Category Archives for "Growing Up"

What to do when a friend you’ve helped abandons you

Cupcake11 asks:

I’ve been very upset lately and with things happening at such a fast pace.

I feel like I care way too much about people and there’s probably something wrong with me that’s why everyone just leaves me.

This friend of mine I’ve mentioned earlier who had a really bad break up, and I was always there for her when she needed me, never did anything wrong to her, but even though she had healed a little bit and was absolutely fine, one day she decided to distance herself from me because I was really close to her and she gave an excuse saying she doesn’t need anyone’s love and care. I was shattered, but I still went on to help her because she used to cry behind closed doors, she stopped sharing stuff with me and her ex-boyfriend used to tell me whenever she called him or texted him.

I spoke to her about it and since I overthink a lot I thought a lot about it and kept thinking and it messed me up in the head. I tried my best to help her by not talking about him and just sending her small chits about how she’s amazing the way she is; I even wrote a letter to make her feel good about herself.

I had a separate group of friends I introduced her to, and she was the centre of attention always, everyone loved her and I was happy for her. But then after a small vacation, when everyone got back, she stopped talking to them too, and she suddenly became best friends with someone who’s extra sweet to her and almost does everything according to her ,and I felt like she is using her.

She also became friends with one of those old friends who disrespected her and didn’t treat her well before, a person who is alone, so she got back to her, who in her happy times didn’t even bother to ask how she was.

I was mad at her because we created a group and stated that we’re very busy in our own lives, and she wants to keep that little bond left. I was furious because our lives were never apart and we spent our entire day together, and suddenly she doesn’t talk to me at all. I exited because I really wasn’t  comfortable there, and she asked me why, and I told her how she’s hurt me by randomly ignoring me and intentionally distancing herself and everything.  She didn’t reply, and later she said she doesn’t want to.  When I asked if I’d said anything wrong, she said no. But this one text made me feel like she isn’t the one texting, because she never uses punctuation and she always uses short forms. It’s killing me to not get a reply from her, and also all the thoughts of her probably getting influenced by people or something.

I’m overthinking constantly (when I’m not supposed to) but she’s ruined my mind by leaving and coming back multiple times, and by trying and not trying at the same time. I have no idea what to do.

How can I stop such thoughts?

Hi Cupcake11 –

As far as her recent actions, the pushing-you-away-and-then-coming-to-you, I can’t really give any intelligent thoughts, as I don’t know her and what she’s doing it for.

But with the earlier stuff, I think I can help.  You see, you’re a good person, and really helpful.  But your relationship with her started to become something where your needs were getting involved, and twisted in with her needs (the ones you were helping with).  And when this happens, when a person starts to need others to need them, that can start to feel bad to the ones they’re trying to help.  There’s a word for this, codependence, where one person is dependent on another person’s being dependent on them. 

So your friend really needed all the help you gave her.  But as she got stronger, she started feeling your energy pulling her back from the movement she needed to do.  It was probably part of her healing process to push past you, to re-engage some of her old friendships, and such.  But when this started to bother you, and when you let her know you needed her to be there for you, that was too much for her, and she had to reject you.

Now don’t get me wrong, everyone can fall into this rut.  (After all, I sure need you to write me, which shows that I’m pretty codependent myself!)  But your job is to try to keep aware of it, and then try to reduce it in your life.

There are books and courses to help you with this, but the first step is the most important one – to see yourself doing it.  Once you do, it’s far easier to give this girl some space, because then you can see that she’s doing just what she needs to do for herself, and not feel that it’s about her rejecting you.

I know it sounds like I’m criticizing you, but what I’m really doing is telling you how good you already are, and giving you a way of avoiding unnecessary pain.

When I was a puppy, Handsome spent so much of his time taking care of me.  But once I got the chance to get out into a dog park, I ran off as though I didn’t even know him.  So, did he get hurt by this?  Not in the least.  He knew why I was so excited, and even encouraged it.

What if you did this with that girl?  Told her how cool she was acting, how she was making great decisions, how great her future was looking to you.  Would she walk away?  Absolutely.  But then she’d find those people to be just as cold and unfeeling as they were before.  And she’d come running back to you, the friend who was always there for her.  Just like the way I run back to Handsome in the park, every few minutes!

So I’d say to just go with that.  And see what happens.

And let me know.  Hopefully this works out really well.

All my best,


What to do when your girlfriend or boyfriend moves away and doesn’t have time for you

anonymous asks:

I’ve been in a relationship for the past 5 years.  My girlfriend just got into college 4 months ago, and recently she made some friends and, despite her busy schedule and assignments, she spends more time with them, and barely gives me any attention now.  It’s difficult to communicate with her about this because she gets angry. It’s been happening for 2 weeks.  Any help please?

Hi anonymous –

What you and she are going through is very normal, and really annoying, I know.  She went into a new world, and probably leaned a lot on your support while adjusting to it.  But now she’s there, she’s surrounded by it, and it’s her new universe.  She can still love you, but all her attention is on the people she spends her days with.  (Ironically, you’re going through what your parents probably went through with you a few years ago, when your attention veered from them to your schoolmates!)

I wish I could promise that she’ll put all her attention back onto you, but the truth is she’s on a journey that will likely lead many directions.  Tomorrow she might want your company more than anybody’s in the world, and the next day she might be obsessing about an argument between two of her dorm-mates.  And of course, at times, she’ll actually be focused on her studies!

And is it possible she could get more interested in someone special there too?  Sure.  I’m not saying that to make you feel bad, but just to say that nothing is predictable right now.

Nor should it be.

Are you going to be heading to a college in the future?  If so, you’ll go through the same things she is now.  And yes, a big part of the joys and difficulties of this experience involve your whole sense of your world changing. 

(I should say, I haven’t had to go through this myself.  I’ve only heard about it.  But I know that my human friend Handsome going to college broke the hearts of his two dogs then.  He’d come home of course, but it was never the same as it had been.  Their lives were fine, but he’d been their most special human, and… well, you know what we dogs are like!)

So what can you do about this?  One thing: Support Her In All She Does.  Show interest in her friends, let her know you care about her life, even the parts you might not be crazy about.  Be the best friend she has, the one she can always depend on. 

But at the same time, build your own life too.  Make more friends, get out more.  Keep yourself from being “that guy” who’s so obsessive about her that she feels suffocated.  And the more interesting stuff you have going on, the more likely she is to turn her focus to you.  “Yeah I have a big exam tomorrow, but I can’t study without hearing about how your night singing in that coffee shop went!” 

As I said before, nothing is predictable, nothing is guaranteed, right now.  Except that she’s going to be on a rollercoaster of emotions and connections.  And the further she pulls into that world out there, the more she’ll need the stability you offer.

It’s like when Handsome takes me to the dog park.  I fly into pure ecstasy the second I get out of his car, and rush to sniff everything I can, meet all the pups, play with anyone who’ll play with me, and get someone to run all my thrilled energy with me!  And then, suddenly, something happens.  I realize, I’m out there, in a field full of strangers.  I’m alone.  I have no one.  And… WHERE IS HE?!  I run around, looking, and find him, and run straight to him.  Jump on him.  Get a reassuring cuddle and lick his face…

And that’s just enough for me to run off again. 

But he knows I’ll always come back.  Especially when he calls.  Because I need him to want me, to need me.  And to take me home where I can sleep off this glorious experience.

Your girlfriend is in something bigger, sure, but in a lot of ways she’s just playing in the dog park like me.  So do what you need to do for yourself, and be there for her in any way you can.  And hopefully, and most likely, she will appreciate having the best anonymous in the world, just as I appreciate my Handsome more than I can say.

Stay Strong!  Vacation will come soon!


How to tell someone that your sexual history has changed

David g asks: I met a girl at a camp about 3 years ago.
We started texting and we began to like each other. So we have been like that since then, no relationship, no meeting up, no kissing. It was just a texting thing even though we are not distant from each other. We just get to see each other on Sundays because we attend the same church. During our early days of texting, we shared our secrets. And at that time I was a virgin so I told her so and she liked me because of that. So somewhere this year, she had to be in school for her final exams. I entered college in September last year. So while she was in school, there was no communication between us. There were just a few times she called me and we spoke for a few minutes. So while I was in school and she was also in school, a lot of things happened because we weren’t really communicating with each other and a lot of girls kept coming my way while she was away even though I still had feelings for her. I broke my virginity and had sex a number of times. As of now she has completed school and we’re the same way we used to be before. But I’m really scared I might lose her if I tell her all what I did while she was in school. She would be very disappointed in me but I love her very much. What would you suggest I do?

Hi David g –

I guess you have three choices – you could break up with her, you could stay with her and not tell the truth, or you could stay with her and tell her the truth.  Let’s look at those.

First, breaking up.  It sure sounds like you’re attached to her, even though you two have had such a distant relationship, especially in this last year when you were in school.  So while you could break up with her, it sounds like you don’t want to.

Second, keeping the truth from her.  I have a big problem with this one, because it seems to me that, like when I steal a piece of pizza off of the table when no one’s looking, the truth always gets discovered (especially if I burp).  This girl loved two things about you when you met – that you were open, sharing secrets, and that you were a virgin (I’m assuming she was too).  You even go to the same church.  This relationship is based in a sense of shared values and morality.  So while I’m sure you’re right, that she wouldn’t like hearing that you’re no longer a virgin, I imagine she’d be much more upset to find out you were lying to her.  Also, it’s hard to think that she didn’t imagine this might have happened while you were away and not communicating.  So I’m really thinking that trying to keep the truth from her is just going to make things awful – if you succeed, you’ll always worry about it, and if you don’t, you’ll pay the same cost as if you told her.

And third, telling her.  As you say, she won’t like it.  But your doing this will show the same values she loved in you – your morality and honesty.  And she has to acknowledge that she was distant from you.  It’s not like you two were in constant contact or engaged to be married. 

In fact, this relationship you’ve had with no physical contact?  I’m thinking it’s time for that to end!  We dogs don’t really understand love without kisses and pats and hugs.  I think what you’ve done shows nobility, but it’s time to move on.  And the fact that you’ve done these things away from her might be what it takes to get her to move to, at the very least, some friendly embracing.

So I’m on Team TellHer.  If she can’t take it, and rejects you for it, then that tells us something about her – that maybe she isn’t a great bet for a long-term relationship (since eventually something ALWAYS comes along to disappoint everyone in any sort of couple).  But if she can, if she accepts the truth of who you are, and (especially) if she makes some changes, then I think you might find this was a great thing that happened.  Maybe the best.

Hoping this is the case!


How to deal with an eating disorder

arjai101 asks: I went to a family reunion that was triggering. I finally finally get what people mean by “triggering” in the non-ironic sense of the word. But it wasn’t the family that did it. That was fine. It was the food. I was actually doing pretty fine with everything. But as the reunion wore on, I worried more and more. And then I started eating more, and making myself throw it up. Now, I can’t personally speak for everyone. But, the thing about making yourself throw up is that moment right before you get started and you’re staring down into the toilet is one of the worst parts. No matter how stuffed you feel or how determined you are, you will never want to do it less than in that very moment. When you march off to the bathroom, it seems like the best idea. When you’re in the midst of it, it’s uncomfortable but not that bad. And when you finish, most of the time, you don’t feel all that bad, it varies. Sometimes, you feel shame, sometimes like God, sometimes like I deserve this. Either way, you walk out there head held high, shoulders tilted back, sip your diet coke like nothing ever happened. Just like you taught yourself when you were little, convince people you were untouchable, invincible. Make them love you or make them hate you because they weren’t you. But, I guess I was never really invincible or untouchable from my own doing, which is the ironic thing about it all. Anyhow, this time I was coughing a lot, and I felt every single thing leaving my body in grave detail. Yet, I still just kept jabbing and jabbing down my throat. Cause, I knew I just had to fix it. I just had to fix everything I’d ever done and ever was. The bathroom was empty. But at one point, one of the little cousins roamed in and used the bathroom and God; I felt like such a loser hovered over the toilet clutching my stomach waiting in silence for her to leave. I said to myself, this is the last time. This is it. I can’t do this anymore. And you know what I did, the literal next day? The same exact thing. I can look at a plate and calculate the calories, the grams of protein, the grams of carbs. Tell me your weight, age, height, and activity level. I can probably give you your Basal Metabolic Rate. I can tell you how long it takes for you to deplete glycogen stores. I can tell you what percentage of your calories we’re used up in thermogenesis based on their macronutrient group. I can debate the intuitive eating lifestyle vs. chronic diet culture. Etc etc. etc. I’ve become quite the nutrition and fitness savant. And also, a complete neurotic bore to talk to most of the time. I’m trying to pinpoint why I’ve become so obsessive about it lately. I feel like I’ve really been disappointing everyone in my life on the down low for years. Or that, eventually, I will. Honestly, I don’t know. I just wish I could make it stop. I wish I could it make it all stop. This is going to sound cheesy. But sometimes, I wonder if being loved by someone you didn’t lie to in the slightest way about who you are makes it stop, at least for the briefest of moments. But that’s a dangerous and indefinite way of making it stop, waiting for some girl to “save” you. Nope, I’m just going to have to get together and eat like a normal freaking person. I was doing fine before. And now I know, what triggers it. And I, just have to think ahead and prepare. Addendum: It’s about six days later, and I’m doing great. I think. Think, I finally started getting into a pattern that works for me. And I guess, I’m just excited for the future. To leave it all behind, you know. I really am a blast most other times.

Hi arjai101 –

This is one of the most powerful and meaningful letters I’ve ever received.

And I hate it.

I hate it because it horrifies me.  I hate it because of what you’ve been doing to yourself.  I hate it because of the self-loathing and impossible-perfectionism it shows. 

I hate it because I love and care about you so much, and it’s like reading about someone beating you up – except that the beater is you.

So of course, I like the last paragraph though.  If it’s still true after a few days, I like it even better.  And if it stays true, then we’re great – I got a letter that paints me a picture of a hell I have trouble understanding, and you’re moving on to a free and strong life.

But if it doesn’t stay true?  If you fall into the behavior again?  I’m going to insist – you absolutely HAVE  to

Continue reading

How to stop yourself from seeking attention too much

Jhalli asks: How can I stop myself from seeking the attention of everyone in my college?

Hi Jhalli –

I like attention.

Or let me rephrase that – I LOVE attention!

I like being noticed by dogs, by other animals, and especially by people.  I like people to get as excited to see me as I am to see them, I love strangers petting my head, I love anyone saying “What a beautiful dog!”  But what I love most of course is when my special friends, or my most special friend Handsome, give me more attention than I can take!  Overwhelmed with love, I just get so excited I can’t take it!

But I also have experienced the problem of wanting it too much.  Like when Handsome and a friend are having a really intense conversation, and I’m jumping into their laps.  Or when he and a girlfriend are cuddling and smooching and all that stuff and I stick a toy in her lap (what’s the problem?  Clearly she likes saliva, right?).  Or when he’s sleeping and I think a good loud bark is a fine idea!  In each of these cases, my cry-out for attention gets the opposite response from what I wanted – everyone’s peeved at me, and sending me away.

So I’m guessing that’s kind of what’s been happening to you at college.  So what to do about it?

Well the answer isn’t about them.  Everyone else is just themselves, and you can’t change them.  And it’s not that you’re necessarily doing it wrong.  The issue is, like me in those examples, that you’re too needy for the attention.  And that’s because you’re feeling too insecure.

You see, if I am feeling friendly and secure, and I walk up to Handsome while he’s talking with someone, he’ll reach over and give me a pat.  And if I lie down next to him while he’s cuddling with someone, one of them will eventually reach over and give me a hug and a kiss, and even throw a toy for me to chase. 

So what you need, Jhalli, is to learn to

Continue reading

What to do when your father is breaking up with your mother

AayuTheLegend asks: My life is going downhill because my parents are falling apart, and my father was at the point of hitting my mother, and no one is supporting her except for us her loving children, and she is saying they will divorce. Please help me.

Hi AayuTheLegend –

I don’t know how old you are, my friend, but your earlier letters show me that you’re clearly not a young child.  I have numerous posts on the AskShirelle site for kids going through this experience, which is one of the most awful things a child, or a dog, can go through. 

Yes I said a dog.  We are so sensitive to the energies in our homes, and are so deeply attached to our humans, that we simply can’t handle it when you guys fight each other; we don’t like it when you’re even angry – it feels like you’re angry at us!  So of course, a child is going to feel the same way.

But you’re not a dog, and you’re not a child.  You’re older, and still devastated by this.  Of course you are!  You still have that child inside you – and children’s brains still have the same core as us pooches’ ones!  This is so upsetting, so frustrating, so crushing. 

And you might also have another element here.  Just as I don’t know your age, I don’t know your religion.  To some people, divorce is just a sad reality; to others it’s an unpardonable sin that might mean one or both of your parents is condemning their soul to damnation! 

Now as a dog, I can’t comment on that one, but I sure understand that it would be terrifying!

So what can you do to help?  Sadly not much more than you are.

Giving your mother your love and support is the best thing you can do.  And your father might need some too, even if you disagree with him.

But there’s one thing you can do, that’s really scary, but might be great.  Are you old enough to remember when

Continue reading

What to do when your perfectionism makes you put yourself down

arjai101 asks: Rereading my letter to you made me realize I’m self-absorbed and vain. And, a lot of that whining was coming from a place of just hurt and pain. I guess there’s just been a whole lot of keeping it all inside. I honestly need to get my head screwed back on. Firstly, I’m trying to fix my relationship with food. I’m so tired of obsessing over what I eat and feeling hungry and tired and my workouts sucking. And then I indulge once, and I feel awful, and I go throw up. And, don’t come at me with the, “Do you know how unhealthy and dangerous that is? Don’t be stupid!” Believe me; I know; I know; I know. I know exactly what I’m doing to myself, read all the papers, and all the articles. And most of the time, I think I deserve it. I think I deserve every single second of it. Honestly, ever since I came out to my mom, it’s been downhill from there. Also, I finally stopped texting ex-marathon girl. I get that we’re friends. I know she’s a straight girl with a boyfriend. I’m not dumb and stupid. But, I feel like she has no real regard for me. And, I know I know I can’t blame anyone but myself. She owes me nothing. But, it just hurts so bad knowing I care so much more for her, more than she ever will for me. Then, there’s this guy who became a great friend to me, we’d talk about girls together – he knew exactly who and what I am – and still one night he made a clumsy stupid groping pass at me in his car. And when I pushed it away, he started making dumb excuses not to meet with me anymore. So I don’t know. I’ve been thinking and thinking and thinking. And maybe, I deserve it all. Maybe, I deserve every little thing. Perhaps it’s all my fault. I mean, it really all is. I brought all of this on me. I brought that weird sinister dark look the passes over my mom’s face every time there’s a subtle reminder that I’m gay. I brought getting felt up by that guy. Everything. Everything has my name on it. Lately, I’ve been trying to channel it all into anger. But then, you’re still just reminded how you mean almost nothing to that beautiful girl. How, you were nothing but some conquest to that guy. How another friend I trusted is off living his best life with all of his friends and adventures and better things to do. How, your mom doesn’t want you to tell anyone what you are. And church. And family. And all of my other irrelevant unimportant issues because I’m an entitled brat. And I, I just exist in some vast void of boredom and nothingness hoping to grasp onto some rope and get the hell out, but realizing that maybe everyone must want me to stay in there or maybe they forgot about me, or maybe just learn to shut up and disappear better. And, can I really blame them? All I do is hurt people; I can’t even help it; I don’t even know I’m doing it. But, I know I do. I mean, I must be. I know I just need to wait it out. I’ll be at college, and it’ll be better. That’s what everyone keeps saying. But, what if it doesn’t? What if I don’t shine bright enough or my personality annoys everyone? And, it’s just me, desperate as hell. You know, I was watching this interpretive dance video done by Eugene Lee Yang. And, he goes through all these colors, each one representing a stage in his life. And finally, in the end, he gets to violet. He’s standing there in this stunning ensemble, all just crashing down around him. And, it looks like everyone doesn’t even know what the hell to do with him. But, he’s just standing there despite everything, with this look of determination, like “You can’t tell me a thing anymore.” And you know, I just was thinking…God I hope I get to violet. I really hope there is just light at the end of the tunnel and I make it there alive. You know, it’s not really my nature to fade away. But, I don’t know, these past few months I just don’t know what to do with myself.

Oh arjai101!!!!

Hasn’t anyone told you that it’s animal abuse to break a dog’s heart?!  And you SO break mine!

Nothing you’re telling me about your actual, objective, situations is all that rare.  A crush on a bland beautiful woman who can’t deal with your reality?  Half the guys I know have that same problem, not to mention the interesting ladies like you.  A young man who believes the nonsensical myths out there about how every lesbian is just dying to be “turned” by the right guy with the right moves?  Ridiculous and SO common.  And a mother who can’t accept her daughter being her full self, but won’t reject her either, just asks her to keep it all secret for “the neighbors’ sake?”  TIMELESS!

(Of course, the first two of those apply to us pooches as well!  Handsome’s had girlfriends I wanted SO BADLY to love me and just couldn’t win over; and while I’m not a lesbian, I was spayed early, so share your complete disinterest in males’ sexual desire for me.  If you haven’t read my story about that, go to and type in HarrietteS in the search box, and read my story about this fellow at a dog park who makes Albacore look like SUCH a gentleman!  But the situation with your mom – yeah that’s only humans.  And I’m awfully AWFULLY sorry about your having to go through that one)

And I’ll do what you ask and not get on your case about the eating issue.  But there’s another issue I am going to COMPLETEY get on your case about.  And that’s the way you spend this whole letter BEATING THE DAYLIGHTS OUT OF YOURSELF!  And you know what I’m going to tell you about it?  You might recognize the words:

“Do you know how unhealthy and dangerous that is? Don’t be stupid!”

Arjai101, I’m going to trust that you’re able to healthily deal with your – yes, stupid – eating issues.  But this letter is SO FULL of self-loathing and blame…

MY FRIEND YOU ARE DOING ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WRONG!  How would you be if I blamed myself for having been placed in the dog pound?!  You’d say I was crazy, right?  It’s not your fault a beautiful girl is straight (or boring), or that a guy is too horny for his own good, or that your mother is too concerned with social customs. 

Now is it true that you don’t fit in to a lot of situations?  Yeah, and I relate to that a LOT!  You’re ME!  And yes, that’ll be an issue as long as I live.  But I don’t blame myself – I really LIKE the way I am.  And when some people can’t handle that?  Well, that’s a difficulty for everyone concerned.  But I’m not changing who I am, or asking them to change who they are.  We’re all fine, just as we are.

But when you say that you’re lonely? 

Well yes.  I relate fully, and that situation STINKS.  And yes, I’m one more voice saying that I believe that’ll get better at college.  And then it’ll get better and better, the more you’re able to openly be yourself (which maybe you can’t while you’re living with your mom, which isn’t fair at all). 

But what I’m calling STUPID is your perfectionistic view that you’re somehow at fault for this.  That there’s something wrong with you.  THERE’S NOT!

But your letter reminded me of something.   Something I haven’t thought about in a while.  A few years ago, I helped to

Continue reading

What to do when a parent stops speaking to you

Naina asks: I just had a fight with my mom and now she is not talking to me what should I do now?

Hi Naina –

Now of course I don’t know you, or her, but I can’t help but guess that this is a very abnormal event in your home.  That her not talking to you is new, or at least rare.

And usually it’s the other way; usually parents are begging for their kids to talk with them, open up, stop being so secretive.  So my sense is that this argument really bothered her.  More than maybe any fight you’ve ever had before. 

I find that, when something like this happens, it’s really a chance for you to learn about the other person.  Something bothered them that badly.  What was it?  Why did this bother them more than other things (that might have seemed like bigger deals to you)?

When I was a puppy, I was a horrible chewer.  I chewed and bit everything around me.  And while Handsome, my human friend, would often get annoyed, it never went beyond that.  Until one day, when he was taking a shower, singing along with one of his favorite albums, a record that he’d had since childhood .  And came out to find the cover in a hundred pieces all over the floor, and me with the rest of it in my mouth.  He flew into a rage, picked me up, opened the back door, and threw me across the back yard!  (Before I even touched the ground, he suddenly felt horrible guilt, and has never totally forgiven himself, even though I came through it fine – landing as well as any cat!). 

So let me tell you, I’m not quite sure why an album cover has more meaning to him than, say, the leg of a table.  But I learned quickly that it does – and have never so much as sniffed another record ever since!

So, like that, something specific happened in this fight, that’s driving your mom nuts.  So your job is to find out what it is.  (Please tell me you didn’t chew up Abbey Road like I did!)

And once you do, or even if you have a good guess, then your (tough) job is to go to your mom and tell her.  “Hey Mom, I’ve been thinking a lot, and I realize it was really hurtful when I told you I’ve always hated your hair,” or “really hurtful when I said you’ve never been a good mother,” or “really hurtful when I said I want to move out.” 

And here’s the funny part.  You might be wrong.  You might think it was about her hair, when all she cared about was you saying you might move. 

But even if you are wrong, your effort will show her that you cared.  That you thought about it.  That you were anything but the thoughtless, inconsiderate, stinker she was feeling you were.  And that instead, you were the angel she’d fallen in love with the moment you were born, but maturing into a caring, trustworthy adult. 

(And it’ll be even better if you’re right!)

So give that a try.  And even if you’re no better a mind-reader than I am, you’re still very likely to win her heart – and her voice – back!

The Very Best of Luck!


How to choose between a long-distance relationship and a new person

LK asks: I have a boyfriend and we just turned 5 months. It’s a long-distance relationship and we’ve never met. We are planning on meeting this holiday. We rarely talk during the school term because he has his phone taken away. Problem is I think I have started catching feelings for another guy who I talk to everyday. He likes me too. What should I do (N.B I am 16 years old)?? I am really confused.

Hi LK –

This is an issue we dogs have a lot of trouble grasping.  Now as you probably know, I have a human I love more than anything, who I call Handsome.  Sometimes, Handsome will leave me for a while – like over a week! – and I’ll stay with a friend.  So of course I don’t forget Handsome, I dream of him every night, but nothing keeps me from jumping on that friend, licking their face like crazy, and cuddling up to them at night.  It’s not that I’m not attached to Handsome; it’s just that he’s not there!  (And of course, if he didn’t want me to cuddle up to his friends, he wouldn’t leave me with them!)

So we pups have two problems understanding situations like yours.  Firstly, our brains can’t even comprehend having a committed “boyfriend-girlfriend” relationship with someone we’ve never even sniffed.  And secondly, we have trouble understanding why it would be bad for you to hang out with someone else who is close by.

I’m not saying you’re wrong; just that it’s hard for us to understand!

So with this long-distance guy, you’ve been a couple of sorts for five months?  And he hasn’t even been able to communicate on phone for a while?  Well it sure makes sense to me that you’d have gotten more interested in someone else, someone you’ve been able to talk with.

In fact, it’s hard for me to think your boyfriend wouldn’t understand if you chose the other guy over him, just because of the distance and lack of communication.

But if you’re not sure what you want, then I’d say to hold off.  Keep talking to this one boy, but don’t do anything you might regret until you have actually met the boyfriend. 

And then, I want you to do something very hard:

Continue reading

What to do when you’re stuck in an uninspiring job

Mayumii asks: I am 23 years old and currently employed in an insurance company, but still not stable on my career. I’m still looking for a job that where I think I’ll belong. Honestly, I still don’t know what are the things that I can do. I don’t know what is my strength, I am 3 years graduated yet I am not able to help my family on their needs. Sometimes I think of myself as very useless. I decided to live alone to be independent, but I am always asking my parents for assistance because of lack of money. All I want is just to have a stable job, but I don’t know what are the things that I can do. Sometimes I can’t understand myself.

Hi Mayumii –

I know this is going to sound odd, but your situation is extremely common.  In fact, I think most people who have lives where they get to choose careers (as opposed to, for example, people who grew up on farms, always knowing they’d work there, or people with governments who choose their jobs for them) don’t know by age 23 what they really want to do.

Or rather, they might know what they’d love to do, but have no way of achieving that right away.  Let’s say you wanted to make a living as a filmmaker.  Great!  Well, you’ve finished your university studies, and you can start making short films for YouTube, or to enter into film festivals, and writing screenplays… and none of those activities brings in any money at all.  Now if you keep doing it, you might find some success, and eventually become the next JJ Abrams.  But right now, you’re just in the struggle.

And what if you don’t even have that clear an idea of what you want?  What if you studied business, and you know you’d like to work in that area, but the place you work isn’t very inspiring, and you’re not sure what would be?

Okay.  Again, this is SOOOOO normal!

And there’s one solution: 

Continue reading