Ask Lex: Love and war and finding a balance
My friend has been hooking up with a guy for a few weeks now and I know she really likes him. We recently got together as a group and I felt like he was flirting with me the whole time. He kept asking me questions and spent more time talking to me than anyone else.
The next day, he texted my friend to say it wasn’t going to work between them and that she could find a better guy. My friend is really hurt. Shortly afterwards, he started messaging me saying that we have more in common and he could really see himself with me more then with her. I don’t know what to do?
I really like him. It really does seem like we have a lot in common, but I’m not sure if I should try and explore this behind my friends back? Or should I tell her and risk ruining our friendship?
– Caring or Sharing?
Dear Caring or Sharing,
We’ve all been in situations like this before. The guy your friend likes meets you and suddenly starts giving you all his attention. Your ego gets the best of you and you wonder if maybe it just wasn’t meant to be between the two of them, but maybe it could be for the two of you.
The first thing to consider is how much you value your friendship. It might seem worth the risk at first, but sacrificing a good friendship for a guy is almost never worth it. It’s natural for us to see the situation more positively when our own personality and physical appearance is being complimented. Pride kicks in and we can’t help but think “it’s not my fault if he likes me better…”, and we debate the pros and cons, but sometimes pride keeps us from considering the fact that maybe this isn’t a first in this guys books.
If he’s texting your friend telling her, “it wasn’t going to work” and “she could find a better guy”, right away he’s choosing dishonesty over honesty. Telling the truth isn’t always easy, but doing the right thing takes a hell of a lot more courage than telling a lie, and chances are your friend isn’t the first girl he’s lied to, nor are you the first girl he’s sweet talked into admiration. Based on personal experience, the guy who so quickly jumps from friend to friend isn’t worth your time, and even if you went for it, his true colors would come out in the end and consequentially so would yours. Let’s be honest, in situations like these you’re more likely interested in his flattery than his actual character.
In any other case you’d be grabbing the Ben & Jerry’s and the booze, and throwing your friend a “forget that asshole” slumber party, and I’m willing to bet you knew the right thing to do right away. When the alternative option is to lie and sneak around behind your friends back, saying no to the guy almost seems like a no-brainer. However, it’s not always that simple when you consider the storyline and influence of numerous romantic comedies where the player changes his ways and love at first sight is a common everyday occurrence. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely believe that in some rare cases, love at first sight is a real thing, but it usually doesn’t keep deceit in close company. Swallow your pride, gather up your courage, forget the guy, and tell your friend the truth. She may be upset after hearing what really happened, but chances are she’ll really appreciate your honesty and your friendship will be stronger because of it.
I’ve been really stressed with the idea of getting good grades, maintaining difficult friendships and still having time to date and spend time with my family. I can’t seem to find a balance. Is there anything you could recommend I do?
– Stressing Out
Dear Stressing Out,
Get organized. When the school year comes around, time management and organization are your keys to success, and you need the right tools. Start by finding a way to keep track of all your dates and due dates. Smartphones are extremely useful for setting reminders. You can plug in all of your midterms and assignments and you can even set it up to remind you one week or a couple days prior so you don’t forget and leave things to the last minute. If you don’t have a smartphone then get yourself some kind of calendar whether that be in the form of a datebook or a whiteboard calendar in your bedroom.
If you are anything like me, things are often forgotten and organizational skills do not come naturally, so, I like to use all three (iPhone, whiteboard calendar and datebook) to keep track of my dates and due dates. It’s like having a constant reminder that you have things to do and people to see! You also need to make sure that you prioritize correctly. If you have a midterm Monday morning, going out to a bar on Friday night or spending two days hanging out with your friend/significant other probably isn’t the best idea.
Almost all of us are prone to procrastination from time to time, some of us more than others but the earlier you get a handle on it the less stressful your life will be. However, distractions are not always so obvious or foreseeable. Sometimes something unexpected pops up and presents even more of a stress factor than we were prepared for. We can’t always predict when our friend will start a fight or when someone breaks up with us, which is why it is important that you have ideas for stress relief on hand so you don’t wind up experiencing an overload. There are many things you can do to reduce stress such as various forms of exercise (i.e. yoga, running, sports etc.), writing poetry or in a journal, meditation, singing/listening to music or even sex.
You don’t have to stick to the common forms of stress relief, just as long as it releases tension and gets those endorphins flowing. Finding time for yourself isn’t always easy but it is definitely important. Another thing to keep in mind is that sometimes we have to put things like dating, and difficult friendships on the back burner when we have more important things to focus on. Focusing on school can be especially hard when you have friends or a boyfriend/girlfriend that isn’t in university, and sometimes we have to see people a little bit less because we have other priorities to look after.
If they truly care about you they won’t be offended if you have to bail more often to study, and if they do then perhaps they aren’t worth your time after all. Another thing I like to do is to “unplug” from electronic activities like texting and social media sites every once in a while as I find the constant buzzing and notifications can be quite stressful at times. Last but certainly not least, make sure you are eating healthy and getting enough sleep. Our bodies and minds cannot handle stress the same when we are tired and eating junk.
Get organized, prioritize, find time for you, get lots of rest, and eat clean, and you’ll find yourself balanced in no time!