By Tallulah Bell, TSB Contributor
Valentine’s Day gets closer and closer, so TSB’s Tallulah Bell is here to get everyone’s love lives in order. Have a burning relationship question? Send your anonymous love questions to firstname.lastname@example.org to receive Tallulah’s advice.
I’ve been dating this guy for three months, and I enjoy his company, but I don’t feel that kind of “chemistry.” He has already suggested spending a weekend in Vegas. Is it possible to have male friends without them wanting more?
Sincerely, Curious Amy
Dear Curious Amy,
The age-old question; is it possible for men and women to be platonic friends? I wish there was a definite answer, but to be honest it depends on who you ask and the situation. In this particular situation, communication is the key. Be honest with your new guy friend. Women tend to think being friends with males is normal, while males are only thinking of one thing the entire time and it’s not usually friendship. You need to tell him you’re not feeling it, and if you want to be friends, let him know. You will get your answer based on his reaction. Go with your gut. It will never let you down. Last words of advice: don’t lead him on, and going with him to Vegas might do just that.
Lots of love,
My husband insists that our family spend spring break with his parents. It may be at Disney World, a visit to a historic city, or a trip to the beach, but no matter what, he always invites his parents, saying that they can help watch our 2 young daughters. In reality, this rarely happens and the tension that sometimes develops as a result of having all of us together for a week has gotten old and I’m not looking forward to another spring break with the in-laws.
Tense in McKinney
Dear Tense in Mckinney,
It is time to set some boundaries. Every relationship on the planet needs boundaries and the only way to set them is through old-fashioned communication. I know that word sends shivers down an average person’s spine, but it is essential. Let’s make it clear, this communication that I speak of is not small talk or agreeing in order to bypass an argument. Setting a boundary is healthy and results in more positive and beneficial relationships.
Talk to your husband. Tell him that you would love to go on a vacation, sans the in-laws. Tell him why it bothers you and how it makes you feel. Explain to him that you are setting the boundary because of your concerns and that if he chooses to break that boundary, there must be a consequence. That consequence is up to you. For example “I love to travel with you but traveling with your parents causes tension, resulting in a unpleasant vacation. I love them, but I will not travel with them. If you choose to invite them, I will remind you of this boundary and not go on the vacation in order to take care of myself.” Stick to it. There is also a chance that your husband may have boundary issues with his parents. If he insists on inviting them, ask him why and make it clear that the babysitter excuse no longer flies. His parents might be laying on a large guilt trip. Educate him on setting boundaries as well. They have to respect them or suffer the consequences. It’s hard to take care of ourselves but it is imperative for any relationship to be healthy, happy and successful. You can do it!
Lots of love,