welcome to tough love. We answer your questions about dating, breakups and everything in between. Our advisor is Blair Bravermandogsled racer and author of Welcome to the fucking ice cube. You have a question? Write to us at [email protected].
My friend is going on vacation with a guy she just met. It’s a terrible idea, isn’t it? I feel like I’m crazy because no one else in our group of friends cares. She says she wants to be spontaneous for once and deserves to have fun. Obviously no one is trying to stop her from having fun, but you’d think they’d go on a few dates first. This all sounds weird to me, but no one else cares. How do I know if I’m overreacting?
I would be remiss if I didn’t ask: are you worried about your friend’s safety? If you’re writing because you get goosebumps from this guy, then you should definitely have a serious conversation with her. She might choose to ignore you, but at least you will have registered your concern. And that makes a difference, because if she ends up getting a weird vibe from him later on, even if it’s subtle, your expression of concern might help her trust her instincts rather than push her feelings away and to explain them.
However, if you don’t feel your friend is in danger, I wonder why her decision bothers you so much. Do you think his feelings might be hurt? Is it shocking to see her try something so different from what she normally would or what you normally would? Is there a part of you that worries her new relationship will interfere with your friendship? If none of your other friends are involved, then this situation may reveal more about you than it does, and finding out exactly how you feel — and why — could be a chance for you to learn more. on yourself.
Your friend may have met the love of her life, and she knows it. And it’s just as possible that she’ll have a disastrous vacation and tell you all the awkward and hilarious details when she gets back. Most likely, his experience will be somewhere in the middle. But being spontaneous — and sometimes even making silly mistakes — is one of the great joys of adulthood, and it will come back to you with stories anyway. Encourage her, encourage her to have a good time, and be there for her when she returns. And no matter what, don’t say, “I told you so.
I’ve loved hiking all my life, and when I met my current girlfriend I taught her about it and we hiked together all the time. I still go there at least once a week, but she has now drifted into other interests and rarely joins me. I was disgusted at first when she stopped coming, but I know I can’t force her to be into anything, and at least she tried for a while.
Now her best friend is from out of state and they are doing projects together. She’s excited because they rarely see each other. And guess where they go on the first day of the tour? Yes, you guessed it. Trek. My girlfriend said a little apologetic to me, but I just said have a good time and tried to be encouraging for the visit. However, I’m a bit sad that my girlfriend wants to hike with her friend and not me, even though she knows it’s something I love. I can’t help but worry that there’s something down there.
I think you got the reason here: your girlfriend and her friend rarely see each other. It’s not that she secretly wants to go hiking as long as it’s with someone else; it’s that she’s thrilled to see her friend and is probably happy to do just about anything in the short time they have together. In other words, she goes hiking with her friend for the same reason she used to do with you: when time with someone is new or scarce, then almost all activity with them is exciting, even if it’s not something you would normally enjoy.
You’re right to stay supportive and try not to talk about it when her friend visits. Emotions are running high right now, anyway, and your girlfriend’s mind is elsewhere. But when things have settled down and her friend is gone, it’s worth talking about. I think you will have the most success if you approach the conversation with a positive attitude; Instead of focusing on the irony that she’s going hiking with her friend but not you, talk about how you really enjoyed hiking together and ask her if there’s anything something you could do that would help him feel enthusiastic. Maybe her preferences were just different from yours – like you walk fast and she wants to take it slow, or you stop to experience nature along the way and she prefers to go fast and exercise. If she makes any suggestions, be open to trying them, even if it’s not the hike you normally would.
And if she says, “Hey, I went hiking last week because my friend was really into it, but it reminded me how much I hate it,” don’t insist. Ask her if there’s another way she’d like to spend some quality time together, then commit to making it fun. Preferences change over time, and so do people, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find an adventurous date you both love.