A wonderful gentleman named Dave commented on my blog last week, looking for some answers. For the record, I don’t know Dave—I say he’s wonderful solely because he’s a male and he commented. There have been only a few such men, so I appreciate it. (Thanks to you too, Zach.) His question:
“For a few years, I dated a girl with four sisters, and I constantly felt that I was being interviewed by a sorority, or listening in on an all-female pajama party. Those sisters were in each others’ minds so much that it was as if there was no room for anyone else. … So here’s my question for all you female BFF-wannabes: Do you ever find that the guy in your life is feeling cast aside by the BFFs? Is that just a sign of the male’s natural immaturity and insecurity — or do you think your actions perhaps contribute to the problem? What about when the two [parties] — your guy and your BFFs — actually don’t like each other at all? How do you solve it?”
For some reason this question brings to mind My Big Fat Greek Wedding. I’m picturing Dave surrounded by hair-teased, smirking women shooting you’re-not-good-enough rays out their eyes. At which point he starts taking shots of ouzo.
I don’t have sisters, but I do have best friends who, when we all get together, have been known to act something like a mini-sorority or teenagers at a slumber party. And when there’s a lone man present in the pool of estrogen, I find myself wondering if he’s secretly plotting ways to throw himself off a cliff. But feeling cast aside? I’ve always figured men expect this behavior from women, that it comes with the territory. Especially from sisters. When it comes to one of their own, they’re like lions protecting their young.
Dave, if you felt shut out, you’re probably not the first guy who has. I bet the girl is well aware—and none too happy—about her sisters’ effect on the men in her life.
Are you immature and insecure? Not necessarily. Sisters and BFFs play a pretty vital role in a woman’s life, so if you feel like you’re being judged, you probably are. But if your girlfriend is bringing you in front of the tribunal, it’s probably because she thinks you can hack it. If you think you notice the scrutiny, know that she sees it times a thousand. And she’s the one who’ll hear about it later.
As for the BFFs and the man not liking each other? Eek. Nightmare. And the answer is I don’t know. Since Matt and I met in college and were in the same group of friends I haven’t encountered this problem. (Or, I have really really good friends who never let on they hated my boyfriend and vice versa.) I’d say, for both BFF and man, if you don’t like the opposing party but care about the mutual one, suck it up. Slap on your best fake smile and pretend.
What do you people think? Give Dave a little help, please.