Q My best friend, who is the most lovely and gorgeous guy has gone through a rough time recently. A long term relationship break up, down-sized at work, and combating weight and health issues. He’s getting on track now, but he’s started changing his look, and when we go out so many people ridicule him behind his back. He’s got a new job, working with a much younger workforce and he started to dye his beard dark black (his natural colour is blond), so this makes it look like a stick-on halloween beard. This change along with dressing in tight clothes makes his figure seem even bigger than he actually is. The term “mutton dressed as lamb” springs to mind.
Last night he burst into tears, saying people are being mean and nasty. He’s tried to ignore them but he knew what was happening. He’s finding life such a struggle. He’s just got his settlement from his relationship break-up, and he feels lost, and not knowing what to do. Today we went out to the mall, he shaved his beard down to his natural colour stubble, and it instantly made him look younger. And together we went to a department store and he invested in a personal shopper who kitted him out with a marvellous new wardrobe for work and leisure. He looked amazing, and as we left the mall he was being checked out by a number of guys.
What else should I suggest he do? It seems like there is so much to do to get him back to the person he once was.
It’s wonderful that you have been such a friend, however don’t push him too much. He came to you with a problem and you offered him friendship and a shared experience to do together. Allow him to make his own choices, and let him adjust to his new life in his own way. We all go through it while growing up, and in fairness we are always evolving, either as an individual or as a couple. When a change rocks the whole fabric of your life, finding a new path is a very individual endeavour. Continue to be a friend, and be there for him, don’t force anything onto him, and allow him the security that he can speak to you openly. Your continued friendship and loyaly, more than anything else you might do, is the best gift you can give him.
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JONATHAN WELFORD heads up GayDatingExpert.com, a relationship and dating coaching practice. He was awarded the accolade of being one of the top 10 Gay Relationship Bloggers for 2013. He writes gay agony uncle columns for numerous publications in both the UK and USA, and is also a regular columnist for DatingAdvice.com. He lives with his Scottish husband in Manchester, UK.