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Keeping Your Single Friends Close

Many brides are confused by the instant distance that comes between them and their single girlfriends when they get engaged. In workshops, I've heard brides say:

  • "My friends aren't very interested in hearing about my wedding. That hurts."
  • "I'm afraid of talking about how happy I am -- afraid it'll hurt their feelings."
  • "I'm not feeling close to them. I don't know what to say…or if I should say anything at all."
  • "It's too complicated to deal with my single friends, and it's easier to spend time with new friends I've made on wedding websites."

Why is there distance between a bride and her single girlfriends? Because weddings hurt. Think back to a time when a close friend got engaged. Yes, you were happy for her. But her engagement prompted you to assess your own life.

You saw, perhaps, how the relationship you were in was light-years away from marriage. Or you felt anxious about never getting married. Or you felt embarrassed about your single status. Yet you put on a happy face for your friend. But inside, you felt awful. To protect themselves, many single women build a wall between themselves and the bride. The result: both the bride and her friend are hurting, lonely, confused, and probably angry at the other.

It's up to you, the bride, to initiate a real conversation with your closest friends. To share how you're feeling - that you're missing them, and that you feel the distance. And to acknowledge how you're getting married might be rough on them. You can say something like: "I remember how hard it was for me when Stacy got married 3 years ago. I was jealous, sad, angry, scared. Being single at the wedding was really hard. I've been thinking about you a lot since I got engaged, knowing how I felt about Stacy's wedding."

Whether or not your friend shares how she's doing, she will definitely feel taken care of by you. She'll see how important she is to you, and how much you value her feelings and your friendship. By being real with her, the gap between you will close. By acknowledging that your getting married might be hard for your friends, you'll have your "girls" close by your side again.

 

From Allison Moir-Smith's Emotionally Engaged: A Bride's Guide to Surving the "Happiest" Time of Her Life