The Self-Love Formula

Let's change direction.

Help! My BFF Got Married!

Your bestie. Your girl. Your BFF. You had everything in common—same taste in clothes, music, and guys. You could finish each other’s sentences and crack each other up with a mere smirk or raised eyebrow. You agreed on virtually everything and naturally assumed your lives would progress along parallel paths.

But then . . . she got married. She met her prince and took off to happily ever after, while you remained solo.

WHAT?

That was so not the plan!

And now, everything’s different—way different.

She’s searching for suburban starter homes while you scour your neighborhood for a decent laundromat. She’s flipping through baby name books as you deliberate which gym to join.

You yearn for the good ol’ days when you were always on the same page.

But the worst part? Your BFF, who used to know you better than anyone now struggles to understand pretty much every aspect of your life. Sometimes you feel utterly let down. It’s as if she left you behind to fend for yourself.

Always remember, your BFF doesn’t mean to disappoint you; she just doesn’t get it. Let me repeat—she just doesn’t get it!

How could she? She met her husband in college or at her first job after grad or at her cousin’s wedding. She smoothly stepped into the next stage of her life at the “expected time” without a hitch. Since love came easily for her, she assumes it should do the same for you. Ultimately she can’t begin to fathom the frustration you feel as you battle your way through the dating scene.

Keep in mind this is just a season. Your friendship feels like it’s irrevocably altered—but it isn’t. You’re just in vastly different circumstances. Once your lives coincide again, you’ll get back to where you were.

So in the meantime, what’s a single girl to do? Gather yourself a posse of single ladies, STAT!

This is not about replacing your BFF or betraying her or negating the impact she’s had on your life. This is about survival, plain and simple—because you won’t make it through the jungle that is the dating scene without fellow single ladies. You need backup.

Surrounding yourself with women who know exactly what you’re going through is imperative as you navigate your way through this stage of your life.

A pack of single ladies can keep you sane and balanced. When you overly obsess about meeting guys and start neglecting other passions in your life, your girls will reel you in. Or if after a slew of bad dates you threaten to join a convent, your girls will beat down your door and drag you out on the town. One important caveat—your crew must consist of women possessing extremely positive attitudes. No haters allowed! One Negative Nellie can ruin a perfectly fantastic girls’ night out. Your support system should inspire and embolden you—not drag you down.

But what about your BFF? Where does she fit into all this?

The thing about friendship is, there’s no limit to the amount of love we can give and receive. You have plenty of room in your heart for your BFF and your new crew.

By reaching out to other women, you fill the void left by your BFF—which actually benefits your relationship with her! You can lean on your single girls and ratchet down your expectations of your BFF because in this season, she can’t possibly be there for you the way she used to.

It’s a big adjustment, but your BFF’s marriage doesn’t have to derail your friendship!

Changing seasons are a part of life and before you know it, you’ll be the one getting married. When that happens, let’s hope the single girls in your life find this blog post!

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Dr. Karin Anderson Abrell
Dr. Karin is the type of woman that stands by the advice she gives. In fact, to friends, this Mid-western beauty is often considered the ‘voice of reason,’ but in her own opinion, she is simply being authentic. As a psychologist, and former associate professor of psychology and counselor education at Concordia University Chicago, Dr. Karin is the author of Single Is The New Black: Don't Wear White Till It's Right. A follow up to her 2010 title, It Just Hasn’t Happened Yet, Dr. Karin re-addresses the pejorative messages directed towards single women…but this time from a different perspective; she’s now happily married. Dr. Karin’s first book dismantled the prevailing assumption—made by both the general public and most self-helpers—that a woman who remains single past her late twenties surely possesses some tragic flaw that ruins her love life time and time again. At forty and single herself, she witnessed the incessant self-analyzing and self doubt women experience when they've internalized the false message that they're too picky, too needy or too neurotic to ‘snag’ a man. Dr. Karin encouraged women to stay true to themselves while living a confident and happy life, reminding them that remaining unmarried actually showcased a huge strength—that they were unwilling to settle for just anyone! In Single Is The New Black: Don't Wear White Till It's Right, Dr. Karin affirms that a single woman is a smart, savvy, sexy “catch” in spite of the accusations that something's wrong with her. Throughout the book, she tackles the most annoying and absurd comments single women hear, fields letters from readers, and even solicits a male's point of view to support her positions. Additionally, she discusses the struggles she faced during her twenty-seven years on the dating scene and shares strategies that helped her stay happy, hopeful, and positive as she waited to meet The One. Readers are encouraged and empowered to stay true to themselves and never settle for anything less than an extraordinary relationship of mutual respect, authentic intimacy, and, of course, true love! Dr. Karin was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio and the youngest of three kids (2 brothers). As a little girl she would often say that when she grew up she wanted to be a doctor who helped people with their problems, but her family had no idea where that came from! To no surprise, Dr. Karin went to college and received a BA in Psychology and Communications from Judson University (Elgin, IL), a Masters in Clinical Psychology from Wheaton College (Wheaton, IL), and Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from Northern Illinois University. After earning her master's degree, she worked as a psychotherapist in the child welfare system in inner city Chicago. Dr. Karin volunteered for a year in West Philadelphia assisting those in her neighborhood, helping out at the West Philly YMCA, and conducting workshops on grief and other psychological topics at the local church. Initially a psychotherapist for children in Chicago's child welfare system, Dr. Karin moved into academia after completing her doctorate in 2002, when she accepted a professorship in the psychology department at Chicago State University. In 2008 she joined the graduate faculty of Concordia University Chicago teaching in both the School Counseling and Clinical Mental Health Counseling departments. Dr. Karin has appeared on both television and radio in major markets (NBC Chicago, WGN Chicago) and her edgy perspectives have been featured on Oprah Radio’s The Dr. Laura Berman Show, Yahoo! Shine, Glamour.com, Self.com, Happen Magazine, iVillage.com, SheKnows.com, etc. She’s written for CNN.com's Living section, is currently an expert psychologist for YourTango.com and writes the "Dating Tips" blog for the matchmaking service, It’s Just Lunch. Dr. Karin speaks to both academic and general audiences on women’s identity development and adult family dynamics and her website, DrKarin.me provides a forum for women exploring ways to cultivate their identities in the midst (or in spite) of their most intimate relationships. When she’s not dishing out advice, Dr. Karin is a vocalist and songwriter for pop/rock bands in Chicago. She performs weekly with a guitarist as a duo and enjoys playing tennis, snow skiing, and reading books on current trends in psychology. Dr. Karin has been happily married for three years and now lives in Valparaiso, Indiana while keeping her office in Chicago.
Dr. Karin Anderson Abrell

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