Dear Devil’s Advocate,
Even though we’ve both been in college for 3 years and should be mature adults by now, my best friend can’t seem to grow up and accept my boyfriend. She constantly assumes that I blow off our plans to hang out with him, but really I’m just busy with other things. Now she is mad at both of us, and she’s never even met him! I love her very much, as she has been like a sister to me. But it doesn’t seem that she respects my relationship at all. What can I do to get her off my back?
-Stuck Between Two Loves
Dear Two Loves,
It can be extremely difficult and painful when the two most important people in your life can’t bear the presence of the other. You can’t discuss things like your first kiss or first fight with your own best friend, and you certainly can’t confide in her if you and your boy are disagreeing, because she would persuade you to ditch him immediately. On the surface, it may seem like your BFF either has control issues, or is just jealous of what you and your beau share. But if you dig a bit deeper, you’ll find that she is jealous, but not of your relationship. Your best friend is most likely feeling threatened by your man, because all the time you would have spent with her, you are now spending with him. It’s kind of a territorial thing; she had claimed you long before he came along, and was there through all the ups and downs you’ve had, so why should he get all your attention?Now that you know what’s really happening, you can take some action to change things. There are basically two options for you at this point. Stitch it or ditch it. Explain to your girlfriend that she still means so much to you, and that you want to schedule time for the two of you to hang out a lot more often. Also, ask her if she’d mind spending an evening with you and your man, doing something like bowling or just going out to eat. If you truly aren’t ditching her for your guy, she’ll have no right to complain. If she refuses and continues to turn her nose up towards something that makes you happy, then you should think about explaining to her that as a best friend, she should support you regardless of how she happens to feel about your decisions. If not, she may not be such a best friend after all.
Dear Devil’s Advocate,
I just transferred to St. John’s, and I am getting along pretty well with my suitemates. The only problem is that they invite me to go out drinking with them, but I don’t drink. I don’t look down at people who do, but it’s just not for me. It just sucks because they are out bonding, and I feel like an idiot for not going with them. Should I accept their offer and compromise my values?
– Call Me When You’re Sober,
Dear Sober, Is the approval of your peers more important to you than your personal beliefs? Didn’t think so. One or two beers won’t kill you, but if that’s not something you’re into, don’t force it. Your suitemates obviously keep inviting you out because they can see that you’re awesome, not just because they think you can go shot-for-shot with them. How about you suggest going out to dinner, to a low-key place like Applebee’s or TGI Friday’s, where you all can eat and bond together, and they can have a drink if they so choose. The most important thing is that you are all relating together on some level, and it doesn’t have to happen through becoming incoherent and talking about things you won’t remember in the morning. If they decline and insist that going drinking is the only way they can have fun, then that’s pretty sad and they don’t deserve your company.