Meat is Murder

Q: After seeing a recent selfie of yours in which you hashtagged “vegan” this question goes out to you and people in general. Say you’re the vegan/animal loving person and I’m a bumbling meat eater. Is that too strong of a quality for you to consider a dating or liking a person? Or is there enough good things in a person that you can live with it?

A: It is definitely a personal decision. I find it really attractive when someone is compassionate and loving towards animals. That said, if I meet a meat eater and he has incredible qualities, that’s a decision I have to make on a case-by-case basis. And if we date, I can’t help talking about how poorly we treat animals. Hopefully I do it in a tactful way and the person respects my viewpoint, and I’ll try and respect theirs, too. I sure wish everyone was an animal fanatic like me. It sure would make the dating world easier to navigate for EVERYONE! :)

Maybe if you found a vegan you really liked you would change lickety split, and never miss meat again. Anything can happen, and this idea isn’t so crazy…

Song Recommendation: Meat is Murder by The Smiths

Fears Be Gone!

Q: I’m 24 and I have feelings for a man who is 38. He has the most positive energy and the ability to light up a room and make everyone in it feel better. I haven’t approached him about these feelings because I’m scared. First of all (and probably most of all), I can’t imagine he’d be interested in me. I still feel like a kid learning to walk on my adult legs. I barely understand how to do my taxes. I’m still on my parents’ health insurance. He’s got a sense of purpose, and security, and a grounded reality. And then I’m also scared what it’d mean if he were interested in me. Would that point to some kind of emotional regression or midlife crisis? It’s like I’m damning myself either way.

I know my fears are somewhat sensible but I really like him and I think that I’m using rational excuses to talk myself out of it.

Am I crazy? Is age just a number? And if it is, how do I get over these fears that are holding me back?

A: I agree with you that you’re talking yourself out of it. Something to consider: your age difference is as innocuous as it can be. I don’t think 24 and 38 are really that different. Sure, there are some things you have to work out in your life, so you feel like a “fully-realized adult” (snooze!) but these aren’t necessarily deal-breakers. Here’s a good example: my parents have been together for 40+ years and they’re 15 years apart. They met right around your ages. It was nbd.
I would almost be more scared for him, because you’re young and more likely to leave him in the future., for many possible reasons. (Not to fast forward in a doomy gloomy way.) Also, there’s a chance he hasn’t shown interest in you because he’s intimidated by the age difference too!
Really, we need to see if there’s a connection between you two. A lot of things could be amiss, but that is always a risk when getting to know someone. The only thing to do now is ask him out! Or let it simmer a little bit longer until you can get a read on if he’s crushing on you, too.
Good luck!!

Song Recommendation: My Autumn Done Come by Lee Hazlewood

My Boyf Doesn’t Like to Party

Q: My boyfriend doesn’t like parties and refuses to go with me. It is important to me that we go places together but whenever the plan involves a group of people, he backs out last minute. What should I do?

A: Hi! I wish I had a bit more info, such as, if this has always been his behavior or if this is a sudden change in him. Alas, such is the nature of an advice column. You can ask but I can’t ask back.

I want you to not agonize over anything unless it’s warranted, so I’ll start by saying that every couple has points of difference that cause frustration. One must be patient and gentle when the other person is simply being him/herself. So, the question is, is he simply being himself, or do you think there’s a deeper motive to his being antisocial? I wouldn’t put it past anyone to alter their behavior to send a message, teach a lesson, regain power, or some other such nonsense.

Assuming he’s just antisocial and there’s nothing weird going on, I’d suggest a agreement in which he does a little of ‘this’ for you, and you do a little of ‘that’ in return. Maybe he can go to events that are the least offensive to him- where there will be a handful of people, as opposed to, say, a RAVE!

Heavens no, not a rave. Never a rave. ; )

The truth of the matter is, he might never go to parties with you. Maybe it’ll take years of therapy to undo his agoraphobia, and who has that kind of money, anyway?

In the end, it’s a question of whether you are too different, or can you work around this obstacle. Maybe you just gotta love your hermit and let him be.

Good luck!

Song Recommendation: I Wanna Dance With Somebody by Whitney Houston


Best Friend Crush

Q: Hi! I’m in love with one of my best friends, we’ve known each other now for more than a year, and at first he was just my best friend but now I miss him literally e.v.e.r.y day, even if I’ve seen him, and I want to be with him but I don’t want to be pushy or hopeless towards him and I have no idea if he feels sh** for me, and he has a light form of autism but I don’t know if that affects his feelings. What can I do?

A: Hello! This is a very sweet story, one that deserves some delicate attention. It’s funny because I recently answered a similar question about guy/girl friendships. It’s almost inevitable that one or both parties will develop more-than-friendship feelings. A recipe for dilemmas.

In my experience, it’s best to express these feelings sooner than later, lest you become gooey and awkward in their presence (and though blushing and fidgeting can be cute, it isn’t exactly the way to someone’s heart.) Just because you express your feelings doesn’t mean you’re pushy and hopeless. It’s all in the delivery.

Since you’ve acknowledged that his light autism could potentially affect his feelings, I’d say that it’s better to enter the conversation expecting less, in terms of his reaction. I’d simply tell him that your friendship has led to deeper feelings on your part, and now he can do what he will with that information. Be open to giving him space and time so he can ruminate over the news. Maybe even give him the power to contact you when he’s ready. The point is to be as casual-yet-honest as possible.

The harsh reality is that you don’t have complete control the moment you tell him how you feel. But that’s life. Hopefully he returns your feelings with valiant declarations of love, but also be prepared for that not to happen. There will be more men out there- that much I can promise!!

I’m definitely crossing my fingers and toes for you! Good luck!

Song Recommendation: The Makings of You by Curtis Mayfield

Unrequited Love

Q: Hello! I loved him. He did not love me, at least not romantically. I thought it would end when I got fed up with the lack of commitment (no “relationship,” tho we were monogamous), but in the end he got interested in another woman and tried to hide it. How do I stop comparing myself to the new woman? It’s so destructive to believe I’m inferior to a stranger! I had a lot of doubts about him and the pain he caused, but all I can feel right now is rejected. Thanks! xo

A: Hi, I’m sorry to hear that this happened. I think some time and extremely logical thinking can help to heal this wound.

In terms of why we leave each other, there are so many awful reasons, it’s not very fun to delve into it, but the first thing to consider is the CHEMISTRY. This elusive word is thrown around willy nilly to be sure, but it’s a real thing! You said yourself that you had doubts about him! With a solid strength of mind, we could simply write him off as “totally not the right fit.”

But I know it’s not that easy to exorcise hurt feelings. You could also consider: The fact that everyone’s expectations are too high these days. Then there’s the idea of “too muchness” which describes the feeling of having infinite choices.Then there’s the fact that all this is adding up to people being more ‘existentially’ than in the past. Yes, that’s my term. Kierkegaard said that anxiety doesn’t stem from not having what you want, but in fact, the opposite. Having too many choices is causing us to become depressed.

All this is to say, it was never about YOU being inferior to that woman. It was about your chemistry with him. And whatever was going on with him emotionally at the time. And whatever actions he made or words he said that set off something in you that wasn’t your best self. Still, this is all chemistry. You’re doing just fine. You’re trying your best. But we can’t always rely on others to do the same, and this is sad, but true. Listen to Dr. Suess when he says, “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”

Song Recommendation: I Used to Love Him by Lauryn Hill feat. Mary J. Blige