Sometimes, I feel guilty.

Being in a relationship.

Why?

After struggling to find love over the past two years (the phrase ‘find love’ is a bad one, incidentally, though, isn’t it? We don’t really ‘find’ love, we fall into it…side note/food for thought) and finally finding something so incredible with M, why do I feel guilty about it?

A few reasons. One, I feel bad for those of my friends that *want* relationships and haven’t found them yet. So I try to downplay my own happiness sometimes or “keep in” plans we’ve made or stuff we’ve talked about (well, except for on here, for all of you to read, of course) because I don’t want it to appear as though I am rubbing it in or insensitive to what they may be feeling. I don’t even know why I do this, because it’s not like I am getting that feedback from my friends. It’s almost instinctive.

But why? I shouldn’t feel guilty. I absolutely have every right to enjoy what I have with M and to share it relatively freely with my friends. But something stops me. Guilt. Sensitivity. I’m a worrier. And maybe part of me thinks that because I blog about it, that’s my way of gushing and getting out all my swoonworthy stories in plain sight. But I don’t really know why I hold back.

Another reason? I think this goes hand in hand with my need for balance and having a life filled with M, family and friends, and not too much of one over the other. But sometimes there is a time to invest in your relationship and really focus on it (more on that topic later…) but then whydo I feel guilty for that, while still( in my opinion) balancing that out with family and friends (and ‘me’ time)?

Coming to this realization – even though I don’t really have the answer for it right now – has actually opened my eyes up to a huge reason why I have struggled lately with this balance and trying to do it all.I need to work through why I feel guilt. But I think pinpointing it is a start, and a breakthrough for me, and hopefully helps me work through it.

Does this even make sense? Feeling guilty for being happy, essentially? Am I putting this guilt on myself? Why does it make me so hypersensitive to that line…single vs. ‘in a relationship’ amongst others?

I wouldn’t change a thing about my relationship with M. Every day it gets better. Every day we learn something new about each other, or baby-step towards one more communication milestone. And every day, I love him that much more.

Where’s the guilt in that?

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59 thoughts on “Sometimes, I feel guilty.

  1. This is a hard line to walk. It’s so hard not to over share or gush too much about your relationship, especially when you want to be sensitive to other people’s circumstances and feelings. Sometimes I feel guilty for having a solid relationship, and sometimes they try to make me feel guilty (he can’t be all of that; all men are…), but I still fight for a bit of balance. I think it becomes easier, the less new your relationship is; either people get used to it or they find partners of their own. Try not to feel too guilty; true friends want you to be happy as much as you want them to be happy, and they won’t begrudge you a little boyfriend time or gushing.

    1. I think it will become easier, I just would never want to force ‘us’ on anyone or make it as though we are a package deal and I don’t do things on my own, because that’ll never be the case either. Ya know? And I just want for them what I have. Everyone deserves happiness.

  2. It’s hard not to feel guilty. I get that way sometimes and Tim and I are MARRIED.

    It’s a hard feeling to shake sometimes…and sometimes I wish I could shake it forever. 🙂

    1. Wow, really? Glad in a way, it happens to marrieds too! As weird as that sounds, that what I am feeling is sort of normal, even though it shouldn’t be the case. I guess it’s natural. In a sense.

  3. In my last relationship before my husband, I did not have enough balance. And when things were really great with SR I realized how overwhelmingly happy I was to be able to “have it all”. I did experience some guilt with some of the changes in my personal relationships–but then I realized if they weren’t as happy for me as I was then that was THEIR problem (I know you aren’t directly saying that). You’re only going to be in this stage of discovery with him for so long and things will change–so be HAPPY not guilty 🙂 It’s a good thing!

    1. Well, I never doubt that my friends are happy for me. I know they are. I just want to be sensitive to them too. And to not be one of those uber gushy people either. But then I end up going the opposite way and just not talking as much about it. There is a balance with that too, I guess, huh? But yes, it IS a good thing and I intend to enjoy it.

  4. I think you might feel guilty because you remember what it was like to be in their position. You remember wondering for so long if you would ever have what you have now.

    But I wouldn’t call it guilt more than it is sympathy. Guilt almost lends to the thought that you would be willing to give up what you have in order to feel less guilty, and that isn’t the case. You would rather they find what you have, or their own little piece of it, without you having to sacrifice your own happiness.

  5. part of my trouble with this issue – and lord knows i’ve been there – is that i am so RELIEVED to be in a functional, happy relationship that it’s next to impossible not to be gushy over it. (i also have an extra wrinkle in that the man and i have so much of a past together that he’s just involved in a lot of my stories about my life.) but i do try to toe that line, especially with friends who are single and unhappy about it. it’s a tough one.

    it’s also tough for me to avoid the schadenfreude impulse in a couple of instances. there are a few people in my life who have made things… interesting, we’ll say, with either me or the man. (case in point: one particular ex-girlfriend of his/mutual friend of ours who deliberately provoked me into fighting with him while they dated.) with them, i do NOT hold back. they’ve earned this.

    1. You’re right…being in such a SOLID, HAPPY relationship makes it hard to hold back, I agree. It feels unfair to feel like I am shortchanging that because of the guilt factor. I realize that my divorce wasn’t the hardest one out there, but hell, it WAS hard, it was life-alterning and dammit, after all that, financially, emotionally, and mentally, I deserve this. <–that's the part of me that comes out when I really sit back and think about this…I *do* deserve it. (as do you. And yes those people that made your lives hell, they deserve THAT!)

  6. Wow. I’m really glad you wrote about this. I have felt that guilt from time to time with my friends. Such as, shame on me for being in a good relationship while they are not. It is so odd. It is something I’m working on also with my balance.

    1. It IS a weird feeling, isn’t it? I don’t feel it often, and a lot of mine tends to be self-imposed, not as though my friends truly make me feel this way, because they honestly, DON’T, it’s just my inner hypersensitivity to the whole thing. (but those that make you feel ‘shame on me?’ Shame on them, in your case!)

  7. I think guilt is ingrained into us. Sometimes I feel guilty for being so happy with my life in general.

    I think your true friends are happy for you, although maybe slightly jealous… 😀

    1. YES! I have felt guilt over being happy in life, generally too…and maybe that’s a big part of it – it is ingrained in me. I want everyone to be happy and see the good in life…easier said than done, absolutely so, though. But yes, I will be clear…I know my friends are happy for me, and this is not at all suggesting they aren’t…it’s really my own self-inflicted guilt…

  8. Very interesting. My first reaction is that you’re overthinking, plain and simple. Just enjoy what you have. However, I’m also an overthinker so I totally get it. You’re in love, this is all still new, you have every right to gush about it a bit. Soak it up, live it up. I don’t think you ever come across like you’re bragging, if that were the case, then you should feel guilty. Does that make sense?

    1. Yes, you know me, I *do* overthink. But this feels different…it’s just something I feel, not a reaction to any behavior, because it’s my reaction to wanting happiness for those around me that I love. if that makes sense.

        1. Aww. Wow, that’s going above and beyond…others happiness over your own. I mean, of course I want my friends to be happy, but I don’t necessarily think that means sacrificing your own happiness either. I guess it just depends on the situation too.

  9. I know EXACTLY how you feel. I think part of it is just knowing how wonderful it feels to be in a healthy, happy relationship and wanting all of your friends to be that happy as well. Especially when you know that they want it to. But you really have to do what is right for you, and that includes sharing your feelings…all of your “real” friends will be happy for you. And it will happen for everybody whenever it is meant to…as much as that expression SUCKS (as I know from personal experience). 😉

    1. I thought you might know how I feel, just by your own circumstances (especially with that so cliched yet SO true phrase!)…I DO want it so much for my friends that aren’t in a relationship, so of course, that makes me feel guilty. Even though it shouldn’t. I guess. Right??

  10. It’s just because you’re so sweet. And I think you truly realize that those who love you most are so happy for you. It’s tough caring so much about others and therein lies the guilt.

    1. Aww. Thank you. YOU are so sweet too! I do know my friends and family are happy for me. I just want this for them too. And you all…my bloggy family that are also on the hunt for love. Can I sprinkle fairy dust around you so it happens for you too?? 🙂

  11. I get the feeling guilt thing for sure. I always feel like you don’t want to diminish what other people may be going through no matter how happy you are. Maybe it’s the feeling of making people feel worse about their situation when you tell them how happy you are. But those people also have to realize and understand what you went through in order to be where you are. It’s a tough balance for sure.

  12. This is funny because I carry the same guilt about being thin. I was overweight for much of my marriage and now I am the healthiest and best shape I’ve ever been. I feel guilt about others my age who aren’t and give me that feeling of “well, it must be nice!” I find myself apologizing and explaining my own struggles with weight.

    Isn’t it weird? We should be happy to be happy. Maybe not gloating but happy nonetheless! We deserve it just as much as others! I hope to inspire others to reach for it too!

    1. It is a very similar guilt. I guess it is a little bit universal, right? But similarly, it was a long road for you to get to where you are now, weight-wise, so all that work shouldn’t be diminished by “must be nice!” (hate that too since I work hard as well, it’s almost like a slap in the face for that, right??).

  13. Don’t feel guilt, it seems like you have a wonderful relationship with M. Enjoy it and embrace it. I don’t think singletons myself included think you’re being in anyway smug or insensitive. I’m delighted for you, you deserve it, you never need to downplay your happiness. I dont think you’d ever be so insensitive to anyone because you’re very in tune with people and a good people person if that makes sense.

    1. Thanks Susan, I think you’re right, downplaying happiness isn’t really the right way to go either. It’s just a balance I struggle with sometimes.

  14. I can understand that feeling, for sure. I feel the need sometimes to explain to people how much I’ve struggled to find happiness in my life. But the truth is that we should be proud of it! Because as you and I both know, the only thing holding other people back in the happiness department is their own lack of decision to be. 😉

  15. Hey, bask in your happy. Your friends want to share in it, live vicariously through you. It brings hope. And it is well-deserved.

    I’m thrilled for you. And I want to soak in every juicy detail.

    Big hugs!

      1. I agree with Nicki! I also feel like if someone else has a problem with your happiness or success, then it’s his/her problem, not yours. There are always people out there who have more or less than we do. It’s not healthy to feel guilty for that. xoxo

        1. That’s right…it isn’t so much my problem, but for some reason, I feel that it is, and I don’t always know how to reconcile that feeling inside. Some days it’s easier than others! And thank you!

  16. LOL, I can’t say I “understand” as I don’t think I’ve ever felt like I was in a position worth being envied, BUT I wanted to tell you what an awesome person you are to even be considering anyone else. Most people aren’t like that Jo, they just think “me, me, me” but not you. It is for that very reason that you deserve all the happiness you now have. And lord knows, you’ve had trials of your own. I hope to someday be as giving as you are, you are very inspiring to me.

    1. You are too sweet. Wasn’t expecting that kind of reaction to this post (yours and a few others that noted that I’m being very considerate), as I was feeling that maybe I wasn’t being considerate. But hopefully I am.

  17. My instinct was to say that yes, you are putting the guilt on yourself. Then I stopped myself. Do you ever get the comments like “Well, you’re not out there anymore with the crazies so what are you complaining about?” Comments like that cause the guilt. Like just because you’re in a relationship, you no long have anything negative in your life or don’t deserve to discuss the happiness in your life. It’s bull!

    1. I want to add some more… You wouldn’t downplay your job because I’m having a crappy time at work, would you? No! You deserve to celebrate your successes, whether they’re relationship wise or career wise.

  18. As a former Catholic, I feel guilty about everything. I’m guilt-ridden over this comment, and I don’t even know what I’m going to write yet. Guilt isn’t always a bad thing. It keeps you humble and considerate. I know some people who could use some more guilt! But a little bit goes a long way.

    Are you sure it’s guilt you’re feeling, and not fear? Fear that if you flaunt your good fortune, it might go away? You might also be feeling guilt because some small part of you feels like you don’t deserve to be loved– that you’re not worthy.

    Another idea is that maybe being in a happy puppies-and-rainbows relationship puts more pressure on you to be happy all the time. As nysooner mentioned, you no longer have a license to complain (especially to your single friends.) And sometimes you just want to be able to complain without appearing ungrateful. So maybe it’s not guilt, but frustration over losing that license.

    Anyway, I think more of your single friends are inspired by your story than resentful of it. You’re the “After” picture in the ad!

    So I give you my permission to feel a little guilty, but not too much. 🙂

    1. I am not afraid, no, but that is an interesting point. Because I know I have had that ‘waiting for the other shoe to drop’ feeling before. Right now, notsomuch (thankfully). As for the ‘license to complain’ element that you and NY bring up, I hadn’t thought of it that way, and don’t personally feel that way, but I do understand the sentiment (and have felt that way at points in the past in my life). I like the inspiration angle…and I’d like to believe that’s true 🙂

  19. I’m not gonna lie… from a single persons perspective, the last thing I want is to hear my friends gush about their relationships 24/7 or to never be able to see or speak to them without their other half around. It’s annoying.

    But, you never do that. I guess it’s because you do make an effort not to, and that’s appreciated.

    You shouldn’t feel guilty though, because while your single friends don’t need to hear about it 24/7, that doesn’t mean we don’t want to hear about it AT ALL. You deserve to be able to talk about your life and your feelings, and your friends will be happy to let you do that, so long as you’re not going overboard.

    1. Well, yes, I don’t even think I want to hear about my friends gush 24/7 about their relationships ;-P That is annoying. There is a line between gushing (overboard) and just sharing the latest and greatest (balance). But, I don’t think anyone should have to walk on eggshells about what’s going on HAPPY in their lives…whether that be relationships, a good job, or life in general. Ya know?

  20. Im in a relationship, but yet always still sorta looking like I think I will find better happiness some where else.
    at the same time I wouldnt want to be single.

  21. In a 6 month relationship that gets better every day, I can definitely relate. I don’t feel guilt exactly but I do feel sad that I cannot bring my friends “with me,” so to speak. Like, swapping valentines gift ideas or going on double dates. Etc.

    Also, like you, I was single a long time (3 years) and as a result, I’ve found it VERY hard to make the identity switch to “relationship girl.” My long search for love (and stumbling over too many Mr. Wrongs) makes me hyper-aware of what I’ve found– the rare, precious, amazing thing that it is.

    My bigger struggle (and perhaps you have this too?) is the fear that it will all disappear in the blink of an eye. How could I be this lucky? Surely, this much happiness is gluttonous, right? 🙂

    1. Wow, we have a lot of similarities, don’t we? Single for two years (you, three), finding someone special (me, 5 months, you, 6), and worrying about it all falling to pieces. The ‘other shoe to drop’ mentality! I haven’t had this pang lately, but have had it since I met M. So I totally get that too.

  22. Oh, how I remember having those feelings when my friends were single and I was in a happy relationship. And I too was on the other end being the single one but never wanted my friends in relationships to feel bad for me. When I was single, it made me learn to love myself and not need to be in a relationship, it made me grow. So just know, that they too will find that right one, when its right for them.

    1. Thanks for the visit! And such wise words. You are right. I love your perspective on this…and I agree! I never wanted anyone to pity me for being single (I sometimes worried that my friends did, oddly) because when I was, I loved it. And now? I love being in love. There is greatness in both.

  23. Wow–
    This was awesome. I had a hard time changing over from “single girl” to “girl in a relationship” so much so it probably hurt my man a lot in the beginning. Now I can’t imagine the other way!! It’s been an interesting shift, and a very challenging one. Did you feel like this ever?

    1. So glad you stopped by for a visit! And yes, it was hard for me too at first, definitely. as much as i wanted it, it was hard. I remember when M suggested the ole ‘in a relationship’ status change on Facebook and that scared me! Now, I laugh at it, but at the time, it felt like a big thing. So yes, I did feel that way too.

  24. You are SUCH an amazingly caring person!!! No, you should not feel guilty…..not in the slightest. But I do know where you’re coming from (I’m Catholic…..got the guilt thing down). 😉 The thing is, you DESERVE to be happy. And those friends of yours (*cough cough*) – they will find it, too. It’s just not their time, but when it is, you’ll be just as happy for them. It shows you are a wonderful person for thinking about others like this!

    1. Aw shucks, YOU are so sweet. I am honestly surprised at comments like this (not because I don’t agree that I’m nice…I mean, I’d like to think so!) because I wasn’t thinking of it so much that way. Perhaps because it was just weighing on me that all I could see was guilt. But you are right…everyone will have their time for that special person in their life, whether it’s now, next month or next year.

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