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Agony Aunt helps you to deal with relationship problems

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Aftermath of heartbreak

I am a 19-year-old female, currently in my second year at a reputed university. My best friend in college who is also my roommate has been displaying some erratic behaviour recently. She was recently rejected by a guy she really liked and this has led her to be depressed. Due to this she has been drinking excessively and making sexual advances towards me, despite me telling her that I am not interested, this has happened several times and she has also confessed that she loves me. I always make sure I put her to bed when she is so drunk. However, the morning after these events usually occur, she claims to not remember what happened or have blacked out, before I can bring it up and confront her.  She is my best friend and I care about her a lot but I am concerned for her mental health and subsequently mine too, as her actions are borderline abusive. Please tell me how I should deal with this situation.

Ans: Your personal safety is important in this scenario as your mental health is getting affected in the process. Intervention of professional help is important as she is being abusive towards you and somewhere misusing the friendship. Her parents can be involved at this stage since her drinking habits may pose a danger in the long run. You can request for a change of accommodation in case of things worsening further. Even if she claims not to remember at least state your discomfort so that she realises that things do happen when she is drunk and forgetfulness on her part can’t undo certain things she says or does


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Bitter ‘time’ tales

I am a 25-year-old female, and I have been in a long-distance relationship for the past two and a half years. My partner is the most considerate, loving and kind person I know. He has faced depression for the past few years , and at the beginning of our relationship, I felt like I helped him feel better as I spent all my time talking to him over the phone and being in contact with him 24/7, however over the course of time, as I got busier with academic work, I had lesser time to spend with him over the phone or via texting, I still talk to him every day but I find that he is upset and feels lonely now that I am unable to spend all my time with him. As a result, I feel he is resentful towards me at times, and absolutely hates it when I spend time with my friends, or take a trip with them, which in turn makes me feel guilty and sad. We have talked about these issues and I have tried to arrive at a balance in our relationship, by compromising some of the things I like to do that upset him, however, nothing seems to make him feel better. Please tell me what I can do to placate him and at the same time not feel sad myself.

Ans: The blurring of roles in this relationship i.e. you are being his girlfriend and his counsellor is somewhere causing a conflict in your boyfriend as well. It is important to draw certain lines and assume the role of a girlfriend in the relationship rather than being there for him as a constant support when he is down or feels low. This might lead to dependency which may not be healthy and you are already experiencing the strain by feeling guilty if you spend time by yourself or for yourself. You can suggest for him to meet a professional to help him deal with his depression and support him throughout the process. This helps you both live independent lives while sharing a comfortable interdependent relationship.

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Status matters

I am a 16-year-old girl and I study at an international school. We all come from affluent backgrounds and don’t really have a limit on our spending. There is so much pressure at school with my peers to show off how much wealth you have and how cool you are. My classmates spend money on the ridiculous things like gold plated bags, luxury ice cubes and branded stationary. My parents are very rich but have always made sure that my sister and I know our limit and don’t indulge our excesses. I agree wholeheartedly with them when it comes to wasteful spending on such items. But my peers don’t see it that way and think that I am ‘weird’ for having such an ideology. My mind is always being pulled in 2 different directions- the rational part will tell me not to buy it and the other one that wants approval will make sure I buy it. Please help me deal with this as I don’t know what to do.

Ans: The avoid-approach conflict might often result in you being disappointed with your choice in the end. Being under peer pressure and buying things you don’t like might just add on to the guilt. Thus, rather than being a follower of what your friends do with their parent’s money, you may initiate to start a trend of spending wisely by maybe starting a drive for the street animals or creating awareness programs for various issues. These are just a few activities to name. In order to show your social standing, you need not buy high bags or phones, rather give the validation to yourself than being dependent on others for doing so. At the same time don’t deprive yourself of certain essential things just because they are expensive and you end up feeling guilty.