Dear Sallie...


Dear Sallie,


I’m really jealous of my flatmate, and it’s starting to hurt our friendship. She’s going out with the boy I’ve always had a crush on, she gets incredible grades without even having to try, and she’s head of the society I introduced her to (and I really wanted the job). Everyone seems to think she’s great, and everyone who meets her is instantly obsessed but I don’t really get the big deal. I used to be able to swallow my pride and pretend to be happy for her, but recently it’s got too much and I think my jealousy has made me start being quite mean. I don’t know how to handle the situation, but all of her accomplishments make me feel bad about myself.


Sincerely,


Green-With-Envy-Georgia


Dear Georgia,


Haven’t you heard? Jealousy is SO last season (much like turning your heating on). We’re not in high school anymore, and to be honest you should be old enough to be able to process your emotions in a mature way that doesn’t impact your behaviour. Yes, it’s never nice to feel inferior but unfortunately, the world is full of people who will make you feel like that if you let them. There will always be people who are prettier, funnier, or brighter than you, but that’s life. Constantly being bitter to the point where you risk losing a friendship will hurt you more than anyone else. But in this specific situation, you’ve got two options.


First up, you can wallow in self-pity. Trust your gut — if you feel like you’re a loser, you’re probably not wrong. Cool people don’t think they’re losers. Cool people think they’re cool. Surround yourself with people who will make you feel infinitely better about yourself. So, either head to Regs (people with a peanut allergy AND chlamydia are objectively uncool), or if that seems like too much of a trek, simply get onto Facebook and hit up anyone with a “Top Fan” badge on Fessdrews. To top it all off, find yourself an undisputed 1/10. They’ll worship you and who doesn’t like being worshipped (personally, the fan mail makes me feel great).


Or, you could approach this situation like the mature, intelligent human being I can only assume you are. Stop acting like a spoilt youngest child who hasn’t gotten their way. It sounds like your flatmate has a lot to be proud of, and you should feel lucky to be friends with someone so great. Stop comparing yourself to her, you’re different people and I’m sure you also have a lot going for you too — you wouldn’t be good friends if you weren’t similar in some way. Chances are, there’s something you do that makes her feel the same way, so making your self-esteem her problem isn’t going to end well. Maybe talk to her about how you feel, I’m sure she’ll be able to reassure you and hopefully it’ll clear the air. Once you’ve realised that you both have different strengths and weaknesses, the mean girl behaviour will stop and you’ll be able to get back to normal.


And anyway — keep her close, you never know when you’ll need a foot in the door.


All my love,


Sallie x



Dear Sallie,


My girlfriend Lottie keeps telling me I have to stop hanging out with my best mate, who just so happens to be a girl. When we first started dating, there didn’t seem to be a problem, but recently my girlfriend’s been getting weird about us spending time together. My best friend and I met on the first day of uni and have been super close ever since. There’s never been anything more than platonic feelings, and no matter how much I’ve tried to explain this to my girlfriend she isn’t having any of it. I don’t know how to reassure her without it seeming insincere, but I really don’t want to lose either of them. What should I do?


Sincerely,


Torn-Between-Two-Tony


Dear Tony,


Firstly, well done for recognising that everyone here is in a difficult position, and I applaud you for being so empathetic towards your girlfriend’s feelings. You aren’t alone, because everyone at some point or other has played one of the characters in your story and let me tell you, whichever way you’re looking at it, it isn't fun. Your poor Lottie will have convinced herself that something untoward is taking place. Your best friend probably can’t understand her concerns (gingers have never been her thing). And you, my poor, sweet Tony, are caught in the crossfire.


I would start by having a long, honest conversation with your girlfriend. Ask her to lay out her concerns, no matter how ridiculous or unfounded they might seem. Whatever you do, don’t be dismissive or get frustrated - they’re her feelings and she’s got a right to feel that way. Ask her if there have been specific instances that make her feel uncomfortable — she doesn’t like you watching a movie together in bed? Well, you can sort of see where she’s coming from, can’t you? You might know that your actions have no feeling behind them, but now you are in a relationship, you’re thinking for two. You’ve got to consider how your actions, no matter how innocent, might impact someone else’s feelings. And is moving it to the living room really that hard?


Next up, maybe your girlfriend’s feelings are coming from a place of ignorance. If she doesn’t know your best friend well, it’s easy for her to assume the worst. After all, how is she supposed to know the nature of the relationship between you if she’s never seen it in action? Suggest a cheeky pint with all three of you, you could even ask someone to tag along and make it a double date — make sure you aren’t being too couply with your girlfriend, but equally don’t ignore her for your best mate. The goal here is to make everyone feel more at ease.


Finally, if the problem isn’t that they don’t know each other, maybe you need to be completely honest with yourself - are you absolutely sure that your girlfriend’s instincts are misplaced? If there has ever been even a day where you’ve questioned the nature of your relationship, or a moment that was a bit too flirty for comfort, maybe she’s not being overdramatic. Sometimes girlfriends can sense things that even you can’t, she can see the way you look at her and laugh at her terrible jokes. Whatever the case may be, jealousy’s the green-eyed monster and it will only get worse if you aren’t prepared to have some potentially awkward conversations with both your girlfriend and yourself.


All my love, Sallie x



Dear Sallie,


I have a huge crush. He's fit, he owns a castle, his parents love me, and he has a great personality. Every time I look at them I hear wedding bells ring, in every aspect they’re a 10. But life isn’t this kind is it? They had to go and be a journalist, didn’t they? What do I do? I obviously can’t date him or be seen with him in public, let alone introduce him to MY parents. Sallie, I need your help!


Journalist-Hating-Jenny


Dear Jenny,


WHAT. IS. YOUR. PROBLEM. He owns a castle AND he’s a journalist (is it getting hot in here or is that just me?). Everyone knows journalism is a sexy profession. Look me in the eye and tell me you don’t also enjoy an alliterative headline, the use of ‘dear Reader’, and an oxford comma. Sure, journalists might be renowned for their arrogance and ego trips, but they’re well-read, well-spoken and great in bed. Formatting columns can be fiddly, so you just know they’re good with their hands. Times New Roman? More like Times You Roman (I wanted to go for something more The Saint specific but Palatino Lino-tie me up didn’t have such a good ring to it).


More importantly, Jenny, might I remind you HE HAS A CASTLE. Drop this into conversation at random, and everything else will be forgiven. Just picture it: he’s sitting in a turret somewhere tenderly tapping away on his typewriter (told you alliteration was sexy) whilst you are wafting around the grounds telling the gardeners just how gorgeous the roses are looking this year. Jesus Jenny you’re making me jealous! This isn’t a dilemma, this is the dream. If you don’t want him, I’ll take him. Sallie’s spent all of Michaelmas holed up in a glorified box with no windows, answering all your letters. This one takes the cake Jenny, and congratulations, you’ve broken me. Time for a month off I think (preferably in a castle discussing the ideal drop quote — size isn’t everything you know).


I’ll be back in January to tackle some real dilemmas, but until then, as always,


All my love,


Sallie x


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