My friend, 36, has a job in private security. Her colleagues are mostly males and her attitude sometimes seem influenced by them, including being abrupt if she’s not attracted to someone.
She badly wants a relationship, so is constantly agreeing to meet different men through dating apps.
If anyone man’s willing to take her “for a nice dinner” – her go-to suggestion – she’s willing to accept the free meal, even if she’s already sure she’s not attracted to him through his profile or photo.
But if the “meal ticket” asks her out again, she can be extremely blunt, as in, “you’re not my type.”
However, if she does like a guy, she’ll accept any rudeness from him – from put-downs to even being stood up – and sleep with him if he shows up again.
After several years of listening to her stories about how she treats some men dismissively but demeans herself for others, I couldn’t take it anymore.
I was hoping I could help her develop healthier, more positive attitudes to men.
Recently, I learned something that ended my concerns for her. She told an old friend of mine that I’m negative and depressive, which is untrue.
I was shocked that she needed to put me down that way. Am I wrong to end the friendship?
You’re old enough to know whether a friendship has benefits for both of you.
You were trying to help her, but maybe she resented that you thought she needed help.
Maybe, too, your own dating life is more successful than hers.
She hurt you, either by not realizing her comments would get back to you, or with intent.
If there’s anything to the friendship that had value for you, consider asking her why she thinks you’re negative… or was she distancing from you by that comment?
You’ll know from her answer whether to stay “finished” or not.
I’ve recently discovered through ancestry DNA that my uncle had a child previous to his marriage.
This information was never shared with our family. I believe he never told anyone at all.
He died 20 years ago.
I’ve met my new first cousin, but I don’t know how to disclose this information to my uncle’s children.
I think they’ll be devastated.
Should I keep this secret since obviously my uncle didn’t want anyone to know about this?
Much depends on your relationship with your cousins and with their mother.
I believe that it has to be a good, trusting relationship for any of them to be grateful for your being the bearer of this news.
However, your decision also depends on the “new” cousin you’ve discovered.
Does this person want to meet half-siblings? Is she/he someone you think they’d want to know? Do you have any idea if she/he is looking for a family connection with them, or a share of their inheritance?
If you decide to pursue this, get to know your new cousin a lot better. Then, put aside your own enthusiasm about the discovery, and think long and hard of your uncle’s family before deciding whether to broach the subject with them.
Reader’s Commentary On whether to “out” a cheater:
“I’ve known two women whose husbands cheated on them.
“During this time, the husband used their marital funds to put themselves in a better position financially after the split.
“They took on significant debt, which was then split 50/50 after they separated.
“There was a time when I wouldn’t have said anything. Not anymore.”
FEEDBACK Regarding young people’s obsession with video games (July 9):
Reader – “I wonder if any of the parents who are having problems with video games have simply considered saying “No” to the game.
“In our house, our kids had obligations to our house (keeping it clean), to themselves (keeping themselves clean and in order), and to their schools (doing their homework).
“Also, to participating (being on time) and to their community (not littering, behaving in public).
“They were expected to fulfill those obligations every day. Only after all were met would we even consider letting them sit down in front of a video game console or even a TV.
“Those obligations are what build esteem. Fulfilling them are achievements.
“Parents have power to build the kid they want and far too many parents are giving that power away to a machine that ultimately has the potential to harm them.”
Tip of the day:
Friendships that focus on trying to change another’s attitudes often have a relatively short shelf life.