Is relationship shaming a thing?
By - kkicsi
Both comments sound kinda rude / self focused. It could be that instead of passive-aggressive / competitive .
At least that's one explanation that give your friends a bit less malicious intent.
Ultimately, it doesn't matter because all that matters in the relationship is you and your partner. Over time you'll get a thicker skin I'm guessing on things like this.
FWIW I'm happily married for several years and my partner and I can't cuddle for too long when actually trying to sleep!
Thank you for your input! I absolutely don’t think they had any malicious intent, just found their behaviour strange.
Not normal but not that serious... I think....
If one of my friends said the first one to me, I would just say “Okay, hotstuff..”
Then continue on with my story.
About the second one, it’s just their preference and won’t think about it too much.
Each relationship is different, no need to be peer pressured into doing what they’re doing.
Do what’s best with your partner👍
But if they continue, maybe start to hangout with different friends.
Friends shouldn’t make friends feel insecure and small.
Thank you for the reply! I totally agree with you, the only reason I was concerned is because this is not how my friends usually act. Before I got into this relationship I’ve never felt any kind of peer pressure from them, they didn’t urge me to do things that they were already doing and I was not so I was really surprised at their comments. Won’t take it to heart though and will continue to brush it off, or in case it gets bad, maybe I’ll reconsider my friendship with them/bring up the topic.
This might be insecurity on their part. One thing I learned over the years from friends who were the most vocal about how relationships “should” be or how they had it all figured out? They were the most unhappy and uncertain. If you and your partner are happy live and let live and enjoy!
The first comment by your friend is downright cringey lol and definitely weirdly competitive. Don’t worry though, literally everyone can make it through movies with their SO. If she says anything else like that in the future just give her a weird look and be like “uhh, congratulations? Anyways..”
“Okay hot stuff “ 😂😂😂
Yep, your friends do seem strangely competitive.
And no, that's not normal to make those sort of critical comments/use scornful tones.
Thirdly, in case you're wondering, neither specific point they made a big deal of are strange or unusual things. Most couples can get through movies together...even ones with high sex drives who presumably had the whole time before and after a movie to get busy. And people fall asleep in different positions and ways, and it changes esp if it's particularly hot/cold.
You say this is your first relationship, I wonder if they had somehow nursed feelings of superiority because they were in relationships first, and are now trying to comfort themselves by acting like there are issues with what you have with your OH. Either that or they are just plain awkward and immature.
Time to make some new friends I think..
Okay, so your dynamic has gone from "OP is the only one pathetic enough to be single" to "damn, OP has a boyfriend too". That means they have to shift their projection onto something else, and instead of looking down on you for being single, they'll now make up all these goal posts on how they are "better" or "more experienced" in relationships than you.
These people aren't your friends, OP. Sorry to have to say that, but friends don't put each other down or make rude comments about each other's relationships.
For the record, there is nothing wrong with being in a functioning relationship where you can manage to watch a movie without having sex (time and place for everything, you're not a teenager who can't keep it in her pants for three hours in one sitting and that's a good thing). Cuddling while sleeping may sound cute but I'm on your team. Quality sleep is more important than having something to proof about how romantic you are. Keep doing what you're doing, this sounds good!
First comment is just juvenile and insecure. Second just sounds like she was sharing, like friends do
Not sure how much that helps, but I can watch movies just fine, and can't sleep cuddling, too
Your friends are a bit weird. No idea why, though
Don't engage in conversations about your partner. Your friends don't need to know when you have sex or how you cuddle or don't cuddle. Those are personal intrusive questions. Your answers (if you give any) should be vague and then move off the topic. Girl talk usually heads towards gossip and repeated information. Stay clear.
Yes, thank you! I’m a very reserved person usually and barely share anything from my personal life because it makes me uncomfortable, and these interactions were already a little too much for me, especially with the reactions I got. I’ll definitely continue with my normal ways of not sharing details about my life.
Just keep continuing to keep your personal life to yourself. And I hope you have met "The One".
You're just more mature than them. They're very immature.
If it helps, I've been with my partner 5 years (happily) and I can't get through half an hour of a movie together without falling asleep and he won't come near me when I'm sleeping because I'm basically a human furnace so 🤷🏼♀️
The test of a good relationship is not how long you cuddle or how you sleep. They sound insecure as hell and like they need to somehow 'prove' the legitimacy of their relationship to others by comparing their activities to yours.
Take heart that you don't feel the need to do that.
Definitely seems odd. A strange thing to be competitive about for sure. It’s worth considering that they may be expressing some of their own insecurities in a roundabout way. Maybe friend A would actually enjoy watching a movie in a way that didn’t immediately turn into a romp. Maybe friend B feels a tenuousness in her relationship and is latching onto anything that, in her mind, makes her relationship seem “strong” and is projecting her feelings of the lack of strength into you.
Take all that with a grain of salt. I was a psych major in college and tend to look at things through that lens.
Overall, probably not a big deal. Enforce your boundaries with some light push back, make it clear you won’t tolerate disrespect, and I imagine comments like that will cease.
If anything it sounds like maybe your friends are insecure about their relationships. And they are carrying it out in a very unsubtle and cringe manner.
Cuddling while sleeping fucking sucks, I literally cannot sleep if any aspect of my body is touching someone else. Gtfo I have a king size bed for a reason.
In my opinion, all relationships are different and I don't think you should put any weight in what other people say ab your relationship or their own experience in their relationship. If you are happy and feel comfortable with your partner, then that's all that matters. If people think it's weird how you and your partner act when around each other, then that's their problem.
That’s how I view it and thought everyone else does too. I totally respect my friends’ (and everyones) preferences and have never though about putting them down for it or making fun of them so I was kind of taken aback by the way they have started acting, especially because I’ve never experienced this kind of behaviour from them before.
I can understand not wanting to cause arguments or strain on your friendship, but sometimes you have to be honest with your friends and express how you feel when they say certain stuff. Obvioulsy it's your choice with what you end up doing, but my advice is tell them how you feel and hopefully they understand.
Of course, I’ll definitely think about it. Thank you :)
No worries, I hope whatever you decide, things will improve
Your friends possibly feel like, since they've been in their relationships longer, they can give advice or "teach" you what works. Or it could be that you're more sensitive to their comments about this than you might be about other topics due to self doubt. Or both.
The best actual advice I ever got about relationships was to do what makes both parties happiest, what works for both of you.
What feels right for other people might not work for you and your partner and what's right will change over time. Comparison is the thief of joy, your relationship doesn't have to look like anyone else's.
The best thing you can do in your relationship is just to keep working on communication, mutual respect and healthy boundaries.
They’re being insecure and want to still be somehow vaunted over you. Also—don’t take this the wrong way—but all-a-ya are still kids in that phase where everyone is unsure of where they fit in the tribe and jockey with one another for position.
I’m 44 & my husband is 51. We’re lucky if we stay awake during the first 10 minutes of a movie!
Eh... These sort of comments speak more of them than they do of you.
Move at your own pace life is no competition. And snuggling is hot and uncomfortable after a little time completely normal.
You're still very young. At that phase of life people feel really insecure about things that they have and compare it to what others have. Is my relationship good enough? Do other have it better? Am I good enough? Is my partner representable enough?
They reflect their own insecurities to conversations with others and make themselves feel better about their part. "Oh we cuddle while we sleep, that's soooo important and means that we have it better" and ignore all the other things bugging their mind.
When people get older they usually understand better that comparing doesn't make you happier.. being happy and comfortable in your relationship makes you happy.. such a shocker.
So it's either that or your friends are malicious envious people.
Also as a side comment. If you are happy in your relationship then enjoy it and don't compare it to others. You're doing the exact same thing except you're depreciating your own relationship on the base of relationships of others.
Life isn’t a movie. Of course you can watch a movie w/o sex. Unless it’s porn of course. As to sleeping entwined? Ugh. It sounds lovely but hell no. Need sleep and humans are hot. You go over there. Perfect!
your girlfriends are being aholes and trying to play the my relationship is far superior to yours. Just chuckle and be amused. A good for you? Comment goes a long way.
These people sound like the friends you have when you’re young and need people around you but drop off once you get older and start finding actual friends based on respect.
I’d take inventory of how they are in general. Are they generally catty to others? Do they seem insecure? Do they ever appear to be flirting with your boyfriend? Are they mean about other people or to you about other things?
If the answer to any of those are yes, start breaking away from these friends and find new ones. This isn’t healthy behavior. You want to surround yourself with friends that lift you up, not snuff you out.
They sound really insecure tbh. What could be happening in they've been in a relationship for longer and are maybe having issues and now see your new honeymoon period phase and feel jealous.
Just shrug it off OP - every relationship is different and your friends should honestly know that too but again I think its either jealousy or immaturity. My partner and I cuddle then sleep back to back or with lots space in-between us. My best friend and her husband sleep while cuddling. Both relationships are strong - everyone is different!
Yes by insecure people.
Your friends are just insecure and get off on putting other people down.
Are your friends like this to every couple in your social circle, or is this just a new thing?
If it's the former, there's something wrong.
Relationship shaming is a real thing. It doesn't get talked about as much as sex shaming.
You didn't do anything wrong. At All. It's on them.
What you're experiencing sounds like a little bit of gaslighting. Your friends sound like they're putting you down. If this is your first relationship, you might have Inturrupted the status quo. They might have a certain image in their mind of what you are like (and judging from those comments they're not good ones) and it sounds to me like being in a relationship is almost an insult to their perception of you, like it's threatening them in some way. I'm especially thinking this is true if this is the first time they've seen you with someone.
Maybe friend A and B looked down on you to a degree and have compared themselves to you in the past to build their self esteem. Maybe it's the complete opposite and they look up to you and this is just one more thing they have to compete with you in. If you are being gaslighted you won't hear that in their words you'll hear put downs instead of praise and congratulations. And that's not remotely healthy. At all. It's because they have a problem with themselves and need to feel on top instead of work on themselves. Part of gaslighting is tearing others down around you by making the target question their personality and characteristics, and getting all of their friends to see that bully's distorted image of you too so they can make themselves look better. It will show in your personality and behavior over time if the gaslighting is severe.
Maybe they are having problems in their own relationship and yours is making them feel insecure. Usually whatever people point out about you is actually in reality pointing to their own insecurities. It might also clue you in on how they think. (I.e if your friend thinks if you can't cuddle your partner at night there is something wrong in the relationship/they don't really have feelings for you).
Their boyfriend might have been distant with them lately and they're using very malicious unhealthy ways to make themselves feel better. They could even have feelings for you and be trying to make themselves feel better. (FYI that's not good either. It seems positive, but it's not).
I'm not there, I don't know what their reasons are for what they said, I don't know what they're like. I'm making an educated guess on why they would.
It's tough, especially if you're whole circle all starts saying the same things about you and your partner. It starts to feel true and might even bleed into insecurities in your relationship if you let it- and seriously, don't.
All of that budding drama and animosity you're feeling can and will most likely bleed into your relationship too.
It might seem harmless at first, like they might just be upset about something and are being a little passive aggressive, but I would stay alert the next few months. Odds are it's not harmless.
I would research gaslighting (and "skimming") before you continue with your friendships. PM me for a book reccomendation if you're interested. I wouldn't ignore the alarm bells you're having before arming yourself with knowledge. There could be underlying problems in your friendships that you weren't aware of. This relationship might have just pointed them out to you.
Even if you think they're not it will still be invaluable information for you during your lifetime. (you don't necessarily have to be abusive to gaslight. It's very common).
I experienced it a lot in the past, especially in high school. I got put down and bullied a lot for my role as a girlfriend in my relationships so I know how you feel. It's not fun. I got patted on the head a lot and told I was loved by my friends but their tone (much like your friends condescending one) depicted me as an ugly puppy that everyone "loved" and hoped would find someone, but no one had faith in me that I would or wanted to be that person.
They told me they loved me by putting me down in subtle ways and cutting down my self esteem with comments and "praise" that were not obviously intended to harm me and felt like love at the time. It was the wrong kind of acceptance. I found myself making self depreciating jokes with them and accepting the puts downs and jokes about my love life as love.
They had no respect for me. They were gaining more by putting me down and hurting me, and I knew I had more value.
And it took me a long time to realize that there was nothing wrong with me and I was being gaslighted by fake friends that didn't really love me. They had their own hidden agendas for twisting my behavior around and I found it better to stop caring why they were doing it and start focusing on myself and my relationships with people who really actually genuinely love me.
I got very ugly and it took a long time for me to see it. It takes even longer to fix it.
Sometimes when you break up, your partner might join in on the shaming if they get close with your friends."I dodged a bullet", "what did I see in him", etc. It's intended to make themselves satisfied with their wrongdoings in the relationship and dump the blame all on you and win the breakup so they don't feel sorry for themselves. So naturally they'll fall back on the gaslighting and bury why they love you to stop hurting. They might even create their own distortions to ease the pain. Your ex will willingly (and unconsciously in the wrong) believe the trail of distortions your friends laid out for them the whole time you dated and cry on their shoulder looking for an emotional out. They might even want false comfort about the breakup and to be yessed to death about their feelings and not care about what's true. Anything to numb the blame.
That might not happen to you and I hope you two work out, but don't be upset if it does. Just be prepared.
I might have projected a bit trying to help us both for a second there lol. But main point...
Real friends don't look down on each other. They should be encouraging you to feel good about yourself as a partner and make it about you and ask you questions about your relationship not make it about them and turn it into a competition. Comparing like that isn't healthy and sounds a little bit malicious.
It sounds like they're not emotionally healthy people and don't know how to manage their emotions at all. You might even feel like you're falling apart and losing your mind after a while. If you start feeling down, feel like you're always doing something wrong by bringing your partner up, can never make them happy, you feel depressed, unhappy, upset, you start snapping at them, get upset more and more over time than enjoy their company (especially if they blame not having fun on you or your partner), feel unstable around them, they ever tell you you're overreacting to their tones, etc.
AND they will focus on their words, not their tone in an argument or if you try to talk to them about it. i.e. "all I said was that we cuddle at night, we don't sleep apart! You're reading too much Into it and putting words in my mouth!"
They might dismiss and say, " I don't know what you're talking about. Things like that are done on purpose.
All of that does the following:
1. They can defend themselves when they talk to their friends and recount the story.
2. They responded that way to make you look paranoid and throw it back at you.
3. It's also designed to make you go crazy and question your gut.
4. It's a guilt trip. You will, most likely reason it away and feel bad for "misreading" them and apologize after they get a little bit abusive as if YOU did something wrong and you're the bad friend for thinking they would harm you.
Let them go if it gets worse. Those behaviors previously mentioned are all normal side effect of gaslighting and it should stop when you cut them out and you should be back to your happy self after a little bit of time lets you heal.
I hope your relationship works out! Stay on your toes and good luck!
>The first one was when I was telling my friend “A” about a movie I’ve recently watched with my partner and her immediate reaction was to cut me off, saying “what? You guys can get past the first 10 minutes of a movie without having sex?”
I read this and scrolled up to see your age. I've dated my bf since I was 14 15. Our friends all the way up into us being 19 20 would joke or w e at the point that we would go to the movies and stuff and like...not be the ones in the back making out😂 actually. When someone would be like "oh yall going to the movies. Make sure you sit in the back so ppl don't have to watch u guys making out. " or something to the sort we would side eye tht bs and be like mm..no. we can do that right here. We going to see the movie😂 it's Your relationship 1st and foremost. How are other humans going to judge how 2 other humans interact, sleep AND have sex? 😂😂 friends need to grow up. It's immature.
Your friends sound very young. Once they are adults, these kind of comments will stop being a thing.
I think your friends are young and inexperienced too, they are trying to figure out what relationships look like, just like you are, and comparing theirs to others that they know of in weird ways is one way to do that.
And, sometimes you will get weird comments from people. Occasionally it's jealousy/ competitiveness, occasionally it's a self-esteem thing, and occasionally people just blurt out things without thinking.
Consider also, they've never seen you in a relationship before. They are likely at least somewhat curious about what you are like in one. So some of this may be just trying to figure that part out too.
Also you have recent posts in which you say you are 18 and others in which you say you are mid-twenties. So ignore my advice if you're lying about your age and actually older. You're only going to get advice that actually matches your situation if you're honest about the situation. If you're approaching 30 and your friends are similarly aged and doing this, it's a whole different thing.
I think it's important to keep in mind that you're all (relatively speaking, in the timeline of life) kinda on the younger/ less experienced side of things, and navigating new life experiences. Part of that is comparing those life experiences to get a sense of what's "normal". (Which, of course, leads to bigger questions: what is 'normal'? What does 'normal' even mean? Why does it matter? Does it matter?)
But dialing back to the specific comparison, this has more to do with the socio-developmental phase of your friends. They are trying to determine if their relationship behaviors are "normal," which in some sense I guess is healthy -- this is a good time for people to figure out things like, "Oh, outright violence isn't the only form of abuse. It's also not okay for my SO to degrade me and call me names or get physically intimidating when we're arguing," -- but, as you're discovering, can also lead to people thinking their "way" of being in a relationship (amount of sex or sleep cuddling preferences) is the "right" way and all other ways are weird or somehow subpar.
I've always viewed those sorts of preferences as like, "Cool, sounds like the perfect relationship for you. Glad you're happy."
I don't share my own intimate relationship preference/ arrangements, mostly bc I don't see that it's anyone's business besides my SO's. People often confide their intimate relationship preferences/ arrangements to me, and I never know how to respond/ what they're looking for, so I usually just smile and nod and make understanding/ affirming noises until they charge the subject.
Your friends seem a little competitive.. weirdly lol. Relationships are all different, they should understand that. The first comment especially is weird, I would never say that to someone 😬
FWIW by the time you get settled/comfortable in a relationship, most people can sit through more than 10 minutes of a movie without jumping each other, and I don't think most people cuddle for the entire night every single night (I'm imagining the dead arm and back pain every morning, lol). My fiance and I have been together for close to a decade, and even in the super hormonal new relationship stage we weren't THAT all over each other.
Don't worry about what your friends think is normal/"correct" in a relationship, their relationship isn't yours. Communicate with your SO and make sure your own needs are being met, and you're golden :)
This reminds me of a conversation I (F) had with two friends from high school (both male) where we were talking about sex, and me and one of the guys agreed that short sex was better/preferable for us (less than 20 minutes) and our friend started going on and on about how his sexual escapades always last 1 hour or more!
I took it more as an insecurity from that guy, whereas me and the other guy were being honest about our sex preferences/lives. Maybe your friends are insecure about their relationships and not being totally honest, because many people have pressures of being in a "perfect" relationship yet none of us are.
Don't get too close to people who are insecure like that. They just try to take you down with them.