Hey, Sparklers! Before we get to today's column, I've got a few lovely updates from past letter-writers! Ready? Here's the latest!
- The hapless victim of Flakey Teaserpants wrote back to let us know that he'd decided to stop being a doormat, sack up, and move on in search of a more rewarding relationship. (That sound you hear is all our LDS lady-Sparklers screaming with excitement.)
- In not-so-great news, the girl whose dad was all up in her menstrual biz sent us an email that said: "It's been a while, because for the past two weeks i've been grounded off the computer. guess why :)". GAH! Sorry, Sparkler—I didn't mean to get you in trouble. Hang in there; when you're out of the house, you can use as many tampons as you want. (And for what it's worth, we still think your dad is being ridonk.)
- In other not-so-great news, our letter-writer from "Trans-tastic" had a communication setback with his dad and is delaying any bomb-dropping convos with the parental units until things get a little friendlier. (Boo, Dad.) However, he also just bought a katana, so that's good.
- The letter-writer from "Icky Friend's Insult-a-Thon" sent us the following:
After I wrote you my boyfriend broke up with me (looooooong, completely unrelated story), but anyway, he and his best friend and I have turned out to be ok friends. I really do think it was jealousy because now the three of us can hang out like any normal group of teenagers. And I have even hung out with the friend without my ex-boyfriend being with us to mediate, which would have been impossible before. I actually like it a little better this way.
- And finally, the stressed-out academic from "School-Switcher's Regret" wrote back to say that she's going to stick it out until the semester's end before deciding whether she wants to bail. Good plan, Sparkler! We're rooting for you!
And now, today's letter:
I am currently dating a girl and we are both in love with each other. However, it seems like all her friends (except two of them) absolutely despise me. They have done stuff that ranges from just kicking me in the shins (2nd grade, anyone?) to telling me that when I hold my girlfriend's hand that I am violating her personal space. They have even spread rumors that I am cheating on her (which are false). Since she knows that they are being immature, she is ignoring them, which is causing her to lose them as friends. I feel bad that because of me, she is losing friends, but I'm not really sure what to do.
P.S. It's not like I'm a really buff or extremely popular so I don't think that they are jealous of her.
Pfffffft. Shows how much you know, dude.
Because for insecure people like your girlfriend's pals, it doesn't matter how buff (or not) or popular (or not) you are. What matters is that your GF is in a relationship. With a guy. Who likes her. She's got something they don't, and that, in the Land of Rude and Unreasonable Humans, makes you the enemy. Maybe they're jealous that she's getting male attention when they are not; maybe they see your relationship as a direct threat to their friendship; maybe they hate you on principle because your hair is prettier than theirs. It could be anything!
But whatever the reason for their feelings, all you need to know is that they have very little to do with you—and everything to do with their own insecurities.
Which is good news, because it means that this isn't your fault. Your girlfriend isn't losing friends because of you; she's losing friends because her friends are behaving like jerks. They decided to make a big, immature, unnecessary stink about your relationship, and she decided to disengage. That makes sense, because a friend who actively antagonizes and tries to slander the reputation of someone you love isn't much of a friend—and in this case, if it hadn't happened with you, it would almost certainly have happened with someone (or something) else.
So as long as you've left your girlfriend to handle this situation in whatever way she thinks is best (and as long as you haven't been dong your own part to make things worse by antagonizing back, or pressuring her to spend less time with her friends, or insisting that she choose between you and them) then all this means is that she's smart enough not to bother with people who clearly don't have her best interests at heart. Good for her. And, even better, it means that it's one hundred percent not your problem. Just keep on being her boyfriend, support her decisions, and encourage her to keep up her friendships with people genuinely care about her—even when they aren't your favorites.