I've been dating my boyfriend for several months and am greatly concerned about his gambling. Be it when he's online or at the casino, it's gambling that is consuming his time, and interfering with my time with him. If I call him, he doesn't answer because he's playing poker. Or if he neglects to call me, it's because he's playing poker and has forgotten all about contacting me. Even if I go over to visit his house, he is playing online poker for money. He's disappointed and mad that he doesn't have the money to buy things and do things. He feels money would solve all of his problems, thus he plays these games to try and win more money. Ellie, he bets and gambles almost everyday of the week! I tell him that he should save the money he's now using and gambling away, since he's not winning anything. But worse, he's now even talking of becoming a "professional gambler."
This still-early relationship with your boyfriend is too worrisome too soon, for you to accept his problems as your own. He has a gambling addiction, and it's fuelled by a whopping fantasy of changing his life overnight, with the ever-elusive Big Win. Even in that unlikely event, you have seen that he'd only gamble it away. The proof - and the likely source of his problem - lies in his anger. It prevents him from trying to achieve
success and its rewards through the normal, responsible routes of work, upgrading skills, and setting realistic goals. He's already letting you down through neglect and anxieties at this beginning stage, when he should be trying hardest to woo you. The best you can do to show you care about him, is to insist he join Gamblers' Anonymous to find a support network and professional help to curb his obsession. Meantime, I advise you to end the
relationship, or at least take a break, since you can't depend on him for companionship, and can't count on his pipe dreams for the future. Explain that unless he recognizes and confronts his gambling problem, there's nothing to hold you together.
A friend recently listed all the qualities that make me a "bad" person, i.e. selfish, self-absorbed, shallow, unsociable, etc. I was told, "This is why you have no friends or rewarding friendships. You have no concept of friendship." I know I can be a bit rude, shallow and unsociable. However, I've spoken to other people about this and they didn't agree with him at all. Regardless, how does one go about trying to change their bad traits if they never thought there were any in the first place?
- Taken Aback
A healthy dose of occasional self-reflection is worthwhile. But whipping yourself after someone else has flattened you, can be emotionally destructive. Clearly, some incident or argument preceded your "friend's" critique. It's the specifics of what happened between you, that need to be addressed: Were you insensitive to something he was experiencing? Is an apology in order? Once the air is clear, look to those qualities you acknowledge as your weaker ones, and work to improve them. Rudeness can easily be checked; consideration for others will take you much further in all your relationships. Shallowness and unsociability fade in the light of learning about the world around you. So read newspapers, initiate conversations, and volunteer in one of the countless areas that can use your help.
I have this guy that I like, and I don't know if he likes me back. Should I get his attention in some way? We are already, like best friends, and I feel connected. But I think that he likes some other girl! What if I waited too long?
You've already got the better deal, for now. A close connection with a best friend is far more lasting than a crush, especially when you're unsure of the other person's feelings. Since he's showing a liking for someone else, it's a good time to learn more about him… what attracts him, how he handles a relationship, what he expects from a girlfriend, etc. You haven't waited "too long" - in fact, you've spent your time as pals, getting to know each other without the pressure and insecurities of dating. Enjoy the friendship. You'll know when the time is right to raise the subject of a next phase, when you're more sure he'll respond positively.
Tip of the day:
Improving your self-esteem is an ongoing voyage of discovery and learning.