Ask Natalie: Friends, lovers and school too

“Dear Natalie,

After months of anticipating progress in a potential relationship, I finally realized that person was just being simply friendly and not more than that. It's going to be a tough time ahead for me to neutralize those feelings, so what suggestions do you have to speed up the process and minimize pain as much as possible?

I’m glad that you understand that this person was just being friendly and not looking for a relationship. You’re dealing with this really well. So many people, when they find themselves in your situation, take it really poorly. Congrats on remembering that person doesn’t owe you a relationship! Yay!

Sorry, I had to get that out of the way.

As for your feelings, I know it’s hard. You found out someone you liked wasn’t interested and worse, it was a few months in. You had your hopes up and your heart set on something that didn’t happen. But know that, in all likelihood, their lack of attraction towards you has surprisingly little to do with you. I mean, think about one of your friends. Are you attracted to them? Well maybe, but then pick another friend you don’t like. It has nothing to do with them, it’s just something that you can’t control. Keep this in mind. It will help.

It will be frustrating in this time ahead. Take a big breathe and centre yourself. Ask yourself some questions that should make your path clearer.

Do you want to be friends with this person – knowing full well that you’ll be nothing more? It seems harsh, but it is better to be honest now than drag yourself through months of trying and failing to come to terms with your feelings in order to be “nice.” It’s okay if you can’t let go. We generally can’t choose who we like.

Ask yourself if you need space, regardless of whether or not you want to stay friends. You likely will. That’s normal. Take some time to reorganize your feelings. Move this person from the “romantic” side of your mind to the “platonic” part. You can do it, but it will be difficult.

Can you treat your friend the same after all this? No hidden resentments that will come out after three drinks? Or when they find someone they actually do want to date? This person doesn’t deserve a shitty friend just because they don’t feel the same way as you. Really think on this.

Other than that, try to keep busy. Download a dumb app, binge watch a new series or become obsessed with a new hobby. Do anything to make your mind off feeling bad.

You can do it! You can do it well!


“Dear Natalie,

Is there ever a time when you would stay with a cheating partner?”

Me personally? Probably not. But I’ve never been in that situation – that I know of.

But in theory, I’m sure there are situations where I would stay. Lack of respect is an issue, but you can restore that. Lack of trust is a problem, but someone can earn that back. It would be a personal decision, one that stems from lots of discussion with my partner.

If your partner cheated on you, then you need to really think about what you want to do. You can decide your own path, but you shouldn’t base that decision on the response to a short letter from an advice columnist.


“Dear Natalie,

Is it possible to keep a FWB? I mean without both of you losing your minds?”

Yes. But feelings are something that can — and in many cases will – ruin the fun. Keep a clear head and honest feelings.


“Dear Natalie,

What’s the point of university? I’m studying something that I’m not super passionate about, but I’m about to finish my third year so is it too late to change my major. Should I just keep going through my degree or should I drop out of school?”

We’re all in university because we want a better future whether that future is doing something you love forever, getting a well-paying job or just not disappointing your parents. Think about your future. What kind of future you would have for each of your options?

I’m not here to make your life choices for you, but I know a lot of people who are just running out of steam from their majors past second year. Take more courses outside your major that interest you. Look into pass/fail courses if you’re worried about your average. That’s why we have electives.

Don’t make a rash decision just because you’re bored.


Need advice? Contact Natalie anonymously at and have your questions answered in an upcoming issue.