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A Decade of Exhaustion

One of my oldest friends is also the most difficult. He consistently wants more of my time and energy than I can give, even when I explain that I'm stretched too thin. I'm fond of him, but I need time apart. Challenge: his support system consists of me and no-one else. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on May 19, 2014 - 24 answers

Am I being a crazy-person? Immature perhaps?

My close friend of 4 years now spends all their time with a long-lost friend recently resurfaced and I am sad/angry/jealous/ Should I be? More inside :( [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Apr 4, 2014 - 23 answers

Breaking up... with dozens of people at once

I think I may need to detach from my main friend group, but I have no idea how to start over. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Mar 13, 2014 - 15 answers

How to take online dating slowly?

I'm a bisexual woman in my 20s, and I started online dating in January. I moved to a new country so I am totally content with meeting new people and learning more about the city through them. I also really enjoy just talking to new people in general without any expectations, but I wonder if can do something better so I can actually have something romantic? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Mar 2, 2014 - 6 answers

Learning how to set limits and follow through on them

I need help in learning how to firmly say no and in changing patterns that have been years in the making. I’m an empathetic and intuitive person and I’m very generous. It’s second nature to me to offer to help out or to support my friends. I come from a very ‘what’s mine is yours’ approach. I’ve given people places to stay, financial support, intensive emotional support and career assistance. I like being this way; it’s true to me and I’m not resenting or adding it up…but I feel I am training some people to exploit me or to assume they are always entitled to my help. I’m happy with these parts of myself, but recently I’ve started feeling that my kindness and sensitivity to others needs and boundaries is encouraging some people to treat me as if I have no boundaries or needs myself. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jan 4, 2014 - 35 answers

How to support friend, untangle my issues, and set proper boundaries?

One of my best friends disclosed to me over the summer regarding a long-held secret that involves his sexuality in relation to physical identity, gender-expression, and self-esteem vis-a-vis body-dysphoria issues. I am trying to be supportive, but am afraid I've failed and become more of an enabler in the process. I feel like I'm being pressured to be his therapist & could use some advice re: how to proceed. Snowflakes apply; more inside. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Dec 9, 2013 - 16 answers

My closest friend is mentally unwell and in love with me. Help.

I share a house with my oldest and closest friend, and I have found out that he is in love with me and feels intense heartache and jealousy when I date. He is deeply depressed and emotionally dependent on me. We are both late 20s guys and I am straight. I don't know how to deal with this. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Dec 1, 2013 - 17 answers

How can I best help my depressed friends & also take care of myself?

I watch many people who I care a lot about suffer from depression. I would sincerely do anything to help them, and do whatever I can think of: conversations, little notes and random texts, hanging out, offering help with thinking through options if they want it, etc. But, as someone who is lucky to not have 'been there', it's hard to know when I'm crossing a line and what's really needed. In fact, I think most of my efforts translate to "I know you mean well, but..." even though I'm also one of the few people these friends go to when things get bad. On top of worrying and trying to help, I also spend (probably too much) time thinking about what they're going through and what would be most helpful. It's exhausting for me and stressful, but it's personally not an option not to care. I end up internalizing this stuff and it affects my normal activities, even though at the end of the day, I'm not the one suffering. I want to be as good a friend and resource as possible to these people I truly care about and also want to avoid falling victim to anxiety or depression myself because of it. Any tips from either the 'been there' - depressed and knows what's helpful - perspective or the sincerly-caring-friend side of this equation would be much appreciated. Thanks.
posted by anonymous on Nov 12, 2013 - 15 answers

Please give me words for explaining my boundaries.

Can I explain to someone how their negative behaviors are putting me off, but maintain an amicable relationship with them? I get too emotional to find fair words. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Nov 1, 2013 - 30 answers

two tickets back to the friend zone, please.

A friend recently confessed that they have Seriously Distracting Feelings for me. Nothing remotely more-than-friendly has ever occurred between us, and they've been married for as long as I can remember. My only option is to pretend like it never happened, but I'm struggling with disappointment and resentment because the introduction of this dynamic frequently changes the foundation of the accompanying friendship and I don't want that to happen. What are some tactics I can employ to make sure that I'm able to move forward respectfully, privately, and (most importantly) at arm's length? Can I take steps to ensure our friendship will mostly go back to how it was before, or is trying to do so an exercise in futility given the circumstances? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Oct 21, 2013 - 16 answers

Guess vs Ask, grieving edition

Dealing with grief, unsure how to ask friends for support, if at all. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Sep 15, 2013 - 13 answers

Please don't ask me

How do I kindly decline my struggling-writer friends' numerous requests that I submit their screenplays to my agent, without causing any bad feelings or strife? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Aug 27, 2013 - 45 answers

Is it okay to stop maintaining contact with a longtime 'friend'?

I have a 'friend' with whom I am not interested in maintaining a friendship any longer. She seems to feel otherwise and is being a bit persistent. I keep ignoring her emails and phone calls, but still, every few months or so, there she is. I really don't want to have to tell her that I don't want to be her friend anymore. What can I do? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Aug 26, 2013 - 37 answers

My friend is befriending a rapist. What do I do about it?

How do I advise my (male) friend whose social circle is intersecting with a rapist? Seeking resources as well as advice. [Trigger warning] [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Aug 14, 2013 - 45 answers

Fantasy online romance

Few months back, I started talking to someone online that I have never met. Things developed from there and now all our conversations revolve around our feelings for each other. I am happy to keep this as a fantasy. Am I still going to get hurt here? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jul 25, 2013 - 10 answers

Hiding chronic illness from people

I have been living with chronic illness for around 10 years now. I am only able to work part time, but I look completely healthy on the outside. Nobody apart from my family knows about it. I hide it for many reasons but unfortunately this makes it unable to get really close to anyone. What to do? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jul 17, 2013 - 20 answers

At what point do I step back from being the supportive friend?

I need help deciding how to set boundaries with a friend - if I should even BE setting these sorts of boundaries. More within. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jul 16, 2013 - 20 answers

Friends WITHOUT benefits?

I've declined romantic overtures from X in the past. Subsequently, X made repeated friendly overtures toward me. My reciprocation of friendly overtures made X angry. I'm not sure if I need a reality check, or if X does. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jul 10, 2013 - 34 answers

How do I tell a friend I don't want to be her maid of honor anymore?

My friend and her fiance have been engaged for five years and they've finally set a wedding date for next year. Over the past several years, my friend has changed into someone I barely recognize. I’ve had to distance myself from her toxic behavior and no longer count her as a close friend. She still thinks of us as best friends and hasn’t asked anyone else to be in her bridal party. She has no other close friends to ask but I just can’t do it anymore. What’s the kindest possible way to tell her? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jul 3, 2013 - 26 answers

Facebook blues

I'm contemplating friending someone on Facebook who previously defriended me, but I'm worried I'm going to come off as a creeper. How to proceed? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jun 18, 2013 - 27 answers

Girlfriend met a guy on dating site. This isn't settling well with me.

My girlfriend, who is lonely, used a dating site to make a "friend" which I'm having difficulty coping with. What should I do? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jun 14, 2013 - 81 answers

A breakup means you break things off...

This was me. Short version: was in a 6 year relationship with about a year of long distance, partner dumped me for someone else out of the blue. A month later he broke up with her and has since been really working hard for us to get back together. I can't imagine trusting him enough to get back into a relationship, but I love him and he's my best friend so we're doing this weird friends-who-miss-one-another and love-one-another thing that I know will eventually end badly. What should I do? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jun 11, 2013 - 25 answers

My best friend can't come to my wedding. Help me be a grown-up.

I am getting married really soon, and I have known for a while that my best friend will not be at the wedding (for a really good reason - not that she needs one of course - but that's not the issue). I thought I was totally okay with it - it's just a party! I know she loves me! - but all of a sudden it hit me really, really hard that she won't be there. I don't know how to make this feel better. This is a terrible snowflakey question, but I am really, really sad, and I need better ways to think about this. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on May 29, 2013 - 42 answers

Where them like-minded people at?

I need a major friend refresh/revamp. What are actionable steps I can take to find like-minded people, and in particular people that will both give/take in the fun department? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on May 17, 2013 - 13 answers

I keep bumping into a former friend at parties. What do I say?

I quite conclusively ended the friendship. Now I'm seeing her at social events all over town, and she doesn't seem willing to play my 'you don't exist and I can't see you' game. What do I do next? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on May 17, 2013 - 32 answers

Walking on egg shells is exhausting.

My friend has done a lot for me. That doesn't change the fact that she is a miserable person. How do I breakup with a friend when I feel beholden to her? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on May 12, 2013 - 20 answers

I don't know what to do about this friendship anymore.

My friend is getting increasingly rude and mean with me, and yet I always find myself apologizing to make things right. What should I do? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on May 9, 2013 - 71 answers

Do I tell him why I am not being my normal, friendly self?

I am married and recently realized I had developed romantic feelings for a friend/coworker (also married). I have stopped speaking to him for the sake of my marriage. He really wants to know why I am avoiding him. What's the best way to handle this without making him feel bad? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on May 6, 2013 - 30 answers

To keep in touch with an ex or not?

I'm sort-of friends with an ex-boyfriend who I had bad relationship with. Broke up over a year ago, get coffee to catch up every few months. Now in a new relationship, and ex has asked to meet up again. Not sure if I should end this sort-of friendship, and if I do, how? Special snowflake details inside. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Apr 27, 2013 - 17 answers

Now you want me back?

A group of friends effectively dropped me for the last year and now they are making overtures as if nothing happened. How to react? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Apr 16, 2013 - 26 answers

Friend B likes friend A's girlfriend. What to do (if anything)?

I am a man. I have a good male friend, call him friend A. He has a girlfriend. He is head over heels. They live together and seem very happy. I have another male friend, friend B. He is single, and prone to quite dramatic behavior. While friend A was away from NY on business, I threw a party where friend B met the girl. They got on very well, and he later admitted he'd developed a big crush on her (unreciprocated, to my knowledge). [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Apr 10, 2013 - 48 answers

Can't forgive or forget

I'm involved in a hobby that is very specialized and even in my large city the community is very small and tight knit. Outside of work and family most of my friends are in this hobby. I had a falling out with a "leader" in the community, and I can't seem to get over it. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Mar 15, 2013 - 17 answers

Why did my friend downgrade me?

Friendship-filter: why did my friend declare that I'm not one of his best friends anymore? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Mar 13, 2013 - 16 answers

Compounding Life Disasters

I think my friend tried to fondle me in my sleep. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Mar 7, 2013 - 50 answers

Do you experience a hierarchy of affection for your friends?

If you suspect your friend likes you more than you like them, should you still be friends with them? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Mar 3, 2013 - 12 answers

Diplomatic speak for "No, I don't want to be friends with you"?

Glenda thinks because we met up a few times outside work, we can now be besties. Problem is, this time spent together made me realize Glenda is not someone I want to be friends with. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Feb 28, 2013 - 28 answers

How can I be supportive to a friend under these weird circumstances?

I'm a woman, my friend is a guy, both 30-something. We work together, and recently started having music jam sessions that have gone really well. He's been contacting me a lot, and we've opened up to each other about stuff. It's all been platonic. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jan 25, 2013 - 13 answers

How can I help my friend get help for suspected mental illness?

I'm sure that my friend (who lives cross-country) is dealing with un-diagnosed untreated mental illness. I'm 99% sure it's bipolar disorder, based on lots of information and evidence. I don't want this thread to be about diagnosing, but rather about how to help (I think we can agree that the steps I should take to help would be largely the same regardless of what he's grappling with, right?). [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jan 10, 2013 - 7 answers

Should we invite this jerk to our wedding?

Our maid of honor slept with a friend and he treated her badly. He is now in a serious relationship with another old friend. Can we invite her and not him without hurting the friendship? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jan 7, 2013 - 56 answers

Don't go, but don't stay.

I'm obsessed with my friend? (snowflake details inside). [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Dec 30, 2012 - 13 answers

Bye-bye ex-friend, please.

How to end a friendship as painlessly as possible? (online snowflake-y version) [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Dec 12, 2012 - 13 answers

How Do We Meet New People?

Wife and I just moved near Centennial, CO and are wanting to meet new people our age. The thing is, she is 29 and I am 38, no children...People I work with are families or older who want to do kid stuff with other couples. We both like movies, games, books, are easy to please and are easy to get along with...don't have a lot of money for high end stuff but would be nice to just get to know some folks. Any thoughts?
posted by anonymous on Dec 7, 2012 - 9 answers

time, distance, jobs, a baby, or me: what's the problem?

I feel abandoned by some friends. How should I address this? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Nov 3, 2012 - 18 answers

How to give a male friend advice?

Men of Mefi please explain - how do I give advice to a man? My male friend gives me lots of good advice but never asks for any from me. How do I keep the ledger balanced? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Nov 2, 2012 - 43 answers

Mountain out of a molehill: is this great crush-guy gay?

This Question Makes Me Feel Silly: I like him, think he likes me. . .but I honestly can't tell whether or not he's gay. Need advice on how best to handle clearing this up. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Nov 1, 2012 - 39 answers

I have a new friend, she has a giant Despair Squid.

"Emotional affairs" and being a good partner to someone with severe depression: I need a friend, but this new friendship is moving fast and I'm about 99% sure that my partner will be massively upset if she finds out. What do I do? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Nov 1, 2012 - 23 answers

How can I keep this friendship, and should I even try?

What to do about a close friend who seems to have become an alcoholic--and cemented his new status of "repeatedly gets so drunk he black-outs" in my mind by telling me details of his sexual fantasies involving myself and his wife (my former best friend)? Bonus features: super long background story! [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Oct 24, 2012 - 34 answers

Inter-office conflict

Please help me manage/cope with this grad school inter-office conflict. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Oct 23, 2012 - 12 answers

Friendship, Stewardship

What to do with an awol friend's large object? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Oct 6, 2012 - 18 answers

Should I cool it with my long distance friend until he leaves his girlfriend?

Divorce from abusive ex almost final, unexpectedly slept with a friend. We have loads in common but he's not (yet?) available. Cool it, or enjoy? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Sep 17, 2012 - 31 answers

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