Always the bridesmaid
By Jennifer Allison
uestions about love, dating, and relationships are frequently tossed my way. Never mind my own less-then-perfect relationship record, or that I struggle as a mother, sometimes lack patience, and I hold no degree in counseling. Here are a few answers to questions I've collected.
Q: I'm a bridesmaid yet again. A close girlfriend was recently proposed to by her boyfriend of one year. He's always been crazy about her, yet to my mind she's been too demanding and selfish with him. While I'm happy for her, I feel jealous, even angry. I love my friend, but I can't help but wonder why she gets the proposal and I'm still single and dating after 10 years. Of the two of us I've always been the one to give more in a relationship, if not bend over backwards. Yet she's always had men fawning all over her. Don't nice girls ever win?
A: I don't equate a smart woman who sets boundaries and makes demands of her partner with the word, "selfish," or even mean. In fact, I believe it's downright smart to do so. Also, you might be surprised to learn what her now fiancé feels he's getting from a relationship with a woman who can be true to her own needs, putting them ahead of those of her partner.
Most men actually prefer a woman who doesn't always "bend over backwards" to his needs while ignoring her own. That kind of doting response gets mighty boring, mighty quickly. Most emotionally healthy men like the mental stimulation of an assertive woman.
My advice to you is to look beyond the jealousy you feel toward you friends good fortune and try to become more assertive and "selfish." Her life's lessons may help teach you a thing or two about the dance between men and women, while also helping you attract more serious interest from the men you're dating.
Finally, be happy for your friend. Don't make love and marriage into a competition. Remember what Sherry Argov wrote in her 2002 book "Why Men Love Bitches": "Anytime a woman competes with another woman she demeans herself."
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