I would like to take a moment and celebrate the fact that I am single and, for the most part, okay with it.
|photo credit: blog.nola.com|
For the past few weeks, I've been lending an ear to a friend who's going through a break-up. I don't plan to go too deep into her situation because it's not any of your business but, for the sake of understanding, they've reached a point in their relationship where he is frustrated with her to no end and she is trying to figure out how she can make it better. At the end of the day, the love is there and I vouched for their relationship. He really is a good guy.
I suggested that she give him space to process all that he has going on with school, life, and family and use this time to focus her energy on other things. I assured her that I knew it would be difficult because, for two years, they were all the other knew. She's having a hard time adjusting to the split that is but really isn't and he seems confused on how to process it all and be separate.
Yes, there are two sides to every story and where I would love to hear his, all I have is what she's telling me. In his eyes, she's selfish, arrogant, and asks too many questions. She feels he's an unmotivated competitor who could stand a money management course. As his girlfriend, she tried to be the support system he lacks at home, suggesting tips and things she was taught growing up. Because she's been my friend for about five years, I know her personality. I agree that it can come off a little strong but she means well. For him, it proves to be too much.
Whenever she asks what she should do, I usually give her vague answers, insisting that she do what feels right. No one understands their bond better than they do and I refuse to tell her something, have her follow through and then something backfires. Now, all eyes are on me--the single friend who's assumed to be bitter because she doesn't have a man of her own (which is so not the case).
Me: You can't talk to him like a child. No one likes being talked down to, especially men. And you know how you can get sometimes.
Her issue, which I wouldn't even call an issue forreal, is that she is very smart when it comes to money and being prepared for any possible situation. She was taught early on how to live out of 30% of her income (still amazed by that) and the importance of saving. She noticed that he lacked that type of discipline so, bit by bit, she would hint to him different things he could try. He took offense and instead of discussing his true feelings, he shut her out and off, constantly finding characteristics to add to the list of things she did that brought on feelings of inadequacy.
To a degree, I'm a sensitive person, empathizing with the trials but even I get to a point where I'm like, "Dude! Get over it already." I will only stroke your ego for so long before I'm expecting you to get your bearings in order.
Maybe she was too hard on him. Maybe he's just too sensitive. Either way, he needed to hear everything she had to say because, apparently, no one ever cared enough to push him. He needs to know that someone cares whether or not he's okay. There were things that he told her that she needed to hear as well. I think the break-up is good for them right now. They need to learn how to be alone with themselves.
I did give her a bit of advice though: Do not go back to him unless you see an obvious change in behavior. It makes no sense to go back to a situation only to have to deal with what made you break away in the first place. If he values the relationship, he'll swallow his pride and take heed. If not, then you know that you need to move on.
No one wants to witness their friends going through a tough time. It breaks my heart to see someone who is usually joking and laughing all the time so down. I keep telling her that this is a test for her and that it will get better--or she'll reach a point where she just DGAF anymore. She is a smart girl which is why I know she'll make it out of this just fine.
Do you offer up sound advice when it comes to friends' relationship issues or are you biased? Is there a fine line between belief and support in your mate versus being overbearing and pushy?