The First Cut is the Deepest!! (A relationship with a Narcissist…)

A relationship with a Narcissist has been compared to being on a roller coaster, with immense highs and immense lows. They have been described as the proverbial Jekyll and Hyde, one way one minute, another the next.

People usually get into relationships for love and the need to connect and bond with another. Narcissists get into relationships for entirely different reasons. They do not feel love and they lack the ability to connect and form normal attachment bonds with others.

Narcissists need people more than anyone. Because their entire sense of self-esteem and self-worth is dependent on the admiration of others, their emotions are a precarious balance of needing others and needing to be left alone.

Narcissists feel an enormous void inside of them. This void is ever present and the only thing that fills it, is the love and esteem of another. The fix is always temporary though. A Narcissist describes it this way, “It’s like my brain is constantly seeking something. It’s like I’m always chasing a carrot at the end of a stick. Nothing I do satisfies me, at least not for long. I feel like I only do things because I’m supposed to, because society does it. I don’t feel like I belong anywhere or with anyone.”

Narcissists are completely self-absorbed and are oblivious to the wants and needs of others. They enter into relationships in an attempt to fill this void and to make sure that they have someone who is always available for sex, an ego stroke or whatever need they may have. A relationship with a Narcissist always follows three phases, the over-evaluations phase, the devaluation phase and the discard phase.

The Over-evaluation Phase

A Narcissist is very careful when choosing a target. Typically, they will choose a victim based on their status. They must be attractive, popular, rich or extremely gifted in some area. The greater the status, the higher the value the Narcissist places on the Supply derived.

Once a target has been chosen, it’s almost like the Narcissist gets tunnel vision. They are hyper-vigilant in their pursuit and will project the perfect image that their victim wants them to be. They are excessively caring, loving and attentive at this stage. They shower their targets with attention, compliments and literally sweep them off their feet.

They place their target on a pedestal, idolize and worship them. Their target is the greatest thing since sliced bread. Here the Narcissist is ecstatic, full of hopes and dreams. They will talk and think about them constantly, they are euphoric. This is as close as a Narcissist will ever get to feeling love. This kind of idolization is what others would call infatuation.

The victim is likely so caught up in all the attention and is usually thinking at this point, that they have found their soul-mate. Their pursuer is exactly what they want in a partner (because the Narcissist is mirroring what they have learned appeals to their target) and they can’t believe how lucky they are and that this catch is still single.

What they don’t know, or could ever be prepared for, is what comes next.

The Devaluation Stage

The Over-Evaluation phase, if you’re dealing with a Somatic Narcissist, usually lasts anywhere from a few weeks to a couple of months, just long enough for the Narcissist to be confident that they have secured their target’s love and devotion. Unbeknownst to the target, what they were witnessing in the early phase was the Narcissist’s false self. In this second phase, the mask comes off and the Narcissist starts to reveal their true colours.

The shift could be gradual or almost seemingly overnight. Suddenly the attention they so lavishly gave you is gone and replace by indifference and silence. Days or weeks could go by and you won’t hear from them. They don’t return your phone calls, they don’t keep a single promise and you’re starting to suspect that they might be involved with someone else. The target is left baffled and confused and wondering what they did wrong to cause such an abrupt turnaround.

Narcissists become bored easily and what usually starts happening in their heads at this stage, is that the void begins to emerge again. The high they were feeding off of is waning and they begin to question your worthiness, that perhaps you weren’t so special after all, because if you were then the void wouldn’t still be there.

They become moody and agitated easily, blaming you for even the slightest transgression. They start to disappear more frequently and they give you the silent treatment in an attempt to create distance. As the Narcissist withdraws, the target starts to cling and your demands for his attention and your need to understand what’s happening, grate on his nerves. The harder you cling the more the Narcissist pulls away. They start to blame and criticize the target for everything, treating them like an emotional punching bag.

At this point the target is an emotional wreck. The Narcissist has left without any explanation and they can’t figure out how one minute they were put on a pedestal and now it’s like they doesn’t even exist. The Narcissist is a projector and they are projecting their emotional turmoil onto you. They feed off of other people’s misery (as long as it’s caused by them) just as much as they feeds off of your admiration, either way it makes no difference to them.

It is this person, this cruel, indifferent, unfeeling, sadist that is the behind the mask. Most targets desperately try to find the one they fell in love with. What they don’t realize is that that person never existed. They were a facade an act put on by the Narcissist to secure their Supply.

The Narcissist will take no responsibility for their actions, because they simply don’t care how they’ve treated you or how you are feeling.
Narcissists are not capable of forming normal healthy attachments to people. Those that aren’t familiar with the disorder are completely at a loss to understand how unnecessarily cruel their behavior can be. The target was never more than an object to the Narcissist, whose usefulness is on the decline.

The Narcissist isn’t one to throw away a potential piece of supply though. They will keep up this I love you, I love you not charade going for as long as it suits them or as long as you allow it. They will breeze in and out of your life as if nothing ever happened, completely oblivious and indifferent to your suffering.

This mind fuck is deliberate and they will keep feeding you crumbs of attention, just enough to keep you emotionally invested and available to cater to their every need.

At some point one of two things will happen: either they will find a new target and begin phase one with them, thus ignoring you completely, or you will have had enough of his psychotic abuse and you will take control and put an end to it, thus ushering In phase three.

The Discard Phase

It is almost baffling to watch the ease at which a Narcissist can pull away from his partners. Many targets are left asking themselves, “Did he ever love me? Did I mean anything to him?” The simple answer is no. No one means anything to him. Women are only a means to an end – to obtain the much needed Narcissistic Supply. Once your usefulness has run its course, you will be discarded abruptly and cruelly, without warning.

Trying to get over a relationship with a Narcissist is extremely difficult. Once it is over the target is usually an emotional wreck, whose self-esteem has been annihilated by the persistent demeaning behavior, insults and cruelty of the Narcissist. Depending on when they were able to break free, the target maybe a shadow of their former self, with a lot of work ahead of them to rebuild their shattered self-image.

As a victim tries to pick up the pieces, What must be remembered is that you were deliberately targeted, lied to and manipulated by a skilled con-artist, for their own gain. There was nothing you could have done differently and none of this was your fault. The Narcissist will repeat this pattern with every person, every time, bar none.

All former targets must be vigilantly on guard, because a Narcissist always reserves the right to revisit a former source of supply, no matter how much time has passed or how badly they’ve behaved.

Once you have broken free you must close the door on any and all contact, because if you don’t you’re headed back to a watered down version of Phase One – over and over and over again.

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Ari’s Playbook on Dating

‘’What’s a pimp with no hoes/ you know the game and how it goes/ We trying to get chose.’’

– UGK “International Players Anthem” 

First let me say thanks Cam for asking me to write on your blog tonight.  Anytime I’m given the opportunity to talk via text, phone or blog I jump at it.  Though picking a topic was a hard one for me… It wasn’t until a conversation that I had with my boyfriend that this topic just fell into my lap.  I hope you all enjoy!!

For most of my dating life, I’ve operated by what I call the Golden Rule of Relationships.  That is, under no circumstances do you date an associate’s former flame.  That broad definition of a man who was once important bu is no longer includes anyone who paid for dates for a woman in my wide-reaching circle of friends, all of their exes (of course), jump-offs, one-night stands, and any person I as aware that a current associate was crushing on, whether he’d expressed mutual interest or not.  Oh, and no man remotely close to an ex-boyfriend.  And when asked by a woman not to pursue, take the loss.  I figure this is a ladies’ game, and all must show respect to keep the operation running smoothly.  I was steadfast about this, and it made sense because….well, why would I want to violate this rule?  Associates don’t need penis in common any more than friends do.  It’s just bad business.

But as the dating game continued, my social life kept expanding, and Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, LinkedIn, and Instagram and other social networking sites continued to unite the world in on common group associate-ship, it became increasingly difficult to meet anyone who hadn’t already known someone I was just meeting in the biblical sense, much less paid for a few dinner or drinks.  I also realized people held claims on people that were, frankly, ridiculous.  Like, I’m sorry you dated a guy in college…..ten years ago.  Let it go.  Or even that he was a jump-off for three months three years back, and you want to call him off-limits?  Let it go.

Naturally, I thought the rules should adjust to accommodate the new social setting.  So I wrote up…. new rules.  Yes, like Bill Maher. The DATING CODE OF HONOR is less about a preference for having a penis in common (not preferred)  with your Facebook friends and more about opening up a wider dating pool, lest single ladies be forced to dabble with old men, mean men, broke men, and all other undesirables for the sake of meeting someone “new”.

I set forth the following:

Article 1 – Married folk must remove all exes from their personal basket and return items to the shelf for the consumption by the general market.  Said married people are not obligated to hook up, arrange blind dates, or introduce their single friends to said exes.

Article 2 – Currently booed-up people can still claim exes off-limits, if the ex is within the last three years.  Upon entering a monogamous relationship, they must release all exes with whom they parted ways more than three years back into the open market for general consumption.

Article 3 – All college boos must be released back into the open market for general consumption at three years post-graduation.

Article 4 – All great loves remain off-limits to the circle of associates, regardless of marital/dating status.

Article 5 – One- night stands are in play after ninety days.

Article 6 – Jump-offs who have not been active for more than twelve months are fair game.

Article 7 – Your ex’s inner circle of friends remains off-limits unless the ex grants permission.  His associates are fair game without asking permission.

Article 8 – In the case of a man who has been “claimed,” i,e., an interest has been expressed, but a return interest has not been expressed, said man is in play of friends and associates after a period of seven days.

The Exie Story

Have you ever had a moment when everything was going well.  Ya know the moment I’m talking about.  You and your boo are on the good foot; your job isn’t stressing you out, and all the bills are paid up.  That brief moment when you’re in the eye of storm.  Well metaphorically that’s where I am in my life.  I’m happy!  The birds are singing and the flowers are in bloom.  I’m in my proverbial summer.

With all of that being said.  I don’t really have anything to write about.  I could write about my love, and how it’s put a brand pep in my step.  I could talk about my quest for motherhood, or the stress of cohabitation; but at the moment I just would rather love up on my boo and let someone else do the work. 

So I called up some friends who owe me favors.  They agreed to help me out with some post this month.  Here is the first of many.  Sit back and enjoy the tales of my dear friend Natalia.

 

“At some point you have to make a decision.  Boundaries don’t keep other people out; they fence you in.  Life is messy; that’s how we’re made. So, you can waste your life  drawing lines; or you can live your life crossing them!”

Recently, I was on the phone whining to my former flame after another disastrous date.

Pause. I’m being dramatic.

He’s not my former flame and the date wasn’t disastrous. Exie is an “old friend” and the date? Turns out Mr. Amazing has a kid that’s almost a toddler.

Exie asks if this is the same guy who messed up my [electronic device]? It’s not. ED fell by the wayside too. Good guy, but he habitually referred to himself in the third person.

I get asked about other people I’ve mentioned to Exie in passing since we became “just” friends late last year. The lovely specimen who mispronounced any word over three syllables and some two syllabic words too (he was really nice), the producer who strung me along (Exie actually co-signed this one for awhile), the industry guy who… Hold up. There’s nothing wrong with him… except he’s in the industry.

Exie listens intently, pointing out more flaws that I seem to have forgotten about these dudes. Then he launches into how he still needs to come through my spot and fix the electronic device the other dude messed up.

Fifteen minutes later, I’m buzzing him in to the apartment. The first thing he says when he walks in: ‘’Daddy’s home.’’

I roll my eyes and fling his jacket on the back of a chair. He’s not staying long.

Exie, who bought the damn device (long story), undoes dude’s re-wiring (longer story) and redoes it back the right way. It takes him five minutes and when he finishes, he turns around with a stern father-look and says, ‘’don’t let no dudes play in my sh*t again, Nat.’’ I couldn’t tell if he was talking about the system or something else.

He’s being weird. I roll my eyes again.

I watch as he sits on the couch and fiddles with the remote. The previews for some movie come on.

‘’You testing to see if it works?’’

He just looks at me. ‘’You got any juice? Get the lights on your way back too.’’

‘’Um, you’re staying?’’

‘’I shouldn’t have ever left.’’

I plop on the couch and snatch the remote from his lap, flip back to cable and flick through the channels. The system is good as new.

‘’Why aren’t we together?’’ Exie asks like it’s a question I should have been expecting.

I pause in flipping channels, but I don’t look at him. ‘’Huh?’’

‘’You heard me.’’

‘’Cause we’re just friends.’’ BET, BETJ, VH1, VH1 Soul, MTV, MTV2…

He snickers. ‘’No, we’re not.’’

Er? ‘’So what are we then?

‘’When you need something, who do you call?’’

Oooh! Sex and the City re-runs on TBS. ‘’Depends on what I need.’’

‘’Stop being difficult.’’

“I’m not being difficult.’’

Exie takes the remote and clicks off the TV and surround sound. I look at him finally, giving him the undivided attention he clearly wants.

‘’When you need something, you call me. When someone else f*cks up, you call me to fix it.’’

I grab a magazine from the coffee table. Oooh Keyshia Cole on Essence! ‘’Is this about the ED?’’

‘’No, listen.’’ He waits until I put the magazine back and give him my full attention again.

‘’You need to talk? I’m here. You don’t want to be alone? I’m here. You got a problem? I get it fixed, you understand?’’

I nod. ‘’So like, where are you going with this?’’

‘’If I’m the one you always run to, why aren’t we together?’’

I thought, What?! but I didn’t mean to blurt it out.

‘’It makes sense, Nat.” He’s staring at the coffee table like it’s going to talk back. “We kick it, we party, we chill, we never argue. I still like you. I know you still like me.

‘’You think I like you?’’ I ask playfully, trying to make light of the conversation.

‘’Would I be here if you didn’t?’’ He’s dead serious.

Touche.

‘’So whatdoya think about that?’’ He takes my hand and I look at our fingers intertwined, then look up at him. For the first time in nearly a year, I think about us. He makes valid points. He’s dependable, reliable, likeable, fine. I’m definitely attracted to him. We don’t argue and he is fine. (Did I say that already?)

‘’Um… I dunno.’’

‘’You don’t know?’’ He nods, presses his lips together. ‘’So think about it, okay? I’m serious, Nat.’’

He reaches for the remote, leans back and flips back to the DVD. The opening scene to love jones flashes across the screen.

“love jones?” I attempt that one eyebrow thing again and fail miserably.

“It’s your favorite movie, right?”

“I didn’t tell you that.”

He laughs. “I read your blog.”

He motions for me to lean on him. I get his juice, cut the light and then I snuggle into his masculinity (a wall of man, it is.) Why haven’t I thought about dating Exie before? It makes sense. It’s just honestly never crossed my mind since we agreed to be just friends.

Could I date Exie? Is that really any different than what we do now?

When Darius fumbles his drink at the bar, I turn on Exie, look up at his face.

He looks down, kisses my nose. “Keep thinking. No rush.”

The Being Mary Jane Season 2 Finale…. Ya’ll Know I Got Something To Say!

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It’s taken me this much time to process the season finale of ‘Being Mary Jane’. I was all riled up watching. Like I was yelling at the screen. Then after, I was mumbling and shaking my head like I was Halle Berry in Queen. You know, the one where she ends up in the asylum?

Sean, woke up and saw me sitting on the floor in front of the couch. I dived off dramatically after—you know, the thing that happens at the very end. He goes, “Um, what happened?” And I tried to explain in detail before giving up and saying, “It was many things. So many things. All at once.”

In the light of day and in no particular order of importance, I will now attempt to discuss nine of those “many things” in a coherent way. Oh, and *SPOLIER ALERT*

1. *Sheldon’s an ass, but so is MJ.

Sheldon goes overboard to impress MJ and be romantic— saffron, wine, candlelight under the stars, slow jams, French films and MJ just sons the f*ck out of him, just because? Like I was staring at the TV like, “WTF is wrong with this chick?” She’s been complaining about men for two seasons and finally a man pulls out all the stops and it’s still a problem? Sheldon wasn’t perfect, no. The night wasn’t perfect, no. But it wasn’t all bad and he was trying. He played the music loud. He had French films. But he didn’t call her by another woman’s name or curse her mom.

And when she saw him getting defensive and agitated, she STILL DIDN”T STOP. Ugh.

2. Sheldon’s an ass (it’s worth saying twice). 

How you gonna make your girlfriend get a new toothbrush every night? You don’t want it sitting out? Fine. Put a lil’ cap on it and put it in the drawer. But why Sheldon got so many spare toothbrushes? Like how many folks you got staying over in your room, bruh? That bin of toothbrushes in the master bathroom was a red flag.

But that’s not Sheldon’s worst offense by far. He’s entitled to see the world however he wants and have whatever lifestyle he enjoys. However, he knows that shit is off beat and irregular. That I never want to marry, nor have children, or live together, but we can have two condos on the same floor or a compound… is much and next. You’re supposed to tell someone about your revolutionary way of seeing the world before you declare you’re in a relationship to give them a choice. It’s a simple, “Hey, I know there’s the traditional way, and here’s my way. What do you think about that?”

And yes, MJ should have asked him for clarity. “You’re down with babies and marriage and all that, right? Just checking.”  These are two grown people with horrible communication skills. But the bigger onus was on Sheldon to speak up, and I hollered when it all came out and MJ told him, “Ain’t nobody got time for no fundamental shifts.”

But still, still, that’s not what makes Sheldon a gigantic ass. It’s when after he mislead MJ, and after he told her about his personal utopia that he knew she wasn’t down for, he added, “Given your history with men, that’s probably the best offer you’ve got.”

There are levels to assy. That is the highest one. And for the record, he’s wrong: being alone is a better option than settling.

3. Home Invasion.

So, I get it. There’s a bump in the night and no one there to go investigate or the alarm goes off and you realize how alone you are is terrifying. I get why MJ called Sheldon. I get why he let her come back over after she had been an ass. I don’t get why she just defacto moved herself in, especially when the man is making it obvious he didn’t want her there. I mean, the man is throwing your toothbrush out every night.

And then, like, he didn’t give the code to the gate, because he didn’t want her to have the code to the gate and/or he wanted her to do like Big Boi said and call before she came and not “just pop up over out the blue”. But not only did she violate by barging up in his house like she pays bills there, she kicks off her shoes in the middle of the floor, flings her bags all up on the counter, goes in the fridge like she bought groceries, then calls his place “home” while she’s on the phone with her girl.

Ma’am. If you don’t take your messy, no-home-training-having self home.

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4. Wetting the Bed. 

See me? I wouldn’t spend the night out as a bed wetter. And I wouldn’t let anybody stay over either. The Cutty Buddy, hit-and-run situation? That works for these circumstances.

And I would think that if you were the type to stay out and risk urinating in some other person’s bed, you must be very comfortable with them. And because you are very comfortable, you might say to the person you’re spending the night with, “Hey, I pee the bed. I’m stressed. I just wanted to let you know why I have on these here Depends, so nothing to worry about.”

Note: Depends. I would think that if you have nighttime problems with your bladder, you would wear Depends or some sort of protective garment if you are sleeping and especially if you decided (against better judgment) you will be sleeping elsewhere. This is responsible and sensible. Invading a man’s house and peeing in his bed—even on accident—especially when you’ve never had a conversation about it, is just crazy.

5. No sex.

Everyone doesn’t have sex before marriage, for various reasons. But neither MJ, nor Sheldon, are uber religious and it seems that both of them have a desire for sex. Sheldon’s pulling out the romantic stops which would indicate he wants it and MJ is rearranging her underwear to show more ass, which would imply that she wants him to make a move.

So…. this is weird that they’re not doing “it”. And I didn’t realize how weird it was until MJ is (rightfully) ranting to Sheldon about misleading her, knowing that she wanted marriage and babies and he points out, “But we haven’t had sex yet.”

Yeah… about that. But then Sheldon had a good point: “When it’s not about your ex, you’re peeing the bed.”  Well, shit, sir. Shit.

6. MJ’s Uggs. 

I know they’re comfortable, but that is one fugly shoe or, er, boot. It’s tolerable with pants or leggings. With shorts? No. Just no.

7. David’s Dog.

I understand that people are very closely attached to their pets and think of them as a member of the family. I get that completely and respect it. But MJ and ol’ girl (Lisa?) were carrying on about that dead dog like David’s Mama had died.

I expected David to be a shell of a man when we caught up with him. But nope! He was sad, but he was also chilling on the counter, drinking a glass of red, letting his ex’s BFF who used to top him off (more than once), cook in his kitchen while his pregnant, live-in GF traveled.

Damn. That right there is one messy man.

8. Lisa Ain’t Shit.

I ain’t never liked Lisa. She’s jealous and whiny and as we found out on Tuesday night, scandalous. Let me get this straight: the childhood best friend who is close enough to be invited to family dinners even when MJ beefing with her did the following:

a. Had sex—she’s right, oral counts—with MJ’s man, multiple times, and also told MJ about it, just not who it was with.

b. Loaned MJ’s ex $50k

c. Took MJ’s ex in after MJ kicked him out.

d. Took care of MJ’s ex while he was sick.

e. Looked after MJ’s ex’s dog while he traveled.

f. Is currently in MJ’s ex’s kitchen, pushing up on the low, low (ya’ll see that hair and her booty in that dress?)

g. Is in love with MJ’s ex who MJ is also in love with.

I know David and Lisa knew each other before he met MJ. But there are rules, and apparently Lisa looked at the list of them and said, “eff it!” This might be the grimiest, shadiest chick in the history of TV. She didn’t just screw up, she did it over and over and over and over. So much for friendship.

9. The Crash.

MJ is the star of the show, so there’s no way she’s being killed off. But the questions abound: how okay isn’t she—physically and professionally? I know all things are possible with God, but that’s not a TV-crash that a character walks away from.

Physically, I’m sure she’ll recover. Professionally? The first hour of the finale was about a younger woman replacing her elder in the business. The elder hadn’t done anything wrong, but live long enough not to look/be young anymore. A blessing in life and a curse on the air. How does that work out for MJ, whose job is as much about her brains as it is her beauty?

The Ex is Engaged and You Found Out on FACEBOOK!

It happened. Your ex is engaged.

You broke up two years ago. It hurt, but time passed and you dated other people. You forgot how much you cared about him.

Until one seemingly ordinary day you get back to your desk after lunch at Chipotle. You had a veggie burrito, but you should have just gotten carnitas. Minor gripes; life is good. You open Facebook before resuming work. And wham:

Your chest contracts. Your lungs don’t have enough room to breathe. Your heart doesn’t have enough room to beat. Everything else going on in the world halts.

He is engaged and he looks happy, happier than when he was with you.

206 Likes? That is absurd. People are way too liberal with their likes these days.

You click, “See Their Relationship on Facebook.” Your fingers are trembling from adrenaline (and the four coffees you’ve had so far today). You know you shouldn’t look, but you have to look. It’s just like driving by a car crash.

You close the window, but the images linger. You open the power-point you should be working on.

You can get through this. Do not reopen Facebook. Do not look at the pictures again. Work on your powerpoint. That deck is due at 3 p.m.! You don’t have time for an emotional breakdown and relationship review. It’s over. You’re over it. Of course he was going to get engaged.

So you reopened Facebook less than five minutes later. It’s OK. I understand. The first viewing of the photos was a shock. Now you must look at them rationally and critically. Does she seem cool? Is she prettier than you? What kind of person is she? How long have they been together?

Her name is Hannah Marie Sterling*. Who uses their full name on Facebook? That’s so obnoxious. It’s like saying, “I’ve always been perfect and proper and have nothing to hide.” Ugh, she looks cute and nice. Since when has cute and nice been his type?

They have a disgusting number of puke-y we’re-so-cute selfies (> zero). They have captions that are inside jokes. They have captions that refer to “we.”

They’re on a picnic blanket. Caption: “We forgot the food, but remembered the wine.”

They’re making goofy faces in a canoe. Caption: “Weekend at the Sterling cabin.”

Ohhh, they go to outdoor concerts together and dress zany-ironical. They’re sooooo cool. Barf.

Do they own labradors together? If they own labradors together you’re seriously going to die.

They have been Facebook friends for slightly over a year. They only met a year ago and now they’re engaged? You dated for three years. Don’t obsess over these facts. It doesn’t matter. You’re over him, remember?

You can no longer be Facebook friends. Call your closest office friend to your cube. Explain the situation to her and have her sign onto your account and unfriend him. You can’t do it. Then you’d have to see the pictures again. You can’t see those pictures again.

Remember: “We forgot the food, but remembered the wine”? Vomit.

Now go back to work. It’s over. You only have 2 hours to finish that deck!

So you can’t focus. Fine, go to your online dating profile and set up something for later this week. After work drinks on Thursday with the lawyer from the Southend. Great. You’ll probably fall in love and get engaged in less than a year, so you have that to look forward to.

Now go back to work.

Remember the terrible things about him. Remember why you broke up. Why was that again?

OK, you loved each other. But remember how when he “blew” his nose he really just picked his nose through the tissue? And remember how when you took showers together, he made them into functional, practical showers? And remember how he hated spicy food? And how he had a bad sense of direction but insisted on doing the navigating? Yeah, Hannah Marie Sterling has a whole life of THAT in store!

It’s not that you wish him ill, it’s just that you wish him to be doing less-well than you.

So you want to contact him. You want to just reach out, see how he’s doing. Don’t do it. He probably noticed that you’re no longer friends because you post about 12 mindless updates a day and the quiet in his newsfeed will be apparent. You can’t contact him immediately after you unfriended him immediately after he announced his engagement. You might as well show up on his doorstep, crying lunatic ex-girlfriend tears, playing whatever song John Cusack plays in that movie that’s not Sixteen Candles.

So you emailed him, but it was casual and pertinent: “Hey, I found your Frisbee in the back of my closet. If you need it I can mail it or something. Hope you’re doing well.”

Yeah, that was pathetic. Now what are you doing? Refreshing your inbox? Waiting for his response? OK, I give up. You’re on your own. Call me when you’re ready to drink this off.

10 Friends Every Sister Girl Should Have….

1. The “Elder” Stateswoman

She’s got seven to 10 years on you, and those few years give her an insight to your life that is priceless. She’s young enough to remember how she was at your age, and old enough to help you sidestep unnecessary drama, especially when it comes to work and men. Whatever advice she gives, 99 percent of it turns out to be right.

2. A Lady Problem Solver*

You have a good reputation and some sense, but every now and again a situation occurs when using them doesn’t solve a problem quickly. You can’t be caught acting a fool, but she doesn’t care and is willing to take the heat. When you’re at a party, if someone’s flirting with your man, she will handle it. When you find out your man is cheating, she’s willing to confront the woman (even though it’s not really the woman’s fault). You got beef, she asks, “Do I need to come up there?” (The correct answer is no.) Whenever there’s drama, she’s got your back.

3. The “All the Way Turned Up” Friend*

She’s not your day-to-day friend because you’re grown folk with a real job—and, let’s face it, too dang old to be in the club every night with her. But when you need to plan your birthday party, your bachelorette party, your get-over-an-ex party, she knows where to go—and she knows the doorman and the manager, wherever that is. She’s never a dull moment on vacation, but you can’t talk about those details—what happened in Vegas (or anywhere else) stays in Vegas.

My Homie Has a New Boo! (Now What)………

My girlfriends all seem to have complaints about their significant other’s opposite-sex friendships. Some just don’t want their mate to have them at all. Period. Others find that friends call too often, too late, are alternately “too friendly” or “not making enough effort” to get to know the new mate. And a lot of times they fear that the “friend” is secretly crushing on their partner and just waiting to sabotage the relationship. Any of this can be true. And it can also entirely be paranoia resulting from insecurity about the relationship.

 

 

You’re dealing with it, so you know how odd this situation can be, at least for you. You’ve been friends with a guy all this time, and now this new woman comes along and you have to fall back? It doesn’t seem fair. But look at things from her perspective, too. There’s another nonrelative friend in her man’s life who knows him better than she does. That’s not exactly a comfortable feeling, either.

 

I’m happy when my guy friends get into relationships because, well, they’re my friends and I want them to be happy. But admittedly, it could be annoying at times to act in a respectful way of the relationship, especially when I was single. For instance, when something wonderful or surprising or tragic happened, I’d pick up the phone at any time of day and shout, “Dude, you will not believe … !”

 

But when he got into a relationship, I had to check the clock before I called. I thought about what time I sent texts because a phone going off in the middle of the night while your woman’s laying beside you is never going to go over well. When I went home for a rare visit—he lives in my hometown—I might get a night to hang out with him if he was free. His girlfriend (now wife) obviously took precedence for weekend plans.

 

Whether I liked it or not, that’s the way its supposed to be. When you enter a relationship, you’re not supposed to forget about your friends, but in day-to-day matters, the partner trumps. It makes things a lot easier for the friendship and the relationship when friends play an appropriate position, and by “appropriate,” I mean behave respectfully so as not to give any appearances that there’s anything more than an entirely platonic situation.

 

It also helps if you’re just overall considerate of the new relationship, even when it’s inconvenient. In addition to curbing the time of day and amount you call, be mindful to ask, “Are you with so-and-so? Tell her I said ‘hi’, ” or if you want to hang out with your friend, extend the invite to his significant other. I find those two small gestures can go a very long way in making a new girlfriend more comfortable, and more importantly, less paranoid, if at all, about any friendship with her man.

This strategy has worked exceptionally well for me, as even though I’m not friends per se with his wife, she’s seen that I’ve always respected their relationship. For instance, the last time my bestie and his wife were coming to Charlotte for the weekend, she made plans to do a whirlwind shopping trip with her sister.

He’s not the type of guy to tag along for a girls’ day. He asked her, “What am I supposed to do then?”

She looked at him like he was crazy and said, “Doesn’t Camron live in Charlotte? Why can’t you go hang out with her?”

Good luck!