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Jill Knapp

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Say Yes to Distress

Posted: 05/23/2012 11:14 am

When my boyfriend got down on one knee, on a rainy night back in January, no one warned me about the long and isolated road that lay in front of me. He and I had only been dating six months when I came home to a giant box of Red Velvet cupcakes from Magnolia Bakery, and a dozen pink roses. After finishing graduate school and getting a job I really loved, all of my dreams were finally fulfilled as he open the tiny beige ring box, and asked those four little words I had been dying to hear. It was the happiest night of my life, followed by the most stressful and lonely few months.

After the immediate flurry of "Congratulations!" and "When's the big day?" I noticed a lot of people began to taper off. Half of my friends didn't even ask to see my ring, or offer to take me out to celebrate. I'm not saying I wanted some big surprise party, but I assumed one or two drinks at happy hour were in order. However, by the time March rolled around, with the exception of two or three friends, I was left to myself in almost every sense. Not only were people losing interest in my wedding plans (I understand life goes on, and I'm not selfish enough to believe everyone should cater to me), but it also seemed that a lot of people were losing interest in my friendship all together. For the record, I swear I am no "Bridezilla." In fact, I didn't even assign bridesmaids other than my little sister, to whom I told she could wear whatever she liked. In fact, I didn't really ask for anything at all.

Suddenly, friends that I had known for 10+ years were too busy for a cup of coffee, and certain family members seemed to forget my phone number. Pictures on Facebook would randomly pop of Saturday night outings, of which my invitations must have gotten lost in the mail. When I asked people about their own plans, relationships, or jobs, it seemed I couldn't get a full conversation out of them. I got a lot of short and detached answers like "I'm good" or "Yeah, work's fine." At this point, I didn't care what we talked about, I just felt like I needed a friend.

I spoke to a few married women about my current situation, and they confirmed my fears. A few of them had gone through the same situation, and tried to offer me advice. They said that some single men and women (not all!) don't know how to approach you when you're getting married. I thought, how strange? I am still me; I still act the same and want the same things. But it didn't seem to matter. A married friend of mine explained that to a lot of my old friends, I was no longer "single" and therefore no longer one of them. Sadly enough, to some I was now looked at as joining a cult, drinking the Kool-Aid, or possibly even selling out. Now obviously this is not everyone. I am sure a lot of them were extremely busy with work, or other situations, but the idea of this saddened me enough that I wanted to bring it up. I wanted to ensure my friends that I was still me, if that was the reason why they were keeping their distance.

So I tried to talk to talk to them about it. I reached out to some of them who I missed, and told them how I felt. Some of them understood and apologized, but much to my chagrin, a lot of them didn't even address the situation at all.

I felt alienated, and depressed. Moments that I wanted to share with people I cared about were glazed over with excuses of work and prior engagements. I was lucky enough that my fiancé is very supportive, and he listened to me talk about, in great detail, how betrayed I felt by people I loved.

After reaching out a few more times to my friends, I began to give up. I figured if our friendship was strong enough, it would survive anything, and if it wasn't than it was best to let them go. Currently, a few friends of mine have stepped up and became more involved in my life, and have let me become more involved in theirs. With any luck, things will return to normal sooner rather than later.

 
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