Build friend­ship by lis­ten­ing

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - ENTERTAINMENT - Q A Q A

- I'm early 30’s and haven’t had a re­la­tion­ship for a long time.

The per­son I trusted the most cheated on me. Also, three mar­ried men whom I trusted have asked me out in the past. I lost hope and trust in guys. How­ever, now I want to meet some­one. I asked out two guys I re­ally liked, but got re­jected.

Now I have a per­son whom I re­ally want to be closer with, but what if it ru­ins our friend­ship?

I’m un­sure if he's too busy at his work or not in­ter­ested in me. When­ever I ask him to go for a movie or have cof­fee to­gether, he al­ways agrees.

But he rarely con­tacts me first. Does that mean I should look else­where? I’ve lost the way to ap­proach some­one to know each other bet­ter. Lost Mind

- He’s al­ready a friend who en­joys your com­pany. So sug­gest another cof­fee meet­ing and this time ask him ques­tions about him­self - his in­ter­ests, his work, mu­sic he likes, etc. Take lots of time to lis­ten. This is how you show your gen­uine in­ter­est in him as a per­son, with­out push­ing your­self at him.

Most peo­ple en­joy a good lis­tener and are flat­tered by oth­ers’ in­ter­est. He’ll likely ask you ques­tions too, and the friend­ship can deepen this way.

You’ll soon know whether it can build into a re­la­tion­ship. If not, you’re still friends.

And you’ll have gained ex­pe­ri­ence and self-con­fi­dence in later ap­proach­ing some­one else you like.

- My fi­ancé’s par­ents charged us $1000 monthly for their kitchen-less base­ment apart­ment.

His mother in­truded in the night to do laun­dry. She threw my things in the trash, and drank our al­co­hol.

When we an­nounced our en­gage­ment, she kicked us out in a drunken bender.

Now, my boyfriend’s brother com­ing to visit, with his fam­ily.

The par­ents have said aw­ful things about his wife. We’ll prob­a­bly com­mis­er­ate, en­forc­ing the in-law rift.

I’ve post­poned our wed­ding plans but they’re not budg­ing. Do I for­give them?

In-law Stand­off

is

- You’re not clear what they’re re­sist­ing – you? Or, the mar­riage? Why?

Mean­while, his mother’s ap­par­ent al­co­holism makes for trou­bled re­la­tion­ships with ev­ery­one.

De­cide with your fi­ancé whether you two can man­age in­de­pen­dently. Ask him if he can han­dle be­ing es­tranged, if that hap­pens.

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