Friday’s Forum: Best Friends?

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Dear Toughtalker,
 
I had been in love with my best friend for years.  I finally decided to tell him my feelings, and he rejected me.  He said he thought we were better off friends and that we could see what happened in the future.  Well, about six months later I met someone that I really like.  Now that he and I have been dating for about six months, my best friend is telling me he can’t believe that I’m getting serious with this new guy.  He said he always saw us eventually getting together, getting married and having children.  WHY WOULD HE TELL ME THIS NOW?  I’m so confused.  I like the new guy I’m seeing, and it’s hard for me to imagine leaving him for my best friend who has never expressed a romantic interest.  And at the same time, I do still have feelings…but I have been getting over them.  My friend is someone that I already know and am comfortable with, but I’m not sure that he can be trusted since he is JUST NOW expressing any feelings.  And my new guy has expressed his interest since day one, but he IS new.  What should I do?
 
Anonymous
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Good Morning Anonymous, thank you for submitting your letter.  The question of what you should do (to me) has a very obvious answer.  But before I give you my opinion, I’m going to try and dissect your letter.  By doing so it may enlighten you and answer some of the questions you are currently struggling with.  You start your letter with “I had been in Love with my best friend for years.  I finally decided to tell him my feelings, and he rejected me”.  The key phrase in that sentence is…rejected me.  See, I don’t believe he did reject you…I believe he saved you.  And what do I mean by that you ask?  Well it seems to me that this man valued your friendship so much that he wasn’t willing to take the risk and ruin something that he treasures over something that he wasn’t ready for…and that’s a real man!  Sometimes when you care so much about a person you’re willing to sacrifice your own selfish motives for them.  And it sounds like that’s what he was doing at the time.  But your conversation may have sparked a thought in his mind… well maybe when I stop playing around and am ready for that one person that I can share everything with…..why not my best friend?  So that’s the thought that he had stored in his back of his mind.  But here’s when things changed.  You met a guy…and you start dating.  He is cool with it in the beginning, but he starts to realize that this relationship you’re in is starting to become serious and it’s now affecting your friendship.  For example, the time you used to share with him hanging out…is now being spent with the new guy.  The times you used to call him and share what happened at work…those phone calls are now being made to the new boyfriend.  So now your best friend feels like you’re slipping away.  So what does he do?  He does the total opposite of what he did earlier…he becomes…selfish.  He reveals his feelings and thoughts to you.  Not because he had an epiphany and he wants to run away with you to elope.  No, he does it because he doesn’t want to lose his friend.  So he tells you what his thoughts were, hoping that your feelings for your boyfriend aren’t as strong as the friendship that the two of you share.  So you chose your friendship over your relationship…and if you make that decision…it will be a mistake!  And that’s because the comments he made aren’t based upon wanting you…they’re based on him not wanting to lose his friend.  So what to do now?  I would continue with my relationship.  But you and your best friend should and need to have a conversation.  Express to him how much your friendship means to you…and no matter your relationship status…you will always be his friend.  He may be upset now, but if he is the friend that you describe him as being…then your being happiness will be what matters most to him!!  HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEKEND!!

Friday’s Forum: The Lady Pond

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Dear toughtalker,
I have been single for quite some time, I would like to meet someone, but it just hasn’t happened.  For some reason most of the men I have been meeting have been married or somehow involved and just looking for someone on the side.  The strange thing is, I’ve been attracted to a female friend of mine lately.  She is an open lesbian, but I’ve only experimented here and there.  She has always flirted with me, but until now I ignored it because I have been interested in men.  I know my attraction may be a result of me not being interested in a man right now, but is that really a problem?  When I date a guy, you never know where it’s going to go and it’s the same thing here.  I don’t expect to be in some long term relationship with her, but you never know what happens.  Am I wrong for wanting to explore?
 
Anonymous
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Good Morning Anonymous…I would like to first thank you for submitting your letter.  Now allow me to answer your last question first.  You’re not wrong for wanting to explore and go where your feelings are taking you.  Being an adult entitles you to explore certain feelings that you may have.  But in your case I believe you’re doing it for all the wrong reasons.  It sounds like the decisions you’re making in regards to relationships are  ALL WRONG.  You state in your letter that “you have been single for quite some time and the men that you have been meeting are either married or involved with someone and want something on the side”.  And I believe you’re at a point in your life now that no matter the sex of the person (male or female), or the status of the individual (involved or married), you’re just looking for someone to fill a void.  You need to ask yourself…why is that?  Why am I the person who doesn’t feel complete unless I’m with someone?  You have to realize that having a companion won’t complete you…especially the ones that you’re choosing.  You’re just applying a temporary fix to a permanent problem…and that problem is YOU!  You have attached being with someone as your self worth…if you don’t have anyone, then you have failed or you’re not worthy….and that’s the furthest thing from the truth!  How are you really going to find a true soulmate when all you’re hiring are substitute teachers?  Allow yourself some ME time and realize that being by yourself temporarily, and having that spot vacant for a change, may just allow you to see clearly and find that one for you…instead of that one for right now!!!  HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEKEND!!!     

Friday’s Forum: Compliments

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Dear Toughtalker
I am a female and have been with my mate for just over three years.  I love him dearly and I feel in my heart that he loves me.  BUT I’m trying to figure out how to communicate a small issue with him.  He NEVER compliments me.  I hear him say other women are beautiful, pretty, or even unattractive.  He never says ANYTHING about me!  I never hear, “you look nice today” or “dang, babe you’re hot!”.  Now let me be clear, I’m not superficial and needy.  I don’t need those affimations to feel comfortable in the relationship.  And I’m not on the verge of a breakdown or leaving him because of this.  Like I said, I love him.  But he has opinions on women, because I hear him talk about them.  What about me?  I just wish I could get a compliment here and there.  I mean, I’m a female and we ALL like compliments (whether we admit it or not).  I just want to be able to communicate it in a way that he understands so he doesn’t think I’m just being emotional or insecure.  From a male perspective, how can I get my point across?
Anonymous
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Good Morning Anonymous…Thank You for submitting your letter.  I really can’t answer your letter from a “male perspective” but I can give you my opinion on what’s taking place.  I believe in relationships we all don’t do the things we once did in the beginning.  We get somewhat comfortable and forget that the same things you did in the genesis of the relationship have to be continued throughout.  I believe your comment about he “never compliments” me is a bit of an embellishment.  I say that because I believe your boyfriend showered you with compliments in the beginning (that’s how he won your heart).  There was something that made you melt and fall in love with him.  Your letter is filled with inconsistencies…but that’s OK.  We all are inconsistent at times.  You not needing those affirmations you speak of isn’t 100% truthful as well…because if you really didn’t need or want them…would you really have penned an entire letter speaking about how you don’t want or need them?  Let’s be honest here…you stated everything else in your relationship was good…but this.  So the affirmations and the comments are what you want…and there’s nothing wrong with that!!  You needing and wanting compliments doesn’t make you superficial or needy…it makes you human!!  So how do you go about getting them?  Well try this, the next time he comments on another woman…ask him…what about me?  Ask him how he would you critique you?  Ask him if he was with his friends what would he say about you?  He might be vague because you just entered his friends into the scenario and some guys don’t like that.  So if that doesn’t work, ask him…what if you saw me in a grocery store?  What would be your thoughts?  Then let the dialog begin.  Express to him the way that you’re feeling.  Tell him how him complimenting other women and never his own woman makes you feel.  He probably never thought about it in that manner…because men usually don’t see the extras.  His actions towards you in his mind show you how attractive you are to him.  So I’m sure if you inform him of your feelings…things will change!  Just know that sometimes guys need a blueprint of what they should be doing.  They lose their way…so it’s your job to get him back on course!!  HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEKEND!!

Tuesday’s Topic: The Valentine’s Day Club

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Good Morning Toughtalkerz…What is Valentine’s Day?…and why do we celebrate it??  I know I can’t be the only person who has ever asked this question.  Well Saint Valentine’s Day or simply known as Valentine’s Day is a holiday we observe on the 14th day of the month of February.  This day is associated with romantic love and has been celebrated since the 15th century…and with the evolution of Valentine’s Day there has been the commercialization and utter ruining of the day (in my opinion).  First off I’m sure when the holiday was first celebrated there wasn’t a dang flower commercial every 4 minutes on the radio (I know radios weren’t invented then…just follow me for a minute).  Or there wasn’t computer pop-ups about chocolate covered strawberries…or if you don’t purchase someone you care about a diamond you’re a loser!!!  The holiday was founded out of love…and that love should be celebrated…not with things or gifts… but with love!!!  This holiday has also changed to make people who aren’t in a “relationship” or “in love”  feel less than adequate about who they are as a person.  You mean if I’m not tied to the hip with someone I can’t be admitted to the exclusive “Valentine’s Day Club?”  To me Love is Love…no matter if I have a handle attached to it or not.  So as you go on your journey today just know if you’re married, involved in a relationship, or just have friends who you truly love and care about…Valentine’s Day is for us all.  And with that I would like to say…HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!!!!!

Friday’s Forum: He Checked My Facebook!

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Dear toughtalker,
I have been having a rough time in my relationship.  We are arguing so much, that I’m not sure this is worth it.  We’ve been together for almost 8 months, and I know that’s not long, but I’m trying to figure out if the next 8 months would even be worth it.  Yesterday he went through my facebook messages and saw that I had a couple of emails from an ex.  They didn’t really say much…how are you, how’s the family, are you dating, etc.  Even with the dating question, I answered honestly and said yes.  I didn’t give specifics, but I did say that I was seeing someone.  He was upset because I never told him that I spoke to my ex and I didn’t tell him that I was seeing someone exclusively.  I was in love with this person (my ex) and I knew that telling my current boyfriend would evoke jealousy and insecurity.  And with our current state, I didn’t even want to bring that into the mix.  But now he’s mad that I’ve been talking to him, and I’m mad that he went through my facebook.  We can’t even have a decent conversation without one of us bringing up what the other did wrong.  I’m in love with my current boyfriend, but with so many issues, I DO seek relief/release elsewhere because he stresses me out so much!  And now that he’s violated my privacy, I don’t know if there’s any coming back.  What do you think about someone going through your things?  Could facebook be just the beginning…could my phone and personal belongings be next?  Is this someone that I shouldn’t trust?
 Anonymous
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Good Morning Anonymous,
Thank You for sharing your letter.  Let me start off by saying I believe the relationship you’re currently in is a dysfunctional one (at best) and with such a short period of time involved the answer of if you should stay is a obvious one to me…and that answer would be NO.  But before I address the reasons why…let’s discuss a few things that may shed some light on your situation.  I’m interpreting from your letter that the relationship with your ex-boyfriend directly preceded your current one because of you stating… “you were in love with this person (my ex) and by telling him about the contact it would invoke jealousy and insecurities”.  So within the last calendar year you have, in your words, been “in love” with both of these men?  I  know that is possible, but is there a pattern here?  Are you a person that falls “in love” easily??  Because to say you were so in love with the ex, and now you’re in love with the current boyfriend it seems to be that way.  Maybe you’re mistaking having/developing feelings for someone as being in love.  And that’s not what love is.  Your eagerness to attach that word or phrase to someone with such regularity makes me wonder if your filling a void yourself?  Maybe I’m off base, but being so in love with such frequency leads me to believe there is a definite void there that you’re trying to compensate for.  Possibly family and/or social issues and insecurities?  A lot of times family and past relationships play a big part in shaping who we are in relationships.  I’m not sure, but there is something there and I believe you should seek out the root of what triggers such strong feelings towards men so quickly.  But I digress…now back to your current relationship.  If the boyfriend is displaying such jealous behavior after 8 months then his ways are only going to escalate.  It’s going through your facebook now…it’s your phone next…and I can only imagine what follows.  And all of this is because you didn’t tell a person on facebook that you were in an “exclusive relationship”?  I thought that’s what a boyfriend/girlfriend title was??  I just know that if a man is this mad and jealous over something as trivial as this…then leave now…because that anger usually escalates to something much more serious (domestic violence).  So leave!  And take some time before the next relationship.  And while on dating hiatus maybe you can explore what I was discussing earlier.  Because the best feeling in the world…is being “in love” with yourself!!!  HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEKEND!!!!!   

Friday’s Forum: Is the Grass Greener?

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Dear Toughtalker,
I have been in ONE relationship most of my adult life. This man is great…we have our issues, but all in all he is a really good guy. However, as we move through life, I feel like Im looking for something different. This is difficult because family and friends expect us to be together forever. I dont see it, and I am getting tired of being what people expect. And because my mate has not wronged me, I know I will be judged for leaving a good man. I dont know if its just easier to stay…or jump out there and look for that person that the “adult” me is looking for. Am I crazy for wanting something different?
Anonymous
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Good Morning Anonymous,
Thank You for submitting your letter.  Now let me start off by saying…NO you’re not crazy for feeling the way that you are.  Those are your feelings and the worst thing you could do now is suppress those feelings.  What you’re going through I would say is pretty natural…to have been with the same person for the most part of your adult life, there is going to be a lull in the relationship…it happens!  You have obviously grown throughout the time you and your mate have been together (and so has he).  When you guys initially got together he may have been the guy you wanted as a young woman, but the things you found desirable then may not be the same things you do now.  So you have to think about that…What do I desire now as a woman?  Can this man eventually become and provide those things that I want?  And if you don’t believe that he can, a conversation needs to be had.  You need to communicate with your mate.  Discuss what you’re feeling, because maybe he is just in a comfortable space in the relationship and he needs some direction from you.  And who knows…with that guidance he could possibily become the man you want!  Or maybe this relationship has run its course…and if that has occurred then be honest not only with him but with yourself.  You should never stay in a relationship for everyone else but yourself.  This is your life and you only have one to live.  But be careful…you know the saying…The grass may not be greener on the other side!  And if you don’t understand what that means…it means…don’t allow the unknown to take you away from the known…because if you do that you may find yourself living with regrets and end up being alone!!!!  HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEKEND!!

Friday’s Forum: Can Men & Women Be “Just Friends”?

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Dear toughtalker,
Can men and women be just friends?  I, as well as some of my girlfriends have male friends – that are just that – friends.  And yet we met some guys at a bar the other day that insisted that men and women can’t be JUST FRIENDS.  They said that all of your male friends want to sleep with you…period.  Is that true? I have male friends that have never tried anything and it’s hard for me to accept they may have other motives.

Anonymous
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Good Morning Toughtalker,

Thank You for submitting your letter.  Let me start off by saying…Of course men and women can be just friends…and anyone who can’t grasp this concept has a lot of growth and personal maturing to do!!!  Now there are some men who will begin a friendship with a woman with the hope of maybe, just maybe, that one day after a break up with a boyfriend or a night on the town with one too many alcoholic beverages…that maybe one thing may lead to another…and your relationship may take that turn that they had envisioned and hoped for.  And as strange as this may sound, some men will wait years for the possibility of this happening!  But most MEN that I have encountered are more than capable of having a platonic relationship with a female.  And the men who say otherwise…are men by age and gender only…but are still boys in their maturity.  All men don’t think with their private areas when it pertains to friendships!!!  HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEKEND!!!

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