No need for a friend zone

Joey Garcia

I’m in high school and there is this guy I thought I liked but realized I didn’t like him like that. I know that he likes me. I told him I don’t like him but want to be friends. Every time I talk to him, he flirts with me. He always wants to hang out. I know if we hang out he will flirt and he will think that it means more than it does. What should I do?

Decide how much drama you want in your life, and make your choices accordingly. Start here: Do you yearn for a repetitive, distracting inner dialogue that questions how to spend time with this guy without him crushing on you? If so, keep trying to be his friend.

Then when he flirts, you will blame him for liking you so much when you’ve been clear that you only intend to be friends. When you reset those boundaries, you’ll find yourself selling a “But I Told Him I Only Want To Be Pals” script to anyone who will listen. Without notice, your mind will swing in the opposite direction. You’ll wonder if being friends is the right choice. After all, he likes you so much. That’s right, your mind will revisit emotional territory you’ve already mapped and traveled. Obsessing like that is a waste of time and life energy.

Hanging on to this guy is unkind to both of you. The choice to be his friend, when you know he wants more, is actually a choice to lead him on. Every interaction between you encourages him to believe he will eventually reach your heart. Don’t be that girl. It’s better for him to fly solo. It’s better for you, too. Cut the ties now so when you meet your bae, he won’t wonder why a guy who you insist is a friend still flirts with you. Yes, end it. Trust that you are clearing the way for him to meet someone special, too. Above all, keep your drama-quotient low, and your capacity for joy enormous.

My wife’s been going to therapy, and now she wants to talk about everything, all the time. I don’t mind talking about feelings or our relationship, but I don’t want to do a deep dive on every detail. I shake off more of what happens in life than she does. I want to support her but she’s driving me crazy. How can I get her to understand that I don’t need to process everything like she does?

Sometimes an external irritation, like your wife’s needling, is an invitation into a more profound level of spiritual growth. So challenge yourself to discover whether you are resisting a more intimate relationship with yourself. Consider taking a meditation class or seeing a spiritual director to help to unwrap the answer. On the other hand, if your wife is copying her therapist’s inquiries, using you as her client, take a stand. Let her know that you treasure her insights but prefer to unpack your baggage alone. You might also attend a few therapy sessions with her to clarify your support of her approach, and your own. Set conversation boundaries, too. Like this: “I’m not curious enough to explore this further. Is it something you’re willing to do on your own? I have all the insight I need at the moment.” Then encourage her to journal while you move on to another activity.

Meditation of the week
“Education is what remains if one has forgotten everything he has learned in school,” said an anonymous wit. What grade did you get in consciousness this year?

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