My girlfriend and I have been dating since early January. She’s a freshman and I’m a sophomore in college.
Every winter, even in high school, she always has this breakdown about wanting to move to Los Angeles and live there.
Her determined dream is to be in casting. I support every decision she makes.
She returned from visiting LA during spring break, with a burning hatred of going back to school.
My response to her was, "Haha, no one does ‘school – ain’t it fun? But don’t worry, on weekends I’m gonna’ make you feel like you aren’t even in college and stress-free.”
I don't want to be a clingy boyfriend but I also want her to stay. I want her to be happy and I hate seeing her sad.
My natural reaction is to comfort her even if she says she'll be better eventually. I constantly mention to her how much I'll pamper her.
How do I support her decisions but also not be afraid of her kicking me out of her life to pursue her ambitions?
Don’t Want to Lose Her
Not wanting to lose her is a good thing. Not letting her feel the choice is hers is not.
The LA dream is her passion and her goal. She may go there and find there’s more to the task of getting into the field and handling the film-industry lifestyle than she now envisions.
Or, she may have the talent and determination to make it. In which case, trying to convince her to not go will only create more stress for both of you.
Sometimes you have to give in order to get. Whether this is lasting love remains to be seen. But you stand a better chance of remaining a couple for some time ahead if you truly support her dream by letting her figure out when to give it a try.
My son is 22 and he’s smoking marijuana and recently started doing cocaine. I'm very frustrated and don't know what to do. I want to help my son.
You have good reasons for concern – regarding both his health and where he gets the money to support his cocaine use.
First, gather enough knowledge to talk to him in a straightforward way about his choices.
A Google search will tell you the risks of cocaine if usage becomes an addiction. Also, if he’s involved with a criminal gang in the drug world, he’s risking his freedom if he’s caught and imprisoned.
Marijuana use, if not excessive, is less of a health problem unless he’s a constant user and avoiding working or education. Again, how he pays for it is still a significant issue.
However, look at your son as more than a drug user. Is he “lost” and disconnected, at an age when he has no idea what to do for his future? Is he unemployed and having trouble getting a job?
If so, focus on his need to find out what skills, talents, and interests he has, what he wants to do in life, and how to start getting on that path.
Employment counselling and education upgrades can help him boost what he already has to offer and what he needs.
Show you’re on his side, rather than just fearful and anxious about him.
BUT, if you can’t have these conversations with him, seek someone who can – a trusted relative or family friend, a faith leader, his doctor, or a teacher he liked.
FEEDBACK Regarding people told to “just put down” a beloved but sick pet (March 15):
Reader – “We recently lost our beloved pet to an incurable disease after eight months of the end stage of that disease (and many years of earlier stages before that).
“He had many happy times during those last eight months and I don't regret any of the treatments or extra care we gave him in order to extend his quality of life.
“Many people didn’t understand our investment in him or thought he might’ve been suffering. We knew he was not.
“Only in his last couple of weeks did we see a decline, and when it was time to let him go, we did.
“We knew we’d done everything possible for him. It was one of the hardest decisions we’ve faced, but we made that choice out of love and doing what was best for him.”
Tip of the day:
Respect a partner’s right to test their dreams, and she/he will want to share with you whatever happens.