I’m in my mid-20s and will soon be getting a divorce from my high school sweetheart (we’ve been together a total of 10 years). While we may no longer be partners, we’re still friends. My family is very small and I’m close to his parents; I consider them to be family. It’s hard enough to see my relationship end, but losing them too would make things even harder. Is it possible to continue talking to them? My ex says he’s OK with it. What about after we’ve each found someone new?
–Going, Going...Hopefully Not Gone
Your “Hopefully Not Gone” says it all. If you consider them family, then consider them family! If you and your soon-to-be ex are still friends, then I don’t see why a good friend’s family should be off-limits. Decent people who care about you should be valued; I don’t think you should walk out on them and close the door because of a change in a relationship. That’s obviously not what they’re interested in, either. You have a bond that goes back to your high school days, so take the organic approach, and let it be what it is. Now, as to how you sort things out if one or both of you get new partners—that may require a second look, but until it happens, I say let things roll without changing the rules.
My best friend is a guy and I’ve known him for what seems like forever. He’s truly my closest friend, but recently I’ve developed feelings for him. I know he feels the same way, but he seems afraid to take a leap and risk our friendship, especially if things were to end with a rough breakup. I’m just as terrified, but I know I can’t keep living with this tension—it seems to be driving a wedge between us. How do I talk to him and figure this out? –Half a BFF
Listen, Half a BFF (may I call you Half a BFF?),
I think you’re borrowing trouble from the future that may never show up. If you two are best friends, then check it out: you’ve already got the prime ingredients for an awesome relationship. How many times have we heard people in long-term couplings say that the “secret” to their success is that their mate is also their best friend? I’m sure you’re familiar with the term “friends with benefits.” You can start there, and you might just walk into something really sweet, fun, and lasting. I think you should follow your positive feelings—the good and warm ones that are drawing both of you closer together, not the negative, fear-of-failure energy that can stop good things before they start. Relax and let nature take its course while the two of you enjoy the experience. And let us know how things are going, because I’m nosy!
I’m 30 and single. I haven’t had sex in nearly two years, and I’m not one for casual encounters. I’d love to get paired up with a nice, single fella, but I have trouble meeting guys, since my interests lean towards crafting, dancing, and other typically “female” activities. Where can I meet a nice single guy at this seemingly advanced age? And/or how can I get over my reluctance to have sex with men when there’s no commitment?
–Desperately Single Susan
Advanced age? Bitch, please! I’m closing in on 60 years old, and I’m not slinging around terms like “advanced age.” My mom is well into her 70s and has guys interested in her! I think you need to lighten up and realize that any physical closeness is going to be somewhat “casual” in the beginning. Looking for the commitment first is becoming outmoded for a good reason—if you’re not sexually compatible, you probably have no business being committed or expecting a partner to be. Speaking of “female” activities, men are a female activity. Here’s an idea: You said you like dancing. That could be a door opener. It doesn’t have to be in a bar setting; there are parties, wedding receptions, and other opportunities to get close to guys and see if there’s any chemistry. Maybe you feel a little bashful and out of practice? Well, that’s why the Goddess gave us alcohol. A few sips of wine won’t spin you out of control, but it will make you more laid-back and friendly. (I’m just sayin’.)
This column appears in our Aug/Sept 2012 issue with cover girl Tavi Gevinson. Subscribe now.