Recently, a guy friend showed up acting like we’re starting a relationship after years of minimal contact.
When we met ten years ago, we were both married and in a similar field. I sensed he had a crush on me but I never saw him in that way.
We both divorced and had very different, life-changing experiences (my mother’s sudden death, his traumatic health experience). We had other partners and break-ups. We’re now late-30s.
As soon as his latest relationship ended, he reached out and immediately assumed we’d be together regularly.
I told him he was afraid of being on his own and should learn how to do that. He’s ignored that advice.
His text messages are like a conversation in his own head - that we’re meant to be together, that he always felt this way about me.
I don’t always respond. Or, I change the subject.
I’m trying to heal from my own loss of someone I still love, but I’m not going down that old path of rushing to someone else.
I need to find strength in myself. How do I convince this guy that he needs to do the same, without me?
Heed your own advice: After a break-up, it’s time to take care of you.
State clearly, I don’t want a relationship with you. Not now, not later.
If he persists after that, close it down.
His delusion that you’re interested can turn aggressive, and will end the friendship anyway.
My teenage daughter and I live in our own home together. I recently rented an unused bedroom to a friend. She pays rent, does her fair share of the chores, and is very tidy.
However, she uses the common areas as her own (fair enough), but NEVER LEAVES THEM. She gets up when she hears me downstairs, and sits at the kitchen table reading for hours at a time.
I was annoyed, but tried to work around it as she’ll be starting a job soon. But I have the most trouble with her intrusions into our lives.
She overheard and commented on my private conversation with my daughter. She questions her about her social life.
She wants to be introduced to everyone who visits me. She treats my mother like her own. When I did try to discuss it, she became defensive.
She insists that I’m looking for something to be angry about, and uses passive-aggressive tactics, e.g. "I guess I won't talk to her at all, then."
What will it take for her to get it that my personal life is my own?
Check the law on your local landlord-tenant rules, you may be facing bigger troubles.
Unless you have a contract, you have a casual tenant relationship that’s glaringly unclear, though she may have rights to refuse to leave.
And since she’s adept at passive-aggressive moves, you need to be prepared for her reaction if/when you try to make changes.
Frankly, I think the arrangement just doesn’t work. You wanted the rent money and felt you were “helping” her. She, on the other hand, bought into your privacy.
You should’ve initially defined any rules about “common areas,” and about the personal privacy of your mother-daughter relationship.
You left the situation open and it’s going to be tough, insulting, and hurtful to dial it back.
I suggest you say it’s not working, unless, even after she’s employed, you agree on a schedule of household use, and also insist on zero intrusion in your relationship with your daughter.
I come from a large family, some of the siblings are estranged. Recently, I was informed by a siblings with whom I’ve had no contact since our parents' death, that another sibling had died.
I’d also had no contact with the now-deceased sibling since our parents' death.
I feel some response is required, but am at a loss as to what that should be. I’ve checked Miss Manner’s and Emily Post’s books to no avail.
Lost For Words
If a sibling’s death brings no thoughts of your own, then any pat sentences will sound truly empty.
If there’s nothing positive from your family history that you can use, e.g. a pleasant memory, or comment about that sibling’s particular talent, then send a simply-worded condolence card to the person’s closest kin.
Or, make a donation to a related charity, such as the Cancer Society.
You’re trying to acknowledge the person’s passing, not make up for years of estrangement.
Tip of the day:
After a break-up, healing trumps friends’ neediness.