I have a favor to ask a friend that I haven’t spoken to in a while. I’m totally not one of those people that only connects with someone when I need something. This particular friend and I just got too busy, I guess, and now she’s the only contact I know to help me. Do you think it’s wrong for me to write to her and ask?
Not a Mooch
Dear Not a Mooch,
Here’s the thing – we have ALL done it. Networking is a natural part of our culture, and anyone who says they’ve never wanted to reconnect with an acquaintance when they need to network is lying. Facebook, Words with Friends, Instagram, Twitter, TV, Tivo, and everything else that keeps us connected and ready for the week’s water cooler gossip can also distract us all day long. It’s hard to find time to keep in touch with EVERYONE these days. (Especially now that, these days, more people than ever are in our lives.) Our pop-tarted, microwaved, instantly connected culture was supposed to free up more of our time—and somehow we all ended up busier and more overwhelmed.
So write them! And approach it completely honestly. Just go for it (“Connect Four!”)—we are all human, so explain yourself in an authentic way. “Hey, I know I am the worst at getting in touch, and I totally swear I’m gonna be better at that, and I don’t want to be that friend that only contacts you when I need something…but I have to be that friend for just a second…”
If they say no, they say no. But is it worse than if you don’t ask? I don’t think so. Not if you approach it in a honest way.
On the other side of the coin—all of the things mentioned above can actually help us to stay connected—so from here on out, make a more concerted effort to keep in touch with anyone you actually like and want to keep in touch with. A text, tweet or tag only takes a second and can make a world of difference in someone knowing you care later on down the line when it really counts.
My boyfriend isn’t romantic or spontaneous enough. I want him to do all these things for me—like cook dinners, or rub my feet, or take me out somewhere special—but I don’t want to have to ask him to do it. I think he should just know! How do I get him to do this without having to ask?
Dear Romantic Rachel,
Ask him. That’s how you get him to do these things. Not asking for what you want and then having it happen anyway would be a miracle in a world where men and women co-exist.
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again—men, on the whole, are so much simpler than we women ever want to believe. Not simple like dumb, just SIMPLE. We cannot keep expecting them to read our minds, and getting upset when they don’t know what we want. They actually don’t know what we want! That’s what I mean by simple. It’s a simple solution.
Tell your fella what would make you happy. Don’t tell him in a nagging and disappointed way—just mention, “Hey, you know what would be really nice some time?” and then just tell him. Then he can find his own romantic way to make these things happen on his own time. The less we bug men about being romantic and spontaneous, the more room they have to actually surprise us and do it. But first they need a little information.
Men might not ask for directions when lost, or read the instructions on the IKEA furniture—but when it comes to women, they all appreciate a little loving guidance.
Dear Kate is a column that runs on Kate-book.com every Thursday at noon. It is written by the wise Katharine Luckinbill, who you should follow on Twitter. Got a life, friendship, family, dating, or relationship question that you’d like Dear Kate to answer? Send it to email@example.com and she will help you out.