My friend takes advantage of the fact I’m a hairdresser. She regularly begs me to cut her hair, saying she has no time for appointments, and that the salon where I work is too expensive.
I not only do it for free, but end up supplying wine and dinner, since she turns the two-three hours into a social visit.
She’s one of my few close female friends, but since she has a good job, I find this nervy and upsetting. Yet how do I stop a pattern that’s been going on for a few years?
- Scissors Friend
In a tough and dwindling economy, all former bets are off. The pattern can be changed, through practical logic – plus your insistence.
Next time you chat ask her how the downturn is affecting her (anxieties are likely). Say that you’re feeling the crunch, too, and need to boost your salon income with off-hours appointments. Mention the fee you’ll be charging and how eager you are for clients.
If she still “begs” mercilessly, change the price to HER bringing the dinner and wine.
I met this girl on Facebook. After four months talking online, we decided to see each other. I was very attracted to her. Then, there was a misunderstanding between us – she responded very rudely, but later said she was really stressed.
When we started talking again, I was cold, she apologized, things were fine until I made it too obvious that I had feelings for her. She said she liked me because I made her laugh and she was comfortable talking to me about anything, but she wasn’t looking for a relationship.
I made it clear she could take her time and I’d wait for her. But she said I’d misinterpreted her, she was just being nice and friendly and apologized for leading me on.
I think there are external factors here, that her older sister told her to not date me. I really don’t know what to do.
- Utterly Confused
Take her at her word and stop looking for outside “factors.”
Even if she were being influenced by her sister or anyone else, there’s been no reason given that you can counter.
And IF she’s giving in to others’ dictates, it means she’s definitely not committed to you for a relationship.
Offering to “wait” until she possibly wants more just makes it harder for you two to stay friends.
She’s been clear about her feelings, and also apologized for any misleading. In the world of early relationships that’s her final answer.
My friend, 21, suffers from low self-esteem.
I believe that her boyfriend of one year is bisexual or gay. He’s questioned his sexuality in the past and had experiences with other men in high school.
He’s broken up with her twice in the past for reasons that seem irrelevant. When they were apart, I mentioned my suspicions, but she said I’m wrong.
I’m worried about her future with this man. Should I mind my own business, or talk to her about it again?
- Worried Friend
Opinions that are unproven are best aired only once. She heard you, and must come to her own conclusion.
Meanwhile, your worrying can be seen by your friend, and her boyfriend (if she uses your comments to probe him, as in “Sheila thinks…”) as intrusive, nasty gossip designed to break them up, or even as jealous, controlling behaviour.
It’s her life, her choice. As a good friend, you expressed yourself once. Now back off.
I’m a tall, blonde male, 43, who’s wanted to get married, but cannot find anybody in my (small) city.
All I see are ladies looking for tall, dark, handsome men. I don’t stand a chance to meet ladies here.
I’m thinking of selling my house, leaving this area and moving elsewhere. Where should I go?
If you take along your defeatist attitude, it’ll still be hard to find a mate, anywhere.
“Tall, dark and handsome,” is an expression, not an exclusionary rule. Look at men in loving relationships: they’re all heights and shapes, all backgrounds. It’s your attitude and outlook you need to change, more than your city.
However, if there’s somewhere you’d truly like to live, can find work there and afford the move, make sure it’s a community with resources for meeting people. Then go with a positive attitude, to community events, volunteer centres, a gym, etc.
Tip of the day:
The economy demands changes, even in relationship patterns.