Category Archives: Asking For a Friend

For a little unprofessional advice in these uncertain times, send your questions to or to our anonymous portal. We want it all: the embarrassing, the baffling, the epistemological. Check back in two weeks from now for another dose of aggressively earnest advice, next time on Asking For a Friend.

By Olga Kreimer.
Header art by Abby Litman.

Asking for a Friend: What If I’m Ross?

Dear Olive,

I keep falling for the wrong people — people who end up being emotionally unavailable, though it’s truly not apparent at first! How do I come to terms with the actual fact that I may be alone for the rest of my life? I have friends and family and feel lucky, but I truly worry I may never have a partner, like I’ll perpetually be Ross from Friends, sans the happy sitcom ending.

-Ross-Colored Glasses Continue reading

Asking for a Friend: I’ve Grown Up, But Not Apart

Dear Olive, 

I’m trying to set boundaries with my mother. She’s caring, supportive, and my best friend, yet her meddling has become too invasive as I transition into my adult years. She micro-manages every aspect of my life — for example, she still looks at my bank statements and has tried to have the final say regarding where I will go to grad school next year. I am temporarily moving back to my hometown in a few months for a work assignment; how can I keep our relationship healthy yet at an appropriate distance?  Continue reading

Asking for a Friend: Being Solid Without Being Stuck

Dear Olive,

I have been the “solid” one my whole life, the person who takes care of everyone, an amazing friend, sibling, daughter, and partner. It’s just who I am. But it can be exhausting, and means that I often don’t leave space for myself. My husband and I recently (amicably) separated, and I am working on taking this time to prioritize ME, for once. But this means I’m not totally there for my friends and family, and it feels like I’m losing my identity. Who am I if not the caregiver? Can I continue to take care of everyone, and still take care of myself? Continue reading

Asking for a Friend: How Do I Say “I Don’t Love You”?

Dear Olive,

One of my oldest friends is in love with me, and I’m not in love with him. In fact, he drives me crazy. The more I pull away, the more he reaches out. I think I’ve been quite clear, without being explicit, about how I feel. I don’t want to hurt his feelings by saying the truth, which is that he overwhelms me and frustrates me. I wish he would just read the signals. How do I end this without hurting him, and still honoring our years of friendship?  Continue reading

Asking for a Friend: I Can’t Look Away from the News Feed

Dear Olive, 

I have become obsessed with the news. I was addicted to the scroll before, but with this new administration, my addiction has been taken to a whole new level. With my eyes glued to the screen (screens), it is hard to be present in reality. I can no longer think about anything other than what new fresh evil is about to take place. How do I find balance? Social media felt unhealthy even in the best of times, but now I feel lost without it. Any advice? Continue reading