Sunday, December 17 , 2017, 7:28 pm | Smoke 48º

 
 
 
 
Teenagers

Louise Palanker: Feeling Like Third Friend Out, Getting Back with an Ex, Paying for a Date

Question from Sally

I feel like my best friend is replacing me. I’m best friends with two girls, Anita and Brie. I’ve been best friends with Brie for two years, and I like to think I know her better than anyone.

Over the summer I became super close with Anita, and I would invite Brie over to hang with us. Brie and I do hang out on our own a lot, but only because we live close by.

Well, recently, Anita and Brie have been hanging out without me! It’s only happened a couple of times and I don’t know if I’m overreacting, but I do feel like I am being left out of certain conversations at our lockers and if I say something I am ignored.

We all sit together at lunch and, whenever there’s an open spot next to Anita and next to me, Brie will choose to sit next to Anita. I feel like crying, but I also feel like I’m being totally unreasonable and I need to relax.

Does it sound like I’m being replaced? Because it feels like I am. Should I say I feel excluded? I never ever get upset and I’ve never fought with Anita or Brie, but I feel like they’ll say I’m overreacting.

I don’t get involved in drama and I don’t pick fights with friends unless I have good a reason to be mad at them. I haven’t fought with any of my friends or been involved in any drama in over a year.

Weezy

Friendships are so important to us that the fear of losing them can leave us feeling very raw and vulnerable. So, try this thought on: What if you knew for certain that you could never be replaced and that you will always be extremely important to both Anita and Brie? What if this were an absolute and unshakable fact? Then would you be comfortable with the two of them sometimes doing something together without you?

Well you are un-replacable. You are the only You that there will ever be. But ... you are still only one person. Think of all the people you value and why you need and appreciate each one of them. They are all unique.

Maybe you love dancing with your mom and laughing with your brother and you can always talk to your one cousin about that certain ridiculous reality show that you both love. Your relationship with each person in your life is its own very special treasure. Thus, Anita gets to have her own special relationship with Brie.

There are things that Anita and Brie do or say when you are not around and that just needs to be OK because it is going to happen whether or not it is OK. Don’t give that fire any more air. The more of a threat you make it out to be, the more secret they will keep it, and the more threatened you will feel and the more they will hide more secrets from you, etc.

As you said in your letter, you do hang out with Brie one on one because it’s convenient. You may want to do something with or say something privately to Anita at some point. That’s fine. It is your right to do that. That is just the way life goes.

When it comes to friendships, being exclusive is a burden and a trap. We are happier when we are inclusive. Know your innate value. Trust it and don’t focus on what went on without you. Instead focus on the joy that is right in front of you.

(BuzzFeedViolet video)

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Emily

I wanna get back with my ex and he wants me, but he also wants me to please him. Should I?

Weezy

No.

There should be no terms attached to your dating someone. If you are both old enough for sex (I recommend that you be over the age of 18 and in a loving and committed relationship), then have conversations with him about it as you date and grow closer. You should make these decisions together. Do you see how he has his agenda backward?

You should first be in a loving and committed relationship before you start talking about sex. You should become sexually active only after you both decide that this is a step that you wish to take together.

You used the term “please him.” To me, that sounds like you will be doing something for him. It doesn’t sound like a connection that will be shared. Yes, there are forms of sexual intimacy that do not involve intercourse and that create less risk of pregnancy. But unless you both enjoying yourselves you may wind up feeling used and hurt.

Emotional intimacy should precede any physical intimacy. Being sexually active comes with vulnerability. You only want to be that close with with someone who makes it his No. 1 priority to make you feel safe, secure and loved. This does not sound like that guy.

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Question from Danielle

As you suggested, I asked a guy to hang out and it was all right. I don’t know if having this sort of mentality is right or wrong, but I believe a guy should always pay for the girl. (He’s a college student)

Not that I don’t offer to pay back but what really turned me off is when he said he spent a lot and so I said, “Well, I’ll pay you back then.” And he said maybe later.

When I got home, he just sent me pictures of us taken on that day instead of asking if I’ve arrived home safely. Should I even give this guy another go?

Weezy

This is why we date. People are complicated people. There are so many aspects to our characters. How we interact with money. How we express ourselves. What matters most to us. If you really like this guy, then you can date him again and find a way to let him know what you value.

He probably thought it would be meaningful to share those photos with you, and he maybe even expected that hearing back from you would allow him to know that you were OK. The next time you go out, you may want to tell him as the evening ends that you’ll let him know you got home safely. That’s a way of signaling that you want him to know and care that you got home safely.

As for his money personality? You will just have to see how he continues to behave. Yes, I do believe that the guy should pay for a first date. Then, if it is established that the two of you will be seeing each other, I think you should start to take turns.

But if he always seems to focus on who is paying and hinting that he wants you to pay more, then this may not be a guy you want to travel with down your road. Money personalities tend not to change.

But talk about it. We should each learn from every relationship. Whether or not he is the guy for you, tell him what you need and what you expect. Hear what works for him. That’s how you will find the right fit.

Not everyone is meant to be your match. Most people are not. That’s why there is only one opening for the position.

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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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