DEAR SOMEONE ELSE’S MOM: My favorite cousin has always been a bit of a doofus. I’ve always told him he is, so we’re open about everything. We grew up living two doors down from each other, and he is more like a brother to me sometimes than my own brother. I would do anything (legal!) for him, but would also like to hear from him sometimes other than when he needs a favor from me or wants to borrow money (which he always pays back).
I reach out to him all the time, but, like I say, never the other way around except for when he wants something. How do I get him to be more than just a “cousin in need”? --- WANT MORE FROM MY CUZ
DEAR WANT MORE FROM MY CUZ: I hear this a lot from people, that someone they care about forgets the phone/text/email works both ways. It can be hurtful to feel like you’re simply a soft touch in times of need.
My advice is to keep letting him know you’re available for more than just when he needs something by making specific arrangements to meet up and spend time together, just for the heck of it.
It may rub off, and it may not, but at least you’ll be doing what you can to try and move things to a more balanced footing.