Category Archives: Friendship

54. Friends with benefits usually doesn’t benefit you.

Image
54.	Friends with benefits usually doesn’t benefit you.

Perhaps you’ve seen this great fantasy film, no, it’s not “Harry Potter.” The movie is called “Friends with Benefits.” In it, Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake both claim all they want from each other is sex – that way they will keep everything simple and uncomplicated between them. Then they cross an emotional line (yes, emotions were involved, go figure) and break up. At the end of the movie they get back together and are as happy as can be. No more friends with benefits but now it’s a true, bells are ringing relationship. This is why I refer to this film as a fantasy. Real life never plays out like Hollywood. If you are in a friends with benefits (FWB) relationship, chances are there aren’t many benefits. I’ve been in a few myself – usually after said “friend” and I have broken up. That’s the worst possible friends with benefits scenario by the way, because it will be very difficult for you to be able to move on. And it feels even worse when he’s the one to move on first. But being in this type of relationship, it really doesn’t matter if you’re in it because of a recent break up or you just hooked up with someone and you can’t unhook yourself. Here are five things to keep in mind if you are in a friends with benefit relationship or thinking of starting one:

  1. This man more than likely never will want more from you – even though you may find yourself wanting more from him.
  2. The more time you spend with him, the less time you may have to find someone who wants to be in a real relationship with you.
  3. Even though you tell yourself and your friends that you are open to meeting other people – most likely you’re not.
  4. If you’re following the FWB rulebook – and there are plenty of website and magazine “How To” articles on the subject – don’t expect a gift for your birthday or allow yourself to send him conversational texts during the day. And of course, when you do reach out to him at night, don’t expect an immediate response. (Huffington Post)
  5. According to Psychology Today, “when you’re looking for an FWB arrangement from the start, you’re forcing a new relationship into a box that may not fit, with a label that may misrepresent it.”

Word to the wise: You may as well be dating a married dude. They’re never available either. At least, not in the way you may want them to be.

What do you think about FWB relationships? Note: If I’m lucky enough to get a book deal, your comments may be published anonymously in the upcoming book, “Wise Before 25, 101 Things Young Women Need to Know.”

53. Love means having to say you’re sorry.

Standard

When I was in my 20s, I had already seen a movie called “Love Story.” If you haven’t seen it, I sorry word written by red lipstickdon’t want to give out the tortured plot and conclusion, but I do want to refer to one of the most famous movie quotes of all time: “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.” Beyond lame. And actually, I think it’s just the opposite. One thing to keep in mind however, I am a chronic apologizer. You don’t know how many times I’ve bumped a chair with my leg and said, “Sorry.” And then, “Oh, you’re just a chair!” But in real life, I’m probably guilty as well. I apologize profusely when I’m late, when something bad happened to someone that was completely out of my control, when I forget a hair appointment (which I never do – although I did once – just recently and my hairdresser was concerned that something had happened to me), and of course, when I bump into a chair. I looked up the word “sorry” in the dictionary and it says that it’s “used to introduce disappointing or bad news in a polite way.” I thought that was a really great definition. Of course, if someone said, “I’m sorry I slept with your best friend,” that probably wouldn’t cut it. However, I know it means a lot to me when other people apologize for what can appear to be seemingly small things. It does somehow cushion a blow. Even if it’s just rearranging or canceling a set plan or forgetting my birthday (which these days, is just fine with me) or even for being sick (this person was amazingly concerned and considerate), sorry shouldn’t have to be the hardest word. So, contrary to “Love Story,” I think we need be polite to those we love – especially our hairdressers!

Word to the wise: Say “sorry” more often. It can mean a lot even if it seems like whatever you’re apologizing for is no big deal.

When was the last time you apologized and why? Note: If I’m lucky enough to get a book deal, your comments may be published anonymously in the upcoming book, “Wise Before 25, 50 Things Young Women Need to Know.”

47. Nothing says “thank you” like a thank you card.

Standard

Lately, I’ve been lucky enough to have some special people in my life do some very nice, unexpected things for me. And wouldn’t you know it, I was all out of thank-you cards. In my 20s, IThank you post think the only time I sent a thank you note was after a job interview. Thankfully, I realized how important it is to be thoughtful. I also learned that a hand-written thank you card not only acknowledges the person to whom you are thankful to; it also acknowledges how special you are. Just taking the time to buy and write them shows that you are grateful and acknowledge the giving of others and opens you up to receiving more. I know that’s waxing a little philosophical, but I couldn’t help but think it when I finally bought three sets of stunning cards at Papyrus. There’s something to be said about going into the store, which I did. Here are a few you can check out online:

http://www.papyrusonline.com/occasion/thank-you.html

While it may take more time and effort than simply shooting someone an email or text, I think it’s worth it. In fact, I’m looking forward to when I’ll have to go out and buy some more.

Word to the wise: Bring more gratitude into your life by buying some really nice thank you cards – and sending them. If you’ve ever received one, you know what I mean. It makes my day and it will make someone else’s, too.

Have you written any thank you cards recently? Who were you thanking and why? Note: If I’m lucky enough to get a book deal, your comments may be published anonymously in the upcoming book, “Wise Before 25, 50 Things Young Women Need to Know.”

46. Resolutions can be daunting. Affirmations are self-empowering.

Standard

It’s New Year’s Eve and no doubt, many of us are thinking about our resolutions for 2015. It’s no New Year's Evesurprise that losing weight tops all of the lists and surveys. As I got to thinking of resolutions of my own (although I stopped calling them “resolutions” years ago) I felt like I had to dig deeper. This year needed to be different. In years past, I’d write a list of goals and generally accomplish them. Last year, I flew by the seat of my pants and just had a few thoughts. One of which, was getting back into and committing to my yoga practice. Without writing it down, I was able to do that and I’m so glad I did. During the last class of this year, one of my favorite instructors imparted her wisdom regarding intentions for the New Year. She said we could make affirmations about what we want in our lives and that even if we made only one – that would be enough. I wondered if there was only one thing that I wanted in my life in 2015 and I had to affirm it, what would it be? I had an immediate idea but wanted to make sure I chose just the right words (yes, I am a writer and probably a bit of a nut). So I went online and found some nifty affirmations. I really enjoyed quite a few of these: https://www.pinterest.com/christieinge/positive-affirmations-for-women/ I actually found one that said what I wanted to affirm in a way that I wanted to say it:

I deserve relationships that thrive.

Here are a few others I thought were worthwhile:

I am willing to have my own back.

I am patient with myself and worthy of all the waiting.

I choose to let go of the OLD so that I can finally start making progress with the NEW path I want to take in my life.

In my 20s, I always celebrated the New Year in a big way and wrote down resolutions that I actually sometimes kept. I think if you’re a young woman today, it helps to think positively and visualize what you see for yourself in the New Year and years ahead. Of course, a great party to celebrate your affirmations doesn’t hurt either! Wishing you all a happy, healthy and successful New Year. Cheers!

Word to the wise: One positive affirmation is worth 10 resolutions. As we say in the ad biz, keep it simple. And if it starts to work for you, why not try a few more?

What is your affirmation for 2015? Note: If I’m lucky enough to get a book deal, your comments may be published anonymously in the upcoming book, “Wise Before 25, 50 Things Young Women Need to Know.”

45. When you gain something, you lose something. When you lose something, you gain something.

Standard

Thanks to ScarJo for this profound bit of wisdom. No wonder she’s one of Barbara Walter’s “10 Most HiResFascinating People of 2014.” Although, I think she was quoting someone else. Needless to say, when I heard it, it hit me hard. I started to think about all the times of loss and gain in my life, including some of the hardest losses in my 20s (like the death of my best friend). But for all I lost, and gained, the balance of life usually seemed to equal everything out. Take this year for example. I lost my job at the end of July. Clearly, losses on that front included steady income, stability, health insurance, paid vacation and retirement benefits. Wow. That’s quite a few hits. But what have I gained? Well, let’s see. There’d be more freedom, time to re-evaluate what I want to be when I grow up (even though I already am), meeting new people and getting out in the world, fear of the unknown (which might not be the worst thing for a planner like me) and knowing who I can, and can’t count on. Another thing that comes to mind is all the times I’ve been in crappy relationships and finally decided to call it quits. Although I cried a lot and missed people who weren’t really all that great, I gained my self-respect, dignity and the knowledge that I deserved better. Loss does seem to be an easier thing to reflect on. Weighing the pros and cons of gain is harder. Who doesn’t feel good when they gain something? So I thought back and remembered how happy I was when I bought my first condo on my own. Woo hoo! That was clearly a big gain, by any standards. But with becoming a homeowner, I was now tied to a mortgage, making and paying for all my own repairs and coughing up property taxes twice a year. However, I am a homeowner and I love it. As this year comes to a close, let me give it up to ScarJo for helping me to think profoundly and deeply about where I am today and how I got here. I hope her borrowed words of wisdom help you as well.

Word to the wise: Now is a great time to reflect on what you’ve lost and gained in 2014 and throughout your life. Yes, it’s the holidays and boy, talk about a time filled with both ends of the spectrum. All the better to analyze and be wise.

What have you lost or gained and which do you think is easier and why? Note: If I’m lucky enough to get a book deal, your comments may be published anonymously in the upcoming book, “Wise Before 25, 50 Things Young Women Need to Know.”

Guest blog: Get out of your comfort zone

Standard

Our guest blogger this week is one of my favorite authors, Michele Wolfe. She has recently written a book in the new adult genre called The Three Graces: “College juniors Jessie, Isabel and Sara are linked in an unlikely friendship by visits to hidden places only they can see. Together, on a trip to Hearst Castle in California, an earth-shaking encounter with a stunning stature in the gardens binds them to the spirits of the Three Graces; Brilliance, Joy and Bloom.” There’s lots of life lessons for these young women as they learn about the true meaning of friendship and make some fascinating discoveries along the way. Here are Michele’s thoughts on getting out of your comfort zone:

I live in a 1922 bungalow-style house on one of the many hills of my Echo Park neighborhood in LA. The other day I wasthumbnail washing my car with a bucket of soap and water in front of my house. A petite woman in her 80s, with the help of a cane, began hobbling up my hill. She stopped once, probably to catch her breath, and had almost passed me by when I made some comment about the steep climb. She stopped and looked at me, and I stopped my washing and took a good look at her, too. Her clothes were frayed and worn, her eyes filmy, her face wrinkled, and her teeth almost all missing.

We chatted for a few minutes. She used to live in the neighborhood she said, but had to move downtown. I knew it certainly wasn’t to a fancy loft or apartment. Probably skid row housing, if that. She asked for a dollar for the bus ride back. I ran into the house, but my wallet was empty of cash, not even a dollar. I raided my teenage son’s coin jar and managed to scrape together five dollars. When I handed over the coins, she pressed her hand to mine in gratitude. Then she hugged me. She was overcome.

That moment took me back to a time in my life when the touch of a hand or hug from a grateful homeless person was a daily gift. I lived and worked almost two years in shelters in Denver and LA. Both experiences opened my eyes and changed my life.

For the better. Was I overwhelmed, out of my depths, scared witless at times during those two years? You bet.

Being blonde and blue-eyed and having grown up in a middle-class suburb had kept me safe and secure in a nice little bubble. So living in a shelter, cutting vegetables for big vats of soup, handing out bandages and alcohol wipes to the poor of skid row, showed me real suffering and injustice; a reality I hadn’t truly understood before.

I learned compassion. A way of being we often harden our hearts against as we make it through our busy, tumultuous lives. Especially when we are trying to finish college or start a career. We get caught up.

I also learned to value time in the present moment. Whether it’s ten minutes, an hour or an afternoon, opportunity awaits. Reaching outside ourselves, outside our comfort zone, to connect with someone in need, is human dignity and respect made visible.

And you don’t have to have loads of money, like Oprah or Angelina Jolie to do it. Just coins from a jar. Just a moment of your time. Just a step outside. Look around. It won’t take long to find a person or a place in need. In need of you.

To read more from Michele, or to purchase her new book, visit:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Three-Graces-Michele-Wolfe-ebook/dp/B00KTOTRJM

authormichelewolfe.com

43. If you can count your true friends on one hand, then you can also count your many blessings.

Standard

They say it’s hard to know who your real friends are. And they’re not kidding. Whether you’re single or married, the love and1973463_HiRes.jpg_friends friendship of close female friends is not a luxury – but a necessity for survival. Like air or water. It’s good to know early on the difference between an acquaintance and a true friend. It’s taken me a long time to learn and appreciate what those differences are. For example, a true friend:

  • Applauds your successes
  • Tells you the truth (even when you don’t want to hear it)
  • Encourages you to be your best
  • Holds your hand and hugs you when you cry like a baby at practically every song at a Diana Krall concert, especially this one, “Just Like a Butterfly That’s Caught in the Rain:” http://http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9xn42tQkKzw
  • Eats carbohydrates with you, although they appear to have been banned by the entire female race
  • Makes you feel like you hold a special place in their heart
  • Shows up – even when they may not feel like it
  • Tolerates your quirks and your cooking
  • Supports you in ways no one else can

These are just a few of the things that come to mind when I think of the women I’m fortunate enough to count on my left hand. In a recent Huffington Post article, Lena Dunham’s character in “Girls,” Hannah Horvath wrote, “A friendship between college girls is grander and more dramatic than any romance.” The article further stated, “We’d argue that this sentiment holds far beyond the confines of university. The women in your life are there for all the serious stuff, like health scares and accompanying you to the funerals of loved ones, as well as the moments that make you laugh until you can’t breathe. You can tell them the deepest secrets about yourself and your family, and count on them to pick up the phone at any hour.” To read more, check out http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/06/10-reasons-nothing-like-female-best-friends_n_3874647.html and see how their list compares to mine. So here’s a special shout out to my friends! (And you know who you are). May we continue to be there for each other through life’s triumphs and tragedies. You might want to give a shout out to yours, too. Word to the wise: Know who your friends are and keep them close. It’s not easy making friends and as we get older, it can be even harder. Cherish the ones you have and foster and grow those friendships that you think have potential. What’s special about your BFFs? Note: If I’m lucky enough to get a book deal, your comments may be published anonymously in the upcoming book, “Wise Before 25, 50 Things Young Women Need to Know.”