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Ask The Cougar: Bridging gaps, covering distance

Jose Gonzalez-Campelo/The Cougar

In this week’s Ask The Cougar, Community Assistant Editor Atirikta Kumar answers some questions about long-distance relationships, disagreeing with your friend’s relationships and making new friends.

What to do when you are in disagreement with your friend’s decisions? 

This is a great question and something I struggle with quite often as well. First, I think it’s important to remember that you and your friends are different people. Every person has their own preferences and ideas about how they navigate life.

Having disagreements can be difficult to navigate. I do not know what kind of disagreement you are referring to but communicate your concerns with your friend if it’s something that bothers you a great deal.

Having disagreements in life is normal in relationships. If it’s a small disagreement like my friend likes pineapples on pizza and I think they are gross, let it go if it’s not affecting you. However, if it is something that is fundamentally bothering you like how your friends think about immigration policy or LGBTQ+ rights, then it is better to have a conversation with your friend and hash it out.

Eventually, a good rule of thumb is to ask yourself, is my friend doing something fundamentally different from my values? If yes, is this something you can work out? At the end of the day, you need to decide if your life is better with your friends in it or if you are better off without them.

To The Cougar – I’m a senior who has made a grand total of four friends in my entire time at UH. I feel terrible about this. I never went to any of the sports games or events like Cage Rage or Cougar Con. This is my own fault but I only have two semesters (graduate in Fall 2024) to make up for this. I’m a girl and a health major. How do I make more friends?

Hi, I’m sorry you’ve had a hard time making friends, I know it can be hard. My advice to you would be to make a bucket list and try new things outside of your comfort zone. You still have a little more than one semester left before you graduate and still a wide range of experiences. Make time in your schedule to go to at least one sporting event each month. This will allow you to have time set aside for these events.

Being out of your comfort zone can be hard, but making a list will be something that can give you a goal to work toward and try out new things. Even if you don’t have anyone to go to the events with, I will encourage you to go by yourself and hopefully make some friends at the events.

As for advice on how to make friends, I am a firm believer that having one great friend is better than having 20 good friends. My advice to you for making friends would be to join new clubs and go to the meetings. Don’t be afraid to talk to people there, I know it can be intimidating but it can be worthwhile at the end of the day.

Hi, I am a junior who transferred from Baylor this year. I met my current boyfriend at Baylor. Lately, I’m starting to feel like our relationship is falling apart due to it being long distance. I feel like our relationship is going to end. All we do is call, text and facetime. Everything else we had has been reduced to nothing. How do people do long-distance relationships? 

While I have personally never experienced a long-distance relationship, I do have a few close friends who are long-distance and have seen couples in my family and friend group do long-distance, so I think I can offer a unique perspective.

I think if you have the opportunity to go long-distance in a relationship, you should do it. It will give you the opportunity to really examine your relationship and see if it can last the distance. It can be hard to navigate a relationship when you are in different places and living your own life. But, it is necessary to still give your relationship time and priority. You could schedule virtual dates like watching a movie together or picking an activity to do on a video call.

Call and text each other not only when the day begins or ends but throughout the day. Have an open line of communication. If you have any fears or insecurities, keeping them inside will only hurt you and your relationship so talk to your partner.

I also think it’s important to keep your happiness and mental health first. If you think you’re not happy in your relationship and can’t go long distance, it would be better to talk to your partner and end your relationship than let it go further. I hope it works out in the way that is best for you. I hope I could help!

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