For years now, I have loved your advice on “dumping” someone and/or “breaking up” with someone, but what’s the difference?
The Differences, Palm Springs, CA
Hello The Differences,
Well, when someone is kind and uses integrity, patience and support to dissolve a romantic interest then that (not so bad) man is “breaking up” with you. But when he suddenly a) stops communicating whatsoever, b) just announces during one nor’easter that “it’s over” or c) tries to slip away without some solid explanation, then that monster is “dumping you.” And, darling, the only time dumping you is okay is if you’re stalking him or he has desperately tried to breakup with you unsuccessfully. And then he may also need 9-1-1!
My boyfriend has constant emotional problems, and I’m not always in the mood to listen. Am I unkind for not wanting to play his “therapist” all the time?
Tired Eardrums, New Haven, CT
Dear Tired Eardrums,
While it’s nice and important to listen to someone’s problems, it’s equally as important to keep good boundaries, practical time limits and to keep your own needs in mind. Having your ears held prisoner is not an absolute requirement for a healthy relationship but, unfortunately, it is a part of one. So, sweetie, let your boyfriend know you’re not always in the mood and not a trained psychotherapist. And if he doesn’t get his act together soon, he’ll be buying you a therapeutic getaway vacation from him! (Be sure to maintain healthy boundaries and stand your ground when your boyfriend is long-winded with dumping his problems on you. See my cartoon for tips!)
After dating someone for a few weeks, he finally told me he has HIV. We haven’t had sex yet, but I’m confused as to how to deal with this.
Health Concerns, Sacramento, CA
First, don’t get paranoid, get practical. Second, seek support about dating someone with HIV. Third, learn about the study of “undetectable HIV,” condom use, and the use of PreP. And, lastly, dating someone with any disease is definitely different emotionally and spiritually than dating someone without one. So, pumpkin, if you choose to stay with him, it may prove to be more enlightening and adventurous and teach you more about love and life than you could’ve ever imagined! Good Luck.
I am going to meet my girlfriend’s parents for the first time. Any advice?
Parent Trap, Honolulu, HI
Dear Parent Trap,
Do I have any advice on meeting someone’s parents? Does Victoria’s Secret sell lingerie? Baby, here are:
Trinity’s Polite Tips For Meeting Someone’s Parents For The First Time
1. Don’t wear too much make-up, dress too sexy or dress in street clothing and never look like you’re a “bum” or like you just don’t care.
2. Let them interview you! Don’t (appear to) interview them.
3. As for your tattoos, huge religious jewelry or your plunging neckline, why not cover it up just for this first meeting.
4. So you like to eat with your hands and not act all proper or “well trained.” Well…not tonight, honey!
5. Now I know you have deep political and social ideals, but just this once, can you tone down the Ani DiFranco/Harvey Feirstein snappy comebacks?
6. If you’re lacto/carnivorous intolerant who’s allergic to everything outside Whole Foods then… don’t meet them for dinner, please!
7. Always find things to compliment! Never suggest how anyone should cook, clean, decorate or dress better, especially the first time you meet them!
8. Try not to be too helpful, too polite, too talkative or too affectionate! And never have too many drinks!
9. But do feel free to be yourself, especially when you’re on your best behavior!
10. Lastly, it’s easy to feel defensive when you’re being interrogated, but it’s their baby you want to take away from them, so be very understanding!
info: With a Masters of Divinity, Reverend Trinity hosted “Spiritually Speaking,” a weekly radio drama performed globally, and is now minister of sponsor, WIG: Wild Inspirational Gatherings, wigministries.org. Learn more at telltrinity.com.