I am hoping you might help me with a peculiar personal problem. I apologize in advance if this is a bit vague. To begin with, I am your average 28-year-old fun-time party gal who is often overly drunk/brash, 'one of the guys,' sensitive to criticism/weirdo childhood and thus live a smaller life which I've overall been happy doing with great girlfriends of my own, cool hobbies, owning my own home, working a well-paying not particularly prestigious helping-people job that affords me lots of free time to do whatever I want. I definitely need therapy & a journal, which I plan to do, soon.
I've lived in a certain [...]
Let's start this off originally, to match the unique snowflake that I am: I'm an extremely socially handicapped lady, 25 years of age, with just a handful (maybe 3 at best) of friends, and in a lonely place in my life.
To paint a bit of background: I have always been very shy, introverted, and fucking terrible at connecting with others. I was comfortable with my alone-ness, though. I've always been a bit (of a lot) of a closet romantic, so I can't really remember any long period of time since the fourth grade when I didn't have a crush on someone. But mostly, those were either boys [...]
I'm at a point in my life (24 years and a month, to be exact) where I'm finally slipping out from my romantic ideas of the world and starting to accept hard facts. Things like preparing to be alone forever, me not giving a shit about impressing people who don't deserve my time, etc.
However, I'm in a funk right now that I can't figure out, which is horrendous because I'm a logical thinker who wants to solve every problem anyone has right away. Six months ago, I was living with my boyfriend at the time in the small, shitty college town where we went to school. He [...]
So, I was dating someone long distance (YES I KNOW). Though I thought it was going well, he ended it—and now I’m not sure if it’s good for me to be friends with him (YES I KNOW JUST HOLD ON).
I’m a 40-year-old gay guy who’s never dated anyone longer than 9 months. This year I finally felt ready to settle down (not immediately! this takes work!), though I know that may not be possible at this point. I’m smart and ambitious, but with some major problems I’m finally working on (sorting out issues from my college-era drug use, always had difficulty maintaining friendships). Though I’ve always made [...]
My question is a simple and boring one: How do I find love? And, more importantly, how to I cultivate self-esteem? I'm in my late 20's, and I tend to get into relationships with dudes that are only half interested in me, and then I badger them to death about their half-assed interest until the relationship slowly dies. What I want most, MOST, in the world is a happy family. Children that I feel joy with. A genuinely happy marriage that lasts until I kick the goddamn bucket. I grew up with very unhappy, miserable parents that immigrated to the states, and I don't even know what to look [...]
We all want confident children, but research indicates that effusive parental praise can backfire. In one study, 80% of kids describe their parents' compliments as "not really true," "overblown" or "completely full of shit." Does this mean we're doomed to raise a generation of children who doubt themselves? Not if we stop praising them unnecessarily. Instead, parents should give their children truly daunting challenges that actually do warrant a flood of praise. For example:
1. Teach your child to do the Heimlich maneuver. Then, pretend that you're choking on a chicken bone. When your child "saves" you, thank him profusely, through tears. Be sure to tell everyone in the [...]
I'm a 26 year-old woman living in a big city.
I've been in 3 serious relationships. The last one—the big one, the one that broke my heart and my soul and almost made me give up on love and all that junk—ended over a year ago. I'd been in love with him for about 2 years before we started dating. Once we did, it was a whirlwind of love and romantic weekends (we were long distance for most of the time). I felt that he was the one. I KNEW he was the one. He was smart and funny and honest with this biting pessimistic (and yet painfully accurate) [...]
My boyfriend's longtime friend, who is also my friend, is getting married to a woman we dislike. And by dislike, I mean, good Lord we think he's getting himself into a world of hurt and abuse, and we don't know the best way to address it to him.
Our friend is a caring, thoughtful, capable man in his early 30s. He's from a middle class American family, but he's far from home and not wealthy himself so we usually hang out in cheap dive bars and hole in the wall restaurants (until he met his fiancée). He's kind of shy and a little awkward around women. He can [...]
1. Birth: Anticlimactic. Suspense building for nine months, and for what? A dark, messy and not all that joyful resolution. And who really believes that the "Husband" would suddenly shift from indifferent, absent spouse to soothing, expectant dad? The introduction of the epidural minimized dramatic impact, and lowered the stakes significantly. From that point forward, I was disengaged. The emergency C-section twist held promise, but it was at once too gory and too detached. How is that even possible? The only thing that redeemed this train wreck was the baby (me!) who gave a heroic performance. Tough to pull that off when you're covered in white gunk.
2. First [...]
I am a 23-year-old queer girl who has spent the last yearish in a polyamorous relationship that recently turned long-distance. When we first started sleeping together both she and I were involved with other people, it was pretty casual, we were good friends who cared about each other and were attracted to each other, so we figured why not, right? Anyway, time went on and while we were still both seeing other people (she had a few regular sweeties in other cities, I was seeing one guy who turned out to be seriously allergic to his feelings, as you would say, and having some random one-night stands in [...]
When is it too soon for an ultimatum? What is a good sign to leave something that's showing complications?
Although it is early, I have been seeing this guy for around 5 weeks. He lives down the road from me (1 block) but we ironically met online.
He is a 21-year-old bachelor, a major player who has never had a real relationship, not to mention he has been with more girls than my fingers and toes, doubled. He is a guy living with guys who has moved out of home less than 12 months ago. He is extremely passionate about his job, to the point it [...]
My ex and I broke up nearly a year ago, after five years together. It was mutual, yet for different reasons: he was depressed with and questioning his life choices, which our relationship was tied to (living a vagabond life, etc.). I realized that I had been questioning our relationship, and my lack of desire for him, for some time; I was finally offered a way out. I’m not sure if I would have gone through with the break-up if it wasn’t something he wanted as well. It was sad but amicable, and we remained in intermittent contact.
Several months later, he came to me and said he [...]
I’m part of a three-way best friendship between two ladies who complete me. B is a fastidious, engaging, honest lunatic and L is a messy, cuddly, gregarious, drunken, motherly lunatic. I’m a mix of the two maybe? (Definitely also a lunatic.) We fit together and have for the past 15 years. Over those years we’ve traded boyfriends, towns, apartments, clothes; we’ve stayed up countless nights together; we’ve seen each other through petty and epic break-ups. I mean, we were all in our 20s together: it’s been crazy. B & L are my sisters.
Currently, I’m being driven a little crazy by a situation with B that I can’t seem [...]
I'm a 32-year-old single woman. I love my life—my friends, my job, the city in which I live. I have a creative outlet and I exercise and I have a lot of passion for living. But inside I have a problem with bitterness. I feel bitter every single day. I can't stop thinking about the men who have hurt me, and I think about at least two or three of them every day (not always the same ones), sometimes during the day, but mostly at night when I'm trying to fall asleep. I think about when things were good, and then how they hurt me, and I wonder [...]
Over the past several years, my best friend and I have remained close through some huge life changes. I made the decision to get a divorce from my abusive spouse and she was right there with me, offering me a place to stay and moral support. She experienced an unplanned but welcome pregnancy which resulted in the birth of her first child. She also got engaged to the love of her life. I am now heavily involved in plans for her wedding. I love her dearly. However, there is one major problem with our relationship.
Both her and her new fiancée are active members of an international Multi-level [...]
I’m in my mid-20s, two years out of school, with a seemingly dreamy job at big fancy news organization, but I feel so stuck. I feel like a hamster spinning my wheel and going nowhere. I can’t figure out if this is a normal early-20s feeling.
For our entire lives up until we enter The Real World, we have classes and semesters: variety. Every couple months you have something new to work on, a new group of people to be around. But in The Real World, you have a job and you do it for years, the same thing day in and day out. And just two years [...]
I'm 24 and female. I graduated last year and moved to New York City and I'm hopelessly single with no real friends. I know, pretty original. I've been here for a year, and I work at a great start-up and I feel suicidal. I'm also an alcoholic.
I feel so insecure that no one likes me. I'm lucky to work at a great company with incredibly smart people. I do customer service, and it's an investment company, so the questions aren't always super easy, but I entered the position feeling very, very stupid compared to my coworkers. Six months in, I still feel insignificant and nervous around my [...]
Appearing here Wednesdays, Turning The Screw provides existential crisis counseling for the faint of heart. Because you can't always do who you want.
I am catnip for guys with girlfriends. Six times a guy I really felt a connection with has informed me that he has a girlfriend after we've flirted/kissed/went on incredible dates, etc. Last weekend, I met Number 6 through a friend at a music festival. We totally bonded, hung out casually all night, flirted while he walked me home and then he kissed me. Like, a "holy shit I feel like a damn woman" kiss. A feel it to your toes kiss. And [...]
Is it possible for someone to have commitmentphobia while simultaneously professing enthusiasm for commitment—all while not doing much about commitment, either way?
Let me explain. For the past year and a half I've been dating a man in his early 40s. I am in my mid-30s. Most of our friends are married, cohabitating, have kids, have houses. You know the drill. I have never pushed on these issues, mostly because I don't feel the need: I have a career I like, friends and family and hobbies I love, a nice place to live, the ability to pay my own bills. My life is full and rich, and [...]
I’m a woman who will soon be 30. I am terrified of watching my physical beauty deteriorate over the next decade.
I’m conventionally attractive. I don’t believe that being pretty translates to any tangible social power, but I do get positive attention from people, which I enjoy. I love being gazed at. I don’t mean street harassment or anything like that, but the way that people (of all genders) get these dreamy, enraptured looks on their faces when they see me. I think beauty has some magical quality to it, and it makes me feel alive. When I look at myself, too, I sometimes get the same sensation [...]