Thursday, July 21, 2005

When writing a letter to old friends...

Does one mention developments (e.g. I have moved into a lovely flat, with my boyfriend, who I'm not married to) in one's life that said old friends might disapprove off?

Is hiding acting ashamed (which I am not), or is it tactful (why risk potentially offending someone)?


Dilemmas :S.


ash said...

they shouldn't be offended by your life choices even if they wouldn't make them themselves. that's just silly.

david said...

The question is how did you,
yourself, come to the conclusion
that this was the ethical and
right thing to do? If you had
initial hinderance about it,
and you tell me that you prayed on
it and concluded that your
commitment and your ethics are
better off for it, then I take you
at your word. Friends that fail
to understand or would judge
that poorly, once articulated,
don't have your interests at heart.

If you, having reached obvious
clearness, are resolved in the
matter rather than unsure, then
I think you will be able to
express that.

Amanda said...

I know they shouldn't be offended, but they often are. I just had a big e-mail fest with my mom today about the way people can take disagreement as an indirect rejection. I think about this question all the time. I tend to treat a lot of these issues on a need-to-know basis. Doesn't resolve much, though. Good luck, CA, and tell me if you muddle through it into any good ideas

Lorcan said...

Genie and I had to be vague about our married status years back in Ireland when things were... well, less... cosmopolitan? We felt it was more polite. We had a friend tell us that she had droped in on a couple and called the women Mrs. such and such... the woman said, "Oh, we're not married!" Our friend said, "I didn't know what to say! It is there own business, but I can't see my self going back there again!"
Now 30 years latter living in New York, it is hard to remember having had to do that to fit in and not offend people, there are parts of the world where that problem is just that, a problem. I don't know what to tell you, other than, if you have to... break it to them slowly? I don't know. Parts of Ireland we lived in, are so different now, people live together...
It is one of those things you have to find your own way on... but Amanda is right, saying little on it, eventualy it wont be a problem, eh?

All the best

Lora said...

I'd say you are just omiting it from the discussion to avoid possible confrontation or akwardness. However, if they are good friends it might be better to face this and tell them anyway. They will likely be more understanding then you think and if they aren't that's honestly not your issue it's theirs.

Contemplative Activist said...

If I didn't mention it, I would feel as though I was hiding it. Moving in with my partner has been one of the biggest decisions I've made this year and I'm really happy about it.

I've decided to mention it in passing. Not like, 'Oh and I have to tell you, please sit down and don't have kittens about it puh-lease'. Just, yeah, got a nice flat, living with my boyfriend, all wonderful, if you're ever in this part of the world pop in for a visit.

And then move swiftly on to another area of conversation.

The friends are church leaders who I was very close to back in the day. We got on well and we have kept in touch, writing about once a year or so. I'd like to continue a friendship with them, but if that's to happen, its going to have to be on an honest and equal footing - I feel, anyway.

So here goes.... :)

To be honest, thus far, I've been surprised at how positive people have been. My mum was overjoyed, my dad said, 'WHAT??? Oh, ok, very nice.' (I think he was surprised, not imagining that I'd have moved in with someone I wasn't married too.) And thus far people who haven't disapproved have just given me "the look" and neglected to mention it again. Ho ho ho.

The best reaction so far was one of his friends - who he used to live with when he was a leader in the Christian Union (he's never ever going to live that down - mwha ha ha ha). We were in the pub and he asked where we were living, so we told him. When partner dude slipped off to the toilet, his friend looked at me and said, 'Separate rooms then?' I laughed so much...