DEAR HARRIETTE: I have had two girlfriends in my life: the girl I am currently seeing and my ex. Last weekend, I went out in New York City with a group of my college buddies. Later in the night, I got a text from another friend saying he was hanging out with my ex. I don’t know why, but it bothered me. I don’t have feelings for my ex-girlfriend or even care what she does. What bothered me was that my friend didn’t give me a heads-up about his plans.
I feel like my friend was trying to hide the fact he was going to be at a party with my ex-girlfriend. Is it irrational that I am upset about this? -- Ex Questioning Feelings, Raleigh, North Carolina
DEAR EX QUESTIONING FEELINGS: Love is a fickle thing. On one hand, you are long gone from your ex. On the other, you aren’t so keen on having your friends continue to hang out with her. That’s normal -- if not rational. Many friends create boundaries around dating each other’s exes. Perhaps you should at least have that conversation with your friend. Tell him the truth: You know that you have no “rights” over this young lady, but you would hope that he would keep her off-limits romantically. Know that this doesn’t always work and can be impractical at times.
If your friend does decide to continue to spend time with your ex, you must make some decisions. Can you be comfortable in her company when you are with your girlfriend? Can you remain good friends with your buddy who crossed the line? What will your next steps be?
DEAR HARRIETTE: I commute to work every day by train. I take the same train each morning and have gotten into a nice routine. Last week, an old friend started a new job, and she gets on the train at the same station. I like her and would even consider her one of my closest friends, but I can't stand her in the morning. She is one of those people who needs to fill silence, while I enjoy my peaceful train rides. I can’t afford to take a later train, but I do not want to continue riding the train with her. Any advice on what I can do here? -- No Longer a Solo Commuter, Westchester, New York
DEAR NO LONGER A SOLO COMMUTER: You have to draw a line with your friend. Speak up for yourself. Tell your friend that you have a long-established routine that you do not want to break. You like to be quiet in the mornings, and you realize she likes to talk. Tell her that you must reserve your quiet time in the morning, which means that you are sorry, but you are unable to hang out with her on the ride to work. Offer to spend time with her on the way home if you happen to leave at the same time, but put your foot down about reserving time for yourself.
(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@example.com or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)