Matters of the Heart

grace_chirumanzuBest friends?
Dear Gracey - My best-friend and I both liked this guy so much but we didnt know what the other felt about him.

But a few months ago my friend started dating him before dumping him last month. Now the word is that the young man likes me and with how my friend always talks about him it seems she still has some feelings for him.

She is however advising me to hook-up with him if Im interested. Of course, I am. The man is nice, sweet and loving. He didnt deserve the treatment my friend gave him. But the problem is I feel so bad to date my friends ex-boyfriend because I know it will bother her. I like the guy so much and all the guilt is getting to me, yet my friend insists I hook up with him. What do I do in this case?

BFF

Dear BFF

You really sound like a wonderful and good Best Friend Forever. Like many female relationships, there is sometimes a bit of envy and competition, even among the best of friends.

My question in all this is why should you let your friend decide who you should “hook up” with? What does your own heart tell you? If there is something real going on with you and her ex, whether she wants it or not is not the issue. The real issue is: do the two of you really like each other? You may like him a lot as you say but does he feel the same about you or he is just trying to use you to make your friend jealous.

If his feelings are real then your friend will have to accept it, not just by encouraging you guys to hook up but by acknowledging your relationship. Its not like you stole him from her.

We all have to decide what is best for us in our own lives. If we are happy and we haven’t really done anything to hurt another person, we all win. Your friend needs to handle her own feelings and it does sound as though she wants you to be happy as well.

Do what your heart tells you and remember that feeling guilty never really helps anyone, it just makes us miserable.

Gracey

Bleeding gums

Dear Gracey – I have a problem of bleeding gums and I dont know how to handle it. Is it something worth visiting a dentist for or I can do something on my own to reduce the problem. What exactly causes bleeding gums?

Cathy

Dear Cathy

When people think about dental health, their focus is mostly on preventing cavities in their teeth. It is important to pay special attention to gums too. Your gums play a major role not only in your dental health, but in your overall well-being.

In most cases, swollen and bleeding gums are a sign of gum disease which may need the attention of a dentist. But there are a number of factors that cause bleeding gums. There are certainly many ways you can adopt to minimise gum damage.

In your quest to keep your teeth clean, like most people you may be tempted to brush your teeth as vigorously as you can. Your gums are made of sensitive tissue, brushing the wrong way could damage them. Whether you opt for a manual or electric toothbrush, choose one with soft nylon bristles that have blunted ends. Even though you can find brushes with medium or hard bristles, they may damage the enamel on your teeth or cause red and swollen gums.

When you brush, make sure you use gentle, circular motions to massage and clean the teeth and gums. While many people use a back-and-forth motion, this motion can actually irritate and damage your gums, making them sore and more likely to bleed.

Flossing our teeth everyday is also very important in helping remove plaque from places where your toothbrush cannot reach. To make sure that your healthy habit isn’t causing swollen or bleeding gums, be gentle when you floss. Rather than forcing the floss between your teeth, carefully slide it up and down following the curve of each tooth.

Your teeth need gentle care, it will minimise the bleeding. But if it persists and you think it is a cause for concern, I suggest you visit a dentist who will tell you whether it is a disease or just bleeding from brushing them.

Gracey

Fear of rejection

Dear Gracey – I met this girl back in high school, about five years ago. We instantly had this connection with each other and from what I remember the teacher had sat us together to try and stop us both from disrupting her class! We started hanging out more and more – first with her friends, then more on our own.

The relationship really blossomed over the years, and we had shared a great many personal, deep secrets and feelings with each other. I feel that this woman now knows me best out of anybody – possibly even my own mother. People would comment on what a good couple we made – except they didn’t know we were just friends.

Although I felt strong feelings of love towards her soon into the relationship, I never made my feelings known for fear of rejection. This has been going on up until now.

I had to endure the relative torture of seeing other men date her, most of them were abusive, generally losers. I have tried not to be biased in forming those opinions, I do believe its true – hell, even she agrees. So, fast forward to the present day, I have this girlfriend I have dated for the past year but she is always hurting my feelings. She doesnt respect me and Im always coming back so miserable after a date with her and my old high school friend is always comforting me.

I always feel better with her (the high school friend) but I dont want her to feel that I want to take advantage of her or put her under pressure to settle for a relationship with me out of sympathy. How do I then work out my relationship with my current girlfriend?

Lonely

Dear Lonely Brother

My first suggestion is for you to watch the movie You stupid man, Directed by Brian Burns. You are with no doubt that boy.

I think that you don’t really want the woman you have, but you are afraid to go for what you really want. That just cheats everyone: you, your current girlfriend and your secret lover from High School.

For goodness sakes, start to be honest at least with yourself and stop living the lie you are living. Talk to the girl you love and tell her the truth: you want to be with her not as a friend but as your girlfriend. Be man enough to stand against the emotional torture your current girlfriend is putting you through, leave her and save your friend the pain of comforting you and probably having to tell you that your current relationship will work out when it is obvious that she wants to be with you.

At the very least, both of these women deserve someone who can “man up” truthfully and openly and end the deceit of your present situation.

I hope I have given you an answer that will be helpful to you. Good luck and keep me posted.

Gracey

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