New relationships bring out a plethora of feelings. There’s the giddiness. There are the extended glances at one another. There are the hours and hours of phone time (and these days, messaging) exchanging whimsical thoughts about your future. Let’s face it: new relationships are fun.
One of the most fun parts of a new relationship is the gab time with your girlfriends about how wonderful you think he is, how great he sounds to them, and if they think he meant what he said when he said what he said. Even in full adulthood, I’d say it’s one of the things that bonds friends the most; even if temporarily.
I recently met someone. After the nearly two years of divorce hell I’ve been through, meeting him was one of the best surprises of my life to date. Initially, it was hard for me to fathom that there was going to be a light at the end of the relationship tunnel. But, he has, up to this point, been everything I want and need and I can say, for the first time in a while, I’m genuinely happy. I’ve only told a few of my sister-friends the juicy ins-and-outs. Most of the friends I’ve even mentioned him to in passing are happy for me. But there’s one who clearly isn’t.
At first, I wondered how it was so that someone who talks so much about how “the community” doesn’t like seeing Black women happy could be so pressed about my good news. Then, the issue became clear.
See, this goes further than hateration (in the dancerie). This touches on what I’d call a lurid underbelly of “sisterhood.” It is an insidious envy that is running rampant due to the fact that the sister circle these days is mostly electronic and filled with enough genuine women to give cover to the poseurs. It allows women who are distressed by their own missteps to hate-watch women who are not too complacent to do the work (internal and external) they need to do to find their way to the things they’ve always wanted in life.
My theory is that these women suffer from something more than the run-of-the-mill misery loving company. I truly believe that these women only join sister circles out of an attachment issue. When you were struggling like they were, you were the perfect target. Your growth or change means that they no longer have someone to hook onto. That frightens the hell out of them. They have to do something to bring you back down far enough to grab onto you again.
It’s all love, light, and “sis” until you achieve something that they haven’t been able to. Then it becomes a waterfall of questions to try to talk you out of your happy, or snide remarks, or “casually” broaching some nightmare scenario that happened to a friend of a friend who was dating a guy who wore the same type of shoes, or deafening silence from the very woman you couldn’t get to shut up for 20 seconds before you told her your good news.
Our girlfriends are supposed to give us the heads up when they notice red flags, but beware the woman who bears witness to your toil and decides that you don’t deserve the desire that has manifested for you. “Friends” who can’t be happy for you are a part of that same community that doesn’t want to see you happy.
What do you do when your friend is annoyed by your passage into Happyville, USA?
Remain happy…and probably dump them, too.