Dear Lisi: I’m a guy in my early 20s, just starting a graduate program in university. One of my closest friends from high school just told me that he likes me more than as a friend. I’m flattered, a little, but more confused as he never mentioned his sexual orientation before this.
Now I’m wondering whether or not we really were such good friends, or has he always liked me, and just been hanging out with me to see if I liked him? Also, he knows perfectly well that I’m not into guys.
I don’t know how to move forward here.
Though our society has come leaps and bounds in terms of acceptance, many young people still have a hard time grappling with who they are and aren’t comfortable labelling themselves.
Your friend may have not fully understood his feelings when he first felt them. He may have been confused and unsure what to say to you. Since, as you say, he knows you’re not into guys, you should be impressed with his bravery and courage.
He’s been a close friend for more than five years. Be as brave as he, and talk to him. Get it all out in the open and then enjoy your strong friendship. He’ll appreciate you.
Dear Lisi: My daughter and her husband have just decided to separate. I’m devastated. They have 18-month-old twins who are an absolute delight. I’m fortunate to live close by, and I’m retired, so I spend lots of time with them.
Both parents went back to work full time six months ago, so they appreciate the help especially since the babies are active. I get along well with my son-in-law. He’s a wonderful man and a great father.
But I’m so worried for these babies who will now grow up going back and forth from mom and dad, and selfishly, I’m worried I’ll get less time with them. How do I support my daughter and help her through these next tricky phases?
Those babies are lucky to have a great dad, as you’ve described, your daughter and yourself, all looking out for their best interests. And that’s the key — their best interests.
But you must take a step back and let the couple figure things out for themselves.
FEEDBACK regarding the woman with dietary issues invited out (Oct. 24):
Reader — “When I saw the headline for this issue in your column, I read on hoping to find some new strategies since I have been dealing with this quite a while.
“I’m celiac and also have irritable bowel syndrome which is easily triggered by foods or herbs and spices that will set off bouts of diarrhea with just a dot of the offending substance. If this happens, I will immediately be taking over your bathroom for the better part of an hour.
“I’ve tried the ‘I’ll just bring something safe for myself’ and the ever popular ‘Let me contribute something for the main course or dessert.’
“Invariably the hostess will say, ‘Oh no. Just let me know what you can’t eat and I’ll be careful.’ I have had to leave a New Year’s Eve dinner party when the hostess brought out her special lasagna. She told me she didn’t add any basil, my allergen. But the can of tomato sauce she used already had basil, simply listed as herbs and spices on the label. Most manufacturers also do just that.”
Lisi – It’s definitely not easy to live with any type of gastro disease, illness, condition or allergy. I can’t speak for everyone, but I would hazard to say that most hostesses do their best to accommodate. No one likes a sick dinner guest.
FEEDBACK regarding the rescue dog who doesn’t like her new owner (Oct. 26):
Reader — “We recently adopted our fourth rescue, and she seemed quite frightened of our tall adult son. Although he was gentle with her, she wouldn’t let him get near her. He gave her lots of treats, made her meals, spoke to her in a gentle tone and played with her, without trying to get close.
“Now she lets him pet her, and she approaches him to play chase but still backs away a bit when he approaches.
“I think that the food the writer gives her dog should sit there as opposed to someone else feeding her. She’ll eat when she’s hungry.
“In terms of not listening, a new dog can be pretty hit and miss in that department. Also, a rescue dog often demonstrates trust and attachment to one person at first. It all just takes time, with patience and love as you pointed out.”
Ellie Tesher and Lisi Tesher are advice columnists for the Star and based in Toronto. Send your relationship questions via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.