Tag Archives: advice column

Make It Stop: “My (Taken) Guy Friend Keeps Hinting We Should Hook Up”

Make It Stop: "My (Taken) Guy Friend Keeps Hinting We Should Hook Up"

I’ve gotten myself into a miserable situation with a good friend, who I’ll call Dave. We’ve known each other since we were kids and as we’ve gotten older, we’ve become close. I’ve always felt there was something more to us, but was never really sure, so I chalked it up to being bored with the lack of romance in my life. About a year ago, Dave made it obvious that he felt the same. The fact that we had been drinking and that he was recently single made me think that it wasn’t the best idea at the time. I explained that if our hookup wasn’t going to be anything substantial, it wasn’t worth risking our friendship over and he (glumly) agreed. The only problem is, he hasn’t dropped the idea. He’s now in a serious relationship but he still brings the idea of “us” up from time to time and at this point I have no idea what to do. I care about him a lot, more than I’ve been able to admit to anyone because I’m terrified that it could lead to something ending terribly. My girlfriends have told me that this situation is a waste of time, that if he really wanted to be with me he would and I wouldn’t be in this limbo and that I need to move on. They also say that if he talks to me like this while he’s in a relationship, is he even trustworthy? While my head thinks they could be right, my heart is torn. I worry that they’re right, but the thought of not being close with him anymore is devastating. How do I make this stop?

You talk a lot about your fears, but, honey, your fears are already happening.

You said you’re afraid of risking the friendship. Once mutual attraction was openly discussed, the friendship was compromised. You said you’re afraid of it ending terribly. Well, it doesn’t sound like it’s going that great right now, otherwise you wouldn’t have written me. Lastly, you said you’re afraid of not being close to him. It sounds like there’s already heavy distrust and mixed signals flying around left and right. Welcome to your nightmare! Keep reading »

Make It Stop: “I’m Broke & Can’t Afford To Go Out With My Friends”

Make It Stop: "I'm Broke & Can't Afford To Go Out With My Friends"

As a result of chronic underemployment, I’m poorer than most of my friends. The problem is that they always invite me to go to expensive restaurants and happy hours at trendy spots. Just one of those happy hour hangouts costs as much I’d spend on grocery shopping for the week. It’s nice that they want to include me in their plans, but it makes me feel horrible to stress over how much everything costs when I’m out with them. If I come clean that I can’t afford to go, my fear is that they’ll stop inviting me out altogether, which would solve my problem, but it would also suck to have no friends. I already feel like a broke loser, I don’t want to be a broke, friendless loser too. How do I make this better so it doesn’t feel like I’m choosing between my friends and my wallet?

I’m certain lots of people are in your shoes. Except instead of underemployment, they’re in grad school, they’re paying off students loans, they’re saving for a wedding or a house, they just lost a job or just had a kid. Whatever the case, plenty of people can’t afford to toss their hard-earned cash at exotic drinks that end in -tini. Keep reading »

Make It Stop: “I Can’t Stop Being Jealous Of My Boyfriend’s Ex”

Make It Stop: "I Can't Stop Being Jealous Of My Boyfriend's Ex"

My boyfriend, Sven (not his real name), and I have been together for about seven months. And while he’s incredible, there’s just one thing that makes me uncomfortable. My BF is very close with his ex-girlfriend Veronica (not her real name either). They hang out with each other one-on-one, share a circle of friends and common interests, they dated through college and even lived together.

I like this girl, and I want to be capable of forming a friendship with her, for both my boyfriend’s happiness and my own peace of mind. But every time I am put in a social situation with her, I freeze up, internally panic, and start comparing myself to her. Veronica is pretty, funny, and I can totally envision her and my boyfriend as having been/being a couple. I think she picks up on this vibe, which I find completely mortifying. Keep reading »

Make It Stop: “My Sister’s Boyfriend Moved In With Us And It’s Ruining Our Relationship”

Make It Stop: "My Sister's Boyfriend Moved In With Us And It's Ruining Our Relationship"
I read Jessica Wakeman’s piece, “True Story: Married…With A Roommate,” and I totally related to it. Except in my case, I’m the roommate who lives with a couple and it’s not my best friend who’s shacking up with a dude, it’s my younger sister letting her deadbeat boyfriend stay at the apartment we share. While Jessica talked with regret about how the strain of the living situation ended their friendship, I don’t want the same fate with my sister, who I’ll call Polly. She’s been dating Derek for eight months, six of which he’s been at our place. He’s in a band so he should be on tour a good portion of the year, but the band is recording so he’s been crashing with us non-stop. He’s a nice guy, I guess, but unlike Jessica’s husband, he doesn’t pay rent, doesn’t contribute to the bills, and is always here. Every time I ask Polly when Derek’s planning on leaving she says she doesn’t know, but it should be soon. I’m at my limit with this guy! I want him gone, but I’m afraid if I put my foot down and kick him out it will create a rift with my sister which sucks because our relationship is already strained due to this. How do I make Derek and his freeloading ass stop while at the same time repairing my relationship with my sister?

Yes, Polly’s being immature by letting this situation drag on, but don’t use it as an excuse to lose your cool. It sucks that he’s crashing at your place without contributing, but it’s not like he’s putting you in any danger or causing you harm. He’s just an unpleasant inconvenience. Most likely he’s puttering around the joint in socks with holes in the toes, checking Instagram on his old-ass iPhone with a cracked screen and trying to stream “The Wire” on a shitty laptop using his parents’ HBOGo account. Sure every stray hair of his in the bathroom shower makes you want to strangle him with his unwashed skinny jeans, but try to resist for now. Keep reading »

Make It Stop: “My Twin Brother & I Took Separate Paths In Life — But He Still Resents Me For It”

Make It Stop is a weekly column in which Anna Goldfarb — the blogger behind Shmitten Kitten and Shlooby Kitten — tells you what’s up. Want a fresh take on a stinky dilemma? Email anna@shmittenkitten.com with the subject “Make It Stop.” She’ll make it all better, or at least make you laugh. Girl Scout’s honor.

I have a twin brother and I’ve always been the “adventurous” twin. I went to college several states away while my twin, for a number of reasons, commuted from home. After I graduated, I got a job several states away as well. While I have made several disparaging comments about my twin’s life choices in the past, I’ve tried to mend fences to no avail. We don’t talk regularly anymore. Every time I come home for the holidays, my twin takes something innocuous I say and twists it, going into a screaming fit about how I should go back to wherever I live and never come back. Needless to say, it makes coming home uncomfortable and I don’t want to anymore. My parents usually see that he is overreacting but don’t seem able to stop it either. Do you have suggestions to help mend our fights or make them stop?

Keep reading »

Make It Stop: “My Dude Is Having A Rough Time And I Want To Encourage Him — But Without Sounding Like His Mommy”

Make It Stop: "My Dude Is Having A Rough Time And I Want To Encourage Him -- But Without Sounding Like His Mommy"

The dude in my life is going through a rough time — career-wise, financially, etc. — and I think it’s starting to impact his sense of, like, manliness. I’m a super nurturing person and I really want to encourage him to keep at it and basically tell him I’m proud of him, but I know sometimes I can come off as a bit … maternal, and that probably won’t help matters with his macho dude provider issues. Do you have any suggestions for how to tell or show someone you’re proud of them without actually SAYING that?

Sometimes our family, friends, and significant others need a self-esteem boost every now and then. I understand your apprehension flat out tell him that you’re proud of him. It might come off as hollow. In his mind, he might spin it out to think, “What’s there to be proud of? I’m a big loser,” and it might have the unintended affect of making him feel worse about things when all you were trying to do was pump him up. Keep reading »

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