Dear Miss U,
My boyfriend and I have a big time gap. It’s 8 hours. But we are always trying to deal with it even though when it’s night here and morning there. Anyway, the problem is we are always fighting about little things. When he is just kidding sometimes I take it seriously. And I make him feel sad and he starts blaming himself about his bad kidding. Actually, I’m planning my life with him there. Our love is really strong and our conversations are always open and we’re always talking. Please give me some advice so I can treat him better and never make him sad again. He is such a cute, adorable man and if I lose him I will regret it my whole life because I know nobody can replace him. I don’t want to fight with him every day like that I don’t want to make him feel guilty because I know it’s my fault.
I’m not totally convinced it is your fault, honestly. Some people say that they are joking with the belief that it excuses the hurtful, ignorant, racist, sexist, and otherwise nasty things they come out with, but it doesn’t. So if he’s “just kidding” about your appearance, your family, your passions, or your worth as a human being, boot him out of your life.
With that said, you can minimize any over-reactions on your part by paying more attention to your feelings. Are you going into this conversation tired? Have you had a long, stressful day? Did someone else hurt your feelings and leave you feeling vulnerable? If you’re not at your best and you know that you’re not going to find his humor funny you can warn him up front that you’re not in the mood and I’m sure he will respect that.
You can also monitor yourself as the conversation progresses. If he says something that fires you up ask yourself, “Would this upset me if I wasn’t tired?” if the answer is no then simply say, “I know you’re joking but it seems I have run out of humor for today.” Give yourself a minute to think before you act. Ask yourself why his words are bringing out this anger in you. Maybe you’re just narky because you’re overdue to have a visit, or maybe you’re legitimately upset because the things coming out of his mouth aren’t remotely funny.
Dear Miss U,
I love my boyfriend very very much but I’m really scared to tell my parents. I know it’s silly and all but it’s hard to let them know I’m in a relationship with someone who isn’t here. I don’t want to end it with my boyfriend; he’s the love of my life. He’s coming down next year and I really don’t know how to explain to my parents.
Can you help?
It’s hard to advise you because I don’t know your parents or what kind of relationship you have with them. I don’t know if you’ve dated before and it’s the distance you don’t want to admit to, or if this is your first boyfriend and it’s all new territory.
I would go with, “Hey I’ve started seeing this guy and I respect you so I wanted to let you know. He’s 15, we met through __ and he wants to work in __ when he grows up. You could meet him on Skype if you wanted sometime…” and let the conversation unravel from there.
Try to anticipate their questions and have mature thought-out responses prepared. If they have a tantrum, stay calm and don’t join in.
Dear Miss U,
So you only answer what ever questions you feel like? I understand if you don’t post them all. But you can’t even get back to someone. You offer advice, yet you only give it out to one every few days.
Wishing You Responded
Yeah, that is pretty much how it works. I’m over here living in the real world, a world where my boss has a budget and I have other words to write and a family to care for. I’m only authorized to publish a set amount of articles per month, more than that and my boss couldn’t pay me.
Now, I’m contracted to write articles so when I respond privately via email I’m not getting reimbursed in any way for my time. Sometimes I do this anyway because I feel I can genuinely make a difference for someone, but I get too many letters to answer them all. Tell me, do you work for free? If you see an off-duty checkout operator picking up groceries for her family before she drives home do you demand she serve you even though her work day is done? I would think not. Why then do you feel entitled to my time?
How do I choose who to answer? I try to choose subjects I have not recently covered or situations that are truly unique as those people wouldn’t be able to put their problems in a google search box. I aim for letters that are entertaining to read or ones where the answer will benefit a wide range of people because it’s not just the person who wrote to me that will read it. I show favoritism for minorities because those people get the short straw too often and I stick to what I know so I don’t lead people astray. More than 90% of the time I respond to at least two letters per article.
I am sorry you are disappointed in the service I provide.
Thank you for your feedback.