Thank goodness for friends

I heard a sharp rap through the phone. “What was that?” I asked my friend. He’d just inquired about my love life and I told him of the current potential suitor who was very attentive, but lives thousands of miles away — and who I’d not yet met.

“That” he said, “was me slapping you.”

I laughed.

Yes, he was right. The chances of this turning into a lasting relationship was slight. It could happen, but most likely it wouldn’t. I knew that. I was kidding myself that it might be different.

How often do we know something isn’t going to work out, yet we continue to put time and energy into it, hoping it will turn out as we’d like? For most of us, this is too often. Especially if we are a hopeful, optimistic person. We tend to ignore the clear signs that we should just say adieu and focus on other, more suitable suitors.

And thank goodness for friends who are willing to tell us what we need to hear. Because even when we know what they’re telling us, we try to pretend we don’t.

I’ve now deputized my friends to tell me what is clear but I’m ignoring when it comes to love. I’ve not only invited them to tell me the stark truth as they see it, but I’ve told them they are required to do it. Even when I don’t want to hear it.

So far, they’ve been right.

What will it take for us to acknowledge what we know and act accordingly? To release someone who may be enamored with us, but we aren’t feeling similarly? To listen to our own inner wisdom rather than relying on our pals to point out the obvious?

How have you snapped yourself out of your delusion when in or toying with getting into a relationship you know isn’t going to work?


Dating Over 40: Moving On GracefullyWant to understand how to know when it’s time to release someone and to do so kindly? Get your copy of Moving On Gracefully: Break Up Without Heartache.


4 responses to “Thank goodness for friends”

  1. Brenda Avatar

    When I was dating, I had a tendency to meet men who were just not geographically desirable. I finally woke up one day to realize that there was no way they could move, nor could I because of my job and my children (and shared custody), and from then on, I only dated men who lived one hour from my house. I just had too many long distance disappointments to continue to date those who lived too far – and as soon as I made that decision, I met my future husband.

  2. Lisa Avatar

    I agree that when someone is treating you poorly, it is helpful to have a friend point out what you cannot at the moment see. I have been telling a friend for a few years that his girlfriend is way too insecure and controlling. She just broke up with him, for about the third time, so I hope he comes to his senses this time.

    However, I would not necessarily let distance be a “slap in the face” deal breaker if the man seems decent and sincere. Of couse, you need to talk very early on about why you are choosing to talk to someone so far away and how a long distance relationship would work out in the long run–who might be willing to move, etc.

    You have to be quite realistic and not fantasize someone’s potential, etc. but you know…some people are easier to match up then others. If you meet someone who seems right for you and he lives 2,000 miles away, and, most importantly, if you both have the time and means and desire to meet up on a regular basis, why not give it a try?

    Say, for example, you have an M.F.A. in ceramics, you just might have to move from Lanham, Nebraska to get the job you want. It might be the same with love. As I said, some people are just a tougher fit than others. The kind of person who is right for you might not be standing around on every street corner.

    Just be practical, practical, and practical. Having the time and means to meet up is crucial. Be practical, know his circumstances (if he is recently divorced/broken up–forget it!), don’t fantasize, and make him prove himself. Make sure he lives in the US! That would be my advice. A firm tap, not a slap. That is just my opinion, because if I see a guy who seems like my type and he says he would like someday to bicycle across Mongolia with me, I too might forget that he lives 3,000 miles away!

  3. Grace Pamer Avatar
    Grace Pamer

    My brother was a classic example of always wanting to believe the best even when the worst was staring him in the face. He ended up staying with a girlfriend for 5 years more out of friendship than love. It was clear within year 1 it wasn’t working romantically and yet they pressed on and it became a habit to ignore the elephant in the room that it was never going to work. I know he regrets the wasted time now (well they both do as they remained friends after).

    You just have to trust in friends when they point out the obvious.

    Excellent post

  4. Jeff Avatar

    Lets face it your friends and family will often tell you what you want to hear so that you don’t get hurt by what they really think. On the other hand other friends and family will tell you how horrible a decision you are making.

    Personally, as a man, I am very annoyed by both, people should mind their own business and stay out of the bedrooms of others.

    Ultimately I think every man and woman should get really clear and specific on what they want in a man/woman and relationship. This way they can weed out the flakes and misfits in there life. They will also discover the one they really want much faster.