2/14/2014 9:15:00 AM Reader pines for unrequited love
DEAR HARRIETTE: I have been sort of secretly in love with my best friend for, well, as long as we have been friends. I don't mean to have these feelings, but he is the kindest, funniest, most intelligent man I have ever met, and we get along so well. The thing is, he has been pretty much a player for the whole time we have been friends, and he has never acted like he was in love with me. Over the years, I have brought it up a few times, and he disappears for a while. I cool off. We reconnect as friends. Something happens and we come together, and then the feelings resurface. These days, I just enjoy the moment, but in a way, this relationship makes me sad. We are getting older, and many of our friends are dying. I am sad that we will never enjoy the closeness of a romantic relationship that I think we both would enjoy. Do you think I should say something one more time? We are in our 50s and 60s now. Somehow, it seems pathetic when I write it down. -- Love-struck, Boston
DEAR LOVE-STRUCK: Your bond with this man seems genuine and long-lasting. It also seems to be defined by particular boundaries that have been in place for decades. I recommend that you savor the relationship that you have rather than pining away for something that is elusive. Clearly, he is your friend, as you are his.
Do your best to practice being in the moment and allowing yourself to experience fully whatever your interactions may be. That's when you can be happy. Wishing for more takes you out of the present and into a fantasy construct. Reality is far more fulfilling.
DEAR HARRIETTE: I confided in a new friend about some challenges that I have been having in my marriage. I felt like she was trustworthy and would understand where I was coming from. She has been married for many years -- longer than me, actually. She gave me good advice in the moment, but I feel like ever since then she has been distant. I have called her a few times to get together. Prior to our big chat, we were getting together regularly, once or twice a month, to hang out. When I asked her if I had offended her in some way, she shrugged it off and said she has just been busy. I know that's not all it is. How can I get her to open up to me? -- Pushed Aside, Los Angeles
DEAR PUSHED ASIDE: Your new friend may be trustworthy in the sense of not talking about your personal business to others, but clearly she is not interested in connecting with you right now, for whatever reason.
Rather than being distracted by her distance, turn your attention to your marriage. You say that you have been having challenges there. What are they? Focus on your life. Drum up the courage to talk to your husband about your issues. Heal your marriage. A new friend is not nearly as important.
(Lifestylist and author Harriette Cole is president and creative director of Harriette Cole Media. You can send questions to email@example.com or c/o Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)