By Amy Alkon
A friend of a year has a pattern of raving about people she meets and then completely cooling on them. Last week, she met a man online. On their first date, he took her shopping, buying her a gold ring and a key ring he had engraved with both their names and “Thinking of you always.” She describes him as perfect, brilliant, etc., and said she loves him and would marry him. I said things like “Take some time to get to know him,” but I don’t think she really heard me.
A first date like theirs raises some questions for the second date, such as, “Who should pay the invoice for the side-by-side burial plots?” Be prepared to wear out your face trying to talk sense into your friend. The problem is “confirmation bias” — our tendency to seek information that supports what we already believe and toss information that does not. In other words, your time would be better spent painting a wall and speaking meaningful thoughts to the paint as it dries. Another productive use of your time would be adding up how much of it you’re spending worrying about this woman’s problems. It isn’t mercenary or ugly to expect a friendship to be mutual and to influence you in positive ways. If how she lives is dragging you down, you may want to give her a little less prominence in your life. Then, when you do see her, you can just admire her ring and share in her happiness at reaching that milestone golden anniversary — celebrating 50 joyous minutes of knowing a man.
(c)2013, Amy Alkon, all rights reserved. Got a problem? Write Amy Alkon, 171 Pier Ave, #280, Santa Monica, CA 90405, or e-mail AdviceAmy@aol.com (advicegoddess.com). Weekly radio show: blogtalkradio.com/amyalkon