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HELP! My BF Won't Beef With Me
Dear Armchair Psychologist,I want your perspective on how to approach my relationship with my boyfriend of two years that has changed dramatically. What do I do when his negative lifestyle is affecting the life I've always had? When we met, we used to socially drink and eat whatever we wanted. This has all changed in the last year or so. On his watch, we have both become strict vegans and we can't drink alcohol. As of now, I hate my boring life. What should I do? I'm miserable.- I Miss My Old Life
Dear I Miss My Old Life,
I'm sorry to hear your fun, Sunday brunch mimosas have been substituted for dry, vegan bread. It's not clear what prompted your boyfriend to drastically change his lifestyle, but what is clear is that he's imposing his will on you. It is only natural to feel resentment when our decision making and lifestyle choices are controlled by someone other than ourselves. It is troubling that you have gone along with these rigid restrictions.
I suggest: 1) you have a serious conversation with him expressing your feelings on the matter 2) that you examine with a therapist if you have a history of dating controlling men and explore this trend (if that is indeed the case). Here's a list of signs that your partner is too controlling from Andrea Bohnies, PhD. If you find that you can check off many points on the list (or if your boyfriend doesn't relent), it's time to pause this relationship by taking care of yourself first and raise a glass to that!
- The Armchair Psychologist
HELP! Does My Dad Love Me?
Dear Armchair Psychologist,I just found my father. We have never spoken (that's more than 50 years). He was a deadbeat Dad and only 21 years old when my mother got pregnant. Time goes on and life gets in the way, which I understand, and he has expressed his guilt.When my beloved mother passed away, I began seeking some closer family, so I tracked him down. My mother and I spoke openly about my father, but the 70s was the pre-computer age and it was harder to find someone. He actually looked for six years but spelled my name wrong.I called him out of the blue three weeks ago and we have been talking every day since. We have a real connection it seems. I expected him to not want to talk and gave it a 1% chance that he would. When he was so open and said very loving things — I was blown away. We talk every day. Having said this, do I proceed with caution? He has told me that he loves me and thought of me every day of his adult life. I have forgiven him, but can someone love you without having known you?- A Cautious Son
Dear A Cautious Son,
What a heartwarming story to hear that you have found your father, whom you've never met or known, after 50 years. It must have been very hard for you to lose a parent, and it seems you have gained a new one in the process.
You say your father was a "deadbeat dad" but after 50 years it seems very possible your father is a changed man. He is making up for lost time by pouring his heart out and expressing his love to you, but you are not sure if you can trust him and whether it is possible for him to love you without knowing you.
In this article, Dr. Burton discusses the different types of love that exist, such as eros (sexual passion), philautia (self-love), etc. His list draws from Plato, Socrates, and other classical readings. One type of love described is "Storge" which is " a kind of philia pertaining to the love between parents and their children." It is true that parents often love their baby the minute they are pushed out of the womb (and even during the pregnancy) without knowing the baby at all. Similarly, your father's love could be the same, you are made of his flesh. There are probably many feelings you have developed over the years by not having a father in your life.
I suggest you move forward with a pace that makes you comfortable and that you also seek professional counseling to process any fears or trepidations you may have. Chances are this could be a wonderful new chapter in your life with lots of parental philia to look forward to!
- The Armchair Psychologist
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WRITTEN BYUbah Bulale