I was in my late-twenties when I got together with my girlfriend. We met on trips to the pub after work (we worked at the same place, but not together), and I just found myself magnetically drawn to her all the time. When I told our colleagues we were dating, I heard all sorts of things about how wonderful she was, how much they all loved her … basically, she was the most brilliant person in every room, and she was choosing me. Nothing had ever made me feel so loved and so confident.
Two years on and I am finding a flip-side to this. Friends of mine that she’s got to know now text her more than they text me. People at parties ask me where she is and walk away if I say she’s not coming. My young nieces and nephews will wrap her in hugs and will hardly acknowledge me. One friend has been with her boyfriend for 10 years and he never wanted to hang out with me—now whenever we meet up, she passes on the message that he is coming and can I bring my girlfriend. The confidence that I first got from being the one chosen by “the sun” of every room she’s in now just makes me feel like I’m the guest star in my own relationship (actual words someone used to describe me). I obviously love that she fits in with my friends and family so well. How do I stop myself feeling I’m being squeezed out of my own relationships?