog I adore! By the time I left the restaurant I felt like I was a pathetic misfit, living on the edge of society who is the object of scorn and pity! Why? Because I live alone! They had obviously set last night's agenda as get 'Red' a man. Well, last year, I did start a relationship which went, almost comically, wrong over the man's jealousy of my DC especially DS. I tried to change the conversation repeatedly but they were a relentless tag team.

Now, I understand they come from a good place, but AIBU to think they ABU to think my life is not 'good' enough because I am alone. I had a great marriage and miss him every day but I am happy in my life at the moment! I really don't want to miss contact with them but I am fairly sure any future invitations( I also see them individually and with family over the year) will include a 'suitable' man! I am not against meeting someone new but would rather leave it to chance. AIBU to tell them to butt out?

davos Sun 14-Aug-16 06:28:42

Yanbu. I would speak to them either now or definitely before you go out again.

Some people just don't understand that it's ok to be alone. They assume everyone is desperate to be in a relationship. And it's just not the case.
Some people can not seem to wrap their head around it.

I am sorry for your loss and well done on forging a happy life for yourself.

Somerville Sun 14-Aug-16 15:15:00

Them going out with you obviously having set an agenda wasn't helpful to you, so YANBU to be irritated and tell them to butt out.

But so many single people do feel lonely, and wish their friends would introduce them to some decent men, but feel embarrassed to ask - there are threads on here about that all the time. So they did probably mean well, and I would try to bear that context in mind when you talk to them.

I'm widowed too and I wasn't looking for a new relationship but met a man through work who knocked my socks off. He saw I still wear my wedding ring so approached our one mutual friend to ask if I might be interested. She told him no way was I ready to date! (Thankfully she told me, and I got in touch with him, as it's now serious and special.)

It irritates us both every time she tries to take the credit for us getting together. hmm grin

tigermoll Sun 14-Aug-16 15:57:54

Their hearts may be in the right place, but I reckon other aspects of their motivation could be:

1) They want to live vicariously through your love life. I'm guessing they are in stable relationships, which (although they have their charm) does mean an end to the ups and downs of dating life, and there's nothing like romance for injecting some excitement into your life. They may want you to get out there and date so they can hear about it.

2) I wouldn't go so far as to suggest that your friends actually envy you being single, but their relationships may not be all that brilliant, and perhaps if they are heavily promoting the coupled life as the only true path to happiness, it may themselves they are trying to convince, not you.

3) There is a weird feeling in our society that single women are somehow forces for danger, instability and unpredictability. This is at once exciting and unnerving, and there is a strong pressure to have you 'settled', and normality restored.

4) By living your life happily without a partner, you may be making them question their own lives, and what they would have if they weren't in a relationship. Some people feel somehow "criticised" if someone else makes different life choices, and they feel the need to justify themselves, and even put pressure on the other person to fall in line*.

I know that it can be very annoying to be 'pitied' for your single state (I am in the same position) but bear in mind that their feelings may be a bit more mixed than simple condemnation.

* I get this from some of my friends with children. I don't want kids, and it seems like the harder they are finding parenthood, the more strongly they insist that I ought to do it as well. My happily be-childed friends don't bang on about it nearly as much.

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