Trying Love Again

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

I had a fight with my best friend. It was over something stupid,
ironically, me defending my ex, about whom I had very little good to
say after the first two years of our marriage, mostly to my friend. I
just started dating someone new, and my friend started with
comparisons, in part to make the point that I was about to repeat
some of the most painful and expensive parts of my past relationship.
To her credit, she’s trying to save me from falling to the same abyss of
supporting someone with a strong sense of entitlement and a
minimalist sense of responsibility. But I don’t want to be treated like
a child or have my newfound happiness invalidated.

Trying Love Again

Dear Trying:

Any friend who has suffered the litanies of complaints that most of
us impose on our intimate circle before a break-up has earned some
chits. Often we are too close to a situation—especially in a new
romantic entanglement—to hear what we are saying. Our friends, who
serve as memory repositories for all the mistakes of our lives we hope
not to repeat, are the perfect people to hold up a mirror for us and
say, Remember what you said you’d never do again?

That said, you’re entitled to enjoy happiness before reality sets in. If
you are truly acting like an adult, you will be communicating to your
new love the dealmakers and deal breakers of your romantic life.
Kissing and cuddling is fine. But if you don’t respect the person you
wake up with, either because you need to financially support them
from day one or because they are disrespectful of whom you are as a
person, you are better off cutting your losses sooner than later. Call
your friend to say, I’m ready to talk. Then take some time together to
really listen, followed by some journaling about what mistakes you set
an intention not to repeat. If you find your new relationship getting to
close to those lines, start some straight talk with the new love, and
make clear what will end the relationship. I hope you are more right
than your friend.