How do you Peel about it?

The Peel‘s Official Advice Column

I think my best friend is in love with me. He hasn’t told me yet, but he’s been acting weirdly flirty and touchy. All of our other friends see it and think we would be perfect together so they keep pressuring me to make a move… but I don’t feel the same way. I don’t know how to tell him that I don’t love him that way because he is my best friend and I feel like if I try to talk to my other friends they’ll think I’m being mean or just they won’t understand.

What seems to be most important to you is that you two remain friends through all this. While it is scary and intimidating to be near someone who has feelings that you do not reciprocate, avoiding and denying the situation at hand is even worse. The next time he is flirty and or touchy, laugh it off. If and when he does confess his feelings to you, keep that in mind as you tell him your actual feelings. The focus shouldn’t be on rejecting him, but on emphasizing that you still are his best friend. It may be awkward, but it’s much better than being dishonest about your feelings for his sake. As for your other friends, if they care about you they’ll get over it eventually.

I think I’m clinically depressed. I don’t enjoy doing anything that used to make me really happy anymore, and I’ve lost all motivation to do school work, so my grades are falling… I’ve tried talking to my friends about it but none of them have ever been depressed so they don’t understand and just give me simple “fixes.” It sucks because I know I have such a good life so I don’t know why I feel this way.

What confuses many people about depression is why it cannot just be “fixed,” as feeling sad or mad can. Depression is not a disease. It is an illness. Among other things, this means that the condition behind depression is subjective, meaning that while diseases have a condition as to why they occur, illnesses have no established reason as to why they occur. While depression can be cured, it is difficult to cure, because there’s no “fix”—smiling more, doing yoga, eating healthier, and getting more sleep are not stagnant cures of depression. I would urge you to go have at least one session with a counselor on or off campus. (Monsour has brief counseling among other services. You can call them at 909-621-8202)

In terms of your school work, I would talk to your professors and/or advisor about your difficulties (academic and/or personal—they’d be happy to listen) so that you can catch up. Chances are, they have had other students with depression and may be able to offer sound advice. Even just beginning to be proactive helps motivate work even when you’re dealing with depression.

As for your friends, it’s frustrating when they care but don’t understand how to react, and how their “suggestions” may make you feel worse. However, that doesn’t change the fact that they do love and care about you. Try to explain to them that this is a more complex issue, and let them know what you need.

My girlfriend and I love each other a lot but when it comes to sex, she’s much more experienced than I am. She doesn’t know, and doesn’t seem frustrated or anything yet but I’m scared that I’ll disappoint her especially because she wants to try out some new things.

First things first, trust is one of the most important parts of a relationship, both involving and outside of sex. You should talk about how you feel even if it means a little awkwardness. If you two are in a relationship, chances are sex has little to do with why she loves you and wants to spend time with you. Good sex should be fun for both people engaging in it—what contributes to this fun are components such as safety, trust, sometimes awkwardness, and even mistakes. Chances are that she wants you to enjoy yourself just as much as she is, so if you’re uncomfortable with a new style or technique, she may be more understanding and fine with slowing down than you think. If you are concerned about pleasuring her to the fullest, feel free to ask her honest opinion on your current technique and she can help you improve through more experience!

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