November 14, 2007 in Features

Own up but don’t demean yourself

The Washington Post The Spokesman-Review

Hi, Carolyn: Guy and Girl date for a year and a half, live together for a year. Girl screws up, loses Boy’s trust, Girl moves out, but Boy and Girl still date, albeit in an “open relationship,” much to Girl’s dismay. Girl knows she did wrong, and tries to go with the “open relationship” because she wants to be with Boy, but is finding the “open” part hard to deal with. How does Girl come to terms with the situation and enjoy the “open relationship”? – D.C.

Girl realizes that no matter how serious her screwup, she isn’t going to fix it by debasing herself.

If you can’t abide the new terms, then decline to live by them. Tell him you love him, want him, regret hurting him, and will be happy to see him, when and if he stops taking sadistic pleasure in exacting revenge for his pain.

Dear Carolyn: My friend is on anti-anxiety meds and thinks I should be too. The only reason she’s stopped urging me to try them is that I’ve asked her to. I do have bouts of depression and anxiety attacks, but my therapist says I’m making progress. Neither he nor I believe in medication. Should I listen to my friend, or my therapist? – Anxious

I can’t say you aren’t getting the proper care; it’s possible you are. I also can’t speak for anyone but myself. However, here’s what I want my health-care providers to believe in: giving me the best care available. For some people, that won’t involve medication, but for some it will. Doctors and therapists earn their credentials through training and expertise, but they are also human. Find one without a bias, please, and get a second opinion.

Carolyn: I’ve been dating a guy for a year and a half. He’s really nice but I think he’s more interested in his computer than he is in me. He can spend 10 hours a day on the computer, while I sit in the other room amusing myself. When he is not on the computer, he is watching TV. When we do go out, we never hold hands, cuddle or kiss in public. I’m beginning to wonder if it is time for me to find a more attentive boyfriend. – Help Me

“Really nice”? That’ll make you break out in sonnets.

If you haven’t talked yet, then the laptop isn’t the problem.

If you have but it didn’t register, then give him one more chance; maybe I’m feeling indebted to him for the no-public-cuddling thing, but you also want him to look up long enough to notice you’re gone. Send him a video of you, alerting him to the living, breathing, potentially attentive girlfriend awaiting him in the next room. If even that doesn’t register, then he leaves you no choice but to leave.

Thoughts and opinions on this story? Click here to comment >>

Get stories like this in a free daily email