It is great to have one good friend, or a small group of close friends, who always supports you and has your back. Some refer to friends as their “Sisters from another mister” or for men, “Brothers from another mother.” They are as close as close can be. But sometimes a friend has to know his/her place. They may know you as well as they know themselves; they may love you, but they are not you. Even best of friends need to respect boundaries, no matter how good their intentions are.
Maybe you can help me. My friend has been dating someone for months. They’re always together. Parents have met parents. All signs are pointing to engagement.
Because all signs are pointing towards engagement, I asked when he is “going to put a ring on it.” They aren’t keeping their relationship a secret, so what’s the hold up? All of a sudden, she gets defensive and tells me it’ll happen when they both feel right about it. Feel right? Everyone knows how the two of them feel about each other. I asked if she was having any doubts or if there was anything preventing him from proposing. She got angry at me and said she had no doubts and he’ll propose whenever he feels ready.
What is going on? They are basically engaged. Have you heard of something like this before? I don’t want her to be like some of the girls I’ve heard about that are strung along only to be dumped. I tried explaining that I only ask her because I care. She thinks I’m just being nosy because I haven’t met anyone yet. But that’s not true.
Thank you for your email, Estie.
Great news for your friend. Now, I’m going to make it short and simple for you, but please read this with lots of love and no anger in my voice: “Butt out.”
Only your friend and her boyfriend are in this relationship. No one else. It is a huge step making the leap from single life to engagement and marriage no matter how much you love the other person. The decision needs to be the right one and all involved have to feel it as well. I’m sure this is something your friend has discussed with her boyfriend. So, when your friend says that they/he are waiting for the right time, believe it. Everything in life should be “b’shah tovah,” and not just said when you speak with a pregnant woman. It applies to all parts of life: schooling, marriage, children, job, even buying a car. The reason why it seems they are taking so long in making it official can be something as simple as waiting for the Yomim Tovim to pass or waiting until his grandmother comes home from Florida. You shouldn’t be concerned what the reason is.
Your friend took you into her confidence and told you about her boyfriend and has kept you up-to-date on what’s happening. Don’t rain on her parade by asking why it’s taking so long or if she or he has doubts. Your friend and her boyfriend can be taking their time and enjoying this moment in their relationship. We’ve all heard of couples that date for a month or less and get engaged and boom, they are married in the blink of an eye. Nothing is wrong with that either. Everyone has to do what is right for them and not what they think is expected of them from others.
From reading your email, I can see that you love your friend and don’t want her to be led on only to be dumped in the end - which is why you are asking when he’s going to put a “ring on it.” But I don’t want you to damage your friendship in anyway either. You’ve written that you asked her more than once and now she’s getting angry and shooting back answers from the hip like, “you’re jealous because you don’t have a boyfriend.” I’m positive she doesn’t mean to insult you or to be mean to you. She was just reacting with a knee-jerk reaction when someone keeps repeating something she doesn’t want to hear. Stop asking her any questions about her relationship. You are her friend that she shares information with. And it’ll just get harder when iy’h she (and you) becomes a kallah and there will be many things she won’t tell you or explain to you even if you tell her things don’t make sense - because a relationship is between two people, not three. If a third is involved, trouble may follow the relationship like a torpedo.
You ended your letter with, “It’s just dragging it out.” I’m not trying to come across as mean or nasty, but Estie, do you have anything else in your life to focus on besides this? Yes, you are excited for her, but you can’t make that the focus of your life now. If she is happy and doesn’t mind this being “dragged out,” then who are you to say anything?
If you’re putting your vacation to Tahiti on hold for this because you don’t want to miss the l’chaim/vort, then I still say the same thing: It’s your friend’s life. Go and live yours. Read the next sentence in a loud whisper: If your friend knows you are planning a trip, she may work around your plans. Yes, it’s true. My own sister pushed her wedding back a month until her best friend gave birth so her best friend (baby, babysitter, and husband) would be able to come to her wedding.
Hatzlachah to you all.