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Ask Ellie: How to deal with an old friend's new face

For whatever reason, and she’s not divulging, your friend wasn’t happy with how she looked.

Dear reader: As I noted in an earlier column, my daughter, Lisi, will be handling the writing duties a few times a week. Enjoy her take on today’s questions. — Ellie

Dear Lisi: I’m 30, in a new fun relationship, and just switched my career. I’m in a really happy place and enjoying life.

One of my high school friends married about seven years ago, and already has two kids. The youngest was born around the time Covid hit, and she was very cautious and nervous, concerned for her children’s health and well-being. I was never allowed over because I lived a freer lifestyle.

Summer is in the air and it seems everyone is feeling more social. I was thrilled to be invited over for an afternoon, to hang out and meet her kids, now five and two.

When I arrived, it was all I could do to hide my shock. Thank goodness for the “haven’t-seen-you-in-forever” long hug. My friend has changed her face! She’s had so much work done that I wouldn’t recognize her if she walked by me on the street. I’m not exaggerating!

Of course I told her how great she looks, and she was accepting of the compliment, but she didn’t say what she’d done, or even acknowledged that anything was different. She simply replied with a thanks and so do you.

Again, I was grateful to focus on her kids (so sweet!) so I could look anywhere but at her directly. It was a strange visit and I cut it short, especially when she started making negative comments about my boyfriend whom she’s never met but “knows of.”

Who is this person and how do I move forward?

Alien friend

The first word that popped into my mind while reading your question was “insecurity.” For whatever reason, and she’s not divulging, your friend wasn’t happy with how she looked. Maybe compared to all of her still-single friends out dating, she felt she looked old. Or older. These past two years of Covid have aged everyone. I see it in people. But most just deal with it, accepting that we are all ageing. It’s obvious to me from your letter that you hadn’t been all that close for the past several years, which is normal since you were on very different paths.

Now the choice is yours – you can stay friends, and simply look past her changes; you could ask; or you could slowly lessen the friendship if you feel you have nothing in common. Up to you.

FEEDBACK regarding Ellie’s column on sibling estrangement (May 9th):

Reader-“Its great that the author found a relationship with her brother after 40 years….. but he was, in his words, “up for anything.” What about the sibling who dumps you and doesn’t respond to your reach-outs?

“My sister stopped speaking to me after our other sister was killed in a weather-related car accident. We had all been fairly close growing up, each of us at times closer with one than the other. When our sister died, this sister and I were a bit distanced. Neither of us were close with each other’s partner, and both thought the other had made a bad choice.

“Well, seems we were both right as we’re both divorced from those men. She’s found a great guy, and is getting married. And I’m dating a guy she set me up with, through a mutual friend.

“But she still won’t talk to me. I don’t even know if I’m invited to the wedding. I constantly reach out to her, but get only silence.

“Not everyone’s story has a happy ending.”

Dear Lisi: My sister-in-law is lovely. She’s fun, adventurous, keeps herself fit, and is always happy to socialize. She’s now mid-40s and can’t find a partner no matter how hard she tries. I feel she’s getting desperate and losing hope. We’ve all tried to introduce her to friends and friends-of-friends — and she’s willing — but nothing comes of any of them.

How can I help my SIL find a guy?

Losing hope

You’re a good person and I’m sure your SIL appreciates you and your efforts. Have you thought about joining a club/group with her doing something she likes? Like hiking or beach volleyball? Something where she’s bound to meet other like-minded people, women and men, who can then introduce her to their friends, thus expanding her social circle and fishing pond. And maybe it’s time to help her create an online profile. She may feel intimidated and overwhelmed, so offer to do it together and make it fun. She has nothing to lose!

Ellie Tesher and Lisi Tesher are advice columnists for the Star and based in Toronto. Send your relationship questions via email: ellie@thestar.ca.