Updated Wednesday, October 24, 2012 at 02:33 PM
I have a friend who is a genuinely thoughtful and generous person. However, after doing you a kindness, large or small, she lets the world know about it, saying something to the effect of, "Well, yes, it was inconvenient; but that's just the kind, generous person that I am."
Recently she helped me move my mom to an assisted-living facility. I sent her a nice (snail mail) thank-you note and took her out to dinner, which she says wasn't necessary. But she still tells everyone I couldn't have managed without her, which is stretching the truth.
Am I wrong to feel a bit irritated by this? I, too, try to do nice things for people, but unless it's something really major, a mere "thanks" is sufficient.
— ValidationDEAR VALIDATION:
Your irritation sounds justified, though you might be wrong about her being "genuinely thoughtful and generous," given that her motive apparently is to promote herself. Sure, you can find a selfish motive in just about anything any of us does, even if it's just, "Because it feels good to be selfless," but to find hers, one needn't dig.
I also think you'd be nuts to ask for her help again, unless you're quite sure her help brings more to you than her crowing takes away.
Am I wrong to feel guilty about the disparity between how much my boyfriend loves me and how much I love him? He loves me "so much," I "have his heart," etc. I really, really like him a whole lot, but am not sure it is love.
My mom said relationships work better when the man loves the woman more, but there's a big gulf in my relationship. He's a great guy, and I want the best for him. I don't want to hurt him. Do I end it now or wait to see if our feelings grow closer?
Complicating matters is the fact that our relationship has always been long-distance. He lives in another country so we see each other only once every six months or so, but speak every week.
— Love DisparityDEAR DISPARITY:
Listen to your heart and mind, not your mom, please.
What a corrosive wives tale that is, blessing the use of men as a means to an end.
Loving fully feels great. Being loved fully feels great. Wanting the best for anyone you date, and for yourself, means holding out for that.