May 29, 2024
She walked out the door without a word and we haven't spoken since.

DEAR HARRIETTE: This week, I invited one of my friends over to my apartment to have dinner. We had a great time.

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Harriette Cole: How do I tell my friend her troubles are taking a toll on me?

As the night came to an end and she was walking out, I spotted a ring on her finger that looked familiar. I told her that I have a ring that looks just like that, and I asked if I could see it up close.

I had accidentally gotten a black dot of ink on it, and sure enough, the ink was on the ring she was wearing. I told her that it was my ring, and she silently took it off and walked out the door.

We haven’t spoken in a week, and I don’t know if I ever want to again. I am feeling betrayed and hurt, and I’m at a loss for how to proceed.

How could someone I considered a friend take something so personal from me without even acknowledging it? Should I confront her about it, or is it best to just let the friendship go?

I’m torn between wanting closure and not wanting to engage with someone who would do something like this.

— Thief

DEAR THIEF: With the objective of getting any kind of closure, yes, you should reach out to your friend to find out what’s going on with her.

Ask her what is going on in her life. Tell her you are trying to understand how she could come into your home and steal from you. Ask her to explain. As you do so, know that there will be no good excuse. The best you will likely get is a sense of what’s going on inside her head.

People who steal like that are usually in some type of desperate situation. It could be drugs or job loss or even some deep-seated jealousy of you.

Whatever it is, you will have to make peace with letting her go. Be sure to tell her that you consider your friendship finished based on her actions.

DEAR HARRIETTE: I moved to Florida to attend college. I met my boyfriend at the gym across the street, where he works part-time.

Before becoming his girlfriend, I had established a few friendships at the gym. However, ever since we started dating, all these people act like they’re his friends and not mine, because he has known them longer.

I am pretty introverted, and the gym is the only place I go when I don’t have school. Whenever I feel sad and want a drink, I can’t help but miss my own town with my own friends around.

I need some input here.

— Gym Buddy

DEAR GYM BUDDY: It makes sense that you would find a boyfriend where you spend your free time. What’s unfortunate is that you have not yet carved out any other social outlets for yourself. Now is the time to do that.

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Even though you say you are introverted, you can venture out a bit more. What else interests you? Find another outlet that is just yours, where you can meet people and establish a bond. Then you aren’t completely dependent on your boyfriend in all of your free time.

Beyond that, continue to cultivate relationships with the people you like at the gym. This takes time. Don’t feel less-than because they know your boyfriend better. Be yourself, and see which relationships grow.

Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to [email protected] or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.

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