I recently visited my partner's(non-binary) friends for the first time, of course with my partner. To be honest I have no clue if I was overreacting and just feeling insecure but I do know I got sad. At times it felt like I was thirdwheeling or as if I wasn't even there. Some background, we flew to visit their group of friends because three of them were graduating over the weekend so my partner of course was going to support them and I was asked to attend as well and I wanted to go to, to meet their friends and to spend time with everyone. Their best friend has been in my partner's life for almost eleven years and every time this friend walked into a room it was like my partner would forget about me and be drawn to this friend, it made me feel sad and like I was just being left behind. And as they would talk I would realize that eleven years is such a long time and i started to feel so insecure because we've been together for a year and I cant imagine someone caring about me the way that my partner and their best friend cares for each other so it just made me so sad and like I wasn't good enough to even keep my partner's attention. Is it unrealistic for me to want to be prioritized in this situation? I feel like I am being dramatic and overthinking it, and I don't know how to express these feelings without possibility hurting my partner's feelings, but i hate feeling like this. Do you have any advice to stop feeling this way or how to communicate this with them?
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Thank you for coming to Asking Jude for advice. I’m sorry to hear that you felt this way after meeting with your partner and their friends. I know you don’t want to feel this way; it’s uncomfortable to feel insecure about a significant other’s friend, and it can be more uncomfortable to admit this to your partner. However, it is very likely that talking this through with your partner can 1) help you better understand how you feel and why and 2) allow you two to discuss ways to help you feel more at ease.
If you are looking to analyze your feelings before discussing this with them, check out this link: https://positivepsychology.com/understanding-emotions/. You mentioned that you couldn’t imagine someone caring about you the way your partner and their best friend do for each other; it’s possible that something you experienced in the past made you feel that way, and now you’re applying those feelings to the current situation. I think asking yourself why you are feeling the way you do can help you find the root(s) of this insecurity, and what you can do to manage it.
I know you also mentioned that you do not want to risk upsetting your partner by bringing this up to them. There are ways you can communicate how you feel without accusatory language or making them feel guilty for paying attention to their friend. For example, using “I feel” statements (e.g. “I felt left out when you two were talking....”) can emphasize that the concern is more about how you felt rather than how they behaved. I found two links that you can check out regarding how to communicate without arguing: https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/living-forward/201609/3-ways-speak-without-starting-fight%3famp and https://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/psychpedia/i-message.
All in all, knowing someone and being close to them for eleven years helped the two of them create a very tight bond. Them giving each other a lot of attention is expected, especially if they have a lot to catch up on. Another thing to consider is that your partner invited you, meaning that they wanted you there to meet and hang out with their friends. I think this says a lot about how they wanted to share a huge part of their life with you!
Here is one last link with advice on coping with insecurity in a relationship: https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/living-forward/201609/four-ways-stop-feeling-insecure-in-your-relationships%3famp
Hi, Jae! This is Jude. Our peer counsellor, Helen, will get back to you shortly.
jae perez, I'm a member, here, at Asking Jude, not a peer counselor. I am convinced that most of your problem has to do with your age, your lack of experience in terms of being with new people. I don't think I would have difficulty talking to any of my partner's friends. A Peer Counselor will get back to you...