I had a crush on a friend last year. I lost the friend and went through a rough period. During that time, a girl I knew ended a bad relationship. We hung out daily and I helped her out financially. She is an exotic dancer, but I am not her customer. However, I love her. She only loves me as a friend because she is a lesbian and I am a man. She said I am the only man she would marry, but it would be sexless. I don’t care because I love who she is. She’s the only girl I have fallen for based on personality. Lately, we’ve been fighting. She wants me to treat her like I would treat a guy friend, but keeps asking for money. I do that out of love. I would not help my male friends that way. What should I do?
Prepare to graduate. God apparently registered you for the Life School course “How to be a Friend” (inter-gender studies 1A) and you didn’t realize it until the tuition overwhelmed you, emotionally and financially. Try this cheat sheet: a) Never seduce yourself into believing that: two people + the sharing of their troubling emotional experiences or deepest thoughts = guaranteed romance, love, sex or anything other than two friends sharing. b) Practice equality by treating male and female friends equally. c) Pay yourself first. If you have extra cash, invest in therapy or a mutual fund. If you’re afraid of losing someone because you’ve closed your wallet, you’re paying that person to remain a friend. Stop. d) Sex belongs in intimate, committed relationships. Don’t root yourself in a sexless relationship because you’re hungry for emotional and mental intimacy. Enjoy the friendship and keep looking for a full partner. e) Tension is created by expecting more from another than they are willing or able to give. Tension is released through arguing. f) Don’t imagine that through your steadfastness she will change her sexual orientation. That’s not sane. g) See the similarities between this relationship and the last so you won’t have to repeat the class.
My world is crumbling. Specifics are a bore, but basically finances are a burden. My mother has helped me every month for the past year. No one knows and I feel so ashamed. Plus, I have always been a performance artist, but the art has to come from the heart and my heart feels dead. I am 24 years old with a car I can’t afford to fix and cavities I can’t afford to fill. I feel like I am physically and mentally falling apart. Do we feel less the older we get? I am writing to you because I don’t want my friends to think that I am whiny and depressed.
When your outer world disintegrates, your inner world is calling. You’re feeling a lot (a dead heart, whiny, shameful), but by thinking specifics are a bore, you avoid the depths. If your bank account, teeth and heart are emptying, perhaps the muses are spring cleaning to prepare for the coming cycle of creativity. Translate the beauty and the terror of financial funks, perceived emotional deserts and motherly love into a performance piece that reminds others that they are not alone. As an artist, your life is your material.
Offstage, as long as you treat your career seriously and your mother offers financial support willingly, there is nothing to be ashamed of. Tell your friends the truth. It’s liberating. If you want to transition out of your career, do it. You can always return. Of course, if you think you’re profoundly depressed, a psychotherapist can help.