When it comes to romantic relationships, I’ve been very, very lucky. My boyfriend and I met when we were young and have been together for almost 10 years. Besides one breakup/get back together cycle in college (I told him I needed to go “sow my wild oats” but just spent six months crying and writing free verse poetry in my dorm room instead), our relationship has included minimal drama. Have we been through our fair share of relationship tests? Of course, but we’ve always treated each other with love and respect.
My friendship history, on the other hand, has been chock full of drama. I’ve had more than my fair share of toxic friendships, conflicts, and friend breakups. In fact, sometimes I feel like my tumultuous experiences with friends have been an inverse reaction to my blissfully boring romantic life. Maybe it’s the universe evening things out (this girl has a sweet, steady boyfriend, let’s make sure she has to deal with some craaaaazy friends!), or maybe I just have a certain amount of fucked up relationship energy that needs to go somewhere, and since I’ve been happily paired up for so long, my friendships became the outlet. Keep reading »
Some human connections are deep, complex, and endlessly rewarding. And then some fall at the other end of the spectrum: the people in our lives who we find irritating, boring, or abrasive — the stoner we’re on a date with, the annoying coworker who snort-laughs, the great uncle who insists Obama was born in Kenya. However, there’s a catch to these take ‘em or leave ‘em people in our lives — one small detail can be enough to tip the scales from irritation to love. Discovering that random redeeming quality is all it takes to go from “I wouldn’t be sad if I never saw you again” to “Dude, I just realized I am obsessed with you.” These epiphanies can come in the form of an unexpected talent, an idiosyncrasy, or a wild band camp story. Here are a few examples of qualities that can transform a person… Keep reading »
I love my friends, really. But there are times when, despite my best efforts, I cannot get it together to hang out. I know you’ve been there. Maybe it’s because the weather is crappy, or you’re just feeling off. Or maybe it’s because — and let’s get real honest about this — there’s a marathon of “America’s Next Top Model” on the Oxygen Network, and it’s the Crazy Lisa season. You love Crazy Lisa!
“In terms of like, instant relief, canceling plans is like heroin.” said comedian John Mulaney, and I can kind of see what he means. It’s so nice to have a clean, unplanned afternoon, a large swathe of time where you can do whatever the hell you want. And sometimes, the pressure to socialize — especially for us introverts — can feel overwhelming. Whatever the case, there are ways to bail, and there are things you should avoid doing if you don’t want your friends to hate you/think you’re an incorrigible flake.
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Let’s face it: friendships are a lot like romantic relationships. They can be fun, exciting and sometimes they can be hurtful or even annoying. And just like our love relationships, they don’t always work out. We know we should end romantic partnerships when they’ve run their course, but it can be harder when it comes to a dead-end friendship. When it becomes increasingly obvious that a friendship is no longer working for you, how do you break up with your best friend? Read more at Your Tango…
I’ve had some sucky breakups in my day. The guy who dumped me after we had sex. The guy I had been living with. But no breakup has hurt for so long afterward as the friendship ending between me and my best friend, James*. James and I became close in 8th grade and stayed thick as thieves through high school, college, and our first few years living on our own in New York City, when we never lived more than walking distance from each other’s apartments. James was more than a friend; he was family. When our friendship ended, I mourned the loss as if he were a brother. He had been more like a brother to me than my own brother over the years.
Now he’s engaged to his longtime girlfriend. And I found out about it over Facebook. Keep reading »