Wednesday, April 25, 2018
Parenting & Relationships

Tell Me About It: Don't take love interest's rejection to heart

Carolyn Hax is away. The following is a past column.

Q: I was interested in my best friend last year, but she wasn't interested in me. We got that out of the way, ended up closer than before and everything's been fine since. Now, I'm happy with a great girlfriend.

The problem is, each time my friend becomes interested in someone new, I keep asking myself, "What was wrong with me?" (since she never told me, though I asked). This is especially a problem because more recently she's been interested in someone we both know. I'm quite happy with my girlfriend now, so I feel terrible about continuing to wonder about what my defect was/is. I chalk this up to being unable to grow up and get over not being good enough, but I was wondering if you had any thoughts.

P.C.

A: I chalk it up to your chalking it up to things that are beside the point. Falling for people isn't about their being "good enough."

Point is, even when you have a good idea why you're attracted to someone — she's smart, she's pretty, she can belch the Ode to Joy— there will always be the intangible something(s) that made you choose her over all the other pretty, smart music lovers. Two people with little in common meet at a cocktail party and talk for an hour straight; two who are perfect for each other on paper barely get past "hello." Can you always explain the difference? For that matter, can you pinpoint why you chose your new girlfriend? Not really. Mostly we guess.

Your best friend's judgment is just as subject to unknowns, intangibles and downright-inexplicables as yours is, or anyone else's. Some people use those unknowns to keep flogging themselves, and some turn them around to flog the source of rejection (maybe she's the "defective" one!). They work best as a kind of release: You can't ever know, so you won't bother to try. Especially since all you ever needed to know was "no."

Comments

Tell Me About It: Addressing the party no-show epidemic

Q: My family recently celebrated our son’s birthday. We had a number of guests RSVP "yes" to our invitation who not only didn’t show, but also didn’t even have the decency to contact us to let us know. It’s been a week since the party.This left us wi...
Published: 04/24/18

Tell Me About It: Sister’s remark is a teaching opportunity

My husband’s sister, "Kate," is expecting her second child. They have a 3-year-old girl. My husband and I have two girls, 8 and 6. At our house this week, Kate talked extensively about her hopes that this next baby is a boy. Some of her reasons are c...
Published: 04/23/18

Tell Me About It: Mom fears she has discussed sex too soon

Q: This week I was in a discussion with a bunch of other third-grade parents about what our kids know about sex. The vast majority of these parents said their children were "clueless" and they wanted to maintain their kids’ innocence. I was one of th...
Published: 04/22/18
Underoath’s Spencer Chamberlain talks breakup, reunion, getting sober and returning to St. Petersburg

Underoath’s Spencer Chamberlain talks breakup, reunion, getting sober and returning to St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG — HGTV fanatic that he is, Spencer Chamberlain sees a metaphor for his band in the ever-evolving St. Petersburg skyline."When you go downtown and you look at the ONE, that used to be a dirt parking lot," said the singer, referring to a...
Published: 04/20/18
Updated: 04/23/18
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for the week of April 23-29

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for the week of April 23-29

St. Anthony’s Triathlon: World class athletes and Olympians race around St. Petersburg’s Vinoy Park on Sunday ($160-$180), while kids and novices race Saturday in the Meek and Mighty. A free kick-off celebration Friday has a concert by co...
Published: 04/23/18

Tell Me About It: Family reconsiders taking group trips

Q: Should there be expectations about taking vacations/trips with other family members? We have two issues:(1) We have three kids, including teenagers, and my brother and wife have two kids. The younger is 6. My wife and I find it hard to plan someth...
Published: 04/20/18
On its 20th anniversary, Disney's Animal Kingdom credits conservation with longevity

On its 20th anniversary, Disney's Animal Kingdom credits conservation with longevity

ORLANDO — When Disney’s Animal Kingdom opened 20 years ago, it was light on thrills and heavy on conservation. On April 22, 1998, Earth Day, the Orlando park had a single thrill ride, Countdown to Extinction, and a handful of shows like ...
Published: 04/19/18
Updated: 04/20/18

Tell Me About It: How to deal with conversation dominators

Q: We have a few relatives, including a sibling, who we don’t see or hear from often, as we are busy or live far away. We meet over a meal or for an hour or so, or at family gatherings requiring a drive, and I am so frustrated that they dominate the ...
Published: 04/19/18
Huge concert week in Tampa: Foo Fighters, Kenny Chesney, 98 Rockfest, more

Huge concert week in Tampa: Foo Fighters, Kenny Chesney, 98 Rockfest, more

PURE NIRVANA: Foo FightersDave Grohl may be America’s last unquestioned rock god. He’s played with Kurt Cobain and Jimmy Page, Tom Petty and Trent Reznor and St. Vincent, and he also leads a pretty decent group — perhaps you’ve heard of them — called...
Published: 04/18/18
Updated: 04/20/18
Plan your weekend: Kenny Chesney, ‘The Producers’ in the park, Mainsail Art Fest, Sugar Sand Fest, Earth Day

Plan your weekend: Kenny Chesney, ‘The Producers’ in the park, Mainsail Art Fest, Sugar Sand Fest, Earth Day

The top things to do April 20 to 22 in Tampa, St. Petersburg and the whole Tampa Bay area.
Published: 04/18/18