DEAR HARRIETTE: I went to a private high school that was attended by many famous children. As an adult, I kept in touch with many of them and saw them turn into celebrities in their own right.
I have also made friends over the years with many non-celebrities, including someone I met at university. When this good friend finds out that I am friends with some celebrities, she suddenly became very eager to meet them.
It definitely rubbed me wrong. I still want to be friends with this girl, but I do not like the idea that she wants to get close to my other friends just because they are famous. Should I distance myself from this person?
Cross the line
LOVE OVER THE LINE: We live in a celebrity-driven culture. It is normal for your “ordinary” friend to be intrigued by this other side of your life. What you need to do now is control her expectations. Tell her directly that you will not introduce her to the people she wants to meet. Explain that you are deliberately keeping your friendships separate.
Stop talking about these other friends when you are with this person. If she keeps asking, this is when you may need to create some distance for a while, but it does not have to last forever. In addition, remember that keeping your relationships private will make your life easier.
Navigating between two worlds is not always easy, but it is the life you live. Focus on creating authentic, honest relationships with whoever matters to you. Know what is expected of each friendship. Privacy is valued by your famous friends; perhaps intimacy by your others. When you feel that a friend can flow between the two, that’s when you introduce them. Only then.
DEAR HARRIETTE: The main issue I had over the years when choosing romantic partners and friends was that I was a poor character judge.
Everyone around me can usually tell that someone is bad news before I can. I’m blind to red flags when I really enjoy spending time with someone, and it’s brought me so much sadness.
What are some signs to look out for in the future when I choose who I come close to?
LOVE NO DISTINCTION: Start by making a list of what you value in a relationship. What qualities matter to you? Be specific.
The clearer you can become about behaviors, attitudes, and values that you will appreciate in a partner, the easier it will be for you to see if a person has those qualities. Specificity is the key. For example, if you say you want someone to be “nice”, that’s not enough. Instead, you may want someone to be attentive, call you daily, inquire about your life, care for your family and theirs. You might want someone who is proactive in doing things together, who hangs out with your other friends, who puts family at the top of the list, who likes to be social with you, who is neat, who is friendly to their friends in public and treated privately.
Make your detailed list and then look at potential partners to see how they measure. Do not go too far with someone who does not deserve it. Take your time to get to know a person. Only allow them into your intimate world when they deserve it.
Harriette Cole is a lifestyle stylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or c / o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.