Home World I long to have a trustworthy friend – Chicago Tribune

I long to have a trustworthy friend – Chicago Tribune


Dear Amy: I’m in my 40s. I have grandchildren, and also my own toddler at home.

I feel very blessed to have had a baby at my age, but something that has eluded me is female friendships.

I live in a rural area, but I know that’s not really the problem.

I long to have a trustworthy friend.

My only friend died over two years ago, and since then I’ve been fooled by women who later turned on me.

I’ve always had more guy friends than women friends, but most of those friendships with guys never worked out, as they had ulterior motives.

Are there any online sites I could look to for friends?

I’m warm, friendly, and caring.

I know social media glamorizes people’s lives, but I see women every day with loving and close friendships.

It makes me feel even more like an outsider.

Are some of us made to have few or zero friendships?

– Friendless

Dear Friendless: Modern media meant to celebrate women’s friendships tends to characterize gal pals as bonding over cocktails and sharing late-night confessionals, but most actual human beings do not behave in such tidy and agreeable ways. Friendship can be messy, but it is a relationship to treasure.

I don’t think you are “made to have zero friendships,” but you are the common denominator for all of your relationships. According to you, most men have ulterior motives; women fool you and then turn on you.

It would be useful for you to review your own past patterns of behavior to see if there are ways you could rewrite your friendship future. Your only friend has died. Your grief over this loss might be a factor in how you perceive others, now.

It is easier to use the internet to meet a stranger for a hookup than it is to find a friendship, but social media sites like Facebook and Instagram can be a good place to start, because you can find people who live near you and who might share common interests. You can also witness how people react to others. Are their comments kind and supportive? Are their interests or hobbies similar to yours? If so, they might be good friendship material.

You should also try to meet other women who have young children. Many of these women might be substantially younger than you, but your unique situation: “I have grandchildren who are older than my toddler!” is a potentially great conversation starter.

I have often recommended meetup.com as a great way to find things to do (and people to do these things with). Check within your ZIP code to see if you can join an activity or club. I hope you click with a new friend soon.

Dear Amy: I’ve been with my girlfriend for eight months. Most of the time, we’re really happy. I believe we are very well suited for each other. We have common interests and our values seem to be in sync.

Here’s the problem: It seems like any time we disagree, she very quickly says things like, “If you don’t want to be here, why don’t you just leave?”

In my opinion, this is completely disproportionate. I don’t ever know how to respond. I wonder if you can give me some ideas for how to deal with this.

– Lost Guy

Dear Lost: It sounds as if your girlfriend is displaying her deepest fear as a way to control the narrative. This might be as a result of how her family of origin deals with conflict (perhaps she feels abandoned by her father or another important family member).

She does not want to argue or disagree, because she doesn’t know how.

Learning how to engage in conflict is ultimately a path to greater intimacy.

You two can start this important work by reading the latest book by researchers Julie Schwartz Gottman and John Gottman: “Fight Right: How Successful Couples Turn Conflict Into Connection” (2024, Harmony).

Read this book together, and practice resolving your conflicts peacefully.

Dear Amy: I believe you might have missed something with your response to “No Longer Lonely in Long Island.” This guy said he had fallen in love with another woman, and now he resents his wife calling him an adulterer.

You called him out as an adulterer, but he never reported having sex with this other woman – only falling in love.

– Avid Reader

Dear Reader: Given that he was leaving and divorcing his wife to be with this other woman, I think I made a good call.

(You can email Amy Dickinson at [email protected] or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.)

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