Tuffy Luv Sez: Real Friends Worry

Question?! Answer: Ask Tuffy Luv.
Dear Tuffy Luv,
I met my friend freshman year when she was still dating her boyfriend from high school. We became friends and I watched their relationship fall apart dramatically over the course of the year he became overprotective and jealous and she flouted his concerns. She dated one of our guy friends (which also didn’t end well) and I think she hooked up with her ex again last summer. Fall of sophomore year came around and she lost her best girl friend over a fight about a guy. She ended up hooking up with that guy regularly until that ended as well. They’re still friends and the girl at least speaks to her now. I was her support through all of these guy problems and more, including one bad experience where a TA sent her a rude e-mail that made her extremely stressed and upset about an important professor’s opinion of her. (That becomes important.)

That about covers her dude drama and lays the foundation for the problem.  I went abroad for spring semester and she started doing research. She works with a bunch of grad students and one ended up being the rude TA, who is 24. Because the issue was sorted out after the e-mail was sent, he acted more nicely towards her…and then really nicely. He walked her back to her dorm after meetings and they talked a lot. They became friends, and his feelings for her grew. Then he sent her a 5 page e-mail about how much he liked her and how she reminds him of his ex-fiancé. If I hadn’t been abroad when this happened, she would have gotten a very clear version of how creepy I think that is. However, my friend apparently did not find that creepy and continued to pursue the relationship. When I got back I learned all of this and a few weeks later was also greeted by the news that they were secretly dating (no one knows but me because our other friends knew about both e-mail fiascos…her parents are also in the dark, probably because of the age difference). She also confided in me that they had had sex for the first time two days before, two weeks after they began secretly dating, and it was her first time.
Though she’s a very smart girl, I’m concerned about her judgment because it hasn’t been great in the past. She said they’ve spoken about the ex-fiancé and that she is ex- because he found her cheating on him about 6 months before their wedding. I think she and this guy are in very different places in their lives and I’m afraid she’s going to get hurt (or pregnant, ’cause she’s not on birth control due to bad migraines). Am I overly concerned? I haven’t mentioned anything to her yet except for my initial reaction to his confession e-mail, so she doesn’t know how I feel. I’ve been excited for her and listened/given her friendly advice about sex with him and losing her virginity. Now what?
Possibly Too-Worried Friend
Dear Possibly Too-Worried Friend,
Well, kiddo, your moniker says it all.
Aunt Tuffy think it’s sweet and all that you’re concerned, but it doesn’t seem like anything is really all that wrong.
Okay, the guy’s a little older (about 4-5 years? okay, it’s a fair amount) but he’s not like 10 years older. He, too, is a student. And there’s no reason to think he’s particularly untrustworthy.
I mean, right, they got off to a rocky start. But it would seem he must have apologized, since they became friends. And the movement from friends to lovers is not an unusual one.
So what ARE you worried about? Just the age difference? The fact that he was previously engaged?
You’re right. He’s older. He’s at a different point in his life.
But, again, he’s a GRAD STUDENT. So, to be honest, he’s not at THAT different a point. They’re even working on the same project! He may have had more life experience, but they’re sort of back in a similar place right now.
And it WAS a little fast to jump into bed with this guy since it was her first time having sex, BUT she’s a college student, and, whether you agree with it or not, most college students are having sex. So as long as she’s using protection, she should be a-okay.
Well, you’re worried about that, actually. So the question is, is she just not on the pill? Because a lot of people are not on the pill. You’re right to be concerned about pregnancy,  but only if she’s not using condoms. Do CONDOMS give her migraines?! No. Remind her to use condoms.
Which is all to say, if you’re really worried, and she’s a really good friend, mention to her that you’re happy she found someone, and you’re only concerned because you know of her history (with THIS guy. leave out the other guys). Hopefully she’ll put your mind at ease.
And mention condoms, just to be safe.
Just don’t act judgmental or she will def shut down on you.
Thanks for being a good friend! You ARE possibly too worried, but, hey, that’s WAY better than being not worried at all!!
Hearts & Skulls,
Tuffy Luv
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