February 14 was Valentine’s Day aka Relationship Status Awareness Day. Based on my Facebook newsfeed, many were happy, a few were bitter, and the rest fell somewhere in between. That morning, I had an interesting conversation with my hair stylist, *Erin, regarding a female friend’s (*Samantha) comments pertaining to her Valentine’s Day plans. Instead of double-dating with Samantha and her husband as previously determined, Erin’s boyfriend asked to spend a private, romantic evening at home. When Erin called Samantha to relay the change of plans, she was met by loud squealing and excited chants of “He’s going to propose! Oh girl, he’s going to propose!”
I listened intently as Erin told me the ins and outs of the conversation including how annoyed she became with this other woman. “I mean, why would she say something like that!” Erin was upset, not because Samantha was ruining a possible surprise, but because her comments put thoughts in Erin’s head that weren’t previously there. Now Erin had to consider the possibility that her boyfriend might propose even though she thought it too soon in their relationship. Within minutes, notions of bended knees and rushed engagements filled her head and raced her heart. Although Samantha was in her fourth marriage, she was genuinely excited for the possibly that awaited Erin later than night. Erin, on the other hand, was perturbed and felt as though Samantha had set her up for disappointment.
A week later and no proposal.
Pondering our conversation I wondered, do women unknowingly sabotage other women through these interactions? Do we “set up” our friends with too much fanciful thinking of fairytale endings and happily ever afters? Samantha wanted Erin to be happy – but isn’t happiness relative? Society already puts pressure on women to find a husband, be found by a husband, and keep a husband after the finding is complete. We’re taught to expect things we shouldn’t on timing that may be unrealistic. Instead of having a support system of women in your corner to provide some semblance of balance and realism, we often have cheering sections inflating our heads and misguiding our hearts. Then when things don’t go as assumed, the cheering squad is shocked, upset and downright disappointed.
I don’t believe it’s intentional, just careless. We’re careless for never considering the adverse impact our casual comments and assumptions have on a friend’s mindset, mood, and expectations. We are hypocritical for complaining about the pressure everyone puts on us (to date, get married, and have kids) and then turning around and subjecting a friend to the same thing. We’re insensitive for projecting our desires and wants onto her with little regard for the aftermath.
While Erin remains in a loving relationship with her boyfriend, a slight shift occurred in her friendship with Samantha. She’s more guarded and less likely to share details of her personal life for fear of being sabotaged. Don’t mistake me, Erin wants the happy ending. Just on her terms and in the timing that works for her relationship.
Have you been sabotaged by someone or even done the sabotaging? Join the discussion & add your comments below!
If you enjoyed this post, check out “4 People to Never Date (Again)“
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