Asking for a Friend: An accidental relationship & feeling disconnected from Queen's

The Journal's advice-giver guides two students who feel their hearts aren't in the right place


I’m Audrey Helpburn, The Journal’s resident advice-giver. I answer questions about love, friendship, school, and more to help Queen’s students put their best foot forward on and around campus.

Although I’m not a professional, I aim to give the best advice I can to students who need a bit of guidance. This time around, I’m advising two students who feel their hearts aren’t in the right place: one who’s in a romantic relationship they didn’t sign up for, and the other feeling love lost for Queen’s.  


I just found out that I may have been dating my friend for the last nine months. Early in January, we started going out for brunch with another friend, but about two weeks in, he retracted her invitation.

He now Snapchats me daily and frequently messages me on Instagram to tell me I look beautiful and that he misses me. He has also taken to sleeping on my couch when he visits Kingston. When we interact in person, he is very cuddly and plays with my hair.

My friends are telling me we're dating but I'm not interested in him romantically or sexually and I've been seeing someone else. Are we dating? How do I end it? Please help.


Dating and Afraid


Dear Dating and Afraid,

Don’t worry. You’re not dating anyone until you agree to being in a relationship with them.

It seems like your friend is interested in you romantically and wants you to get the hint without telling you upfront. Perhaps he doesn't want to risk losing your friendship.

Does this person know you’re seeing someone else? I think you should try to have an open discussion with your friend about your current situation.

Don’t come at it from an accusatory angle, but rather ask if he’s been seeing anyone, or what type of relationship he's looking for. If you’re not into him romantically, clarify that based on the answers he gives you. 

If you’re good friends, you should be able to have an open conversation about these things without a major fallout. Worst-case scenario, you might have to tell him you’ve been seeing other people and you value his friendship, but don’t want more.

He can’t expect you to be his romantic partner when he never verbally made his intentions clear. You’re not a mind-reader and it isn’t fair that he’s kept you guessing about the status of your relationship. 

All the best,

Audrey Helpburn


I’m feeling super alone since coming back to Queen’s. A lot happened in my life over the summer and I was much happier at home than I am right now.

I feel weird being back and super disconnected from all of my Queen’s friends!


Out of My Habitat


Dear Out of My Habitat,

I’m sorry you’re feeling out of place. Take comfort in the fact that often even those who seem happy to be back struggle returning to Queen’s after being at home for the summer—it's an adjustment for everyone.

Try making active efforts to make yourself feel more comfortable at school.

What do you miss from home? Where could you find those things here at school, or how could you create them? What connects you to people at home, and where can you find those qualities in people in Kingston?

Perhaps joining a club that represents some of your home values can connect you with people similar to you. Try making a list of things that were better at home. Then, next to each item on the list, write one or two ways you will try to emulate those feelings, events, and activities in your life at Queen’s.

Also, remember that friends come and go. If you find you can’t reconnect with your Queen's friends, there are other people at Queen’s waiting to meet you. That said, it’s possible that feeling disconnected from your current friends is just a symptom of your current feelings about school and missing your home life.  

As your time at Queen's continues, you’ll find your place—even if it means branching out of your comfort zone. One day, you’ll look back and appreciate the home you've created for yourself here.

All the best,

Audrey Helpburn

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