“Shortcuts” is a new feature of “Dear Wendy” in which I answer readers’ letters in two sentences or less because sometimes the answer to a person’s question is so obvious and the need to hear it so great, being as clear and frank as possible is simply the best way to go. Here we go with round three …
I’ve had a lot of unfortunate things happen to me lately (my dad got sentenced to three years in prison, I’ve almost lost my job twice, my apartment had an insect infestation, etc.) and I always run to my boyfriend to cheer me up. I know he’s not my therapist, and I’m not expecting him to “solve” my problems or even give advice — I just want him to be around to spend time with me and make me feel better when these things make me sad. However, in my times of need, he tends to push me away and hang out with his friends because he says that there’s “nothing he can do to make me feel better” and he usually just tells me to take a shower and go to sleep. Am I being too clingy? Is it too much to ask to want my boyfriend to comfort me when I’m having a rough day? Or should I suck it up and leave him be? — Unsatisfied
The more appropriate option here is to suck it up and leave him, period. Then focus on getting your life back on track without the distraction of an immature, emotionally unavailable boyfriend dragging you down.
I’m a college student and my best friend goes to college in another state. We’re very close and talk all the time, but lately (about the last month or so) all she can talk about is how badly she wants a boyfriend and how she’s so alone and that no guys are interested in her. This has been a topic since we started college but now its all she can talk about. I’m getting sick of telling her over and over again that she’s beautiful and guys like her (using the list of guys [who] have tried to date her as proof). How can I get her to understand that having a boyfriend is not the end all and be all of everything? — Annoyed Friend
Direct her to the letter above.
My best friend, let’s call her Jane, really liked and was sleeping with another friend of mine, let’s call him John, for about two years. During this time, John never wanted to be with Jane in any way other than friends with occasional benefits, and always made it a point to tell her this. He broke her heart many times and they eventually became just friends, sans the benefits. Over a year ago, John did a study abroad through school and met a girl, let’s call her Mary, who eventually became his girlfriend. When John and Mary (who lives here) came back home, my boyfriend at the time and I would do things with the two of them. This did not make Jane happy. Jane (keep in mind, she is single) would tell me I was wrong and I was a terrible friend to do that to her. John eventually moved out East and I stopped talking to Mary per Jane’s request (or demand, rather). John and Mary have since broken up and I haven’t talked to or seen Mary in over six months. Well, Mary and I ended up talking the other day via text and decided to have dinner to catch up. As we’re having dinner, guess who shows up to the same place — Jane. Even though it’s been six months since I’ve seen Mary, John and Mary aren’t together, and it was just dinner, Jane is angry and says she “now knows what I’m capable of.” Is it wrong for me to be friends, or just have the occasional dinner with Mary? Should I just be friends with Jane and not Mary? Should I try to make Jane understand that I’m not ‘cheating on her’ and it’s an innocent friendship? Please help — my friendships are in danger! — In the Middle
While I can’t understand why you’d want to remain friends with someone who dictates who you can and cannot have dinner with, if you’ve got your heart set on keeping Jane — and Mary — in your life, why not try facilitating a friendship between the two of them? Invite them both out for dinner/brunch/happy hour, sprinkle a little friendship fairy dust (i.e., buy a round or two) and sit back and see what happens.
*Do you have a relationship/dating question I can help with? Send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org.