When Is It Ok To Be Happy? GTJ Dating Series with Erika E. (week 26)

Maybe a little less sharing...

As we all know, dating is hard, so when you finally find someone who makes you happy, you want to shout it from the rooftop.  But if you have single friends who are still in the muck of it all, struggling to meet just one normal person (let alone “the one”), it’s hard to know how much of your excitement to reveal.  The reality of it is that while friends will love you and hope for your well-being, inevitably jealousy can occasionally rear its ugly head, and those friends who are supposed to love you unconditionally start acting distant.

I met Jeremy in December of 2009, and I had a vacation planned with some girlfriends for New Year’s Eve that year.  When we booked the trip, all of us were single, but by the time our cruise sailed off, I was the one with the boyfriend (yes – we had already DTR’ed it).  I was darn happy about it, but did I want to share my newfound happiness with three people who expected me to be single and ready to mingle?  And on top of it all, one friend had just ended a relationship with someone she thought could go the distance.  I kept my Jeremy-talk to a minimum, which was hard since that’s the last thing you want to do when you’re starting a new relationship.  You just want to yell, “I finally found him!”

When it comes to starting a new relationship, while all of your friends should be happy for you, it’s best to come up with some sort of selective sharing.  The people who will be most excited for you (besides your parents) are the ones who are in the same place you are – happy.  They say misery loves company, but so does happiness.  Tell your friend who just got the promotion that your new boyfriend sent you flowers.  Tell your other friend who just had her fourth date with a guy she really likes that your new guy said, “I love you” for the first time.  I’m not saying you can’t share your good news with your single friends, but be sensitive to the fact that while they are likely content enough on their own, you’ve gotten the brass ring, and they’re still riding the horse empty-handed.

Of course it’s okay to be happy, but just be aware that friendships are not always on pace with each other, and certain people may be better choices to share the cute little details of your new relationship.  And if all else fails, you can tell your friend who’s tried and true – your journal.

Erika Ettin is the Founder of A Little Nudge, where she offers services from online dating profile-writing to e-mailing potential matches to planning dates. An archive of all of Erika’s columns is also available.  Want to connect with Erika?  Join her newsletter for updates and tips.

2 replies
  1. Bulldog
    Bulldog says:

    Seriously? If I have a friend who becomes unhappy when they hear about my success, I start looking for a new friend. I have a very close group of friends, and most of the time, from college onward, they’ve had girlfriends (and now wives), and I haven’t. I was always happy for them, because I want them to have joy in their lives. Maybe I’m the only who feels this way, but I think that wanting success for my friends is a critical aspect of friendship.

  2. Zevy G
    Zevy G says:

    1) Being sensitive to your single, lonely friends is a great idea as expressing sensitivity to others is a Torah ideal.

    2) Any friend who would distance themselves from you or be nasty to you because of your success is no friend at all. I don’t think such a situation happens very often in the observant Jewish world as we are taught to share in other people’s simchas, which means being genuinely bisimcha for them! The less you make things about yourself, the happier you’ll be.


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