I’m 25; my father left my mother when I was young. I never heard from him again. Recently, he called and said he wanted to see me.
I went to his place; he talked only about himself, nothing about missing my sisters or me. He blamed everyone, especially my mom, for his being lonely.
Meanwhile, she worked two jobs to support us kids. He hasn’t worked in years.
He now wants to have a relationship with me alone. Should I agree because he’s my father?
No. He doesn’t want the kind of father-child relationship that you’d want.
He wants your attention and likely some financial support.
Also, he’s full of bitterness and blame for the person who struggled to raise you.
However, if you ever find that he’s in serious need, follow your own heart (but not guilt) on how to respond.
I have an absolute fear of contracting herpes, "the dreaded cold sore." The condition repulses me.
I'm 40 and have never had one. How contagious is this virus? Is it possible to get it like you might get the flu (from touching doorknobs that someone afflicted has handled etc.)?
I've seen the sores on lips and noses, and keep my distance.
I've seen people apply creams and wonder if they then contaminated everything in sight without washing their hands!
Cold sores are a painful infection, so it’s wise to avoid them when possible, though 90 percent of all people get at least one during their lifetime.
Get informed, and then deal with the underlying cause of your phobia.
The herpes simplex virus type 1, passed through contact such as kissing an infected person, or sharing cutlery, towels, or razors, most often causes the sores or blisters.
Genital herpes is usually caused by HSV type 2. And oral lesions can be passed through oral sex.
The virus may be triggered by certain foods, stress, fever, colds, allergies, sunburn, and menstruation.
Cold sores are generally not serious but can be life-threatening for people with AIDS or depressed immune systems from other disorders or medications.
Phobias are also detrimental to your well being.
If taking normal precautions doesn’t calm your anxieties, talk to your doctor and/or see a therapist to probe why this is your focus of fear.
I'm 14, dating my boyfriend for five months in a long distance relationship.
But I have a big crush on another guy. We both like each other, and he has a girlfriend.
I really love my boyfriend, but I'm getting sick of our distance and I don't think my crush will break up with his girlfriend soon either, because he also loves her.
My boyfriend’s noticing that I'm texting him less and thinks I don't care about him anymore
My crush and I have a laugh on the bus together, just talk at school, etc. He's 13, and my boyfriend is 16.
You’re old enough to learn some dating facts: When you like someone a lot (sorry, but it’s not “love” yet) you try to not hurt them.
A crush is not equal to liking someone a lot.
If someone you like, and you, are both “attached” to others, it’s mean and risks a lot of gossip to be anything more than friends.
So, my advice is to de-stress, text your boyfriend more, and don’t start anything further with this other boy till you see your main guy again and decide whether you’re going to still be dating.
FEEDBACK Regarding concern over a couple’s 26-year age gap (May 14):
Reader – “My grandmother married young and had children, then divorced and became a single mother.
“In the 1940s, she met my grandfather, who was 20-plus years older than her. She was the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen (like a movie star).
“He persuaded her to marry him, which lasted for more than 50 years.
“He adopted her three daughters, and was the only grandfather I knew.
“When she died in her early 80s, we thought the shock would kill Papa. But he rallied and lived till 103.
“He frequently demanded to be taken to his wife's grave.
“Papa believed that the secret to longevity was good circulation so he stood on his head daily for several minutes.
“Your reader could go ahead and marry the older man she loves, and suggest he stand on his head every day!”
Tip of the day:
Respond to a parent who abandoned you as your heart decides, but you owe no guilt feelings.