DEAR HARRIETTE: My best friend and I have been neighbors for 20 years. For 20 years, she’s been a short walk away from my home; she’s always been there whenever I’ve needed her (and vice versa). Recently, she told me she accepted a position in another state. Although I'm happy for her, I'm devastated that she is moving so far away from me. I'm excited for her to start this next chapter of her life, but it's hard for me to be happy for her knowing that I'm being left behind. How can I be a supportive friend without showing how truly sad I am that she is leaving? -- Losing My Friend
DEAR LOSING MY FRIEND: You two are close, so it’s natural that you would be sad -- devastated, even. It’s also OK to tell her. Chances are, she is feeling emotional about this change in her life, too. What you probably need is to have a good cry with her, swap stories about wonderful memories that you have created together, and help her pack.
Many dear friends are close even when they live many miles apart. This can be true for the two of you. You can still visit each other. Don’t consider this goodbye. Instead, think of it as a new chapter in your lives.
DEAR HARRIETTE: I can't stand my boyfriend’s taste in music. Music is extremely important to me, as I am a recording artist. I believe that music reflects your soul and who you truly are. There isn't a single song that I've played for him that he's liked; he doesn't even like the music I make. I'm not offended that he doesn't like my music because it doesn't tend to attract his demographic anyway, but I'm afraid this is the beginning of a deeper issue for us. I don't like the fact that we can't bond over something as simple as music. Do you think this is a sign of a deeper issue? -- Songstress
DEAR SONGSTRESS: I remember when I met my husband and began to listen to the music that he likes. It was so different from my musical choices. Some of it I liked; some, I didn’t. Now, nearly 30 years later, our musical tastes remain very different. Sometimes when he is listening to his favorite radio station in the car, I pop in my headphones and listen to something else. Often, we take turns listening to each other’s channels when we are driving long distances. The point is: We figured out ways to compromise without judgment. We accept that we like different things.
If you two can come to that agreement and be willing to listen to each other’s music from time to time, it may not become an issue for you. The one trouble spot may be the fact that your boyfriend doesn’t like your music. But even that can be overcome. We don’t always like, understand or appreciate our partner’s work. As long as you two can avoid passing judgment, you can work it out.
(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)