Are Your Friends Fake?

These days I’m a bit of a loner. Not to say I have no friends anymore but I definitely have a better quality friends. It took me a while to figure out that having a lot of friends didn’t mean I had great friendships or that I was a great person to be friends with. During that time when I considered myself pretty popular, most of my friends ended up being fake.

It was a painful realization to know that a majority of my friends were just friends with me because of circumstances, not because they genuinely liked me as a person and valued me in their lives.

The first thing I needed to learn was the difference between friends of circumstance and friends of value.

Friends of circumstance gravitate to you because they enjoy your company AND because you have some shared activity together.

High school friends are a good example. These are people that you saw for maybe four years day in and day out, going to the same school, the same classes and the same activities. It’s easy to build close relationships when you see someone all the time. But they’re still friendships of circumstance. Everyone experiences this. It becomes painfully obvious after high school ends. When everyone goes to different colleges and you see the friendships begins to fade. You don’t get texts as much from them or calls. You start to notice that you’re not getting invited for birthdays or meet up’s. Maybe that friend joined a different group of people, many of which you’re not familiar with. The reality is that most high school friendships end because the circumstances that brought the friendship together is over and then maintaining those friendships start to require work.

This is the main cause for why people perceive certain friendships as fake, especially if you could’ve sworn that the person liked you for you. But they were just circumstantial.

And this is why you’ll see a lot of people stick around their hometown because they have the comfort of their circumstantial friendships. Subconsciously, they know that if they leave the circumstance that created the friendship there’s a chance the friendship will not continue. From what I’ve seen, circumstantial friendships tend to breed complacency, lack of growth and staleness.

Friendships of value are very, very rare. I would say that maybe 1-5% of everyone’s friendships are friendships of value. If you meet a friend like this, it’s good to keep nurturing that relationship because it’s a healthy, honest, no strings attached friendship.

A telltale way of knowing if you have a friendship of value is that no matter how far you go, how many years pass by or how many changes occur in your life, that person is always able to be there for you. Maybe not physically, maybe they live far away, but they make the effort to contact you and share their lives with you. Why would someone do that when they’re no longer in a situation that makes it easy for them to be friends with you? Because they value who you are as a person.

Another way to tell if someone is less than a good friend is if they treat you differently then they treat others.

Some people view their lives as a movie and see their friends as just supporting characters, supporting them. Someone to make them look good, someone to fill the silence in their lives. People who have poor character will NOT make good friends. These people are capable of being kind, friendly and fun but their lack of character will keep them from being good friends in the long term.

For example, you see your friend Emily talk down about another friend that’s going through a rough time-maybe that person is a little strange or shy. You see her talk badly about that other friend behind her back but in person she’s friendly with them. What does that tell you?

That Emily would easily just talk as badly about you as she would about that other person.

Sure, you might shrug it off as just gossip or small talk, but that kind of behavior is very toxic and is sure to rear its head as soon as Emily finds someone better so they can talk about YOU behind YOUR back.

I had a friend like this once. She was very two-faced and I kind of gave her the benefit of the doubt because she never treated me badly. But once she found a friend that she considered “better,” I was the new person gossiped about.

So it’s really important to look at a person’s character even if they don’t treat you badly, if they treat other people badly, to just avoid them and not even bother building a friendship that way. Because it’s only a matter of time before that friendship collapses and you find out that you wasted so much time with a toxic person.

I wish I had better advice to give other than avoiding someone who’s fake. I wish had advice for how to change a friend and make them better. But whether a person is a good friend or not, that’s a choice they need to make for themselves, it’s not something you can help them with.

The important thing for you is to determine if they’re fake or not. And if, after reading this, you find your friends to be circumstantial, self-centered or two-faced, it might be time to manage expectations on how loyal you expect those friends to be.

Why Integrity Matters

My Best Friend Ghosted Me

How To Make A Change in Your Life

7 Signs That He’s A Fuckboy

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Fuckboy. My personal definition is that a fuckboy is a guy who’s just fucking around with your feelings and is only interested in sex.

This is the millenial’s term for player, playboy, Casablanca, womanizer, etc. These types of men have been fooling women since the dawn of time with promises of sweet nothings and a trail of broken hearts in their wake.

I have no idea how these guys get so many women to fall for them and I have no idea why so many women find them attractive, but fuckboys seem to always be able to move on to the next one before we even had time to shed a tear.

I dated a fuckboy once, it was both the most terrible and most fun relationship I had ever had. Of course it ended in drama and flames but it was what it was in the end. Fuckboys never stay. I dated one because I was naive and foolishly thought I could change him. I mean, if he could change, he wouldn’t have been a fuckboy.

Here Are The Tell Tale Signs Of A Fuckboy

 

  • Has A Lot Of Women Who Are His Friends

They’re like a circle of hens but this is a huge red flag. Usually when you ask about them, he’ll tell you don’t worry, they’re just friends. Maybe they are, but with fuckboys, their next partner is usually just waiting in the wings for their chance. I don’t know what it is about them, but they always have a circle of female friends. The thing is that these ladies won’t be friends with each other, he and his friends will be the only link.

If you see him flirting, no, you’re not imagining it and you’re not being insecure and crazy.

  • Had A Lot Of Dating Experience

The guy I dated lost his virginity at 13. Like, what the hell! A lot of fuckboys start their dating experience early so that by the time most girls hit the dating market between 18-25, they already have a leg up on you in terms of experience. Ever notice that they already know what to say and do to get your trust and interest?

On top of that, they start early, but they never stay with one girl that long. The guy I was with claimed his longest relationship was 2 years but in the grand scheme of life, that’s not that long. That’s just long enough for the honeymoon phase to wear out. And he had lost count of his partners. That really should have been red flag number 2. If you’re 22 and lost count of your partner’s, there’s something REALLY wrong.

  • Love Bombs You

He’s obsessed with you in the beginning. Everything is amazing and you can’t believe you met a man who could treat you this good. Usually this is coupled with flattery and compliments. He’ll take you on exciting dates and get you gifts. He might say things like, “I’ve never met anyone like you before” or even use the “L” word to get you to fall in love with him.

This part of dating a fuckboy is the most addictive. Like a heroin addict chasing the first high, you’ll keep looking for the treatment he gave you in the beginning.

  • Hot And Cold

Which brings me to my next point, you’ll find the periods of cold shoulder unbearable.

Why doesn’t he text me like he used to?

Why is he suddenly being secretive with his phone?

I feel like he’s distant…

What can I do to fix this?

These are the thoughts that will race through your mind as your fuckboy starts to make his way out to “greener pastures.”

If you’re lucky, his behavior might get hot again to dates that involve 3am booty calls or dates that are exclusively spent on your dime.

  • All His Guy Friends Are Single And Fuckboys Or Fuckboy Wannabes

Like attracts like and a mega fuckboy is very likely followed by other fuckboys or fuckboy wannabes.

These other guys are going to be approving of your fuckboy’s bad behavior, thus keeping him from being the good partner you wish he was.

The wannabes aren’t nearly as bad and might even make for a good shoulder to cry on when your fuckboy fucks you over. But these guys live by the “bros before hoes” mindset so I wouldn’t count on it. They’re more likely to cover for him while he’s out picking up other girls and you’re at home waiting for his text.

  • Loves To Club And Party

Your fuckboy and his fuckboy posse are definitely club lovers. That’s honestly probably where you met him in the first place. They’re a lot of fun to party with but the party doesn’t stop just because he started dating you. Chances are you’ll need to keep up with his party party lifestyle every day of the week or be concerned about the other ladies he could be meeting without your watchful eye.

When you tell him you don’t like when he goes to clubs without you, he’ll turn it on you and call you controlling.

If you’re a gal looking for the fuckboy experience, look no further than your local club. The nightclubs are teeming with them.

  • Is Into Status Symbols

I never met a fuckboy that didn’t wear heavy cologne, drive a car he couldn’t afford and drop all his money into brand name shoes, belts, clothes and sunglasses.

I guess that’s one of the things that attracts women to them. Women love a man who can dress and presents himself as someone successful. The fuckboy is not without a high view of himself and is very capable of giving off a false impression of success by surrounding himself with status symbols.

Most likely he views his sexual conquests as status symbols also. The fuckboy, lacking any self confidence or self-awareness, seeks outward symbols of value that he attaches to his own self worth. He’s constantly looking to hook up with the hottest girls because it makes him feel like he’s hot. And if you can’t fill his this role of being his human status symbol, don’t expect him to stick around.

———————–

These fuckboys are just playing games and aren’t worth the hassle of a broken heart. These tips are from every fuckboy I met and dated.

Changing a fuckboy into a man is impossible, many women have tried but his final destination is bachelorhood with a dog to keep him company.

So my advice to all the women out there reading this is to drop those fuckboys. If you’re reading this and thinking, “y’know what, this sounds like __________. This sounds exactly like him,” then drop him!

Trust me, save yourself the heartache and find yourself a quality man for long term commitment.

 

Check Out My Other Relationship Posts!

Dear Single Friends, This Is Why You Are Still Single. Love, Your Married Friend.

What It’s Like to Marry Your Soulmate

Why Dating Apps Suck

My Favorite Dating Book: Why Men Love Bitches

How To Get A Guy To Commit Without Pressure And Fall In Love With You

I Married A Gambler

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My mother was always wary of gambling. As far as I knew, my father never gambled much. He liked blackjack but he could always enter a casino with a set amount of money that he would allow himself to lose and be able to walk out before he went over his limit. That number he had in his mind was never more than $200 and he didn’t gamble often. Besides, my mother hated when he gambled, it reminded her of her childhood and of her deadbeat father who gambled everything on mahjong. I wasn’t around gambling much as a child.

So when my husband lost $500 on a poker game, I didn’t think much of it. It was his hobby, something that helped him relax. Little did I know that I was inadvertently enabling him.

My Husband, we’ll call him K, is a good poker player. He gained interest in it from his Uncle who had run some illegal poker rings in the city and did some time for it. He started playing with his friends and when his friends stopped playing with him because he was taking all their money, he moved on to the casinos.

And he had a lot of beginners luck. He made $10K and paid off his student loans with that. He was a good player and he swore that it was a game of skill so, to me, I never saw it as a gambling problem.

But that how gambling problems start…

K would ask if he could take a trip to the city underground clubs or the casino when I went away and visited my parents for the weekend. I didn’t mind because he was asking me and he was still winning occasionally; it was a shared financial decision. If he lost, he lost. If he won, then even better. The truth is, I was also gambling. I was gambling on him to win.

And we did this for years, even though my job would fluctuate in income because I worked on commission and we still had debt to pay off and a small child to take care of. I knew we were being financially irresponsible so I started to make a tight budget to get things under control and I started looking in depth at our bank statements.

“K why did you take out $300 from our checking on this date and why did you take out another $300 two weeks before? What are you doing with this money?” My voice was soft and nervous about the answer. I mean we needed that money, it was winter and the slow season for commissions.

“Oh I owed my dad some money and I used the other $300 for a little spending here and there.”

“I didn’t know you owed your dad money… Please just let me know beforehand because I wasn’t expecting this expense.” $300 for money here and there seemed like a lot but I gave him the benefit of the doubt.

A few months passed from that incident and I didn’t think much of it until I saw another large debit from our checking only a month later. This time $400!

“K, what are you spending this money on! You spent nearly 1/2 of this commission that I made. I wanted to buy X, Y and Z and now I can’t because we can’t afford it.”

He lowered his head in shame and spilled it. He had been gambling behind my back for the past couple of

months. Instead of seeing a movie, he was going to the club in the city. Instead of taking a trip with me to see my parents, he stayed behind to “clean the apartment,” but was really taking a trip to the local casino to play poker.”

“But if you could only see the hand I lost on! Statistically I should have won any other time. He just caught a lucky card on the river!”

I could feel my blood start to simmer with rage. He had spent over $1000 behind my back over these three months. Here we were, we agreed to get our debt down and cut down spending and he was just dropping money down the drain at the casino. I was the only one sacrificing by cutting down my trips to Starbucks and holding off on buying new work clothes. And worst of all he was lying to me about it.

I never felt more resentful.

And that was our cycle for the next couple of years. Months would pass by with us saving and then a charge would pop up mysteriously for $200, $300 or $500. It was always just what we could afford to lose but it kept us from saving. On days I found out of his secret gambling, we’d fight viciously. Then he’d promise never to do it again or try to rationalize a reason why he would win next time. Then he would stop going to play poker for a few months until he got the itch and this cycle would start again.

It was toxic.

Still, K was a smooth talker and managed to talk me into a trip to Las Vegas one year.

“It’ll be fun, we won’t even gamble that much. We can do shows, go to clubs and walk the strip.” He knew I liked clubbing.

“Ok, but we should just go with a set amount of money to gamble with and leave our debit cards at home.”

“I don’t want to be stranded without our debit cards in case of an emergency,” he said, “we’ll be responsible” he assured me.

We spent $2500 on gambling during our 4 day trip to Las Vegas.

This time I was out of control too and got sucked into blackjack and slots.

I was so angry at both of us, it ruined our trip. I never wanted either of us to gamble again. Everything good about our trip was overshadowed by our ridiculous spending.

Later that year, his gambling got worst. He discovered online poker and dumped $20-100 a week into that and hid his trips to the casino where he was losing $200-500 per visit. Every time I would go through our statements, it was in fear of what I might find. I was tired of fighting and of feeling like I was getting nowhere. I kept trying to make up his losses by working harder but it was still money being lost. The fights were terrible. I’d scream at him and call him a loser. We were starting to fight in front of our daughter to the point where she would try to break up the fight or start crying.

One day K suggests that he can do the budgeting. “It stressed you out too much and I can see where the money is going and can help out.”

At this point he had swore he would never gamble again and had gone 6 months without an incident. I really wanted to believe he was under control. So I let him do the accounting for two months.

It wasn’t long before I realized he wasn’t doing it; I got an email saying we missed a credit card payment.

I think I knew what I would find, but I really didn’t want to find it or even believe it. But there it was, back before he offered to handle the budgeting was a $1500 debit on our checking account. This would be the most he has ever lost in a single day. He was taking his gambling up another level. And his whole reason for wanting to take up the budgeting was to hide his gambling again.

“What’s this charge for $1500?” I asked my husband as he walked in from a grocery run. I already knew the answer.

His composure just slumped in on itself and he lowered his head in shame. My head was spinning. I could barely hear him as went through his usual excuses…”I didn’t mean to spend that much,” I was playing so well, but it was just one hand that went south and ruined it for me,” “You don’t even know how much this makes me feel like shit,” “I’m such a loser.”

He was good at gaining sympathy. But this time it was so clear to me. I couldn’t believe that I didn’t see it before. Maybe I didn’t want to believe it.

K was sick. He had a gambling addiction and, through my own denial, I enabled him.

$1500 dollars. That was 1 months rent, that was a commission that I was lucky to get if a client closed after 2 weeks of work, that was 4 months of groceries or a year of gas. This time I wasn’t going to let it go. I closed my eyes and saw myself at 40 years old with a deadbeat husband who had spent $100K in gambling during their marriage. I envisioned myself as a 40 year old preparing for divorce.

I wasn’t going to hide the problem and pretend it was just between us. I wasn’t going to make up the money. I wasn’t going to make him promise to pay it back. (Which he never did).

So I called his mother.

And I told her everything, that this was the end of the road. That I couldn’t be married to a gambler and he had lost $15K during the course of our marriage so far. He needed help. He needed to go to Gamblers Anonymous (GA) and see a therapist.

I was angry for a long time. I made him sleep on the couch for two months. I cried randomly by myself. I wouldn’t talk to him or look at him. I couldn’t trust him.

His parents had an intervention and expressed their disappointment and concern. They didn’t want to see our family fall apart.

After that, he made a commitment to go to GA meetings. I took away his debit card and put him on a cash only system. He had to provide receipts for everything he bought. I made him change his number because the casinos and poker clubs would text him “buy in deals” to tempt him. I cancelled anything that reminded him of poker. And he agreed.

It’s been a year and he hasn’t gambled. Today he called me and told me he went to a GA meeting for support. He felt tempted because he had some spare cash from his birthday he felt he could spend. But instead he went to the meeting. I’m proud he’s able to still admit his weaknesses and work to correct them.

I feel lucky most days, so far he’s overcome this demon that haunted our lives for so many years. I can’t deny the role I played in enabling him either. I know it could have gotten worst and that there are some women who learn too late that they’re losing everything to gambling.

If you know someone afflicted with gambling addiction please don’t be afraid to confront them or intervene. The contact for the National Gambling Helpline is:

Call 1-800-522-4700

Chat ncpgambling.org/chat

Text 1-800-522-4700

Sending my thoughts to the men, women and families dealing with this mental illness and obsession.

Even though my husband has been gamble free for a year, I can’t forget that he’s capable of it. And I have to forgive him for the money he’s lost. For my sake and his, all I can do it support and love him through his gamble free journey.