Dear Wayne and Wanda,
For as long as I can remember it feels like I was the one in my group of friends who was single. Well I finally met someone. We have been dating for many months now and things are great.
The problem is my girlfriends don't seem happy for me. They never ask about him, and if I bring up him or our relationship, they change the subject -- like it's boring or they just don't care. One girlfriend in particular is always pointing out reasons it won't work and gossips about him, like she wants me to lose interest in him.
The gossip is all about stuff that happened years ago -- stuff he already told me about. The thing is, I really like this guy. I want my friends to like him too and be happy for me finally. How can I talk to them about it? Why are they acting like this?
-- Can't we all just get along?
Let's assume your girlfriends actually like you and want you to be happy. Ergo, let's assume that their general lack of support for your newish relationship isn't because they want you to be miserable and grow old and die alone. This is more complicated than simple jealousy, though that's surely a factor too. I'll get to that. First, let's talk about what's primarily driving this behavior: fear.
We've all lost a girlfriend to Relationship Land. One day she's joining you for shopping and cosmos, and in the next, "she" has become a "we" and the "we" are busy.
Thankfully not every girl that gets the guy drops off the gal-pal grid. It sounds like you're making an effort to hang with the gals. This is critical. We always need friends -- especially girlfriends. Your girlfriends are afraid of losing you. You're the single gal they've always called on for company. They aren't used to sharing you. Assure them you aren't going anywhere. Make friend dates as much a priority as romantic dates. During these outings, mention how much their opinions do matter to you -- and that you want them to get to know your boyfriend.
While fear is driving their behavior, surely there's simmering jealousy too. It's hard to see others get what we want. It's a constant challenge to ward off the jaded bitterness when one is looking for that special someone and instead just sees other people falling in love.
You don't need to bring this up or accuse them of envy. You'll sound smug and they'll get defensive. Instead, just keep this in mind, take it to heart and try to remain sensitive and not to be too gushy about your newfound happiness.
Haters gonna hate, girl. Shake 'em off and keep doing your thing.
In the World of Men, when a bro starts spending less time with the crew and more time with a lady, the remaining bros might tease him a little bit, but we realize that bros getting hooked up with ladies is part of life. We also understand that after a month or two, he will tire of all the wine, romantic comedies and cuddle time and return to the posse for some beer, jokes and horseplay. From there, most men will find a balance of both worlds that satisfies all parties.
Women, it seems, can't stand to see one another happy. They see you all shimmering with love and they're all mad or jealous about it. Really ladies? And if they are treating you this way to your face, imagine what they're saying behind your back.
I say invest all of your time and energy into this new guy and into the friends that truly have your back. The rest of them can sip on the Haterade from the sidelines.
(Letters like this make me realize how utterly impossible it is for men to understand women. If women are clearly struggling to understand the behavior of their own pack, what chance do us dudes have of getting it? Exactly.)
• Wanda is a wise woman who has loved, lusted and believes in retail therapy. Wayne is a wise guy who has no use for therapy. Send them your questions and thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org.