Ask Ellie: Better to end friendship than hurt his self-esteem

Dear Ellie: After my breakup from my partner of nine years, I was afraid to start online dating.

A work colleague/friend started coaxing me out to work events together, then to some dinners.

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He made me laugh again, andI relaxed easily with him. I felt no sexual attraction to him, but he obviously wanted more.

We’ve had sex several times, but it’s never satisfying for me. Physically, we aren’t a “fit.” He’s not well-endowed. For me, size matters.

I don’t know how to back off this part of our time together, and still avoid hurting him by mentioning his anatomy as my reason.

What do you suggest?

Mis-Matched Bed-Mates

Say that your breakup divorce is still a difficult time in your life.

Blame yourself for still feeling confused by the abrupt changes. Then tell him you need time to not date anyone and instead, to just adjust to your new situation.

This means you do NOT date anyone else at work or anyone he knows, for a few months.

Still, the conversation might end the friendship completely. But that’s better than destroying his self-esteem.

Meanwhile, taking time to reset your needs and wants as a single woman is a good idea.

Note: About the significance of “size:” It’s relative to the emotions involved.

Some women who reach orgasm easily and satisfyingly from oral sex, are unconcerned about small size.

Others, using Kegel muscles to tighten their vaginal walls, can create a better fit.

What matters, then, with a modestly endowed man is whether a partner is interested enough to be patient and willing to try different positions and forms of lovemaking.


Dear Ellie: My 14-year-old daughter’s friends are constantly on Snapchat, TikTok, etc.

She has been a keen student and easy to parent until now. But her best friend has added new pressures on her, including constantly texting my daughter at school till she’s totally distracted in class.

(School rules says phone use is disallowed, but this girl hides her phone in her clothes, breaks rules and mocks those who don’t text back.)

The friend is also demanding and materialistic. She’s insisted that her close clique buy her expensive gifts for Christmas!

She also frequently insists the girls all go shopping in the big malls, even if they would rather go elsewhere.

I don’t know her mother well, so I’m unsure whether I’ll get anywhere by suggesting we meet to help our young daughters get more grounded.

I’m lucky that my daughter tells me what’s going on, but she doesn’t want me to interfere.

She’s scared of being ghosted by her friend and the other girls.

How can I get my sweet, sensible daughter back?

Worried Mom

As children encounter different stages and influences, parents have to find appropriately helpful ways to react.

Your daughter’s openly revealing her discomforts with this girl, and with how her influence affects her at school.

Keep that communication open by listening more than overreacting e.g. not insisting she drop the friendship immediately.

The more you show understanding that this is a tough crossroads in her social world, and support her figuring out what she can do about it, the more likely she’ll decide to start distancing, and find other friends.

Meanwhile, it might be helpful to “accidentally” meet the other girl’s mother (at a parent-school function?) and start a neutral conversation about your daughters being friends.

She might reveal her own discomfort with some of her daughter’s behaviour, and you could have a surprise ally.


Ellie’s tip of the day

The importance of “size” in a relationship is relative to the degree of emotional feelings felt between the two partners.


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Follow @ellieadvice.

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