Sunday, April 22 , 2018, 11:52 am | Fair 67º

 
 
 
 
Teenagers

Louise Palanker: Choosing Between Boyfriend and Ex, Feeling Alone, Guy Friends

Question from Kayley

Should I choose my boyfriend who is perfect or my ex?

Weezy

If you are finding that you have to choose, then your choice should be to choose neither. Here’s what I mean:

It sounds like your boyfriend could very well be perfect ... on paper. I say this because although your boyfriend may seem perfect, although he may be an extraordinary person, although you may be wondering why you do not love him more, the truth is that if he were perfect FOR YOU, then you would not feel tempted by your ex.

Since you do find yourself at an emotional crossroad, you should select neither path. Get single. Spend some time figuring out who you are and what you want out of life. Learn who you are capable of becoming, what will make you feel most fulfilled and then, ultimately, who you would like to share yourself with.

If you are meant to be half of a couple well, then that should only happen when you are whole enough to be all in.

This guy’s advice is pretty good AND, he’s on a skateboard:

(mikefalzone video)

                                                                 •        •        •

Question from Jenna

Hello! My sob story begins like most do. I lost hope wondering why I existed because one lifetime simply isn’t enough to answer that. But these days, I feel pressured, challenged — more specifically, suffocated.

Like every family, mine has a set of beliefs that we follow — religion, I suppose? Unfortunately, there’s too much gap in my communication with my family. For example, I’m more liberal than my family and they don’t seem to like my open mindedness. My mother wants me to choose whatever field I choose to work in, but I want to experience everything.

My close friend and I don’t believe in the essence of marriage and any other relations after that because I’m asexual-aromantic. I don’t feel like I quite fit in with my friends but I try a lot. I’m unhappy, empty, I guess.

And everyone says some special person will change all of that for me. I don’t believe that. What can I do to make my life a bit easier? Thank you a lot.

Weezy

You can start by understanding fully and wholly that your beliefs and feelings are yours alone. They do not just belong to you. They are a part of you. Your base level of responsibility is to do no harm. Your goals should involve and include doing good. Your responsibilities do not include explaining yourself to your family although you should endeavor to hear and respect your loved ones.

Once you are an adult you will be free to make all of your life choices with far less family interference. Of course you want their love and acceptance but I believe you will be able to have that on terms that are acceptable to you.

While you are still living at home, choose your battles with your family carefully. I understand that it would be so wonderful if the people you love the most would completely embrace all of your beliefs, interests and goals and philosophies. Well, that just is not always the case. In fact, it is often not the case.

Know and accept that very little of what you say will change your parents’ core beliefs. Yes, we all ideally learn from our children. But parents have to be really enlightened to allow that to happen, and the lessons don’t often sink in until the parent sees his or her child flourishing as an adult. At that point the heavy lifting is done. The parent can take a breath and observe and maybe say, “Wow. She’s fine. And she has really taught me a lot.”

Right now, your parents know that they have 18 years to shape you into the person they feel you need to be in order to flourish. They are also very busy just trying to get everybody through the day whole and well. Immediately, you can do much less arguing with them. It’s not time to choose a field. Nod your head and say, “I hear you,” in a cheerful manner. No eye rolling. No dissenting opinion. For now.

Continue to form your views. When it is time for college you will find a compromise with your parents regarding where you will go and what you will study. It will always be up to you regarding your romantic future or lack thereof.

As for your friends, just be yourself and be patient with them. This shows them how you in turn hope to be treated. More and more, young people are accepting sexual preference differences and gender choices. You have a wonderful way of expressing yourself and you are going to be just fine.

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Question from Ashley

I have two close guy friends who I’ve known for about three to four years. They both seem to be in love with me. The first guy, Adam, and I dated but it just wasn’t right so I broke it off. The second guy, Eric, recently confessed his love for me and we started to date, but it also wasn’t the way I had hoped a relationship to be and for some reason I didn’t feel confident or proud to introduce him as a boyfriend. So we broke up.

Now all of a sudden, recently, both of them (at different dates and times) have called and come over to my house saying how much they missed me or wanted to somehow be together with me. I understand a guy’s mind is different than a girl’s, but I just get confused with how they’re able to do things so suddenly or go from just being friendly to the next day showering their love.

At this point I really do want there to be an end, but the biggest problem is what to do to stop the cycle? For example, Adam calls and every time we talk it gets harder for me to end it for good because of his growing persistence and saying that he’ll always be alone if he’s not with me with a voice of a lost child. It’s just tiring when I’ve already taken the time before to tell him how I really felt about him and then he just comes back to me anyway. Thank you.

Weezy

I don’t believe that a guy’s mind is all that different than a girl’s. Sure guys have more testosterone that may fuel certain feelings and thus behaviors, but when it comes to love we all fall and once that happens we all ache for that someone. These guys may have been trying different techniques to earn first your friendship and trust and ultimately your love, but I think they were both acting like guys in love who are trying to win a girl over. You have dated both of them. They have reason to hope that there may still be a spark.

If you have been giving mixed messages, this may only serve to fuel them. By that I mean saying “I am not in love with you,” and then having them come over. I know that seems clear to you. It may not to them.

I honestly do not think that you can be friends with someone who is in love with you. That is an unbalanced relationship. If you are not in love in return and you simply want friendship he will always be reading something more into everything you say or do. That is a lot of pressure on you and heartbreak on him. So, it’s time to be clear. Say something like this:

“You want a romantic relationship. I want only friendship. This is not working. We are out of balance. I need to be fair to both of us and sever our friendship.”

I know this will be hard because it sounds like you really like both of these guys as friends. It’s kinder to cut them off. Let them find the love they seek elsewhere. You in turn need friends with no agenda apart from friendship. When you DO fall in love with someone who is the right fit for you, there will be no need to force anything. You will know.

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Got a question for Weezy? Email her at [email protected] and it may be answered in a subsequent column.

Louise Palanker is a co-founder of Premiere Radio Networks, the author of a semi-autobiographical coming-of-age novel called Journals, a comedian, a filmmaker (click here to view her documentary, Family Band: The Cowsills Story), a teacher and a mentor. She has a teen social network/IOS app and weekly video podcast called Journals Network, built around a philosophy of cyber kindness. She also teaches a free stand-up comedy class for teens at the Jewish Federation of Greater Santa Barbara. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.

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