Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

Adult Child Has Forgiven Dad, Thinks Mom Should, Too

DEAR HARRIETTE: My friends don’t seem to be happy for me about my engagement. I can’t imagine why. My fiance is a really great guy. He’s nice to my friends and shows them nothing but love whenever they’re around. We got engaged on Valentine’s Day, and the proposal was a total surprise. When I told them about it, their reactions weren’t at all what I expected. They immediately had questions and concerns and started asking why they weren’t invited to the surprise proposal. It was just the two of us! No one was invited. What do you think could be making them act this way? -- Surprise Engagement

DEAR SURPRISE ENGAGEMENT: Sometimes friends feel threatened when one member of the group gets serious about a relationship, because the friend dynamics often change. You probably will have less time to spend with them, because very naturally you are devoting more time to your fiance. You cannot promise that this won’t happen, by the way, because it probably will. What you can do is assure them that you love them and express that it is important to you that they get to know him. Don’t dwell on their comments about not being invited to the engagement.

Sit down with your friends. Remind them of how close you have been for so long. Tell them that while your life is changing, your love for them is not. Ask them why they seem to be so upset. Listen to see if they have any legitimate concerns. Then invite them to be happy for you.

(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)