My teenage son has changed, and I know it’s because of his girlfriend. She’s very strong-minded, opinionated and direct. She comes off as unfriendly, but I believe she’s insecure and shy. She doesn’t have a lot of friends, and my son often mentions situations where she’s spoke unkindly about others.
He used to be very warm and friendly and still has a large friend group. But when he’s with her, she doesn’t want to hang out with his friends because she says she doesn’t like them. To be fair, his friends are goofy and she’s serious. But they’re his friends.
He’s become darker, moodier and less kind. I’m worried how these changes will affect him in the future. Is there anything I can do?
You’re right to be concerned. You know how important friends are to kids and how the wrong group of friends can take your child down a bad path. And vice versa. The same applies to girlfriends and boyfriends. The teen years are a very influential time.
Talk to your son. Ask him about his girlfriend, what he likes about her, what he doesn’t like about her, etc. These conversations are actually helpful for teenagers. Get him to see what you see on his own. Telling him won’t help the situation, and could possibly have the opposite effect.
My girlfriend is very pretty. She has an infectious smile, twinkly green eyes, and a great figure. She has very dark hair and people call her a Disney princess because of the contrasting hair and eyes.
Recently, she decided to stop shaving her armpits. We don’t live together and its winter, so I didn’t notice for about a month. We were at my home after a night out with friends and we started getting intimate. We’ve been together over a year, so that’s not new. But when she raised her arms to pull off her top, I was shocked by the amount of dark hair under her arms. I admit, it was a buzz kill. And I couldn’t seem to get back into the mood.
I didn’t want to tell her because I didn’t want to hurt her feelings, so I pretended I had a stomach ache and wasn’t feeling well. I hoped she had just forgotten to shave, or wax, or whatever. I went out of town, then she went on vacation, and we didn’t have the chance to be alone together for two months.
Same thing happened when we started to get intimate. This time my lack of performance upset her and I decided to be honest. She told me she had decided to stop shaving. And now we’re at an impasse. Help!
You know that she has every right to do what she wants with her body. This issue is totally and completely yours. However, you are also entitled to have your own turn-ons and turnoffs.
So, it boils down to how much you love each other, and how important the relationship is to both of you. Because you’re going to have to compromise if you want to stay together. Chemistry and attraction are uncontrollable, meaning you can’t force yourself to find something sexy.
But if she likes her own body hair, she’s entitled to keep it. Be mature and talk it through. Maybe she can keep a shirt on during intimate moments; maybe she’s willing to shave in the summer months when it would be more noticeable. These are just suggestions to help you two come up with the answers that work for both of you.
FEEDBACK Regarding the woman dumped by a new friend (Jan. 18):
Reader – “I have another perspective. You suggested the writer reach out for another walk, ask what happened and that she had a right to some explanation. I respectfully disagree that she has a ‘right’ to know what happened. COVID-19 and its impact on socialization has been hard for all of us.
“She only knew this woman a week. Maybe the other woman felt that she over-shared, or realized that she wasn't ready to take on a new friendship at that time.
“The new pal probably should have responded to the writer's follow up texts. Either way, after a week no one owes anyone an explanation of anything.
“It's hard making friends as adults, and it's even harder after COVID-19 has made so many of us a little gun shy. My advice to this writer would be to reach out (if she wants) and take it slow.”