Why people in committed relationships often stop hanging out with or talking to their single friends, and the danger this poses to your social life and happiness long term. Do you have friends in your life who tend to disappear when they get into a relationship? I have an old friend of mine who was like that when we were in our early 20s. A group of about 10 of us always hung out together. But any time this particular friend started dating a girl he liked, he would almost completely disappear from our lives. We would call him and make plans and then he would not even show up. When we called him to find out where he was, he would play dumb and act as if he had never made any plans. As soon as the relationship went sideways, he was blowing up our phones again wanting to hang out. He came from a very wealthy family, but his father made him earn everything on his own. He got married about 10 years ago to a woman he loved, but who he was not in love with. They’ve had a couple of kids since then, but I don’t hear from him very often. It breaks my heart when I do see him and I look into his eyes and see that the joy, vitality and excitement he used to have when we were younger is gone.
All I see now is a sad guy who’s working a job he hates, married to a woman he does not love and who looks like he has been totally beaten-down by life and his spirit broken. He’s like most people in this world who have given up on their dreams and happiness. All of our choices in life, and the actions that we take or fail to take have consequences. The choices you make today are shaping who you will be decades from now. When it comes to dating and relationships, most people never really think that far ahead into the future or contemplate the consequences of their choices today on who they become in the future. The following is an e-mail from a reader whose girlfriend cuts off contact with men she is friends with who are getting married because she’s jealous they are getting married and she is not. I wonder if some or all of these male friends she’s cut off contact with were men that she was secretly carrying the torch for. She also says if they were to get married, she would end all of her friendships so she could focus exclusively on their marriage. That’s a bad way to go. My comments are (in bold brackets like this) in the body of his e-mail:
I was having a conversation with my girlfriend and she was telling me about a friend of hers who is getting married. She explained how the girl he is engaged to is jealous and controlling, and of course does not condone their friendship. She also told me she does not condone the marriage because of this. However, something else my girl told me got me thinking: she told me she had to cut off all ties with him completely because she gets jealous when others get married. While she did not come out and say this at first, I asked questions and did some digging ’til she finally admitted it. She even admitted to me that she had ceased friendships with 7 previous friends for this exact reason. (Is it because she actually wanted to be with this guy herself at one time or other guys who she knew who got married too, so she ceased contact when she realized she no longer had a chance with them? Does she do this with her female friends when they get married too? If it’s only her guy friends she cut off contact with then maybe it’s a good thing she no longer talks to them.) I told her that I was disappointed that she would choose to try and hurt someone’s feelings rather show integrity and respect with something she didn’t agree with. She went so far as to admit to me that she had wished to have been married with a kid by now, and that seeing other people achieve this goal hurts her, thus she cannot stay friends with married people. (That sounds really silly.) She also told me that if I married her she would cease contact with HER friends and focus ALL of her attention on me. (That’s a bad idea. In a relationship it is a mistake to end all your friendships because you got married or are simply in an exclusive relationship. When people enter a relationship with one another, they go there to share their completeness. Two people with happy, whole and complete lives should not stop being who they are and give everything up just because they are in a committed relationship. That’s not healthy. Both of my parents were like this. My mother dominated my Dad just like his mother dominated him as a boy. He just went along with everything because he was weak and lazy. She ran off all their friends the first few years they were together. She did not like any of his friends or co-workers, so he decided to have none. To this day he blames it on her, but it was his weakness as a man and his desire to avoid conflict that caused him to become submissive and go along with whatever she wanted. Now he’s 63 and does not even have one single friend outside of his family. After my mother died, he still has not made any attempt to form any lasting new friendships. He’s pretty successful with online dating and hooking up with the ladies these days, but he just adopts the friends of whomever he is dating instead of making his own. When the relationship ends, so do the friendships. Then he sits at home by himself getting drunk in front of the TV until he passes out almost 7 nights a week. He does this until the next chick comes along that he really likes. When someone new comes along, he has a very active social life. Taking trips on his yacht, traveling, etc. So unless he’s got a cool chick he likes to spend time with, he’s content with doing the same thing he’s done as long as I’ve been around; getting drunk and passing out in front of the TV at night. I feel sad for him at times, but he’s set in his ways and will probably live like that until the day he dies. My girlfriends have always loved him along with all of my friends. He’s a super nice guy who will help anyone in need, but he’s socially awkward/isolated. When I was in middle school I realized my parents were fucked up and not normal. I swore I would always have lots of friends and not be socially isolated. I always have. My mother always found fault with everyone in the neighborhood when I was a kid, and therefore a reason not to socialize with them. People make their own prisons.) I’m just wondering if this is something significant to discuss with her or if I should just let it go. (I would definitely talk about this with her and ask her to explain her thoughts and reasons behind what she does. Everything in life has consequences. As you can see from how my parents chose to live their lives, your girlfriend’s behavior can lead to being a very lonely and isolated person. As a man, you need to stand up for what you want and not just go along with things. Why? Say you do get married to her, what do you think will happen once she has driven away all her friends? She’ll try to get you to do the same thing. That’s something to think about. You can download the Amazon Kindle version of my book to your Smartphone, PC, Mac or iPad in under 60 seconds for only $9.99 by CLICKING HERE to learn how to meet and date the type of women you’ve always wanted and have effortless relationships.)
Look forward to your response
“The more you know who you are and what you want, the less you let things upset you.” ~ Bill Murray’s character from “Lost in Translation”