I was out for morning tea with one of my girlfriends, when I realised I had spent the past hour answering her 'why' questions.
"Why didn't he call?" "Why did he cancel on me?" "Why does he still text his ex?"
Trying to avoid eye contact whilst sipping on my tea, I frantically searched for a reply to each of these questions. She was desperate for me to give her a helpful answer - regardless if it was honest or not.
So the way I saw it was I had two options: 1) I could lie and make up excuses for this so-called new boyfriend, or 2) give her some advice- tell her to stop with the WHYS and start with the HOWS.
Call it tough love but I went with the latter, and here comes my theory behind it.
We often question the obvious because a situation is not in our control. We know the answers ourselves - he isn't into us, he is seeing someone new, or whatever the reason is. However, we ask our friends these why questions to get some clarification or to make us feel better; anything that avoids us believing... he just doesn't like us that way.
So this is where the how questions come in. When we are feeling at our most vulnerable and we need to gain back some control, instead of asking why they did something, start asking how you can change the situation.
"Why didn't he call?" should become "How long until I should call him?"
"Why did he cancel on me?" should become "How should I ask him what made him cancel on me?"
"Why does he still text his ex?" should become "How do I explain to him that texting his ex makes me uncomfortable?"
These how questions are far more positive and proactive, giving yourself a sense of control that you can do something about the situation you are in.
Don't get me wrong, it's absolutely fine to ask for advice, but sometimes a how will change your entire outlook on the situation.