celibacy, life, love, men, relationships, thoughts, women

In love with your male friend

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Friendship between opposite sex is often difficult, because of the sexual tension. Even if you’re both gay, it’s complicated. One of my female friends, who is lesbian, told me she’s attracted to one of her male friends, who is gay. There’s always a grey line. My friend even flirts with him in front of her significant other and his other one during parties. Usually, it turns into a fight with her significant other who is jealous. And it’s worse when my friend is drunk.  When she drinks to much, and her male friend too, they can’t help to touch each other. Her significant other is so pissed she starts to cry and leave. My friend is often sorry for that, and apologizes all of the time. Her male friend has also difficulties to keep any relationship because of her.

I asks her if she would consider dating her male friend. But my friend replies she can’t because he’s not interested. “I just feel he doesn’t love me like I do” she told me. She never told him she loves him. Because she also loves her significant, and doesn’t want to lose her.

It’s possible to fall in love with two different people, but not at the same time. My friend met her significant other at her gym class seven years ago, while she met her male friend two years ago, in a bar. He was the bartender.

But how do you know you’re in love with your male friend? Usually, if you can’t help talking about him/her to your friends, family, etc, it’s a good indication. If you feel jealous when your male friend likes pictures of other women, or talk to other women, it’s also a sign. But the opposite can also be true, because your male friend can also feel in love with you. A good sign is his jealousy, especially when you date other men. He won’t find any of your dates worth for you.

And the feeling doesn’t disappear if you have an other significant other.

 

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Everything has changed

P1020624Since March of last year, I’ve been seeing again my old BFF. Almost 17 years ago, I left our town after a huge argument with him, and I’ve never had any news from him since then, even when I joined Facebook in 2007 and I found him again.

Our first exchange after years of silence was short. I sent him a message to ask him how he was. He replied he was writing his thesis. And didn’t ask me what I have become. It ended there.

Years passed, and he remained silent even though he still remained my Facebook friend, until one day in March of last year, when I was waiting for my train at the Gare du Nord in Paris. He left me several messages, very sweet, very unusual that day because he was at the same place at the same time than I. But I didn’t see him because my train was leaving. He made me promise the next time I will be there, I should tell him.

So I told him when I got back to Paris. And he agreed to have a drink with me.

Thanks to Facebook, I knew he was in a relationship with someone else and working as a professor. So, I didn’t have many surprises when I saw him again after years of silence.

I don’t know if he was nervous on that day, but he drank a lot of beers while we were speaking. He also told me he hated his students and his job, and that he wished he would be in another town. I didn’t tell him he was making a mistake. I just looked at him with disagreement. He also showed bitterness when he talked about his ex who left him for his best friend seven years ago.

Our conversation lasted four hours! He had to get his train, but before leaving the bar, he asked me when I will be in Paris the next time. I told him I didn’t know. He kissed me goodbye and said he was happy to see me, and then disappeared in the subway.

Three weeks passed, until I got invited in Paris again. When I told him about it, he said he would meet me there. But the D-Day, he apologized he couldn’t make it, because he had another appointment. He added it was not his kind of way. I had the feeling he was leading me on, so I just told him it was ok, and didn’t contact him afterward.

I went twice to Paris at the end of December. I didn’t tell him. I just mentioned it on Facebook, in case my other friends would be there too. But every time, he asked me when  I would be available (to the point of being a little bit annoying), and I replied I didn’t have the time for him.

Then, this year, I wished him a happy Birthday. He thanked me, and asked again if I would be in Paris soon. In fact, I was, but he wasn’t. Instead, he said he would be in my town the next weekend, and that maybe, I could meet him near the train station. I agreed.

We only had one hour together before he had to take his train. This time, he only had one coffee. We spoke about various topic, until he told me he had a deal for a book. I also told him I had a book written and almost published. So I congratulated him. And when  he had to leave for his train, I asked him if he still planned to teach elsewhere. He replied he wasn’t sure anymore, and besides, his significant other has just received an upgrade at work, so she was hesitating to leave their town as well.

I followed him until we saw his platform, but he asked me why I followed him, so I pulled back. I kissed him goodbye and he said he was happy to see me. I left him there.

Since then, I miss him.

 

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Good riddance

According to statistics, the weeks just before Christmas see most couples to break up. I had a very recent example of that. Three days before Christmas, one of my friends’ mother lost her mind and flew away the country. My friend was left with her father and her two sisters organizing their Christmas dinner, which was nothing but sadness as she told me.  Her mom came back two days ago, and she asked for a divorce.

As the year ends, people often ponder about what went wrong in their life and what they want to change for the next year. In New York, on Time Square, there’s a box where you can drop a letter mentioning the thing you want to get rid off.

For some people, the wish is to get rid of their loneliness. But some also choose to get rid off a relationship.

We can get rid off a friend or a lover because he/she’s not treating us well. After all, true friendship and love should make you happy. If you feel miserable all of the time, it’s not worth pursuing the relationship.

The lover who’s never there, bring you down when you tell him/her about the difficult day you had, receive all your attentions but never reciprocate, get violent with you, criticize all of your choices,… isn’t worth your love.

The same goes with your friends.

So, I wish you a happy New Year. And a fresh start.

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The Year Review

1. What did you do in 2013 that you’d never done before? A speech in the House of Representatives of my country.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?  I didn’t make any resolutions

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Yes.

4. Did anyone close to you die? Yes

5. What countries did you visit? Switzerland, Great Britain, France, Germany, South Korea, United States

6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013? Peace.

7. What dates from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? January 11: the day of my hearing at the House of Representatives.

June 2: the day when my little nephew was born.

October 13: when B. asked me to write a book with him.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? My hearing at the House of Representatives.

9. What was your biggest failure? A documentary that never saw the light.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Yes.

11. What was the best thing you bought? shoes.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? The Pope Francis

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? extremists of all kinds.

14. Where did most of your money go? travels.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? My hearing. My book.

16. What song will always remind you of 2013?

You can call me Queen Bee 😉

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: (a) happier or sadder? (b) thinner or fatter? (c) richer or poorer?

Happier. Neither thinner nor fatter. Richer.

20. How did you spend Christmas?

With my family.

21. Did you fall in love in 2013?

No.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? No.

24. What was the best book you read? The moment, by Douglas Kennedy

25. What was your greatest musical discovery? …

26. What did you want and get? A book with B.

27. What did you want and not get? A nice place to live.

28. What was your favorite film of this year? Frances Ha

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

Traveling.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?  Peace

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?

There’s improvement.

32. What kept you sane? My friends and family.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? 

34. What political issue stirred you the most? The debt crisis.

35. Who did you miss? some of my friends

36. Who was the best new person you met? C.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013. A sailor without destination cannot hope for a favorable wind.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

n a cold night
There will be no fair fight
There will be no good night
To turn and walk away

To burn me with fire,
Drown me with rain
I’m gonna wake up
Screaming your name

Yes I’m a sinner
Yes I’m a saint
Whatever happens here
Whatever happens here
We remain

 

Have a great 2014!

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Facebook vs reality

Facebook is dangerous to our mental health and suits better people who are narcissistic, according to several studies.

But also, try to do what you do on Facebook in real life. You won’t get exactly the same reaction from your friends and family. Some will even tell you your ego is too inflated, because in society, it’s best to keep it low, especially in my country.

For example, try to display your pictures you took on holidays during a conversation with your friends and you would see their reaction. Nobody expect to be disrupted in a conversation like that. And to be fair, when my friends come at home, I won’t show them my pictures, unless they ask for it.

Besides, yes, it’s great to see a picture of you on top of a mountain or holding an achievement. But for other people to see that, it can either cause admiration or jealousy.

To see too many pictures like that, especially if your life isn’t as great as it should be, can make you miserable.

I particularly resent when my friends post their numerous pictures of parties, holidays,… on Facebook. Partly because they remind me I’m not invited and I’m just here working long hours at the office.

That’s why I don’t go that much on Facebook. And I prefer to send my pictures to my friends who ask for it.

But to be fair, I see a particular use of Facebook, if you want to take a revenge on someone.

I’ve seen a friend of mine, since her divorce, posting pictures like crazy where she’s a at party or with friends, always smiling. I understood later she tried to show her ex she’s fine without him, as he dumped her for another woman. Hence the divorce.

I’m not mad at her for doing her best to show she’s happy. It’s the right medicine when you have your heart broken like she had.  Yet, I wonder if she’s that happy. It takes time to heal a broken heart. And I’m not sure Facebook is really helpful.

Once, someone tagged me on Facebook with pictures we took while we were in New York. I was surrounded by journalists who took as many pictures as they could. And they tagged me in pictures where I was laughing with some male journalists, and two where I was holding them as it was our last day together.

Immediately after that, two of my ex’s, who I didn’t unfriend, wrote me an email asking me how I was. Until that tag, they didn’t contact me at all. One even asked me to go and have a drink with him. But I didn’t reply to him.

The ex is probably the most difficult thing to bear on Facebook. Nobody wants to see his/her ex living a life happier than ours, especially with a new significant other. Remember that episode of Girls where Marnie looks frantically at her ex’s pictures on Facebook, with his new girlfriend? You get the picture.

But here, if you bump into your ex with his new girlfriend in a party, on the streets, or anywhere else, this can be painful too.  However, this can happen less frequently than on Facebook.

And remember this: the life we pretend on Facebook is not always as glamourous in real life. For instance, I discover a party girl, who’s friend with me on Facebook, has an impressive list of drugs, including anti-depressant in her bag recently.

There is always a side of us we don’t want to show. And that side, only our real friends can see it.

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The time to love in College

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Early in May, while I was traveling in the United States, I met F., a young Swiss  student who took a year off of college to travel. Alone. I took his picture in Bryce Canyon. Just after this shoot, we bumped into a Google guy who was doing pictures of the Hoodoos.

I envy F. a lot. Because at his age, I wouldn’t have dared to do so. Because at his age, I was already involved in a relationship. And I just followed my boyfriend.

When I think about my College years, I realize I have spent most of my time either studying or with my boyfriend. Apart from that, I didn’t make many friends. This was a big mistake. Because I realize most of my friends or relatives met their friends in College, and acquaintances useful for their future professional life.

Luckily for me, I did make it as a journalist without the help of my friends or family. To be honest, the only help I received came from my former manager, who was sad I didn’t make it in his company after failing the test imposed for new comers. He called me to tell me there was an ad in his newspaper I should look at. And the ad was coming from my newspaper. My newsroom looked for someone with a little knowledge of the markets. He said I should apply, because he was really proud having me in his team in the bank.

And I got picked.

But if I had to do College again, maybe I would have enjoyed more the student life instead of settling down.

However, at the time, many of my classmates were involved into a relationship too. Only the smartest ones didn’t have a permanent boyfriend and knew they wouldn’t get married until their late  20s. But now, it seems time has changed. With the uncertainty rising for young graduates, many prefer taking all their chances on their side and put their love life on the side.

A little bit like F.. He told me he was traveling to Nevada, up to Vancouver, hoping to learn to speak a perfect english. And also, meeting a lot of people. He stayed in Las Vegas, in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle, in hostels all of the time, to meet new people. Not bad, for a student who picked sociology as his orientation.

Sociology is a difficult branch to get a job when you graduate. Today, civil engineers, mathematicians, computer scientists, dentists, doctors, chemists, biologists, are the orientation which will give you the most chance to find a job. For those who picked law, journalism, literature, … the job market is really tight unless you benefit from the network of your parents or your friends. The only way to improve your options is to differentiate from the other students. So, there’s not really a place for love here.

F. told me America was a real experience for him. He admitted he didn’t like that much the American thinking. He added he would be glad to come back to Switzerland.  So, I asked him if he had ever visited the national parks in the US, and he added it was the first time he was going to see Bryce Canyon, and the Grand Canyon. I added many of my friends loved these and it was the best way to appreciate the beauty of this country.

At the end of our trip, he seemed comforted. I wished him a good road ahead. And went back to my hotel.

Do you think love and College are separate business?

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Why we lose our BFF

I read recently a well written post by Caitlin Kelly on her blog about BFFs who go AWOL. And this reminds me how I lost my BFF almost fifteen years ago now.

I met her when I entered my new high school where I knew nobody there. She immediately asked me if I wanted to join her group during the break, and that’s how we became friends. She was like my sister at the time. People who didn’t know us would even ask if we were related. I spent a lot of time at her house, and she spent a lot of time at mine too. She was the shoulder I could cry on whenever I had a heartbreak at the time.

We had an exclusive bond, even though we had other friends and she had a permanent boyfriend. We even joked we would end up in a sanatorium together when we will be very old.

We thought our bond was indestructible, until her parents divorced.

She reacted very badly to this separation. She lost her appetite and became almost anorexic. Her boyfriend at the time and I were completely disarmed. She became moody, and began to pull away from him and from me. Eventually, she broke off with him. But I was still on her side.

But she became distant with me. And wouldn’t invite me to her house anymore. Instead, she invited another friend of her. When I discovered this, I felt so betrayed I couldn’t say anything to her. And I took my distance with her. Maybe I should have told her how I felt at the time. Maybe she would have realized where she was going.

And then, I met F.. I was head over heels for this man. But he didn’t like her, and at the time, I was so pissed against her that I decided to back him instead of her.

F. invited me everywhere with him. And I spent all my time with him, until he decided to call it quits. By that time, we knew both of us would go study in different towns. Strangely, it didn’t hurt me. As I realized I wasn’t in love with him. I fell in love with his best friend. That’s why I didn’t reach for my BFF at the time, like I used to do with all my other ex’s.

I was already in a relationship with him when I learned F. slept with my BFF during a drunken night. Strangely, I was mad at her, but not at F. I decided my friendship with her was over. And instead of confronting her about this, I just took my distance with her even more.

But our common friends did all they could to patch things up between my BFF and me. When we were in College, she invited me once to her place, but she didn’t explain why she invited me out of the blue like that. When I got there, I didn’t know what to say to her. She introduced me to her new boyfriend in a very crowded bar in the center of town she used to live, where all the students used to gather. She warned me we might get separated during the evening, and if it was the case, I should ask the barman (who’s a friend of mine)  to bring me back to her place.  And of course, I lost her in the crowd. But there, I met a lot of old classmates and chatted with them, instead of looking for her. I didn’t find her at the end of the night, so I asked our friend to bring me back at her place. There, her roommate opened the door, and said my BFF wouldn’t come back as she would stay at her boyfriend’s place. The next morning, my BFF came back to her place, but I was on my way to  the train station, so we didn’t exchange a real conversation.

After this visit, I wrote her a letter, asking her why she invited me. I asked her if she wanted us to be like we were before. But the letter came back to me, with the mention: the person doesn’t live in this address. I wondered if she sent it back immediately to me. It was almost the end of the year in College, and I already took the decision to choose another study and another town, far from everyone I knew. Everything went so fast, I didn’t think about her, and had other things in mind.

She never reacted. I could have call her, but I didn’t have her phone number. I only had her mom’s number. And it changed, because her mom moved in with another man and sold their old house.

Five years later, my mom bumped into her mom while she was doing her grocery shopping. I haven’t told my mom what happened with my BFF.  But my mom and her spent a lot of time talking with each other. That’s how I learned my BFF was now a teacher in my old school. That she had a new boyfriend who’s a common friend of ours…

Then, two weeks later, I met my BFF in my old town, while I was shopping with my mom. My mom left us, and we talked a little bit about what we became. At the end of the conversation, she asked if I would join her and her friends in a bar, during the evening. But I had other plans, so I declined the invitation.

I didn’t hear from her anymore afterwards.

Then, three years ago, a young lady came to visit me in my newsroom. She asked me a few questions about how I became journalist. She said her teacher told me to contact me. She said her teacher knows me well. I was really surprise when she told me this. But then, again, I didn’t try to contact her.

So far, I know she’s a mother of two children now. And that she lives with a man who’s a cheating liar. I don’t think she’s married.

So, this is how I lost my BFF.

Have you lost yours?

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It’s the end of the year

Every year, I like to do this meme. But this time, with a tweak.

1. What did you do in 2012 that you’d never done before?

Going on holiday alone

2. Did you keep your New Years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I didn’t make any resolution last year.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

No

4. Did anyone close to you die?

No

5. What countries did you visit?

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6. What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?

7. What date from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory?

March 20

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8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Getting recognized as an expert in my field.

9. What was your biggest failure?

A friendship lost.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

No.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

A camera

12. Where did most of your money go?

Traveling

13. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Going to New York.

14. What song/album will always remind you of 2012?

15. Compared to this time last year, are you:

1. Happier or sadder? Happier.
2. Thinner or fatter? The same.
3. Richer or poorer? Richer.

16. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Traveling, traveling, traveling.

17. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Working.

18. Who did you spend the most time on the phone with?

B. and my mom.

19. Did you fall in love in 2012?

See n°6.

20. What was your favourite TV programme?

21. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

Yes.

22. What was the best book(s) you read?

Dormir avec ceux qu’on aime – Gilles Leroy

23. What did you want and get?

An iPad. Twice.

24. What did you want and not get?

My own apartment.

25. What were your favourite films of this year?

If you could go back in time

 

26. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

Going out with friends.

27. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

A thing called love.

28. What kept you sane?
Friends and family.

29. What political issue stirred you the most?

The political fracture in my country.

30. Who did you miss?

B., my former editor, a friend of mine who moved abroad, all of the journalists I met in New York.

31. Who was the best new person you met?

D.

32. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012.

Never force people to love you.

33. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year?

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The group that affects your love life

Group thinking has been proven in my many studies to influence a lot the way we act. We see that a lot with teenagers, who develop a dress code and even a special language between their group. I’ve heard many times  one of my friends complaining about the way his teenager dresses. “All of his friends also wears that stupid Justin Bieber hairstyle, those tight jeans and that chain coming out of their pocket. It’s like he has zero personality“he says.

Even when we’re adults, we still get influenced a lot by the group we relate to. That’s why it’s important to carefully choose your group.

When it comes to our love life, it’s also important to choose the group you’re staying with. Especially if you’re single.

Spending your time with a group of single friends, who view the opposite sex as a) losers b) idiots c) bastards … will make you think that way, and this could ruin your chance to meet the one.  One of my friends told me the story of his coworker, who spent the time bashing men on the phone at work with her girlfriends. “I could hear her say that men should be treated with no respect. That they were only good for sex and that she couldn’t expect more from them. As a result, I often saw her dressed almost like a whore when she had a date after work. And her love life got pitiful, because she only picked the wrong kind of men” he said.

Spending all of your time with men, when you’re a woman, can also be detrimental to your love life. For another kind of reason. One of my friends spent most of her time with four men, her best friends as she said. Yet, she’s still single. From time to time, their friendship doesn’t resist the test of alcohol and she has ended up sleeping with two of her friends (not a the same time!) but she never managed to turn that into a real relationship. She told me she likes spending time with them because they are sooo fun. As a social worker, she needs this kind of distraction, she said. “I see so much misery with my job, I need to clear that out of my head” she added.

But groups can have a positive effect on you too. I remember when I was a student, I needed to study among all the other students at the library. It helped me remaining concentrated. I didn’t need to speak to the others. But their quiet presence helped me to remain focused on my notes.

The same can be applied to our love life. By surrounding ourselves with people who really believe in love, this can affect the way we think about love positively.

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Not good enough

A little while ago, I introduced one of my cousins to one of my best friends. We organized a night out with my group of friends and my cousins and my friend was placed near my cousin because I thought they had a lot of common points. Both were going out a lot and enjoyed meeting new people all of the time. But they didn’t click.

I saw my friend really intimidated that night by my cousin. She didn’t speak a lot. She wasn’t herself. When we hang out together, she’s the funny one of our group. Here, it wasn’t the case. My cousin ended up speaking with my other friends. Yet, after this night, my cousin told me he really enjoyed her company. I was a little bit surprised.

On Facebook, I could see him leaving her a lot of messages, but she didn’t reply to him. I didn’t understand why. Three months later, my cousin went to a party where he met his girlfriend, who works for a sport events organizer. I met her three months later when he introduced her to me.

When I told this to my friend, she told me she knew he would pick a woman like her. “When I looked at him, I could tell I wasn’t the one for him. I’m just a social assistant. What would he do with me?” she said.

I introduced her to my cousin because she asked for it. She saw his pictures and told me he was really handsome.

This is not the first time this has happened to her. Most of her dates were like that. She thought the guy was handsome, but then she feels like she’s not good enough for him, that he’d probably be better with another woman. She’s very beautiful and funny though. Yet, she always sells herself short like that. My cousin’s girlfriend is less funny and less beautiful than she is. But the difference is his girlfriend has more self-confidence.

I do admit I have been intimated by men too. I went once to have a drink with a man I met at a seminar. He was really handsome. But I thought he was only interested in me because of my job, and not because I was interesting and beautiful. I thought a guy like him would be better with a really beautiful woman.

I do believe negative thoughts like that are really bad and can ruin your chances to meet the one. Unless the man you meet is looking for sex, chances are he will see if you would make a good companion. It’s normal to feel a little bit intimidated at the beginning of the conversation. But if he’s a great guy, he will try to launch the conversation, and you should feel at ease after a while.

When you go to a lot of dates, you can feel at ease with every new guy you meet. It helps you a lot to be yourself. You will immediately know if you like the guy or not. If you think you’re not good enough, you can pass next to the great guy ever, and fall into the hands of a manipulative liar who will immediately recognize in you your weakness and use it to seduce you.

It’s better to attract someone with our qualities than our flaws.

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