Advice from Maxine

Dear Maxine,

How do I keep a significant other along with maintaining all the responsibilities of life?

From a busy and stressed person

Dear busy and stressed,

This is a sticky situation you’re in. Your brain is a mess because your emotions are all over the place and you’re also stressed because of your commitment to work, friends and to your own mental health. You really want to spend time with that significant other but because you have all these other commitments, you feel as if you’re being pulled all over the place when you really want to be in one place, with that s/o, probably cuddling and such. This is one of those situations that really depends on the person and what their life is like. For someone who doesn’t have relationships often, I would say put yourself into the relationship as much as you are comfortable with. Make sure you are still checking on and seeing friends; even if it’s more infrequently, it still will show that you care. Set aside time for work, and then take even just fifteen minutes a day for yourself to breathe and reflect, as cheesy as that sounds. Talk to other people about how you feel and how your relationship is going, but don’t talk about it so much that people don’t want to be around you. If you’re someone who has been in this situation before and knows how to handle stress and a relationship, then share your knowledge with the world, please and thank you. Everyone is going to have stressful times and calm times in their life, and it’s all about balance and learning what works for you in particular.

Good luck!

-Maxine

Dear Maxine,

How do I handle a friend break-up with someone I care about who is also toxic to my life?

From sad and conflicted

Dear sad and conflicted,

First of all, I’m sorry you’re in this situation. I’ve been there multiple times and it truly is really hard, not to mention disappointing, when someone you care about doesn’t reciprocate those feelings after putting a lot of time and trust into a friendship. But let’s not focus on the negatives too much, remember that you need to prioritize your feelings and mental state when trying to handle a break-up with a friend, especially when there’s a situation that’s toxic. An actual conversation is a really good place to start. Don’t text your feelings! Bad idea! I know it sounds a lot easier than having an actual conversation with someone because you can literally hide behind a screen and type whatever you want, but I promise you that having a conversation is going to be way better for multiple reasons. First of all, communicating certain language over text is really hard; you can’t be sarcastic and they won’t be able to hear if there’s emotion in your voice or if you’re sincere if you’re texting and using emojis. Just don’t do it. Instead, try and schedule a time when you are both free.

Go into the conversation with points you want to make and certain situations you want to make the other person aware of. Although you may know the other person very well and how they act in situations similar to this in the past, don’t go into it thinking you know exactly what they’re going to say. In times of vulnerability and weakness, people can act differently and say off-character things than what you would expect because they feel more emotional. Know that the current situation is one that maybe they aren’t going to come out of happy. As much as you want the other person to be happy, please please please focus on yourself and make yourself happy! For each situation, it will be different and the way you handle it will be different too. Hopefully this helped to outline some steps you can take and gave you some knowledge you now know that can make it a little bit easier. I know it’ll still be hard, but remember it’ll all be okay and you still have people that love you.

-Maxine

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