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You're getting hitched. She's not. It doesn't have to mean that your friendship will change in dramatic ways, but be prepared for some bumps in the road, in particular, these four tricky areas to navigate:
1. She may resent what's in your future: It's inevitable after marriage to talk families and kids, and your closest gal pals will likely bring up the elephant in the room. If you have an onset case of baby fever, don't be surprised if your single girlfriends are a little intimidated or taken aback by your interest in all things babies. Chances are, they still see you as one of them, not someone soon to be sporting a baby bump, so the idea of you transitioning from single girl in the city to mother might be hard for them to relate to right now. Solution: Give them time to get used to the idea and to understand that this is a new part of your journey.
2. She may feel like the third wheel: Maybe the two of you used to watch Monday night football together at your favorite sports bar every week, and now your new husband wants to get in on the routine. Chances are, your best girlfriend will feel a tinge of awkwardness. She may cut out earlier than usual or make a comment about not having a date and how she's intruding on yours. This has little to do with the two of you and everything to do with her getting used to the idea that you now come with a plus one. Most friends weather this stage well, but some have a harder time getting past the old dynamic you shared before the wedding. Solution: Tell her how much you love all of your old traditions and how you value her continuing them, even if they now, occasionally, include your new husband.
3. You may feel more like nesting: It's Saturday night, and you used to go out with the girls and hit all of your favorite places. Now that you're married? Well, staying in with takeout, a bottle of wine, and your husband sounds so much more appealing. After the wedding, you're likely to go into nesting mode, which could irritate your girlfriends who may not understand why you'd rather stay home in your PJs. Solution: Carve out at least one Saturday night a month for a quality girls' night out.
4. Your friendship portfolio will change: It happens almost automatically. After you get married, you gravitate toward married people. You'll likely find that your list of couple friends begins to grow, and this could rub your single girlfriends the wrong way (especially if they weren't invited to your last dinner party). Solution: Mingle! When you entertain, it doesn't have to be couples-only. Invite your single pals so they feel included rather than punished for not having a significant other.