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WHAT happened was . . .

What Happened Was... Trouble in the love department? With sex? Or just people in general? Send us your queries, questions, and problems, and we’ll give you the answers served straight up and with a little ice. Lately, I have been receiving a lot of attitude and pushback from guys I have been on dates with. They all think I’m selfish and that I’m sending mixed signals. The truth is, I do not want to date anyone right now because I’m going through a bunch of stuff on a personal level. I want to sort out myself before dating someone seriously, but I also want the company and the occasional sexual experience. How do I deal with this?

Sincerely Dating Challenge Dear Dating Challenge, Do yourself and the guys you are dating a huge favor: don’t date if you’re not ready to date! It is not fair to the guys who may have an interest in you, and it is not fair to yourself since you’re trying to sort out personal stuff. You even say you’re not ready to date, so just don’t do it. Rely on your friends for the company, and there are plenty of options if you want a more casual or occasional sexual encounter. Once you feel you’re emotionally available again, try out the dating thing, and you probably won’t experience the same negative feedback you’re getting now. I am married to a wonderful man for a long time, but lately, I have been having doubts whether I’m actually in love with him or not. I feel very content, but I’m not sure I’m actually happy. I also find myself being attracted to other men, and even getting these crushes on guys where I imagine myself dating them – and not my husband. In fact, he is totally absent when I daydream about my future. I don’t want to hurt him, but I also want to be happy again, and I don’t think it is with him anymore. What should I do?

Sincerely Out of Love

I have realized there is a pattern that goes on with one of my closest friends, and I don’t quite know how to deal with it. You see, whenever I express an interest in someone, if I date someone, or if I hook up with someone, it seems like he is intent on winning that same person over. Just recently, I realized to which extent he has actually gone to hook up with my exes, dates, and random crushes – and often he has even done it behind my back too. I don’t really understand his motivation behind this since we are not competitive in any way (at least not to my knowledge). Is he ‘secretly’ insecure and feels he needs to compete or ‘win’ when it comes to guys? I don’t understand this, and I don’t know what it means to our friendship – help!

Sincerely Best Friend or Fiend? Dear Best Friend or Fiend? Friendships – especially the deeper ones – are complicated. Your example is exactly that – complicated! Obviously, your friend has some issues if the pattern is really as pronounced as you make it out to be. His motivations for ‘following your footsteps’ could one of many or even a mixture of more: he is jealous of you, he has bad self-esteem, he is in love with you, he is obsessed with you, he has the same taste as you, he is extremely competitive, he needs to perform better than you … The list goes on, but you catch the general picture: your friend is obviously tied up on some notion that he needs to repeat or reclaim what you have done in some way. That’s not good. What’s even worse? What it means to your friendship because that kind of competitiveness is extremely destructive. What happens if you get into a relationship? Will he try to sabotage it by seducing your boyfriend? The ramifications could be very damaging! You need to confront him with what you know and ask him to be honest about what his motivations are. Be prepared; you may not like what he has to say – He may completely deny it, or maybe he is utterly insecure, or there is some kind of jealousy or obsession there. It is up to you to decide whether your friendship will hold after you talk to him.

Dear Out of Love First of all, you need to talk to your partner. It is not fair that you harbor these emotions, and don’t share your heartache with someone you have shared your life with – even though this is not an easy subject to talk about! If you agree that your relationship is worth saving and you think you can find happiness with him again, consider seeing a counselor or therapist to help you sort through the multitude of emotions between you. If you agree that maybe the love has been lost either sooner or later in the process, you shouldn’t hesitate to make some life changes on your path to happiness. As with any change, there is no guarantee that happiness lies ahead, but it is definitely worth a shot. Yes, some changes do not come easy and are full of hurt and pain, but everyone deserves a shot at happiness.

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