Love Cafe: Relationship Q&A: Fall 2013

January 1, 2014

I'm a third year at Cal and it's been really hard to make friends. I have some great acquaintances but no one really close to confide in and always make plans with. I don't have much time in my schedule to join new groups. Two questions: 1) What are some good ways I can deepen these acquaintanceships? 2) How can I be more content being alone? Thank you so much!


Assuming you’ll be seeing these acquaintances often, try asking them if they’d like to grab lunch or boba with you that weekend, or try x café out if they haven’t yet (food always brings people together (: ). Then, you can hang out with them for a little bit without having to invest too much time. Take advantage of the time spent and get to know your new friend a little more—maybe you guys will find some commonalities, such as sharing the same hobby that you guys can do together some day. Also, concerning being alone, think of this time as an opportunity for you to either wind down and relax from your busy schedule, to catch up on school work, or any other productive activity you want. –Amanda

Compared to high school, college can definitely feel lonely sometimes. My best advice to deepening acquaintanceships would be to be more opened to other people. Relationships are what you put into them, and the more you open up to others, the more they will do the same with you. I believe that is the best way to progress an acquaintanceship into a friendship. To answer your second question, just try your best to adapt into being alone. For the time being, you can try to find a new, not time consuming activity to do when you’re alone, such as reading a book, to keep your mind off things. Hope this helps! Best of luck, darling. –Jami

Hi there! My boyfriend is pledging a frat right now, and it's very time-consuming and stressful for him. I have a lot on my academic plate, and furthermore, I don't have too many close friends here at Cal, nor do I have time to join new groups. We used to spend tons of time together, so the fact that he's going to meet all these new people, gain a huge new part of his life, and have less time for me makes me a bit sad. Any advice on how to deal with that? Thank you!!


If you’re also looking to extend your social circle, use the precious free time you have (when your boyfriend’s busy too) to connect with those you’re at least already familiar with, like casually asking a friend if they’d like to grab coffee with you. And even if you’re not, it’s still good to build friendships too, rather than just being close with your boyfriend, so you can have a sort of support group that will hopefully help you make spending the time apart easier and more fun. –Amanda

Honey, It’s completely normal for you to feel sad about your boyfriend pledging a frat! However, like your boyfriend, it’s important for you to seek out groups to join so that you can also gain a new circle of friends. Mama Luv would suggest looking into clubs on campus or inviting your friends out to explore the city. This will allow you more time to learn about yourself and trust me baby, your boyfriend will appreciate this too! In the meantime, don’t forget to keep your chin up, strut with confidence, and shake what your Mama gave ya! Mama Luv is here to help. Love, Mama Luv

The two of you sound like both very busy people. There is no need to feel sad about your boyfriend meeting new people: change your mindset. Instead of thinking that your boyfriend is gaining friends without you, think about it as an opportunity for you to meet new people too. In addition, it sounds like you have a lot on your plate right now too, which gives you perfect timing and opportunity to focus on yourself. To keep your relationship strong, remember to be supportive of one another. Hope this helps. Best of luck, darling. —Jami

Me and my best friend like the same guy. He texts me all the time and he told me he liked me. What should I do? Should I keep us on the friends until she stops likening him?


It’s best if you just directly and gently talk with your bestie about this rather than wait around for her feelings to subside. The more serious her feelings are for him, the longer it may take for her to move on. And assuming she doesn’t know his feelings, honesty IS the best policy: just tell her what’s up rather than quietly watch her drag things on and hope that she’ll stop soon (and if you were in her shoes, wouldn’t you expect your best friend to tell you the truth, even if it hurts?). If she doesn’t like what she hears, then that’s a shame because rejecting the truth doesn’t make it false. —Amanda

Have you talked to your best friend about you both having feelings for this boy? Maybe you could talk to her and tell her that this guy has told you he likes you and that you like him back, but tell her you don’t want to ruin your friendship by acting on this without her approval! —Emily

I believe the best way to go about this situation is based on your understanding of your friend. If she has been obsessing over this guy for a really long time, then it might be a good idea to take a step back in respect of your friendship. However, if it was only a casual crush, then I am sure a good friend will understand. Hope this helps. Best of luck, darling. —Jami

Honey, It’s completely normal for two friends to like the same person. However, honesty is an important component of friendship so Mama Luv thinks it is best to be honest with your best friend. Let your friend know how he feels about you and discuss about how you should proceed. She might even surprise you by telling you to go after the guy! Just don’t forget to be honest, keep your chin up, strut with confidence, and shake what your mama gave ya! Mama Luv is here to help. Love, Mama Luv

So, I met this girl a few months ago, and we really liked each other, maybe even “fell in love”. But she has started being very suspicious about everything I do, questioning where I’ve been at every single moment, and even snooping through my personal things. I still like her but this has become a huge turnoff. What do you suggest?


Situations like this can be very challenging. First, ask yourself how important this relationship is to you. If it is important to you, think about what you can do to alleviate her concerns. Be transparent in your activities until she has no cause for concern, and try to make it clear to
her that you care for her and that she has nothing to be concerned about in terms of the relationship. Trust takes time to build and it may be that she is searching for evidence that you are someone she can trust. You can try letting her obtain that evidence without feeling offended or having your feelings hurt. “Falling in love” may seem easy but solid long-term relationships require an extensive amount of trust-building and this requires time, transparency, and commitment on the part of both partners.The most important thing is to find a situation that is good for both of you, whether you stay together or whether you forge separate lives.

–Guest Barista Henry

My roommate is constantly leaving her things everywhere. I don’t mind that she’s messy, but I do mind when her mess is in my space. I am constantly finding wet towels, jeans, homework, all sorts of belongings here and there. It’s only once in awhile, so I don’t know when would be the best time to approach her. And even if I do, I don’t know how to approach her about this without upsetting or offending her. What should I do?


Sweetie, It’s understandable to have roommate issues because everyone has a different lifestyle. If you feel like your roommate is getting into your personal space, Mama Luv would suggest approaching her a couple of days after it has happened. If you do like her as a roommate, you can start off saying that you enjoy living with her. Then slowly bring up how her behavior and living habits (not personality) are affecting you and you would appreciate it if she can remember to avoid leaving her stuff in your area. Remember that this is a discussion about how you two can be better roommates, rather than a critique! That way, your roommate will not be offended. Keep your chin up, strut with confidence, and shake what your mama gave ya! Mama Luv is here to help. Love, Mama Luv

Next time she leaves any of her belongings out of place and in your space, calmly point it out to her and say something like “Hey, I’d really appreciate it if you would please make sure that your stuff won’t accidentally be left in my space again.” This way, your request will be short and sweet, and won’t sound as if you’re accusing her of purposefully dumping her stuff on yours. If it happens again, give her another gentle reminder, but you can be a little firmer if it still continues. –Amanda

I’m overweight and very conscious of my appearance. I have no confidence in talking with others and making friends because I’m so afraid that they’ll be secretly repulsed by my chubbiness. This is also a problem when it comes to job interviews because I have the same thoughts of the interviewers too. What should I do to overcome my insecurity?


Sweetheart,

It’s normal for everyone to be self-conscious – trust me, Mama Luv has been there and done that! But please do see that even if your physical appearance is not ideal, your personality will shine through and attract new friends! If you’re feeling overweight, Mama Luv would suggest starting off with some light exercise like jogging or swimming. This will help you feel better about your appearance and at the same time, generate endorphins to keep you positive! Honey, remember it’s the inside that counts. Don’t forget to keep your chin up, strut with confidence, and shake what your mama gave ya! Mama Luv is here to help. Love, Mama Luv

Your confidence shouldn’t be solely based on your physical appearance. Sure, physical appearance is a part of confidence, but there are other factors as well! I believe confidence stems from your personality, your accomplishments, your talents, your friendships, etc. Therefore, you shouldn’t be afraid to make friends or be nervous at your interviews. You are so much more than the surface. Remember that confidence, not physical features, is what makes a person attractive! Hope this helps. Best of luck, darling. –Jami

Sex question: I'm a girl with low self-esteem, and I want to be more confident in bed! How can I shed my insecurities?


The most important thing in a sexual relationship is to practice open communication. Not only would it make you feel more comfortable and confident, it is also a great way to improve your sexual relationship. In addition, if you do have a special someone you feel comfortable around: practice makes perfect. Hope this helps. Best of luck, darling! –Jami

Having sex is definitely not the way to shed your insecurities! You need to find confidence within yourself, and everyone sheds their insecurities in their own unique way. Once discovered, your inner confidence will shine through in all that you do, including sex. –Emily

It’s best to first work on raising your self-esteem for reasons other than to have sexual confidence. I say this because I don’t believe there is a direct answer to your questions since it’s drawing on the deeper issue of how much you value yourself. No way will any “self-practice” or “list of techniques” make you inherently more confident because those are superficial and weak foundations for emotional growth. Before you can be confident in bed, you have to be confident with your entire identity and abilities. Learn to look past your flaws and failures, understand that there is always room for improvement, and that confidence takes great effort and time to build. So whatever personal issues you wanna iron out, work on them, but also know that there are some things you can’t change. Just don’t continue to carry on a defeatist attitude if you are. Once you’re able to see yourself in a positive light, confidence in anything will follow. –Amanda

I bought my friend two tickets to her favorite band’s concert on her birthday. I gave it to her with the intentions of going with her, but then she invited another friend. I don’t care that much about the concert, but I do feel somewhat hurt about it. I don’t want to take the tickets back, and I know she didn’t do anything wrong. How do I get over this feeling?


Sorry to hear that but looking on the bright side now, at least she enjoyed your thoughtful gift. It’s okay to feel hurt about it (anyone would), but make sure your feelings don’t develop into a grudge. And maybe next time, you should reserve special presents for special-er people (i.e. your mum, best friend), so if you decide to give a similar gift, the chances of them asking you to join them are much greater, if not obvious. But don’t let this experience discourage you from giving generous gifts to anyone if you really want to. Gifts are meant to make the receiver happy. –Amanda

Immediately after we broke up, my first boyfriend got another girlfriend. I had been dating him for the past three years, and I don’t know how he can move on so fast while I can’t. I feel devastated and I don’t really know what to think. I am constantly feeling depressed, invaluable, and replaceable. I know they say the best way to get over someone is to find someone new. Is that really the best idea?


Don’t compare how fast each of you are able to move on because it may just cause you to throw yourself into or pursue another relationship with the poor intention of (messily) bandaging the wound left by the last. And like wounds, yours will take time to heal and no one other than yourself can remedy it by understanding that sh*t happens, love hurts, and that you are your own person and therefore irreplaceable. Don’t let someone else and their actions dictate your identity and self-worth. Instead, busy yourself by pursuing activities that will help soothe the pain or at least keep your mind off of it, such as working out, volunteering, taking yoga classes, etc.—Amanda

Babycakes,

The best way to get over someone is not to find someone new! Rather, it’s finding yourself and being comfortable in your own skin. Finding someone new simply brushes your concerns under the carpet and does not resolve the issue. Mama Luv would suggesting participating in activities that you’re comfortable doing by yourself and with friends. Sweetie, it’s important to remember that you define yourself and no one else can make you feel inferior. Please don’t forget to keep your chin up, strut with confidence, and shake what your mama gave ya! Mama Luv is here to help. Love, Mama Luv

I met a guy at a frat party and he keeps texting me. I think he’s cute but I also feel like he might only want a sexual relationship and that’s not what I’m looking for. I’ve tried ignoring some of his texts too but he’s persistent. Should I pursue this because I think he’s cute and if not, how can I make it clear I’m not interested?


Honey,

It’s natural that you want to start seeing a guy if you think he’s cute, especially if he’s so persistent! However, if you think he might only want a sexual relationship, and if that’s not what you want, then it’s best to let the guy know you’re not interested. You can do this by being straightforward, even if it’s through text! Just simply be clear about how you feel :) In the meantime, keep your chin up, strut with confidence, and shake what your mama gave ya! Mama Luv is here to help.

Love, Mama Luv

My girlfriend of 1.5 years told me recently that she used to be bi-sexual. It made me very uncomfortable because I feel like she interacts with some girls differently because she might be interested. I’m completely fine if she USED to be bi-sexual, but I get a tad bit feeling that she still is. 


Dear partner of a formerly bisexual woman,

Aw, you sound stressed! We baristas are here to help. There are 2 issues here. One is whether your girlfriend is flirting with other people in a way that makes you uncomfortable. The other is whether or not she’s still bisexual, despite what she may say.

For #1, you need to have a talk about boundaries. Are you monogamous? What does that mean for both of you? Start with “I” statements (“I’m feeling a bit confused/insecure”). Be honest, and be kind. It may be difficult, but it’s the only way to get on the same page.

For #2: it doesn’t actually matter if she is bisexual; it matters if she’s honest with herself, and with you, and if you both can stick to your relationship agreements. She may really not feel bisexual anymore; she may also have said that in order to gauge your reaction. Let her know you support her no matter what (if this is true, and your baristas hope it is) and then gently mention what you’ve observed. See what she says.

The bottom line: start some good, non-accusatory conversations. Use some “I” statements. And see what happens! Much love from the Love Cafe!

My best friend has been sending nude pictures to guys on omeagle. I have talked her out of it once but she started again and it is getting out of hand. I haven't told anyone plz help! We have known each other since birth.


It sounds like your friend finds positive reinforcement for her image on omegle that she cannot find anywhere else. This might be why it is such a hard habit to break. Fortunately sending pictures is relatively harmless, but could escalate and get dangerous. Tell your friend how much it bothers you, and try to have a conversation with her about it rather than just telling her it is bad. It might help fix an underlying problem. Hope this helps! Best of luck, darling.  –Jami

 Try to have another honest conversation with your friend and keep an open mind and show empathy. Take a soft approach and remind her you are concerned because you love her and want her to be happy. Remind her of the consequences of sending nude pictures on Omeagle (pubic and permanent nature of the internet and how this might affect her future with potential jobs). See if there is a deeper cause behind her choices such as insecurity or loneliness. If, for example, you find out that deep down she is lonely and feels as if this is the only way to achieve the attentions she craves, then suggest alternative (and perhaps healthier) ways of making friends and/or meeting guys. Emphasize that ultimately it is her body and her choice and that you just want to make sure she is ok.

Best wishes and good luck, Guest Barista J.

My boyfriend has a hard time trusting me. It's not me though; he's had multiple painful pasts that hold him back from trusting me. There were times when I did or say something that upset him, they were just friendly gestures to my guy friends. He has pointed those out to me and I have been trying hard to be a good girlfriend, but he is still having the hardest time trusting me. What can I do to win his trust when it's his past and not me?


Trust is one of the most challenging obstacles for couples, but once it becomes established, your relationship will become much stronger. It seems as though his past experiences are continuing to affect his current relationships trusting you as well as others. I suggest talking to him more directly and expressing first that you fully trust him. Allowing your boyfriend to know that you trust him 100% will let him open up to you more. This process is going to take time, as trust slowly builds. Ask him what it is that you can do for him to allow him to trust you and remember, communication is key. Ultimately trust is a struggle that he has to conquer, but he will benefit most  from your guidance and support. Just be your best and honest self. There may be times of struggle for both of you, but hang in there! In the long run he will realize how much you have done for him and appreciate your patience and determination in the relationship.–Rowena

Trust takes time. I understand how difficult it is for someone to have a lack of trust for you despite not doing anything wrong, trust (no pun intended.) But once again, trust takes time. Try to be there for him with honesty and forgiveness for his insecurity. Then perhaps overtime, you can prove to him that you are different from his past girlfriends. Hope this helps. Best of luck, darling.–Jami

I know “everyone is their own person”, but I can’t help but feel terrible when my family compares me with my cousins who are ALL successful, awesome ppl and im the opposite. Ive been trying to convince myself since forever that im okay but it’s hard to believe this when family keeps saying things like “You cant wait to find a boyfriend like x cousin because you don’t look her” and “Why aren’t you as well-read as this cousin”. I feel like me just wanting to be as good as them is my identity now & I just want to be accepted so badly and feel even worse that I am putting my parents to shame… I just feel so trapped and tormented.

Wow.. I’m really sorry you’re going through all this and yes, you are your own person, but it takes more than understanding a proverb to persuade you into believing and applying. First, you MUST be brave and tell your family how negatively their criticism affect you (comparison is never constructive IMO). Then, convince yourself that you’re someone unique and deserving of acceptance! Because you are! Abandon your pursuit of qualities you were raised to think are “worthy” and focus on your own strengths and interests by doing things that cater to them. What good is it to force yourself to be good at things that you hate or just aren’t you? –Amanda

I have a temper problem and would always get irritated or angry with my boyfriend, even over the most trivial things. I love him a lot and feel guilty that I stress him out with all my unnecessary anger. I’ve addressed this problem with him many times and he always understands and forgives but lately, I feel that he’s getting sick of me and we sometimes end up fighting. I feel like getting easily angered is just part of my personality and I don’t know how to fix all this.


I think it is important for you to find another outlet for your anger instead of your boyfriend. Yes, boyfriends can be good listeners and good for releasing stress (shh), but it’s important to not overuse them in that sense as even they can feel burned out. Perhaps try dispersing your anger, such as talking it out with a few of your close friends. That way, your anger towards your boyfriend should be diluted and he should feel less targeted than before. Hope this helps! Best of luck, darling.  –Jami

Sweetie Pie, It’s completely understandable that your temper may cause disagreements with your boyfriend and it’s nice of him to forgive. However, it isn’t always fair that he has to take a step back. If your boyfriend forgives, then it is evident there is something about your personality that he loves. So in order to keep up the relationship, Mama Luv would suggest having constant reminders to not get as upset. For instance, you can place sticky notes around or even ask your boyfriend to call you out when you do get upset. As long as there is a will, you and your boyfriend can work it out and change your temper. In the meantime, keep your chin up, strut with confidence, and shake what your mama gave ya! 

Mama Luv is here to help.  Love, Mama Luv

I’ve been seeing a guy for over half a year and we still don’t have a label. I never brought it up about becoming official because I’m afraid he won’t be happy about it.


Babycakes, It’s understandable that you don’t want the guy you’re seeing to be unhappy. However, if becoming official is in your interest, it’s important to be communicative!  Mama Luv would suggest starting off by asking him how he feels about being in an official relationship. Regardless of his response, always remember that communication is key to any type of relationship - whether it be with friends, family, or partners! Just don’t forget to keep your chin up, strut with confidence, and shake what your mama gave ya! Mama Luv is here to help.

Love,

Mama Luv

My ex and I broke up the summer before I entered Cal and now he goes to a school in the East Coast. I only see him maybe 3 times a year and we each have been open to seeing other people, but our relationships never got far because they were never as good as what we had with each other. I know that we both would not be able to do long distance, but when he does come back to the Bay, we go on dates and it’s as if we are together. The sad part is knowing that once he returns to school across the country, we will barely talk/text each other until he comes back again. Am I just his “to-go” girl for dates whenever he is back?? We still have feelings for each other, but I want a serious relationship, but I know I cannot with him. What should I do??


Are you still in love with your ex? Romantic attachments are normal. The combination of body chemicals, psychology, and past memories can make it difficult to lose feelings for a former love. From what it sounds like, the two of you never had a clean breakup. I find that in relationships, it is best to either be friends or lovers. The in-between middle ground (as somewhat friends and somewhat romantic) is not always healthy and can actually be more painful. If you desire a serious relationship with him, maybe you should go for it (talk to him!). If you don’t think a serious relationship would work, maybe it is best to stay friends. It is important to act like friends (friends don’t go on dates) if this is your decision. When making this decision, keep in mind the past, present, and future. Hope this helps! Best of luck, darling.

–Jami

My roommate doesn’t seem to take care of himself health wise. For example, he can play games for hours on end even if he has a CS project deadline to meet. I would advise him to start on his project so he can avoid future stress, but he gets annoyed by me. Then, when he is pressured by time, he gets extremely stressed out. This happens with midterms, essays, etc. I don’t know how to help him without being condescending.


That is great that you care about the health and well-being of your roommate. I know it is hard to do, but I suggest sitting him down and expressing your concerns by bringing up a couple of examples from when he was pressured by time. Start off by telling him that you are doing this out of concern for his well-being. Maybe he doesn’t realize it as it is happening and needs an outside perspective to point them out. It is also a good idea to try and do other things for fun with him besides playing games, such as going to the gym or having a nice meal together. This can allow him to see that he doesn’t need to play games all the time and eventually will manage his time better as he doesn’t see games as a constant routine. It will take a lot of effort and you may come across some arguments, but he will appreciate and thank you in the long run. Good luck! Love, Rowena

I find it incredibly sweet that you care so much about your roommate. Since you have already expressed your concerns about his health and he only grows frustrated, perhaps it is best to take a step back. Everyone works differently. Even though it may be hard to see, have a little faith in your roommate’s abilities. Hope this helps. Best of luck, darling. –Jami

I’m an incoming freshman to Cal this year and I want to make a good impression on my new roommates. I’m really scared about getting off on the wrong term. Any advice?


Adventure awaits! During the first few weeks of school, most people are seeking to make new friends. If you think about it, college is a new environment for everyone. So, there’s no need to be scared! Just be yourself, smile, and even take your roommates out. Talk about any concerns you have in advance to prevent future drama. Hope this helps! Best of luck, darling. –Jami

Congrats on getting into Cal, you’ll love it here :) I remember worrying about the same thing right before moving in too, but the best impression you can make is the most genuine, so be yourself! You will be living with them so you want to be comfortable yourself. You would want them to just be themselves too right? Just remember to communicate with them and they might even become your closest friends. Good luck on your first year! -Rowena

I’m still in love with my ex and he got a job overseas. I’m scared I’ll never see him again and I still want to be with him. But, I don’t want a long distance relationship… What should I do?


This is a tough situation, but maybe you can weigh the pros and cons of a possible relationship and decide from there. Ask yourself whether this would be a one-sided relationship. Perhaps your relationship ended due to other factors and not solely based on the distance issue. I suggest talking to your ex about where your relationship stands and express to him your feelings. If the relationship just isn’t there anymore, there are plenty of fish out there–fish in the bay and not out at sea (hope that made you laugh). The distance can also help you realize your options and open your eyes to all the amazing people in the world. Best of luck! –Rowena