Hi! We're Arianna and Katie and we like casting spells and giving advice. So we're combining those interests here, in Witches' Counsel, where you can send us any problems, hang-ups, fears, etc., and we will do everything in our ~power~ to help. Reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I need some advice about boys vs. best friends. I'm 14 and going into eighth grade and my best friend and I have been friends for four years now. I love her to death, but she has a nasty habit of going after the guys I like. In fact, she's dated two guys I was trying to go out with, and I'm afraid she's going to do it AGAIN. Every time I try to confront her about it all she says is, "We must have the same taste in guys..." and shrugs it off. I know people can't help their feelings, but I can't help but feel sabotaged every time she develops feelings for someone I'm into. I usually end up encouraging her to go for it, because I don't want to fight with her about it. So here's the question: how do I build up the confidence to stand up to my best friend, and how do I do it without ruining our friendship?
Oof. We've both been there. Have you read Emma by Jane Austen? (Or, have you seen Clueless?) That's what this reminds us of — your friend as Emma (or Cher), and you as Harriet (or Tai). Except your situation probably feels even worse, because not only are the guys you like going after your best friend, but she's going after them, and doing so after you tell her how you feel. We don't blame you for feeling sabotaged at all. You're right to acknowledge that people can't help their feelings, but it's extremely difficult to not feel suspicious or territorial when those feelings seem to develop only after the thought is planted by someone else.
What we love about your question is that you asked not how to make your friend stop, or how to make guys stop liking her, or even how to make them like you instead, but rather how you can simply have the confidence to tell her how you feel. That's awesome, and you should feel really proud of yourself for handling this as maturely as you are. Especially since you're 14. A lot of people in your shoes (including yours truly) would, at least temporarily, take their frustration about this issue out on the friend, and not in a patient or productive way. You, by contrast, are so kind that you even encourage her to go after people you like too. We can only hope that this best friend is as kind to you in return. You deserve it.
Here's what we suggest: have that conversation with her, and be honest. Tell her you feel hurt and betrayed, and tell her you want to see her support your crushes in the way you've supported hers. Tell her you want to be able to tell her about someone you like and feel excitement rather than dread. If you talk about your own (legitimate) feelings and refrain from accusing her, she should (hopefully) be less defensive. We're keeping our fingers crossed for you.
But we're also the Witches, so we're giving you a spell, too. This is adapted from Everyday Magic by Dorothy Morrison. You'll need a favorite piece of jewelry (something you wear regularly, if possible), and a little bit of oil. Cedar or musk is ideal, but if you don't have it, a little olive oil will work too.
Rub a tiny drop of oil onto the jewelry item, and chant:
I imbue you with courage, and bravery, and nerve,
I empower you with self-confidence, so you may serve
My needs when anxieties attempt to emerge
Eradicate them; let new confidence surge.
Then, wear the jewelry when you talk to your friend. And just remember, she's your best friend. Best friends treat each other with respect and listen to each other's concerns. She owes you that much at least, so don't feel bad asking for it.
I've been dating my boyfriend for three years now. It's going good — we live together and have a cat and some lizards. But he has next to no interest in meeting my best guy friend (yes; it's been three years and hasn't yet). I've tried voicing my concern, but to no avail. My BF is older than my friend and I by three years. He's said he's worried about whether they'll have anything in common, and doesn't believe me when I say they do (they both love working on cars). He also gets jealous when I text my friend. I don't know if he realizes how important it is.
Thanks for listening,
We're going to give your boyfriend the benefit of the doubt here, and trust you when you say that, beyond this issue, your relationship is good. Living together is hard, and if you guys are pulling it off — with pets, no less! — that is no small feat. But the problem you're writing with is worrisome, if only for the fact that it suggests larger issues concerning communication and respect.
First off: have you explicitly communicated to your boyfriend how important this is to you? Relationships are all about compromise, but there is also an hierarchy of compromises, and sometimes it's hard to know which things you need to give way on. Make it clear to your boyfriend that this isn't like when you say you're hanging out with friends and you'd love for him to join, but you actually don't care one way or the other; tell him, in no uncertain terms, that your friend is important to you, and you would really appreciate it if your boyfriend made the effort to get to know him. You don't have to explain yourself, or justify the importance, or convince him of exactly why they would get along. You can if you want, but you don't have to. What you're asking isn't unreasonable. Your friends are part of who you are; your partner should at least be acquainted with them.
Your boyfriend says he's worried he and your friend won't have anything in common — well, what if they don't? What's the worst case scenario? They engage in some small talk? Small talk isn't anyone's favorite kind of talk, but it never killed anyone. You can minimize potential awkwardness by choosing an activity that encourages engagement. Pick a place where you're boyfriend is comfortable. You say they both love cars. What do people who like cars do? Watch The Fast and the Furious? Go to car shows? (We're not into cars, sorry, but maybe there's something there.)
And here's where you meet him halfway— if he does this, really makes an effort and they still don't hit it off— you have to be OK with the fact that maybe they won't be the very best of friends. There's a good chance they won't be. But my goodness, they can at least MEET. And if he puts up a fight about just ONE meeting, well, maybe you have to consider how his stubbornness will continue to affect you down the road. You deserve someone who will budge for you.
Now, for the magic: Since this is going to rely on a (likely a little uncomfortable) conversation, we're giving you a spell to do at home, to enhance your ability to communicate. It's from The Spell Cabinet. Here's what you do:
Light a blue candle (you can carve the ansuz rune into it, for good measure). Write down everything you'd like to tell your boyfriend (this is good practice for the conversation, regardless!) on a piece of paper, and then burn the letter in the flame. Place it in a fire-proof dish, and visualize your boyfriend's face, and your goal, while the paper burns. If you have some thyme or cinnamon, toss it on the burned letter, and continue to concentrate on the conversation and the response you're hoping for. When the letter has burned, toss the ashes and herbs outside, into the wind.
And as for the jealousy— nope. Nip that in the bud. Your boyfriend doesn't get to tell you you can't text your best friend. We get that it's not uncommon for a significant other to feel intimidated by a best friend, but tell him he has nothing to worry about, and then do not feel like you have to engage in further conversation about it. Who knows, maybe if they met, he'd be a little more comfortable with it.
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