Tag Archives: friendship

Girl Talk: I Saw Sexual Tension That Wasn’t There

You know that one guy friend of yours who’s always been something of a question in the back of your mind? The one who finishes your sentences and is there for you whenever you need him, but whom you’ve never actually gotten naked with? You know the one – he’s the prime candidate for your “If we’re not married by the time we’re 45” pact.

I have one of those guys in my life, and recently, after evaluating what it was that I’m really looking for in a relationship and thinking it might be him, I decided to take the leap. I vowed to be brave and bold and all mature-like and actually address aloud what had been unsaid for all this time.

So, I did exactly that. And basically, this happened. To my complete and utter surprise, he explained that I’d totally misread his signals; that, in fact, he hadn’t thought of me in that way for a very long time.

Where, in my interpretation of things, had I gone so utterly wrong? Keep reading »

How To Deal With Fair-Weather Friends

If you’re lucky, you have an awesome group of girlfriends. Our friends keep us sane and happy … most of the time. What about the friends who aren’t always true blue? The fair-weather friend is in your address book, but she doesn’t always make it to your planner. You count her as one of your closest buddies, but she has let you down more times than you can count. Here’s how to deal with a friend who isn’t treating you the way you deserve to be treated. Keep reading »

Dear Wendy: “I’m Commitment-Phobic In Friendships”

I’m sure you get lots of letters about people who are afraid of commitment in relationships, but I have a different problem: I think I’m afraid of commitment in friendships. I’m a college student and don’t typically have any problem meeting new people; I have a full course load, I’m involved with a couple campus groups, I even live in a sorority house. I never have trouble finding someone to share dinner with, a drink, watch a movie, or whatever, but I don’t feel close enough to any of these people to ask them for advice on personal issues or share problems with them. In fact, I doubt I’ll even talk to any of my “friends” after graduation, despite the fact that college is supposed to be where you make lifelong friends. I wasn’t always like this; I had very close friends in high school (we’ve grown apart now but still keep in touch), and even now I have a boyfriend whom I don’t have any commitment issues with. I’m not sure where or how this situation developed, but I feel increasingly isolated and lonely without any best friends in my life. What can I do to learn to open up and be closer to people? — Disconnected

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Dear Wendy: “Can I Dump A Guy And Still Keep In Touch With His Family?”

I have been in a relationship with a great guy for almost two years now, in a city that’s about 1000 miles from where I grew up. I’ve recently become unhappy about living here in the big city (which I really can’t afford) and have thought long and hard about moving back closer to my parents. I have also been thinking lately that, while I’m content in my relationship, I really don’t think I would be happy for the rest of my life with this guy. He’s just not “the one.” I know I have to be honest with him, and that it has to happen soon because it’s not fair that I think these things without telling him. He’s just such a good guy and we recently got back from a great weekend with his family; my question is: Is it possible to end this relationship without losing touch with this guy and his family? If I broke things off and moved away, is there any chance of everyone not hating me? — Needs a Change

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9 Tips For Befriending A Brit

Between the BP oil spill and the U.S. and U.K. facing off during the World Cup, the “special relationship” across the pond has gotten seriously strained in the past few weeks. This is unfortunate considering that—as I learned from spending a decade in London—creating any relationship with a Brit is not an easy task. As a 32-year-old comic in England, I suffered for years from “cultural autism,” not understanding the bulk of people’s actions and words. Or at least what they meant in “English.” I was lost in a morass of professional, social and romantic rules, constantly making shameful mistakes. But I eventually decoded the etiquette of the glorious Brits by researching their anthropology and, uh, marrying one. Here are my hard-culled tips to U.S. travelers who set off to the U.K., a land where not everyone is an American-loving Hugh Grant or Hugh Laurie. (Although everyone is called Hugh).
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Dear Wendy: “Am I An Awful Friend?”

I just recently graduated from university and am on the job hunt, as are a lot of my friends. One friend and I come from similar educational backgrounds, but vary in different life and work experiences. She recently alerted me to an amazing job opportunity that she believes she’s qualified for. I agree that she definitely meets the minimum qualifications but the thing is, so do I! And my work experience would really set me apart from her, in the positive. Being aware of this, I asked my friend if she would be angry if I applied for the job as well. She initially said ‘yes,’ due to the fact that I have more experience. I think I’m going to apply anyway, but I am wondering – does this make me a bad friend? Hypothetically, if I do receive the job, I think it would put stress on our relationship (which I feel is unfair) because that’s the kind of thing my friend causes drama over. She often tries to one up me or make her “situations” the focus of attention. I feel like all we ever discuss is her life, her relationships, and the like. I do love her though and don’t want to lose her as a friend, but in this economy, a job’s a job. Am I making a mountain out of a molehill? Obviously neither of us have been hired yet, but chances are one of us could definitely be. — Piece of Work

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Dear Wendy: “If I Kick Out My Roommate, I Might Lose Friends”

I bought a house last summer and decided to ask a friend, whom I’d lived with before, to be my roommate once again. While it wasn’t ideal the first time around, as she is quite lazy and doesn’t have the best hygiene, I needed help on the financial front and felt I knew what to expect. The trouble is, she is now even lazier, doesn’t respect my things (almost everything in the house is mine), has ruined expensive items without offering to replace them, and the hygiene front is getting terribly worse. I’m what people would call a b****; I usually say what’s on my mind and I don’t think before I speak, but this past year has been difficult as I’m afraid my normal “honesty” would send my antidepressant pill-popping roommate rocking in the fetal position in a corner. By the time I think of a nice way to tell her what needs to change, the problem feels out of date and inappropriate to talk about. I can very well kick her out now, as the finances are somewhat better, but the problem is we have the same circle of friends, and if I get rid of her, I risk losing quite a few of them. I feel like many of my problems with my roommate should have been voiced much earlier, but I avoided them hoping they would resolve on their own. Plus, I needed the monthly rent. — Fed Up

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Dear Wendy: “How Can I Dump My Friend Nicely?”

It’s time again for “Shortcuts,” wherein I answer readers’ letters in two sentences or less. 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. Today we discuss ending dysfunctional friendships, dealing with unwanted advances, and making the first move. Keep reading »

Girl Talk: Can A Friendship Work If One Of You Is Lagging Behind?

Of course I’m not actually “behind.” It’s not as though life’s milestones have point values assigned to them. But, within one of my closest friendships, it had started to feel that way.

I’m 28 years old, I live in New York City, and I’m single, which might read entirely commonplace except that if we were to get technical, I’d tell you that I haven’t been in a serious relationship in about four years. (Maybe more, depending on just how technical we’re getting.)

My long-term single-dom doesn’t bother me.

I’ve never lived with a boyfriend; I have no idea what that’s like. So when my friend would bring up the intricacies and complications that arise from cohabiting, I’d be hyper-aware of my blank expression and lack of insight.

There are levels to said lagging. If you’re in a relationship, you’re only a step ahead of me, and that’s a head start I can handle. It’s when cohabitation comes in to play that I start to feel like you’re lapping me, and I take that figurative distance between us and make it literal, the way I did with my best friend this past year.

Believe me, when my best girl and her boyfriend first got together, distance wasn’t at all present, despite us even living in different states at the time. Like many best friend duos, she and I were known to spend hours on the phone recounting trivial details of an impossible crush or first date, so when she told me she had a boyfriend, and that he was wonderful, I couldn’t have been happier for her. It’s important to note that during their first year of dating, I was still completely and totally single, and I didn’t find my friend’s serious relationship to be wedge-driving in the least.

I’ve never lived with a boyfriend; I have no idea what that’s like. So when my friend would bring up the intricacies and complications that arise from cohabiting, I’d be hyper-aware of my blank expression and lack of insight.

It’s not that I wasn’t interested in what she was saying; it was that I was so completely unable to relate, because I’m so far away from having that. When I would offer my input, I was painfully aware of how phony I sounded. Ask me about football, ask me about shacking up with a significant other; I’ve got nothing.

It happened gradually. I started feeling slightly embarrassed, telling her about my trivial-seeming relationships — in comparison with hers, I was in the minor leagues!.

Soon, going to her boyfriend-shared apartment felt like visiting another world I’d never live in. It got to the point where eating dinner at their adorably set table made me wonder if she resented having to eat on the couch while at mine. Eventually, she and I were barely speaking. I’m lucky, because a few months later, I received a note from her in the mail. It said simply that she missed our friendship, and I recognized immediately that I did too, and had for so long.

When we got to talking, I explained that I’d been feeling like somewhat of a failure in comparison to her and her cohabiting, all-grown-up self. She listened, and said she understood how I’d feel that way, but assured me that she didn’t see my life happenings as any less significant than hers. She helped me remember that just because you and your friends may start out in similar life stages, this doesn’t mean that you’ll forever move at the same pace towards life’s main markers.

Last weekend, during a sleepover at this same friend’s Brooklyn apartment that she shares with her boyfriend (he was out of town for the night), I felt myself slowing down a story I was telling her about a recent guy’s lack of potential. I recognized that same old feeling creeping up, like what I was concerned with was trivial compared to the relationship intricacies she deals with on a daily basis. But as I slowed my speaking cadence, she took the opportunity to ask me a follow-up question, and then another, and I was reassured that while we might not be able to exactly relate to each other on every issue, we could still certainly spend hours talking. And let me tell you, I slept very, very well — on my friend and her boyfriend’s shared couch — that night.

Photo: iStockphoto

Dear Wendy: “My Boyfriend’s Friends Hate Me”

My boyfriend’s friends hate me! I went out of my way to be nice to them, enjoy the things they enjoy, and participate in their weekend activities, but they still hate me.They don’t want me around, they say some pretty nasty things behind my back (and to my face), and they make it very clear that they don’t want me dating my guy (we’ve been dating for one year). I’m perfectly fine not going to the bar or going to play pool with them; I have my own friends, but even with me not around this is taking a toll on my boyfriend’s relationship with them. Not only that, but it’s taking a toll on our relationship as well. I don’t care if they like me, but my boyfriend cares if they like him. What would be best in a situation like this? Ignore it and hope it will go away, or try to talk it out? I should add that this isn’t the most mature or rational group of people. — Under Friendly Fire

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