Category Archives: Relationships

Sassy sophisticated relationship advice for real women everywhere: dating advice, love advice, and more!

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 Pressured To Get Married Or Break Up

She found me next to the growing pile of crock pots and kitchen sets. I was seated near the bride, half praising her newest pair of plush monogrammed bath towels, half wondering if a fourth glass of champagne would be overdoing it.

She perched on a wing chair and turned to me. “So. How are you and the boyfriend doing?” Her eyebrows were arched and her lips pursed expectantly, as if she knew I must have a juicy tidbit to share.

“We’re doing well,” I said vaguely, determined not to let this friend-of-a-friend pry into my personal life.

“You guys have been together a couple years now, right? Out of school for one? When are you going to get The Ring?” She giggled and swatted my leg as if to say, “We’re so bad!” Clearly, she was determined, too. Keep reading »

The 5 Best Pieces Of Advice My Dad Ever Gave Me

This coming Sunday is Father’s Day. I’ll be honest; Father’s Day has been varying degrees of difficult for me over the last 10 years. In my adulthood, my dad and I (that’s us on the left — bowl cut circle 1984!) have had a tough, up-and-down relationship for a variety of reasons (that I won’t get into because I have a therapist I pay to listen to such things!). In the last eight months, however, we’ve managed to develop the most genuine, sincere, and respectful relationship we’ve had in years. How? I think there are two big reasons: 1) we’ve forgiven each other for things that happened in the past and 2) we haven’t tried to recreate the relationship we had before, instead focusing on getting to know each other as people now. It’s far from perfect and I still miss the relationship we used to have, but it has been a relief to let go of the past and to focus on the future.

With that in mind, in honor of Father’s Day, I decided to share the top five pieces of advice my dad has given me over the years. (He has actually given me a lot more than five, but much of it would probably rub the general population the wrong way — he is a Communist-leaning lefty with a taste for psychedelics, after all.) Share your favorite bit of fatherly advice in the comments. Keep reading »

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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

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