I have a close friend at the gym who’s a 28-year-old gay man. One of the managers there is also in his late-20s and though he’s not out, we both think he’s gay.
My friend has a huge crush on the trainer and is constantly believing that signals are being sent to him. But what’s really happening is that this manager is taking advantage of him.
He’ll say he’s “too busy” and order my friend to clear up the equipment. He’ll make fun of him during his workout by snickering when he passes him.
Everyone around then laughs or talks about it, but my friend fantasizes that he’s getting attention instead of being mocked.
Though I didn’t know him when young, he’s described himself as an overweight kid who was teased/bullied a lot, and now that he’s trying to get fit, he’s desperate for a relationship.
He’s always asking me for advice about how to make something happen between these two, but I know it’s hopeless. I tell him that he’s imagining things, but he insists there’s a chance.
What can I say to convince him that the manager just isn’t interested in him?
You can say that he’s too good a person for this guy who publicly mocks him.
Your friend needs bolstering of his self-esteem – the very opposite of what’s happening in this situation.
Encourage him to go out with his trusted friends, and to consider joining a group related to one of his interests (e.g. meetup.com, a film club, etc.) where he’ll meet people on equal footing.
Fitness is important to his self-image, but there are many places and ways to achieve it rather than sticking with this one gym where he’s been targeted as the foil of a mean manager.
If you both leave the gym, you’d be doing others a favour by reporting the manager’s disrespect of a client to the boss who pays him.
My wife had a severe stroke and I’m taking care of her. I’m falling in love with her daughter, who is my step-daughter. She and her husband are both doctors.
Her husband’s concerned about himself, never helps her do anything, she works all the time delivering babies. Their son’s their only child and the father does nothing with him or for him, just spends money on him.
I’m a loving, affectionate person and miss love and sex.
I was previously married for 22 years and my first wife died at 49. I get down in the dumps all the time.
You’re doing the most important thing you can as caregiver to your wife, but it’s a lonely commitment that’s tiring and dispiriting, so there’s no wonder you feel low.
For your sake and your wife’s, too, see your own doctor for whatever’s needed to increase your energy, help your mood, and your well-being.
You also need your wife’s family to hire backup caregiving help, and for them to look into occasional respite care for your wife, so you can have some breaks.
But your thinking you’re in love with your step-daughter is just an escape from reality that adds to your frustration.
You mention no indication from her that she’d welcome any word of this. I strongly advise you to never tell her.
Discuss with your doctor how depressed you feel. Also insist on having time off to see friends and other relatives. It’ll refresh your outlook on having hope for better times ahead.
FEEDBACK Regarding the man who dated a woman for eight months and left her because of her love of her job (Feb. 6):
“If he wants a future with her, he has to start loving her unconditionally.
“She’s new with her job, trying to re-shape and re-start her life after divorce.
“Like I always say to a man, I was fine before you came into my life. I can manage life very well when you leave.
“Loving and talking about a future together is about starting to give love and understand.
“I’m glad the woman chose her job that will help her rise up, pay bills, and feel good and confident.
“He cannot stand to have an independent woman in his life, therefore he’s a loser.”
Ellie – The woman became a workaholic who gave him little time and wouldn’t say he’s the one. Only by leaving her, will either of them know if they should re-think things.
Tip of the day:
Fantasy or escapist daydreams interfere with taking positive steps to feel better about yourself.