One of my closest friends messaged me the other day for suggestions on what to get our mutual friend for her bridal shower. During our chat she mentioned that she was dating a new guy and things were going pretty well. We spent the rest of our chat comparing notes on how all of our mutual friends have been doing lately — some are getting serious with their beaus, others are focused on their careers, a few have strengthened existing relationships, and one is enjoying newlywed life. All good news.

That’s when I realized: this is the first time in as long as I can remember that none of my friends are in bad relationships. I’m still happily single, having ended a long distance mess of an interaction because dude wasn’t treating me right. I’m cool with that. In fact, I was cooler with his stankness over the phone lines than I was with learning that one of my besties was being taken advantage of financially by her shiftless boyfriend, or with the revelation that another was being shut-out by a husband who wouldn’t grow up, or with my recruitment by yet another friend to help her figure out who was on the other end of a number that her man had been texting for months (yes, it was some random other woman).

When it comes to relationships, serving as a sounding board for friends is such a delicate balance: you want to give enough advice to keep your homegirls from making the same mistakes over and over again while making sure they know everything is going to be all right, but it’s hard to tell a friend “girl…RUN!” when she’s still not ready to let the good parts of a relationship go in spite of the bad. Since you’re not getting the good parts and only hear about the problems, supporting a friend who is struggling with love can take its toll. I pride myself on being a supportive friend and wouldn’t have it any other way, but when someone you love is going through hard things of any nature it’s tough to not feel it in your own heart. Yet suddenly, when it comes to trifling boyfriends and the like, all of that seems to be over for now.

My support is no longer needed to deal with anyone’s bad relationships. The feeling is so freeing.

Maybe there’s something great in the air for 2012 and my friends and those who love them have reached a higher level of clarity and act-right, or maybe the people in my life have reached a certain age that doesn’t warrant sharing their woes with friends. It’s even possible (as much as my pride won’t let me believe it) that I stink at positivity and everyone I know is faking the funk just so they don’t have to be led astray by my musings. What I do know is that while I’m so happy that things seem to be going well for me and mine, I’m even happier that I don’t have to nurse sympathy pains from my friends’ choices, no matter how willingly I have always accepted them.

Do you feel the burden of your friends’ relationships?


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  • MarloweOverShakespeare

    No I don’t, because I’ve decided to no longer offer advice (I’m talking about a current situation). As the “You Are What You Eat” author remarked, I’m very conscious now of what I choose to engage myself in. One of those things is discussing relationship ideals with those who refuse to let go of dead weight they KNOW is keeping them from future blessings.

    This piece is all too timely.

    Happy New Year Clutchosphere!

  • fuchsia

    I have a few close friends who I feel sympathy pains for when it comes to their relationships. Of course they will make their own choices but everyone needs someone to just listen once in a while. My friends know that I have my own opinions and I don’t hold much back. Call with the extensive BS at your own discretion. If they get OOC with the drama I let them know, and stop taking calls until they get the point. I won’t let them affect me too much, but as a friend they know I care about their happiness.

  • oknow

    sometimes i do.. i get tired of hearing about it and i get tired of hearing the same ole thing.. she never changes anything and she never does anything about it and she never leaves.. last time i told her, no one is putting a gun to your head.. told her to own up to this being partly being her fault cause she continues to allow it so that she can say she has a man.. i’m over it.. so when she discuss it i tell her i don’t want to hear it.. or i watch TV and let her talk and give an occasional right or ok and never give an actual response.. some ppl just always want to play the victim.. .

  • Sath

    This is so relevant I can’t even post the link on my Facebook. -_-