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It's My Divorce Party, And I'll Cry If I Want To

It's My Divorce Party, And I'll Cry If I Want To

Divorce carries with it many stigmas worldwide. While Americans have less legal issues and social stigma than other countries, the idea of a marriage failing is not easy for people to overcome as they prepare for being reintroduced to the singles world. A newly divorced person may have a range of logistic and emotional barriers to overcome as they begin life anew independently.

Having gone through the process of marriage with a ceremony to mark that stage in life, there is no real acknowledgement and fanfare to support the next stage after a marriage ends. To lift the spirits of a newly divorced person and to help them know that they have the support of their friends with disposable income, Divorce parties were born to reintroduce the single person to life outside of marriage. These events are self-esteem boosts and gathering with friends will encourage the divorced person that they are loved, when they may be feeling guilt and potentially shame about ending their marriage.

As a professional counselor, I don’t see married people being so jealous of divorce parties that they start thinking of ending their own relationships.Divorce has become so common and part of the culture of relationships that the stigma associated with ending a marriage has lessened in the past few decades. It is still a serious and potentially depressing event for two people to endure. Coming together to support a friend going through the loss of a relationship and ideal future is a good thing.

Written for She Knows.com

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Author of I’m Sorry, You are Not a Pick-Up Artist and I’m Sorry, You are Not a Disney Princess

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Bi-Curious, should I ask my friend?

Bi-Curious, should I ask my friend?

The 911 of the week:

I have a friend that I have known for over 10 years. We are both single males and we are very comfortable around each other. I have never considered myself to be attracted to him in a homosexual way, but I am beginning to wonder about my sexuality. I have been with women only, but I have always wanted to see what it was like with a man. I am thinking about letting my friend know, and asking him if I could kiss him to see how it feels, since I am almost positive that he won’t hold it against me. What do you think?

Dear Mr. BiCurious,

Good for you taking time to decide where you are on that continuum of sexuality. Just because you are not John Wayne, doesn’t mean you are Richard Simmons. For some people it takes time after those peer-pressured high school and college years to settle into a sexuality preference. There is nothing wrong with doing some research. About your friend, I wouldn’t pucker up to him just yet. You might want to throw out some debate on the idea of homosexuality if you haven’t already. See where he stands on the issue, and then ask him directly how he would feel about you if you were gay. Even if he says that he will be your wingman at the local rainbow club, I don’t think a make out session between old friends is the best way to gauge your interest in strange men. I think it is safe to say that close male friends are already man crushing on their buddies enough to have emotional connections that run deep. I know that I love my close male friends but if I was to experiment with my sexuality they would not be lining up for batting practice (well, some of them might). My advice is to take your research into the club, where you can test your urges on anonymous people with whom you have no attachments, that way feelings of emotional and physical are not blended. If your friend is truly a good friend and not an ignorant bigot, they will accept your curiosity and won’t judge you in a negative way. Like any new experience, make sure that you don’t confuse apprehension and fear with lack of desire. Throw yourself into the fire on your terms, and decide if you want to jump out or warm up to the idea of a new you. Best of luck, remember that you matter most!

http://www.drethangregory.com

@drethangregory

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Author of I’m Sorry, You are Not a Pick-Up Artist

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Her fiance isn't ready, do I tell her?

Her fiance isn't ready, do I tell her?

The 911 of the week:

I see some definite signs that my best friend's fiancé isn't ready for the next step. Should I say something? I think we could have a heart-to-heart conversation about it except that recently I've been getting a strange feeling that she's worried about me being a lonely single. I don't want to her to think I'm suggesting a wedding postponement out of envy. Any suggestions? 

Dear Ms. Best Friend’s Wedding,

I see that you are in a tight spot if you say something to your friend, as she might be one of those "married is the only way to be" after a certain age, and she might not be so receptive to that heart to heart. You can bring it up as a question, "how does he show he's ready, what are some of the changes you see from when you first met....that type of girl talk. Beyond that it will seem that you are pushing for her to think about things.

She may already see the same things you do, but if she is willing to go through with things, you have to be as well. As long as he isn't beating her, doing drugs, or sleeping with other people, you are going to have to be there to support her through the good times and bad, sickness and health, till they get divorced or you stop caring. As the best friend, we are there to support the good decisions and lessen the fallout from the bad ones. When it comes to this one, let her find out the hard way, just don't tell her "I told you so" if it doesn't happen. 

You are a good friend for wanting to open her eyes, but sometimes we don't listen to those that are too close to us, because we don't want to hear what they are saying, and how it might be right. It will be better for both of you if she loses a husband then if you lose a friend. Best of luck, remember you matter most!

http://www.drethangregory.com

@drethangregory

www.facebook.com/drethangregory

Author of I’m Sorry, You are Not a Pick-Up Artist

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New Feelings for an Old Flame

New Feelings for an Old Flame

The 911 of the week:

I reconnected with an old friend (a girl) that I haven’t seen in ten years. I have a girlfriend and there is nothing wrong with her, but now I cannot stop thinking about this old friend. We live close enough to see each other in person and I have been tempted to set up a meeting. Should I set up a date with the old friend or let it go?

Dear Mr. Back to the Future,

There is a strong psychological reason for you thinking about jumping ship and running off with the blast from the past. When we reconnect with a person that we knew long ago, the memory of them and you from that time comes back and clouds your judgment. For most of us, there is a fondness for when we were more innocent and maybe we see our former self as more authentic. It is possible that the girl from yesterday knows you better and in a different way than your girlfriend might. A good way to keep things in perspective is to think about all the ways that you have changed since you last saw this girl. Think of all the bad choices you made and all the women you put yourself inside before meeting your current girlfriend. Now imagine that girl doing all the bad things you have done. Who is the better catch now?

To see if you are mature enough to meet this person without diving into a hot knew you since middle school sexual affair, I have a test for you. Tell your girlfriend that you connected with a friend from way back, and explain the feelings you are having to her. Invite her to meet the friend with you. If that doesn’t sound like a great idea, then it is not a good idea to meet his girl. If you want to have a pen pal then by all means, keep in touch. Since I am not just a cockblocking advice columnist, here is me throwing you a bone. If you are over your girlfriend and ready to cheat and or break up with her anyway go an ahead and have a play date with the old friend. Be a gentleman and keep your peepee out of her veevee until you can assess old news and officially break it off with current events. Best of luck, remember that you matter most!

http://www.drethangregory.com

@drethangregory

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Author of I’m Sorry, You are Not a Pick-Up Artist

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Baby Daddy Avoiding His Family

Baby Daddy Avoiding His Family

The reader 911 of the week:

My best friend got divorced last year, and she has a five year old son that she has custody of. The father/ex husband lives across the country, but for the last few months, people have seen him around our town. He just wrote her an email saying he is thinking about moving back, should I tell her that he has already been here for months? I feel like I am keeping something from her.  

Dear Ms. Back in Whack,

As the best friend in this situation I understand how it seems like your duty to let her know that her douche of an ex husband has been living and working in town and has yet to even see his son, much less come clean to her. Your choices seem clear, in that you can spill the beans, since no one else has done it yet, or you can hold off until someone else does. If you tell her yourself, what would you get out of it? She will be upset of course, and she will vent to you about what a bad father he is to be so close but to not come and visit or take him for a weekend or whatever divorced people do these days. She will wonder why no one else told her earlier, making her relationships with other people worse. If you hold on until he tells her, or someone lets her know in passing that they saw him at the store, you are still going to be the shoulder she cries on, and you can support her without being the bearer of bad news. Other people have seen him, but you haven’t. Until you see him with your own eyes, it is just a rumor. When she finds out, tell her that you heard rumors but you didn’t want to say anything until you knew for sure and you will be in the clear put the focus where it should be, on how he is a sneaky dude. Best of luck, remember that you matter most!

http://www.drethangregory.com

@drethangregory

www.facebook.com/drethangregory

Author of I’m Sorry, You are Not a Pick-Up Artist

 

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After the Love Has Gone

After the Love Has Gone

The 911 of the week

My relationship ended last month and I haven’t been able to clear my head of what went wrong. My ex and I had been together for a few years off and on. Each time we broke up it was because she felt trapped in the relationship and wanted to see what else was out there for her. Now she is saying that she doesn’t love me the way she used to. I wasn’t always the most considerate boyfriend while we were together and I might have helped to push her away. She says that I am her best friend and she wants me in her life. How do I get all of this off of my mind, and should I try and win her back?    

Dear Mr. Groundhog Day,

Breaking up is hard. Being left is even harder. Being a man being left is the hardest. By virtue of having a penis we are gendered to believe that we are in control of our lives and anything negative happening to us is our fault(just ask our girlfriends). The sad part about your situation is that it is your fault. You didn’t intend to be in this situation, but there are actions that occurred previous to when your relationship ended this last time that could have been avoided. Love makes people do terrible things to themselves, and sometimes to others. You can feel better knowing that your relationship didn’t end when you broke up a few weeks ago.

Your girlfriend has been out of the relationship since way back when she broke up with you the first time. When a person says that they do not want to be in a relationship they mean it. More specifically they mean that they do not want to be in a relationship with the person they are with. The mistake you made was to take her back after the second break up. There is a saying; if you love something set it free, if it comes back it’s meant to be. Life doesn’t always work out like that. Your girl might have meant to be single and to date other dudes while she grew as a person, but she probably just had a few one-night stands and drank a lot of red wine with her girlfriends.

When she got lonely, she went where she felt comfortable, which was with you because you love her and you are safe for her. That is why she says you are her best friend. You are her best friend because I bet if she treated anyone over the past few years the way that she treated you she wouldn’t have any other friends. Your love for her kept you making the same bad choices to keep her in your life. You can regret that, or you can be proud of yourself for being loyal to a person and forgiving someone (something some people never do). Now you find yourself in a position to stand up for your pride as well as grow as an individual.

You have been infected with a virus for a long time, and the only antidote is to remove this tumor from your heart and life space. If she can keep you as a friend, then she can receive the benefit of you in her life, and date other people. You need to delete her number from your phone, block her on social media, and stop receiving texts from her. Let her feel what it is like to truly live without you. You are the man! You will find a hot chick with less issues and lower self esteem that will fill up that space your ex girlfriend created. If you put in a little work over the next few weeks and months you can then decide to let your ex back into your life as friends only.

Do not let loneliness be your life coach. Mr. Lonely will have you repeating the same patterns. Make an effort to go out and enjoy life, pick up a new hobby or an old one. Stay busy, and don’t close yourself off to anyone but your ex. She expects you to be there for her when she feels like shit. When she feels like that, treat her like one and flush her away (at least for the next few months). A good book about breaking it off completely is Its Called a Breakup Because it's Broken, by Greg Behrendt. Best of luck, remember that you matter most!

http://www.drethangregory.com

@drethangregory

www.facebook.com/drethangregory

Author of I’m Sorry, You are Not a Pick-Up Artist

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