Tag Archives: friendship

Dear Wendy: “I’m Jealous Of My Boyfriend’s Friendship With His Ex”

My boyfriend is still friends with his ex-girlfriend of a year, who also happens to be friends with all of his friends. They all hang out often and I see that they still talk over text messages and in person. I really feel uncomfortable and that it’s unfair that he’s still friends with her when he has told me it would be easier on our relationship if I didn’t talk to my ex of three years. I’ve only met this girl once and she has introduced herself to me but it doesn’t change how I feel about their friendship. I don’t know if I trust him or believe that he does not have feelings for her anymore. How can I ask him if he still loves her or tell him that it makes me feel uncomfortable without coming off like a complete psycho? — Ex Files

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Girl Talk: All My BFFs Turn Out Crazy, But I Still Want A New One

It starts early. Little girls give each other broken heart necklaces for their birthdays while boys have paintball parties. While boys are encouraged to participate in sports and group activities, us girls are pushed to more one-on-one activities like tea parties or making Barbies have sex under a blanket. Studies show that there are different friendship styles for boys and girls. In one, when middle school girls were faced with the prospect of meeting a new friend, their brains lit up in areas associated with pleasure and reward. Boy brains’ just didn’t do the same thing.

My “anecdotal evidence” from the field? Over the years, I could actually feel my brain light up when it became clear that a new friend would earn the title of “best.” I’ve learned that these relationships are just as valuable as any amorous one and that they do indeed have their own sense of romance.

For me, they also bring about a whole lot of crazy. Keep reading »

4 Essential Ways To Support A Friend Going Through A Hard Time

As the saying goes, when it rains, it pours. The last few weeks have been pretty hard for me. An immediate family member is in the hospital; while they aren’t in mortal danger, the situation is messy and as their power of attorney, I’m having to juggle my emotional stress with a legal responsibility that feels uncomfortable but is nonetheless necessary. Additionally, there have been other, uh, unpleasant developments in my personal life that have left my heart feeling incredibly bruised and disappointed. Yet the last few weeks have been made much more manageable thanks to my amazing family, friends, and coworkers, who have shown their support in just the right ways. After the jump, a 4-step plan for supporting a friend or family member who’s going through a crappy time. If you have any additional steps you want to add, share them in the comments! Keep reading »

Dear Wendy: “How Can I Support My Friend But Convince Her Not To Marry Her Boyfriend?”

My best friend “Brenda” and I are both 23. She and her boyfriend Jason have been together for about a year and a half, and have lived together for the last nine or 10 months. He’s been wanting to get married for awhile, but she keeps saying she isn’t ready. The thing is, she has said to me privately that it’s more than just not being ready. Jason has made it very clear that he wouldn’t want his wife to work, but Brenda has such a promising and demanding career and has always said to me that she’d want to work in some capacity even when she’s a mom. Jason wants to be the sole wage earner and have a stay-at-home wife, but he doesn’t even have a career direction yet. I don’t think they are too young to be married, but I do think they have two very different visions for how their lives as married people will go. Now, even while she’s saying these things and expressing these concerns about Jason, they’re planning and saving for their eventual wedding. And not the hypothetical type of planning — the actual making calls and choosing venues type of planning. I know her relationship is none of my business, but she does want to talk about it with me, so my issue is: how do I walk the line between supporting her and confirming that her doubts are significant and she should really consider them before she moves forward in the relationship? I don’t want to flat-out say, “Don’t marry him!” but I also don’t want to brush off her feelings of hesitation. — Walking the Line

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Girl Talk: I Feel Like I’m Married To My Best Friend

“I’ve been thinking…”

Oh, God. Those three words. My heart rate quickened, hoping the next set of words weren’t going to be awful.

“I want to move to live with you in D.C. I really do. It’s just … I feel like this is all happening so fast. In a few months, I could have a new job, new apartment, a new life basically, and I keep asking myself ‘Am I ready for this??’ I think I am. I’m almost completely positive that I am. But I’m trying to figure out what’s best for me AND what’s best for us, and I’m feeling a lot of pressure.”

As serious as

I’m the one who pushes the envelope a bit too far sometimes, and she’s the practical one who reins me back in. She doesn’t let me get out of hand, and I in turn force her out of her comfort zone a bit.

“What’s so funny?”

“We sound married,” I said.

She broke down in a fit of tear-inducing, breathless laughter. The truth of it was too ridiculous not to laugh about. Between gasps for air, she asked, “What’s your boyfriend going to think?!”

My best friend, K., is planning a total life-transplant to Washington, D.C. to live with me. The plan has been in the works for over six months, though we had always wanted to live together after we graduated college. She’s tired of living in the same city — and in the same house — that she’s lived in with her parents since infancy. Moving back home wasn’t exactly her first choice after graduating over a year ago, but in this economy it was practically impossible to save any money without making the move home. She’s eager to get out of the city and her parents’ home, and start a more independent life in a place with much more opportunity.

Last August, I also moved back home in order to save money. Like K., I’m ready to leave, and my parents and I have agreed on a time range for me to move out. I lived alone once and hated it, so I’m determined to have a roommate. I’d prefer not to live with a stranger, K. prefers not to live with a stranger, and K. has always planned to move to D.C., so it seems logical that we move in together. We’re looking at a deadline of anywhere between two and four months from now, which means there are a lot of details to work out in not a lot of time.

The impending move has forced us to think like an entity, like a married couple. We’re facing questions and hurdles that any committed pair would face in our situation. Where do we want to live? How much are we willing to pay? How much would we each like to save? What kind of job is K. looking for? Should she move before she finds a job to ensure she’s there before I have to sign a lease? What’s our long-term goal for the place we choose? When should she tell her current employer that she’s leaving?

Answering each question is an exercise in patience, compromise and understanding. There isn’t any, “Well, I want this so we have to do that,” or “I’m moving at this time and that’s final. Live with me if you want” … you know, the kind of passive-aggressive bitchy dialogue you might find between two female friends and future roommates. We find a way to answer each problem that faces us in a way that we can both live with and agree on, that will be mutually beneficial to each of us now and in the future. There are no ultimatums or snappy requests, because we’re committed to each other. We can’t be demanding because that’s not healthy for the relationship in the long-term.

So. Why the hell am I so committed to being with my best friend? Why is it so important that we make decisions together and sacrifice things for each other, when we aren’t a couple? We aren’t required to have a life-long dedication to each other, so why act like we do? Living with strangers isn’t that bad.

More than being best friends, K. and I are also business partners. We found out long ago, when we were roommates for three years in college, that we had strikingly similar goals for our life. Over the past two years we combined those interests and similarities and formulated a plan for an enterprise that we want to undertake one day. It has proven to be an all-consuming passion for both of us, and the fervor has only grown now that we’ve each been out in the working world for a year, at jobs that neither of us are overly thrilled to be doing. Living together isn’t a vital necessity, but it would make working toward this goal a hell of a lot easier.

I’m the one who pushes the envelope a bit too far sometimes, and she’s the practical one who reins me back in. She doesn’t let me get out of hand, and I in turn force her out of her comfort zone a bit.

The dream would flounder if one of us decided to leave or give up; we balance each other out in a way that we’re confident will prove very successful in the future.

Just like any committed couple, we’re looking at the bigger picture. Yes, asking K. to leave her job and relocate her life so that we can make more headway on our plan isn’t easy. But we made a promise to turn this goal into a reality years ago. So in sickness and in health, we’re sticking to that vow.

Rachel writes a weekly relationship column for the up-and-coming pop culture source The Morton Report. Follow her on Twitter.

Photo: Digital Vision/Thinkstock

Have You Ever Fought With Friends Over Clothes?

I was at a flea market this weekend with a friend, relishing in my new discovery that yes, despite the fact that I am only five-feet tall, I can actually wear three-quarter-length skirts as long as I wear heels, when I happened upon the perfect new skirt. The only trouble? My friend Sarah thought it was the perfect new skirt, too — for her. At first, her praise of the brightly-colored button-down vintage skirt (priced at a reasonable $20) was neutral. Until she tried the skirt on, too, and realized it fit her (at a good eight inches taller than me) just as well as me. “Wellllll, you know, that skirt is exactly what I’ve been looking for…” she said, her voice trailing off. Keep reading »

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