Ask J-Ro: A Platonic Dilemma

Jen,I’ve been very attracted to a friend for years. In the early part, my marriage was falling apart but now it’s been over for five years. I’ve admitted to her directly a few years ago how I felt but she didn’t respond how I’d hoped. I’m afraid if I say something again it will ruin our friendship.

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Sorry to hear about the end of your marriage; it’s not easy to call an end to a union you believed would be permanent. However, you’re living proof that there is still good times and great connections to be made if you do become separated / divorced, so give yourself credit for wanting to get back in the game!

I can only imagine how painful & complicated a process it was to get to where you are now, and the fact that it’s been five years tells me that the feelings for your friend seem to be more than just a rebound straight out of your marriage. I think in a case like this though, there’s a few factors at play here. I don’t know if you told her about how you felt while you were maybe still in the middle of the messiness of ending the marriage, or if you were free and totally single at the time. If it’s the former, I think she was probably right to knock you back because you might not have been in the best mindframe to launch into a relationship, especially with a friend, because the consequences would have been disastrous.

It’s a tough one. She sounds like a fantastic person who was there for you during one of the most stressful & emotionally demanding times anyone can experience, and the value of that should never be underestimated. She’s obviously aware of your feelings from before, and the fact that a few years have passed tells me that she’s probably happy with things as they are right now.

It can’t have been easy for her to turn down a friend who was openly hurting and just getting back into dating, so I imagine it was a decision she didn’t make lightly. The last thing she would have wanted to do was add to your hurt, so the fact that she did knock you back may mean that she really was happy being your friend, and that was enough for her. You guys are still very close by the sound of things, so it seems she may have made the right call.

It’s been a few years since you ended the marriage. Have a think about where you are relationship-wise. Have you been dating since the marriage ended? Anyone serious? Have you met new people or socialised differently to how you would have done before? If you’ve been out & about expanding your horizons, and you still have strong feelings for your friend, then maybe it’s worth testing the water, but in a subtle way. Pick a friend who knows you both well and can be honest with you on the QT about whether they think it’s worth the risk. In the end, only YOU will truly know in your gut whether your friendship is open & honest enough to not be ruined by a second overture. But tread very carefully, because this sounds like a friendship worth keeping.

Whatever else you do, be kind to yourself. Don’t put yourself in a position where you may be rejected outright again. Nurture what you have right now, and if there’s something more there, a natural dynamic will take over. Relax and be happy you know someone like her, she sounds like good people. But, whatever else you do – DON’T DO OR SAY ANYTHING IF YOU’RE DRUNK.

Best of Luck!

Booby Traps…

Ugh. here we go again. Another round of “Ssh don’t tell the boys, tee-hee” emails going around Facebook with ridiculous ideas about what to put on your status update under the premise of raising awareness of breast cancer. There’s so much wrong with this I actually get paralysed with rage when I think about it too much. So this blog post is getting the brunt of it. Read it at your peril.

In the first instance, how can something that’s done in secret raise awareness of anything? If all I see on my news feed is a bunch of women simply posting single words like ‘blue’ or ‘red’ or ‘orange’, I will automatically assume they have been attacked by a rainbow-fetish spambot who is wreaking havoc on innocent Facebook profiles with their evil colour-loving perversions. More often than not, it’s a stupid, humourless, hen-night mentality comment thread, with lots of girls proclaiming “I like it on the bedroom floor” or “I like it on the kitchen table next to the salt & pepper shakers lol” – which apparently refers to where they leave their handbags. Oh, the genius of it all. So much innuendo, so much schoolyard note-passing and clique-forming…. And yet, we have no cure for cancer. Colour me surprised.

It’s cancer. Be public about it. If you’re that concerned, use your Facebook to tell people to get themselves checked. Make a donation. Don’t just submit to a useless chain mail that seeks to alienate half the population just because they have different genitals..which, by the way, are also prone to cancer. Just putting it out there. Those messages and status updates are nothing more than a private in-joke, much like the secret coded conversations you witnessed or took part in as a youngster back in the days of Fancy Paper, plastic neon bracelets and New Kids on the Block T-Shirts. Or maybe I’m just showing my age. But I’m sure you get the point.

I’m not a fun-sucking Little Miss Preachy Pants (not full-time, anyway), all I’m saying is if you’re going to participate in these little charades, don’t kid yourself it’s for a noble cause. None of these escapades are sanctioned by The Irish Cancer Society, as mentioned by Antonia Hart in her previous blog post about the subject¬†here. A woman after my own heart, Antonia is also of the opinion that these mails don’t do anything for cancer. Along with, I’m sure, many healthcare professionals and cancer specialists who have failed in their attempts to turn all these chain mails into a miraculous anti-cancer serum which can be injected straight into the affected area. If and when they do, I’ll be first in line to clog up all my friends’ home pages with handbag positioning cleverly disguised as sexual innuendo, so that everybody knows just how supportive I am. Until then, I’ll just carry on checking my own boobs for weird goings-on by following the instructions on the Breast Cancer Ireland website, buying pink ribbons and donating when I can. And, unlike the rest of my life, Facebook will be kept out of it.

How to use a handbag for breast cancer awareness...