Quit it, don’t hit it

Joey Garcia

When the man I’ve been seeing for three months calls for a date, he says, “I’ll call you later to make plans.” More than half the time, he doesn’t call. I really like him, so I hold off making other plans until he calls or until I call him to see what’s up. Often he asks me out for the next day and I find myself waiting, instead of going about my business. Sometimes we don’t get together at all, and he sort of disappears for a while. I’ve tried to insist that we make solid plans when he asks me out, but he always puts me off. When I tried to ask him about it, he apologized and said he was selfish. I didn’t know what to say. I tend to be a little controlling, so I don’t know if I’m out of line here or if he’s a flake. What is your perspective?

You are dating a man whose words and actions reveal selfishness, yet love relationships thrive on selflessness. Eventually he may be willing to care about your life in equal measure to his, but I wouldn’t count on it. He knows who he is. Do you? Here’s a hint: When confronted, he admitted his faults but did not change. So are you ready to admit this relationship does not offer the commitment, acknowledgement and affection you deserve? A baby step in that direction is to see your concern about him as rational, not controlling. But do tidy up your tendency to wait for his call. That behavior is passive, not patient. You’ve placed him at the center of your life but remain on the back burner of his. Call yourself back to sanity by putting your life into play. You’ve been hitting the pause button far too often.

My best friend always has a crisis. I spend a lot of time listening to her and trying to help. We’re both 20, and I used to like being so close, like sisters. But lately, it’s been a full-blown drama-rama between her, the guy she likes and her ex-boyfriend who still lives with her. I have been late to work a lot because if I don’t answer when she calls, she hangs up before the call goes to voice mail. Then she calls again and again. Or she keeps texting me until I respond. Yesterday her car was towed, and she wanted me to leave work and give her a ride. She made me feel guilty for not helping. I feel bad, but my boss was not cool with me leaving. I don’t want to lose my best friend, but I am really stressing. I don’t know how to help her.

You and your BFF bond through a mutual need for attention. Plus, both of you confuse attention with love. Consider these words of wisdom from self-help writer T. Harv Eker: “You cannot be happy and successful when you’re constantly yearning for attention. Because if it’s attention you want, you’re at the mercy of others. You’ll usually end up as a people pleaser begging for approval. Attention seeking is also a problem because people tend to do stupid things to get it. It is imperative to unhook attention and love.”

Honey, I think it’s time for you to learn how to be your own best friend. You may be lonely for a while, but eventually you will arrive at an internal destination where you enjoy your own company. At that point, you will recognize the qualities of a true friend and attract the right people into your life. The only question is: Are you willing to sacrifice the adrenaline of ongoing drama for a life of joyful contentment?

Meditation of the week
Writer Isak Dinesen once said, “In everything concerning love there is a need for far more clarity, honesty, idealism.” Instead of worrying about using more than 10 percent of your brain, why not practice using more than 10 percent of your heart?

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