If he were “very into self-improvement,” he’d be trying to get closer to your family, or his own. Pushing you to do this (or anything else) means he’s very into other-improvement.
Be very, very wary of that.
New boyfriend! So sensitive and helpful! So very helpful. Halpful. Helpy.
I like the Dear Businesslady series at The Toast and enjoyed this one, on how much it sucks to be a working parent in our barbarian country and on what to do when your work colleague aggressively wants to be your work friend.
Here’s the thing: some people just aren’t meant to be friends. And some people don’t realize that they’re not meant to be friends with certain other people. I’ve been in your position before, where I start to establish a rapport with a coworker only to realize “yikes, we need to dial this thing back into colleague territory”; I’ve also been in a version of Helena’s position, where my efforts to become buddies with someone are clearly being rebuffed. It hurts to feel rejected, but putting someone on the spot with any version of “why don’t you like me?” is a bad way to handle it. It’s like asking a partner to explain—really explain—why they’re breaking up with you: any useful intel you’ll get out of it won’t be worth the salt you’re pouring into your own open wound.
This personal essay on hunger, family, and memory is really good. Hard to read. Really good.
Edited to Add: Breaking! Friend Jess White’s essay Living in Laramie: After Matthew Shepard is up at The Toast. It’s about landscape and being haunted and the stories we grow up knowing in our bones. Read it.
What’s the single best thing you’ve read online this week?