Arts & Leisure

Dear Mari: No need to be invisible

THERE IS NO need for you to continue to be the “invisible girlfriend.”

Dear Marilyn,

I used to go with a guy I’ll call Alan. We dated for about two years. I decided to break up with him about six months ago.

The reason that I broke up with him is that we had many cultural differences. He is Palestinian and I am Colombian.

Our biggest issue is that our religions are different. He is Muslim and I am Catholic. His family would never accept the fact that we were dating.

Alan never told his family that we were dating. He would always tell them that he was going out with his guy friends, when the truth was that we were going out.

There were several times that I was at his place, and they would call. He would never mention that I was there, of course.

I got tired of it, and I broke up with him. I got to the point that I did not like being his “invisible girlfriend”.

Now he has called me, and he is begging me to get back together with him. He says that he misses me very much, and really wants to see me again.

I asked Alan about his family, and he said that he would still not let his parents know about me. He said that it’s not like we are getting married or something, so there is no reason to get them involved in this.

I realize we aren’t getting married. However, I don’t think I like the idea of being in a relationship where we have to hide from his family.

Do you think that I am being unreasonable? What do you suggest that I do?

Signed, Invisible Girl

Dear Invisible Girl,

   I don’t think that you are being unreasonable at all. I completely agree with you. I suggest that you stick with your plan to stop dating him. It would be different if he were willing to stand up to his parents, and let them know that you are dating.

   If they were to be angry with him, then that is something he should deal with, since you are such a wonderful person, and someone that he cares about.

   However, he wants the fun of being with you, without the hassle of dealing with his parents. That’s fine for him, but you feel like he is hiding you. He is. There is no reason you should have to put up with that. You want a guy that is proud to be with you, and that wants everyone to know it.

   So, don’t change your mind. There is a reason, and a good one, that you broke up with him in the first place.

   Nothing has changed. Let him know that you are certain it is time for you to go your separate ways.

Dear Marilyn,

I really need your advice. I am a girl, and for many years, my only friends have been guys.

I was the one that kept the stats in high school for the guy’s basketball team. I was the one that the guys would vote in as the Prom Queen.

That is fun, in general, but it is not always a good thing. Sometimes they start to have a crush on me, when all I want is to be friends. Or, sometimes, they don’t understand me, and the emotional aspects of having a friend that is a girl. I don’t want to go my whole life without having any solid friendships with girls. I find myself craving female companionship, but I don’t know how to go about it. What do you suggest?

Signed, Guy’s Buddy

Dear Guy’s Buddy,

   It is totally understandable that you want to develop relationships with female friends. You have been missing out on a sense of balance of things, and you are now aware of it.

   So, there are two things that I’d like you to think about. First of all, you need to determine why you haven’t had any female close friends thus far in your life. Is it because you have sent off subtle vibes that you really don’t want any?
   Perhaps you used to find the things that girls usually talk about, such as guys, shopping, and fashion, as kind of boring and uninteresting.

   Since you never had any close female friends, you may not know that many girls start there, but once close friendships are made, the talk becomes much more personal, and less seemingly superficial. Or, perhaps you were simply not friendly to them, and therefore you never had a close girlfriend.

   Once you understand why you have not had any friends thus far in your life, it will help you to focus on what you need to do in order to find some girlfriends now.

   Then, you need to reach out. You will probably not find a friend by waiting for someone to come to you.

   Go to a place where you will find a group of girls. You may want to take a class that is usually of interest to females, such as a Women’s Studies class.

   Or, you can volunteer to assist in a place where there are traditionally many women, such as in a school, or at a childcare facility, or at your church’s luncheons and women’s functions.

   Finally, you have to be the kind of person that attracts friends. That means that you are open, and interested in them, and not focused on yourself.

   Good luck. You have a new Best Friend that is just waiting to meet you!

Dear Readers, please send your questions to orangecountytribune@gmail.com. Include “Dear Marilyn” in the subject line.

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