The Rattle of THE SNAKE... PART 1

GARLAND: This is one of those times where I want to use Me and Chuck's blog for a little personal rant. I have seen first-hand, some foolish things and in just the last year or so, I have seen some things that have left me speechless, baffled and all around amazed. It is too late for some people I know, but it may not be too late for others.

The Rattle of THE SNAKE.

Let's say that you were walking in the woods on a hot summer day. And then in the tall grass a few feet in front of you, you hear a rattle. It is an intense and scary rattle. You know that it is, in fact, a RATTLESNAKE. What do you do?

I'm going to assume that many of you would do just like I would. Turn around quietly, walk a few steps and then run in the opposite direction. But, there are still a number of people who will ignore the rattle and trod straight into a deadly snake bite. Why? For any number of reasons including; arrogance, ignorance, low self esteem, defiance, desperation, denial, you name it - the list goes on and on.
As foolish as walking toward a rattling snake sounds, women do this everyday, except the rattle is the spoken word and the snake is a man.

Ladies, let me just open your eyes to some things... some lame things that SOME guys are going to try lay on you to get you to trust them, to date them, to sleep with them, to probably give them money and to quite probably get dumped and heartbroken by them:

Listen up!

THE LORD, sent me to you...

Ladies, especially Sista's, let me tell you - BUMS know that there are [some] women out there that pray for a man, or they pray for a Godly man, or they try to tie their worship into their desire for a man - not every woman does this, but let's keep it real - SOME women are praying and waiting for GOD to send them a man. BUMS - when they are really hungry for a victim, will show up at your church on Sunday looking like a million bucks. They'll scope out the women sitting alone [like a wolf, they'll hunt the sheep that stands alone, away from the flock] and they'll take a peek at the ring finger and before long they want to share a hymnal or a bible and then they'll make their move. BEWARE ladies, of any man that says the LORD spoke to, sent him, or in any way brought the two of you together in that place at that time. Don't let a BUM trick you into foolishly believing that he is heaven sent! Don't fall for this for a minute! Using the Lord's name as part of his rap is a RATTLE, ladies - run from it!

No Luv for HIS SHORTIES...

If a man tells you that he has one or more kids but he doesn't see them for any number of reasons, including:
  • Their Mama is crazy...
  • Their Mama don't let me see'em...
  • My car is always in the shop...
  • The bus don't run to that side of town...
  • My Baby-Mama's Brothers are always wanting to fight me...
  • I'm a little back on my support payments...
  • I'm gonna' get over there...
  • If I see their Mama, me and her are gonna' be arguing...
  • They are better off without me right now...
  • I'm not where I need to be to be a Dad right now...
  • I'm still tryin' to get myself together...
  • My kids understand that my job keeps me away from them...

Leave his sorry ass, right where you found him.

Let me say that again.

Leave his sorry ass, right where you found him!

Believe it or not, I actually had this one sorry fellow use that last line in front of me in a conversation a few months ago. He has two kids that, by his own admission, he has only seen twice in two years and he said with a straight face, "My kids understand that my job keeps me away from them." This guy is not some cop, or some Government guy assigned overseas, or a professional athelete, he works a job that can be done almost anywhere! To this day, I truly regret not calling his pathetic, triflin' behind on the carpet on that one! Everyone knew that this guy was a sorry sack of crap when we all first met him, everyone that is except for the woman that wanted so badly to be His Girlfriend. True to BUM form, he has since abandoned her with another child that he'll never see.

Ladies, 99% of the time a true man will do anything in the world to try and see his children. Regardless of how much he and his Baby-Mama don't get along. A true man will use the courts, he'll swallow his pride, he'll leave his Boyz behind, he will do all that he can do to see his kids and be a part of their lives. Real Men won't leave behind them, a trail of little father-less children that he claims that he "takes care of" by sending each of his Baby-Mama's $26 a month. Real Men don't abandon their kids and Real Men don't feel the need to breed like a stable-horse and have many, many kids by many, many women. Ladies, consider how a man handles his fatherly situation as a RATTLE. What do you do?

You're gonna' be my WIFEY...

Some BUMS out there will dangle "Marriage" in front of a woman's face like some grand prize. They'll use it to get things they want or they'll use it to keep their women "in line." Ladies, don't lose your perspective when a man starts talking about marriage. When a man starts talking about getting married or engaged, be very very cautious. He might be legit, but move slowly and keep your eyes wide open! For some guys, this is a RATTLE. Your man might be getting reading to pull an oakie-doke on you. Tread carefully.

Also, be very leery of a man that needs to borrow money from YOU to buy YOUR engagement ring! Ladies - please don't fall victim to this lame scheme. Any man that needs to borrow money from you in order to put a ring on your finger needs to get himself together. Sure, times get tough for everybody but make sure you aren't getting played. There are few things worse than getting emotionally dumped and then being stuck with a $4000 bill to pay for the ring that reminds you that you got dumped in the first place.

Another thing that I've seen from BUMS and the women that foolishy love them, is when the women start lying to themselves. Ladies, you are not engaged to a man until he has truly asked you to marry him! Ideally this is supported with a wedding ring of some sort, or some other traditional gesture of commitment based on where they are. If your man has NOT formally asked you to marry him, then ladies - you are NOT engaged to him! I have seen some women telling everyone with an ear that, "Jimmy and I are engaged..." I've seen this said as if saying it to enough people would make it true, or saying it to enough would force 'Jimmy's' hand somehow. I've also seen some women just start calling their BUM boyfriends "My Husband" when he has neither proposed to OR married them. Don't let a BUM play you by using marriage as some kind of bait or prize. Listen for the RATTLE ladies!!!

Chuck and I are going to spend a little time on this subject in the coming week or so. So, I'm going to stop here and let this sit with you all for a while. Thanks for reading and please think hard about what I'm saying-



Crossroads of the Heart

(The statue in this photo can be purchased at:


I've been dating an interesting and complex man for the past year, and I am at a crossroads at this point.

This relationship began at a time when he was on the rebound from a previous relationship which had left him bitter and sad, and then the passing of his 91 year old father with whom he was very close. Both of these events had left him with a profound sense of loss.

We met in a dance class and he invited me out for dinner. We definitely hit it off- we have much in common in terms of our world view, but distinct differences in our life experiences; he, a travelling musician, I, a working mom, he, age 58 and never married, I, age 52, married 23 years until my divorce 8 years ago.

We began seeing each other almost daily, we were both in that beginning stage of complete infatuation. He would say he loved me, but soon into the relationship he let me know that he really wasn't sure HOW he felt since he'd been through an emotional ringer.

My thoughts at the time were, ok- he is on the rebound from the last relationship and I am the rebound girl, so I should proceed here with caution since this otherwise feels so right and so good after having weathered some relationship disasters. . So I thought, I will give this a year. If I keep getting mixed signals, if I don't feel totally loved and cared for, I'm not sticking around. I let him know that what I really envisioned for myself is a loving, stable, mature relationship. He told me he wanted that also, and wanted to give that a chance with us.

In this past year we have had a great time together despite a rocky start. Movies, travel, we love to share the politics of the day being both news junkies. We like the same food even though he is vegetarian, I am happy to eat veggies with him. Great sex, fabulous for a man of 58, yahoo! I'm happy.

I am a very giving kind of person, and I know I have been a source of support for him during a difficult time in his life. BUT at the same time, I have at times become really angry with him for taking my feelings for granted, or being completly insensitive altogether. He is a fairly self-involved person, but a reasonable and good person in spite of that. However, I just don't know if he's as 'into' me as I am 'into' him. Sometimes he takes my feelings totally for granted. Here's an example;

Last night, we were invited to a party by a girlfriend of mine. I show up at his place wearing a dress that (I thought) looked great on me; pretty jewelry, flower in my hair- I know I looked really pretty! But, he never said a word about how I looked, we just had a bite to eat and off we went. So, ok, whatever. This dress was not skanky by any stretch, but definatley sexy looking in a tasteful way, and I was getting a fair share of attention from other what? I was there with my man. That's who I was intersted in.

It was a mixed group, with some single women there, one Brazillian hottie in particular named Lola who we met. Just before we left, we were comenting on a very sexy and provacative painting of a pair of women's legs in garters and heels, under which is seated Lola. My date remarks loudly "Is that painting of you, Lola? heh heh"...I guess he was trying to be amusing, but it sort of fell flat as a ridiculous attempt at flirting with the hottie. I mean, if you could have seen the painting, you would have an idea why I did a slow burn on the way home.

Now, just to be clear, I don't have much of an issue with my self image. When I make an effort I clean up pretty good- very nicely actually. (I sometimes think my boyfriend is a bit insecure and tries to undermine my self confidence in some passive-aggressive way like this). More importantly though, I am a good hearted person! Honest, intellegent, not a drama queen. I am fairly easy-going, but I have my limits.

Since I've been wondering about his intentions lately, I figured I would ignore the hottie incident and just focus on the larger issue for me of "where are we going with this?" I need to know. He basically tells me that he loves me but he can't give more than he's got- he's been depressed for some time now.
I can understand this- his life has been something of a rollercoaster- but I'm trying to read between the lines to understand what's really going on. I know he doesn't want this to end, but he's not ready for more, either. He also mentions that he did not like the dress I wore after I mentioned how confused I feel sometimes when he doesn't respond to my efforts to looks nice. What's up with that?? I really pinned him down -'You didn't like the way I looked last night??" I thought- you bonehead.You are really blowing it here.

I would say this relationship has been mostly great, but uncertain to this point. This man doesn't have much of a track record in terms of longevity in previous relationships- is he capable? If I leave now will I have given this a fair chance? He says he loves me but I think he's really just afraid to be alone. Then again I don't want to drag this out if it's not going anywhere. I've been totally honest with him, but I don't think he been totally honest with himself.

Thanks for your guy wisdom!

GARLAND: WOW! Thanks for your question. Even after four years, long questions still unravel me a bit because they usually have so many points that I want to address that I tend to forget half of them before I start typing. Let me see if I can hit what I want.

You said you wanted to read between the lines with his thought process, because you knew that he didn't want things to end between you. This is a fairly dangerous thing to do. Generally, I think most guys play their cards face up with a lot of women. Sadly, many women want to do like you did and read between the [non-existant] lines - you want to understand what he really means. Well, he means just what he's showing you: he likes going out with you sometimes and he probably thinks you're a nice person, but he's not trying to make a major commitment to you. That is probably the long and short of it. If you try to fill in blanks that aren't really there, you may probably end up with a bad result.

Have you given this relationship a fair chance? You have to answer this one yourself. But I will ask YOU - "FAIR" to whom? Fair to You or fair to Him? For me, personally, I think a year is a very reasonable amount of time to figure out if a person is worth you time, for me I honestly think that a few months or even a few weeks is reasonable, but that is ME.

Are you trying to keep giving of yourself and giving of yourself until he's decided to leave you high and dry and end things or are you waiting for him, another year from now, to force you, yet again, to ask yourself have you given this a "fair chance." One tip I can give you though is this, A man is hard to wait out. A man that just wants to drive 35MPH on the highway, is only going to go 35MPH regardless of how long you honk your horn and how many times you flash your lights. A man that wants to give a moderate amount of dedication in a relationship, is only going to give a moderate amount of dedication, no matter how much you want and plead for more from him.

I'm a big advocate of looking at a persons past-performance. In business, a company's past performance is vital when forming partmerships and awarding contracts. I think it is equally important in relationships. If your man has a poor track record for relationships, you should reasonably expect his pattern to stay the same. You should not expect that he will suddenly see some bright light from the wonderful love that you have to offer and suddenly become this impressive, faithful, and dependable partner that you have waited your whole life for. It just doesn't usually work that way. If his record with women and relationships is pathetic, chances are he'll be pathetic with you too.

I think this guy probably enjoys hanging out with you, he probably thinks that you are a nice and attractive woman, but he is not ready to make a major and life changing commitment to. If you told him that you wanted to start seeing someone else, he would probably wish you well and tell you to take care. He is probably giving you all that he wants to or is able to in the dedication department. But, to be on the safe side, sit him down and ask him about his feelings. Let him talk, don't interrupt, and see what he says. Don't make your talk a big emotional display even if it hurts a bit, we tend to want to clam up when we think heavy emotions are about to come into play. Thanks you for your question and I certainly wish you the very best.

CHUCK: While I sympathize with you completely, I have to say that you have created your own problem here. This man has told you, from the beginning, just what he is looking for in a relationship, and how far he is willing to go. And while Has offered to try to change, I don't think that it has worked. You've stayed with him because you have felt that he could change, or you could wear him down. But it hasn't happened, and you're starting to get frustrated.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that a man absolutely cannot change in his points of view, or what he wants from a woman. But usually, if those changes occur, they are likely to happen when those first urges to settle down hit a man, about in his thirties. Your boyfriend is fifty-eight. He has either spent years ignoring those feelings, or he pushed them down an elevator shaft. At his age, he is too set in his ways for you to have a realistic expectation of changing him.

So he views you in a certain way, and he takes you for granted. Why? Because you have let him do it. There is no way that I could get away with not complimenting my wife, and then drop some mediocre rap on the first Brazilian sexpot that I encountered that evening. That's showing a distinct lack of respect. And I know that I need to respect my wife because, for one thing, our relationship is clearly defined. Yours, sadly, is not.

I think you have given this relationship more than a fair chance. I don't know that he has put forth the same effort that you have, though. But it's all right. There should be no hard feelings. After a year, "where do we go from here?" is a question that should be asked. He should probably hear from you that you're not willing to go on with him unless your realatioship will change. And if he's not willing to make those changes, he should be prepared to watch you leave him.

Friends: How Many of Us Have Them?

QUESTION: So I've had intense feelings for this guy since we first met two summers ago. At the time, he had a girlfriend, so we hung out a lot and he acknowledged his feelings for me but nothing ever "happened." We continued to text back and forth, call, and e-mail periodicially (after that summer we were several thousand miles apart).

Well, a year and a half passes, and I visit him after he breaks up with his girlfriend of several years. During the days, we hang out; at night, we hook up... never sex, but everything but. I go back home, and tell him how I feel (why I didn't do this while I was down there I have no idea). He tells me that he's sorry I misinterpreted his signals and that it was really good to see me but he absolutely is not ready for a serious relationship after breaking it off with his longtime girlfriend, but that I'm really great and we just need to let things cool off for a while. He still has feelings for her, blah blah.

In my heartbroken state, I declare that we should still be friends. Well, I don't hear from him, or contact him, for two months. After the two months, though, we've been speaking on a relatively frequent basis. I saw him for one day, and he was obviously into me, but I was not going to let anything happen.

My ultimate question is -- what in the world? Does he just not know what he wants? Or am I being stupid to try this friend thing... always subliminally letting him know that I'm still around if he ever wants me? I have something that I really want to tell him, but I don't want to regret making the call. I can't decide if he's an asshole, stupid, or just conflicted -- or if I am stupid or conflicted. Your thoughts?

GARLAND: Thanks for your question.

One thing that I have noticed in the four years that Chuck and I have been doing this blog - is the fact that a surprising number of people, ladies, tend to ignore the fact that there are plenty of other fish in the sea. With this guy you saw something you liked, a year and a half goes by, you hang out for a minute, then two more months goes by and still nothing and yet you still have a candle of hope burning for this guy.

I'm not really knocking you for this, I am just stunned at how you've dedicated so much of your life to hoping this guy gives you the time of day. One thing that I want you to know about men is this: We know when we've found a woman that we want. It typically doesn't take us years to acknowledge it to her or to ourselves. We know, and if we are mature men - WE ACT ON IT.

Since you asked, I don't think you are stupid. In the same vein, I don't think that he's an asshole, stupid or conflicted either. I just don't think that he's interested in you. If he was, it would NOT take him so long to reach out to you. He probably thinks you're nice or cool to chat with once in a while, but I don't think he wants you like you want him - that doesn't make him an asshole or stupid. He's just not that into you.

I suggest you really make strides to move on beyond this guy. Don't make any last ditch / big play moves on his emotions. Don't bother trying to get him on the phone or into a bunch of text messages so you can proclaim your greatness and love to him. Don't put yourself out there and risk him playing you for the fool. A lot of times people will proclaim their love [and inadvertently, their desperation] for someone and that someone decides to use their vulnerability against them.

If you've read our blog before, you may have found that I really hate the "just be friends" thing. I think FRIENDS are great people that are truly loyal and loving to each other - "friends" as many of our questioners present them, are just guys that they don't want to completely let go of. Treat this guy like an acquaintance, if he calls, be polite, if he texts, be cordial, but don't take them or treat them like and invitation to start pining away for this guy again.

Be careful out there - your heart is valuable and should be treated like gold, Don't be so willing to give it away to a guy that clearly doesn't hunger for it.

CHUCK: Garland, I don't know if I can forgive you for using that sentence (you know, the "just not that etc." one). We might have to pay someone now. Isn't that copyrighted or something?
As much as I hate that phrase, though, he's probably right. That time you spent with this man after he broke up with his girlfriend, I think you were so hung up on him you might have "everything but" AND sex, if he'd said the right thing. But you both held your peace then, and I think that was a good thing.
Your "just friends" relationship is a sort of fallacy, because what you have is another romantic relationship that never got off of the ground. He likes you, and respects you well enough. But he is unwilling to go that next step with you. Meanwhile, you continue to subsist on the emotional scraps he sends you, hoping that you've sent him sufficient hints to know that, when he's ready...
It really disappoints me to see women putting so much control in a man's hands. If you had told him how you felt, face to face, back when you spent those days with him, things may have worked out differently. I doubt it. And I think the ship has sailed now. He may be stupid, an asshole, and conflicted. But I think that he has made up his mind about you, and his possibilities with you. Move on.


A Near-Miss

QUESTION: Over the past 2 years, I became very close friends with a male co-worker. We are both married with one child each, and both have serious marital issues but stay with our spouses for the sake of our children. Even still, I never once thought we had any thing more than friendship.

Recently, he got another job. After getting drunk at happy hour, he told me he's wanted to have sex with me for almost a year and could see himself leaving his wife for me. I was shocked but also immediately and completely turned on although didn't tell him or let anything happen that night.

As if on cue, 4 days later I discovered my husband was being unfaithful. Within 2 weeks my friend and I were having hot phone sex over text msgs. He also told me that I was beautiful, intelligent and funny, this is the most fun he's ever had with a woman, he hated how long the weekends seemed without me, wished we met earlier in life, and half-jokingly talked about how long we needed to wait until the kids graduated. Given our long friendship and great cyber sex, it seemed obvious to me that we would be awesome together and I fell for him intensely. Eventually he said he didn't want to just talk about anymore - he wanted to do it but we couldn't, and I agreed but mostly because I didn't want to scare him away.

The day after I cautiously agreed to meet him for drinks, I awoke to a text "I was up half the night thinking about you...can't meet...could easily get complicated...the kids could get hurt." I wasn't mad at all (other than being told over text) and tried unsuccessfully to convince myself that I probably wasn't attracted to him, but had just gotten caught up in the idea of meaning something to someone again.

My husband and I are now on the brink of a divorce (he's always refused to see a counselor). My friend continued text me about day-to-day stuff and seemed strangely cold and distant but could 'definitely' meet me for lunch to cheer me up. He started acting like himself again and brought it up every day for a week - you better be there, "have faith" that he wouldn't bail on me again. I told him not to cancel over text again but 30 mins before we were supposed to be at the restaurant, he did it again "I wish I could be mature about this, but...I cannot meet and I cannot be your friend. I'm really sorry." It caught me so off-guard that I didn't reply and deleted all of his info to make sure I couldn't contact him in a weak moment.

We've had no contact since but I have so many unanswered questions that I'm having a hard time moving on. I am also so confused by his mixed messages that I'm doubting everything he's ever said to me, including our entire friendship. Would you please help me make sense of this so hopefully I can put this behind me?

Do you think he was ever really my friend, and/or meant the sweet things he said to me? I've always considered him honest and sincere, but can't help feeling like I might have been played.

If he was being honest about his feelings, how could he go from wishing he had married me to suddenly cutting me out of his life completely (especially after we agreed we wouldn't let anything happen)?

Why was he so happy and willing to make plans, but then suddenly cancelled at the last minute?

Why would he tell his wife that he wanted to sleep with me?

Do you think it's wrong to stay in a marriage for the children (as long as you don't fight etc)?

Thank you for your time and help!!

GARLAND: Thanks for your question. I hope we can shed a little perspective on what's up with you and your buddy-boy.

Do you think he was ever really my friend, and/or meant the sweet things he said to me? I've always considered him honest and sincere, but can't help feeling like I might have been played.

I'm not sure you were 'played' per se, and I also don't think a "friendship" was what you had either. I think you both just needed an outlet, or just someone to pay you some special attention. You needed someone to put you on a pedestal and it sounds like he did too. Men, just like women - still want to feel like they've got some sex appeal, especially if their wives aren't making them feel that way at home. He probably needed you to provide that ego boost to him. The flirting and texting and "I gotta' have you in my arms, baby..." sweet talk going out to you and coming back to him, was probably getting his head back on track. The more he got that satisfaction from you, the more he probably felt that he was in an 80/20 situation. You were giving him the 20% and the wife and baby's Mom was still probably giving him the 80%.

To say you two were friends, well - it's probably a bit overstated. Calling him a "friend" is probably an insult to the folks who are your tried and true friends. Don't make it more than it was, you two were just tryin' to hook up. It's quite okay to call it what it was.

If he was being honest about his feelings, how could he go from wishing he had married me to suddenly cutting me out of his life completely (especially after we agreed we wouldn't let anything happen)?

I don't think he was being honest about his feelings, but I don't think he was trying to be deceptive either. I think he was just caught up in the danger and thrill he saw in possibly sleeping with you. Like I said above, he probably just needed a little something extra in the passion department and you were providing it to him. He probably just got carried away with the sweet talk and got hot and heavy with you and started talking marriage. He liked the feel of holding a loaded gun in his hand, but he was terrified of pulling the trigger. There is no way for ME to be 100% sure, but I have a feeling he was just saying what he thought would turn you on the most.

Why was he so happy and willing to make plans, but then suddenly cancelled at the last minute?

You are asking this from the perspective of someone who truly thought that you were planning a relationship with a new lover. He just wasn't ever this person. Some folks just like the hunt, others like the kill, some like both - but your guy was definitely up for the hunt alone. He was probably never going to sleep with you, leave his wife for you or marry you.

Why would he tell his wife that he wanted to sleep with me?

He told YOU that he told his wife. He didn't. Unless he is a Damn Fool of the Highest Order, he didn't. If he did - you are far better off without him.

Do you think it's wrong to stay in a marriage for the children (as long as you don't fight etc)?

I can't really answer that question. There are far to many variables that have to be factored in and I know next to nothing about the situation.

I can tell you this though, based on the problems you claim to be having in your marriage, you are far better off solving and addressing them without the distractions of a new lover on the side. And, in the future, don't send and receive text messages to and from your loverboy. Even if they are deleted, they can be retrieved by a talented divorce lawyer and his staff - I'm quite sure an angry husband would love to have a transcript of your "sex-me-up" talk, to show to the judge in your custody case for the kids.

CHUCK: Okay, first things first: I was tempted to title this post TEXTING - Refuge of the Coward. Far too often these days, men and women think that they can evade some uncomfortable situation by texting someone some BS kiss-off. "Kant CU NEmor. Itz not U Itz me. Gudbie :+(" WTF? People, stop doing this. If you have the slightest bit of respect for the person you're dissing, at least give them the dignity of being dissed to their face. Come on.

As for your situation, I'm not going to say that you got off light. Because it's obvious that you didn't. While it would have been a bit worse for you had you slept with this man, and he broke it off with you in the same callous manner, it's obvious that you had developed feelings for him, and he took advantage of that. Your feelings got hurt, and that's not getting off light.

Do I think it's wrong to stay in a bad marriage just for the children? I'm conflicted about that. While I think that it is admirable for people to try to tough things out for their kids, I also believe that it can be unfair to the parents and the kids. The parents are probably denying themselves a truly fulfilling relationship with another person while hanging on, looking at the calendar until the youngest child turns 18, or whatever. But they are also possibly denying their children the example of what a truly loving relationship can be, instead offering them some strained substitute. And you might not think a child would pick up on it, but children are often more perceptive than we give them credit for.

I think it's possible that, as Garland says, he was using you for an ego boost, and decided to cut things off before he got in too deep. But the odds are just as great he really wanted to start an affair with you, and just chickened out. He may have reaffirmed his desire to stay in his (unhappy) marriage, or he may just have gotten scared that his wife would catch him, and turn him into ground meat in divorce court. And please don't tell me you really believed that he told his wife he wanted to sleep with you. I don't think he's that stupid, or you're that naive.

I know that this "friend" put a lot of ideas in your head, but even if he was genuine at the time, he's decided to let you get away. If you're leaving your cheating husband behind, I wonder why you'd want to start a new relationship with a man who would cheat, anyway. Focus on your future, and leave the false friend in your past.