Ask Aliyah: Gifts From Exes and Long Distance Best Friendships

Dear Aliyah,

Last year, my boyfriend gave me a watch that I know is valued at a few hundred dollars retail. We have since broken up but are still great friends. He recently lost his job, should I return the watch? I am concerned about his finances. Time on Her Hands Dear Time, You indeed do have too much time on your hands if you are concerned about an ex-boyfriend’s finances. Unless he has shared with you that he is close to eviction or starvation, there is no need to return the watch which I assume was given with love and adoration during a happy time in your relationship. Instead of returning gifts, think of ways you can help him become yet again gainfully employed. If you are in a position to do so, invite him to a few happy hours or business lunches with colleagues or friends that you know are in his industry. Perhaps also offer to be added as a reference on his resume. Aliyah Dear Aliyah, I am so devastated. My best friend and I will be graduating college this month and afterwards, I will be sticking around to pursue grad school and she will be going home to Houston to start her first job. I have no idea what I am going to do without her and I feel this is all happening so fast. We first met freshman year and throughout college have spent nearly all of our time together. I envision a sad and lonely fall semester and am even considering bailing on graduate school altogether. How am I supposed to deal with the fact that the life I know is about to totally change all without my best friend by my side? Student Dear Student, Isn’t it exciting to know that some of the best days of your life haven’t even happened yet? Soften the blow of being away from your best friend by planning visits now and make sure the plans are ‘bail proof’. Book travel, hotels, make reservations and solidify the arrangements – that will give you each something to look forward to. Create some awesome memories (if that doesn’t include strippers and booze you’re doing it wrong) as you will find that free time just may be harder to find as the years pile on. In fact, once graduation has commenced I can guarantee you that everything will change and the time you spend with your dear friend in the future will be quality and far from the quantity it ever was. You have chosen to invest in yourself by way of continuing your education, deciding to drop that pursuit due to potential loneliness for just a few semesters is shortsighted. Life is going to move on with or without your best friend by your side. And by the way, you can substitute ‘best friend’ for anything and anybody. The only person who will ever be a constant in your life is you. So now is the time to be selfish in perfecting your craft and, in doing that alone, you will be pushing yourself to the edge of your comfort zone. You aren’t going to know the twists and turns of your path, but you have to take the first step. In the end, don’t get too comfortable, because everything will change again after your next graduation. Until then, set your sights on developing coping skills to approach life’s future challenges from a place of confidence. Send your questions to [email protected] and look out for Aliyah’s advice every Sunday!