Q: “How do I break up with someone? I don’t want to hurt his feelings, but it just isn’t working. What’s the best way to approach him?” – M.J.
A: It can be hard to recognize when something isn’t meant to last. If you’re incompatible, you’re incompatible. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s simply a matter of moving on so that you each can find someone who is right for you. Keep this in mind when you think about how you’ll break up with him. If it’s something he did or a fight you had, express your concerns and see if it is fixable, if you want to make it work. If you don’t, don’t lead the poor boy on. It’s best to calmly explain what’s going on and what you’re feeling – but don’t berate him. Use statements that begin with “I” like “I feel…” instead of directing your grievances toward him. This is the best way to prevent any argument and to let him know what’s in your head. Please, please, please don’t break up with someone over text! It may be one of the easiest and most guilt-free ways to end something, but you owe it to the person you’ve been spending your time with to have a face-to-face conversation. Reassure them that it isn’t something they’ve done and that they are enough for someone. It will be hard, and it will feel impossible to summon up the courage to tell him these things. Think about how you will feel afterwards; you both now have the freedom to explore other things and find the person that is perfect for them. It doesn’t have to be a sad occasion. I wish you the best of luck!
Q: “My boyfriend is always late to get ready. He is making us late to things that are important to me, and it’s leading to a fight. How do I get him to treat my time more respectfully?”
A: Your boyfriend should try to understand what is important to you. If you hate being late, he should respect that. If you have plans after doing something with him, he should respect that as well. Your time is as important as his. Tell him that it is important to you that he is ready to leave the house when it’s time to do so because you want to be on time and you want to follow through with your plans. His lateness prevents you from doing things that you want to do and have planned to do and even disrupts promises you’ve made to others. You shouldn’t have to miss out on things just because he played video games for too long! Have a calm conversation with him that emphasizes how you feel when you’re behind schedule. I hope that he starts taking your time more seriously.
Q: “How do I know when my child is ready to have a pet?” – Hannah
A: You know your child better than anyone else. Are they responsible? Do they show empathy and compassion? Do they have time to take care of another living thing? Test your kid with small things, like chores or cleaning without complaint. Are they on top of their schoolwork? If they have the time to take care of it and the predisposition to love it, give it a shot! If they are too busy with extracurriculars, you may be the one to pick up any slack. Are you prepared for that? I’d say, if they show you that they deserve it and will work hard to give the pet a happy life, they’re ready. Make sure they truly understand that it is a responsibility. Kids will promise to take care of it and then neglect the pet once they finally get it. The excitement can wear off quickly. Start small and observe. Here’s to hoping your child is ready to form a loving and caring relationship with an animal because it is an invaluable thing and will bring them much happiness if done correctly!