Hey Dr. Reality Steve,
Getting this one in early! I know every week you’re short and I was chatting with my sister about this and I thought, why not help Dr. Steve out and bump up the numbers, while also getting great impartial advice.
Random question before I start – since you never keep emails, you probably don’t know when the same people email you multiple times unless they reference previous emails, right? Just curious. That’s correct.
So, I have a “best friend” of mine. We’ve had a rocky past (before we were best friends), but bottom line is we’ve been quite close since the beginning of high school, so about 10 years now. There are obviously things she does that annoy me, but overall she has been a supportive friend throughout high school and university, getting me through break ups, talking into the night with me, laughing until we cry etc.
However, I’ve noticed recently that we are both growing at very different paces. Bringing it back to one of your reader emails, I would classify her as someone with high IQ but low EQ. She doesn’t really have much common sense when it comes to life.
She has never dated anyone (not even a first date) and doesn’t have much insight on serious relationships, but I’ve been in a serious relationship for almost 4 years, so when I look for advice, I find she has very immature views on how things should be. She ends up mostly asking me questions about my relationship because she has no idea what to expect in a relationship. I also feel awkward telling her about how happy I am because she’s been single for 20-some years so it just creates an odd atmosphere when we hang out.
I’ve also been working a “grown-up” job for almost 3 years, but she just got her first job a few months ago. My views on life are more mature and “settling-down” oriented, whereas she is still in a “no ties, free flowing” mindset. Growing up, when we hung out, we had fun together because we could goof off but now I find our conversations die out, or we have very opposite views on something and it gets awkward.
I’ve been messaging her occasionally on Facebook just to check in with her, because I do that with all my friends. I realized last-minute that I was going to be in her area of the city and messaged her on Friday to ask if she would be free Saturday for lunch. She replied that she isn’t in town on weekends, only weekdays. I responded it was fine and that hopefully we could meet up soon. She responded with “Yeah, next time give me more notice, lol” which was definitely the first thing that put me off…Then, I asked where she goes on weekends. She replied that she has spent the last 3 weekends in MY part of the city, but never told me. (We live about 1 hour apart). That kind of sealed the deal for me in terms of not wanting anything to do with her anymore. She chirped me for getting in touch last minute but hasn’t tried to reach out to me for 3 weekends in a row? At least I tried..
So these recent events, and just the general trend of our relationship recently, has led me to want to cut her off. Not necessarily the “delete from facebook” type cutting off, but just..not making any efforts to talk to her, not trying to hang out. Do you think that’s reasonable? Or am I overreacting to what she thinks is a joke?
Once I decide to stop putting effort into a friendship, I wouldn’t consider that person close to me anymore…is that dramatic for what has been a generally good friendship? Should I keep trying to make it work? I’m really turned off from asking her to hang out ever again or giving her important life updates because of her attitude towards me.
This got a lot longer than I expected. Thanks for any advice Steve!
Comment: My suggestion would be to lay low and not say anything to her for a while. See if she ever is the one to contact you first or arrange plans with you. If she isn’t, then I think you have your answer. Granted, maybe she doesn’t do that because she realizes you’re in a different place than her. You definitely have a different life than her, maybe she sees that, so it’s not something to take offense to. People just go grow apart because their lives become different. Or it could be a jealousy thing.
Whatever the case, let her make the first move. If she doesn’t make the first move, or initiate trying to meet up, then that speaks volumes. But if she is someone you’ve been close to for a while, and you don’t want to just sh** can a friend of 10 years like that, then I would have a talk with her and explain what bothers you. That can’t hurt. Maybe she’ll be honest, maybe she won’t, but at least she’ll know how you feel. Then she can make her decision from there to how she values your friendship. Put the ball in her court if you’re tired of being frustrated. I get the sense that she sees the difference between you two and that’s why she’s become distant.
Love your site, and love that you poke fun at this ‘reality show’. My friends make fun of me for watching but I always say it makes me feel better about my own life because at least I’m not doing dumb crap like mounting men in a bounce castle on public television.
Anyways, I have a situation I need some advice on. About a month ago, I was hanging out with a friend of mine and his college buddies and one of the guys who I hadn’t met before (we’ll call him Sam) was pretty cute so of course thanks to my friend beer I started getting a little flirty. Throughout the course of the night, Sam and I discovered that we actually knew who each other were because he was the high school ex-boyfriend of one of my sorority sisters – my little and one of my best friends. I knew she had dated Sam but they broke up very soon after we became friends in college so I had never met him, only heard of him. I’m guessing you know where this is headed, but after more drinking that night we ended up hooking up.
Since then, Sam and I have been texting back and forth and to be honest I really enjoy talking to him and would like to see where this goes and I’m getting that same vibe from him. My girlfriend who previously dated Sam lives in California now and the break-up was about 7 years ago. She and I keep in touch, but obviously not as well as my in-town friends. I mentioned to her after that night that I had met him (nothing else though) and she was super nonchalant about it, replying back with something like ‘Oh, interesting’ and moving on to talking about planning my next trip to see her out there. Sam also admitted that they don’t keep in touch at all except to poke fun at each other when their college teams are playing each other.
How do I move forward with this interesting triangle of sorts? I don’t want her to feel like I’m harboring secrets by dating him without telling her (it’ll come up eventually but I always wait until a few dates in to tell even my best friends about guys), but I also feel awkward asking ‘Yo, that guy you dated 7 years ago, is it cool if I pursue him romantically?’. I honestly don’t think she would care with it being so long ago, her living literally almost as far as possible geographically from him, and her having dated other guys since then but I don’t know. Help!
Awkward in Atlanta
Comment: The dating someone’s ex angle is never a black and white situation. There is no universal rule for this. All depends on the situation. If your sorority sister broke up with him last month? No. 6 months ago? No. 7 years ago, and she’s in another state 2,000 miles away? You’re fine.
There really isn’t a good time to date an ex, but I say 7 years is fine when it’s not like your sorority sister and him are trying to get back together or anything. I don’t look at it like a triangle either because she’s not involved at all. Unless there’s something you don’t know about going on between them, the situation you describe is harmless. It’s been 7 years. If she gets upset or defriends you, that’s on her.
If things get more serious between you and the guy, sounds like you have a decent enough relationship with her still to mention it. But no need to bring it up until something, if any, becomes more serious between you and the guy. If it’s just occasional hooking up and what not, she doesn’t need to know about that. But if you guys start talking about becoming more serious, I don’t think you’re required to do anything in terms of her. You can do whatever you want. But since you came to me with it, I can see there is a least a little bit of guilt maybe on your part, so I think you can absolutely say something to her about it. You even think she wouldn’t care, so that’s good. Do whatever you feel like doing, but in terms of should/would she be mad or whatever, if she’s a reasonable person, she shouldn’t. Enough time has passed.
Hi! I have been married for 12 years to my husband and we have twin boys that are kindergarten age. I have always wanted a daughter since I was little and my husband refuses to have another child. He won’t give me a reason except I’m only getting two kids from him.
A lot of marriage has been about what he wants. I am tired of it. I told him that I was going to leave him to have my daughter through fertility and he said fine. I tried to to have him come to a fertility consultation to se what it involves but he refuses.
I have the money to have a baby on my own but I’m scared to leave him due to the affect it would have on my twins who are five. He’s a good husband and father and I’m scared to break up my family. What should I do?
Comment: I think you’re acting a bit irrationally. Was this never brought up earlier in your marriage? I can’t imagine this is the first you’re finding out that he only wants two kids. If he told you earlier he wanted three kids, and now he’s saying, “Nope, we’re done at two” then you have reason to be upset. But that still doesn’t mean you need to end the marriage and go off and have a kid on your own. That’s completely selfish. Sometimes you can’t always get what you want. And kids are obviously a big freakin’ deal in a marriage. Disagreeing on that is something that should’ve been hashed out before you started having them. You’re married. You don’t just quit because of a disagreement over kids. You need to work it out better. Telling him you’re gonna leave him to go have one yourself is incredibly selfish. He’s a good husband and father you say, yet you’re willing to risk all that and your marriage because you want a girl? Not good.
Before long, he’s gonna end up leaving you if you keep acting like this. I’d say talk it out, think things through, and if he says he doesn’t want any more kids, then don’t try and change his mind, or guilt trip him into more, or stop taking birth control and trick him into one. That’ll for sure put an end to your marriage. I think you’re going about this all wrong. You don’t threaten your spouse with leaving because you don’t get what you want. Just wrong.
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