Blog | advice
- Posted on 04/23/2010 by Mary
This week's advice-seeker says:
"Well, me and my boyfriend have been together for seven months and he's great and everything. It's just that he has a vice that highly concerns me. He smokes cigarettes, and it bothers me.
I just don't know how to tell him to stop I'm afraid he will get upset and ruin our relationship. It's taken a huge toll on our relationship because my parents don't want me to be with him due to that issue. And they are also afraid that I will smoke cigarettes as well, but I'm totally against it so that will never happen.
So the question is how can I tell my boyfriend to stop excessively smoking cigarettes??"
And Sam Earle (K.C. on Degrassi) says...
"A very tricky dilemma, this one's interesting. First of all, I think we can easily agree that even one cigarette is one too many. Without trying to sound insensitive, it is, without question, a downright dirty habit that turns your lungs to swampy mush and that threatens to reduce a smoker to a familiar lump of ash, often at a tragically young age and after much suffering. I think that just about all of us have (or will eventually have) witnessed this first-hand, in something like the death of a family member for example. But the severity of smoking is old news, and so I'm glad you've already made the strong and crucial choice to keep your hands off the cancer sticks.
Yet despite the striking and indisputable nastiness of cigarettes, and no matter how many passionate anti-smoking class projects we do in elementary school, people seem to slip up once they hit their teens.
In fact, somewhere around 90% of smokers start before the age of eighteen. Since I just happen to be a teenager (fancy that!), I've always been inevitably surrounded by this phenomenon. Even one of my closest friends way back from grade one (You guys always roast the way I say that!... Elementary level freshman?) found himself deep in a puddle of smoke a year or two ago. There were definitely times when I asked myself how I could get him to quit - it's a reflex equivalent to the urge to pull a friend off a train track if a beast of a freight train were coming at them (in this case, at an excruciating speed of one mile per hour). I'd love to say that I found a perfect solution, or even any solution at all - if that were the case I'd transcribe it to one of those fantastic tube-shaped wizard scrolls, tie it up with a bow and send it to you by Easter pigeon. However, while my concern might have been appreciated at some remote level, or at least acknowledged (and don't underestimate the importance of the simple expression of this concern!), ultimately, it was his choice to drop the habit. He had the idea, he chose to execute it, he persevered in order to do so. Unfortunately, this was a couple years and a couple weeks in the hospital later, but what's important here is that he's arrived now at a state of mind and state of being far better and more stable than where he was before.
But I digress. When teenagers smoke, it's often a regrettable part of the usual ritual of adolescent self-discovery, an extreme side effect of insecurities and uncertain introspection, as I feel it was for several of my friends. It's understandable then why so many teens would push to the side everything they've been taught about smoking and any opinions they may have developed about it, in favor of personal experimentation: the focal point of young adulthood seems to be the creation of an identity. We are torn between conflicting internal forces: the person our parents and society have raised us to become, and the individual we hope to create independently. If we're clever, we'll find the parallels between these two selves and make reasonable compromises, synthesizing the two in order to determine who we are. Now that's a hefty task, and it doesn't happen overnight. It happens subtly over long stretches of time and life experience. I'm hoping that your boyfriend is still wobbling about in the realm of his identity. Then, the bad habit can become a learning experience; he just needs to accept the lesson it has brought to him and face reality head-on.
Open up to your boyfriend on the subject. Most importantly though, give him an opportunity to open up to you. Try discussing his problem, and don't be afraid to push him to quit.
Hopefully, your discourse will be productive, and he'll be able to move onwards and upwards. If so, then you'll have both grown as individuals and likely as a couple.
Eventually, he'll have to decide if he's a smoker for life or if he's not. If he is, then he has used this decision to define himself as a person, and he may very well be the wrong person for you in the long term. Remind yourself that you'll never be able to change who he is, but you definitely have the power to drop that sucka like a hot potato if he's not the right guy (seriously, if he actually gets "upset" when you confront him - PFFF!!!! - then the relationship was meant to be ruined; you have every right to communicate with your boyfriend!).
Go get'em! And just make sure that you start up the dialogue ASAP - life is short, and communication is your first step on the way to living it to the fullest."
- Posted on 04/18/2010 by Mary
This week's advice-seeker says:
"i fell for this guy, and he ended up moving. his best friend was my best friend. my best friend was there for me when i was going through all of it and we started dating. now we've been dating for ten months and i love him. BUT, the guy i fell for still sends me texts telling me how much it sucks that we can't be together and we talk about it all the time. i found out he's moving back, and even though i love my boyfriend, i never got to be with the guy that i fell for and i still feel for him so much. i don't know what to do. help."
And Miriam McDonald (Emma on Degrassi) says...
"Two guys, one girl... Uh oh!
You're certainly not alone -- I think at some point almost everyone has felt a little conflicted when it comes to this kind of stuff. But here's my completely un-expert opinion ;)
You say you have a boyfriend who you love. It sounds as if your relationship with your current boyfriend has been great, so please don't let the fact that this other guy is moving back to mess up what you have!
The mystery of what it could be like with guy #2 is intriguing I'm sure, but love triangles are dangerous. If you keep up the text messaging, etc. with guy #2, it's only going to make it harder for you, so I think you should cut that off! Someone is bound to get hurt unless you are clear with both guys on where you stand.
If you focus too much on what could be, you may lose sight of what you have! I think the best thing for you to do is focus on how great your boyfriend has been for the past 10 months and try and put this other guy out of your mind for the moment... as hard as it may be!
I hope this is helpful!
All the best,
PS: If you have an advice question you want answered in the blog, let me know. We might pick your question to send to a Degrassi star!
- Posted on 04/06/2010 by Mary
This week's advice-seeker says:
So me and my guy friend are really close, and of course everyone thinks that there's "something going on between us," but I really haven't thought much of it. I usually just brush it off, but last night I had a dream about us in a relationship. I'm still a bit freaked out by it and I don't know if my subconscious is trying to tell me something. I mean I haven't really thought about it, but we're so much alike that we would be a great match and since were already so close we don't have any of those awkward pauses... ever. Now a part of me really thinks that we could work, but the other half is a bit cautious about it.
Now my feelings for him are mixed . I'm not quite sure if I should tell him though because we talk about everything and he has vented to me about how he hates girls chasing after him and every girl he talks to ends up liking him and that I am the only one who hasn't, and he totally appreciates it. Now I'm stuck with the dilemma of telling him and he may freak out and we would lose our friendship. Or tell him how I really feel, get it off my chest, and possibly have a chance for a new relationship.
I can't make up my mind, what should i do?"
And Ray says...
"Hey, that's a tough spot for sure. I'll preface my response with the fact that I think I'm a sadist, and am probably not qualified to offer the advice or answer that you'll want to hear, but if after reading my disclaimer you still want my two cents, then I hope this helps?
After reading your question, I feel like you're confused about how you feel for your guy friend. I'd say first off: figure out how you feel internally and then go honestly from there. Discover how you alone feel. Disregard what your friends may think could be a 'cute' couple, and disregard your dream; as a psychology student I've learned that we really know nothing about our dreams and whether or not they have any implications in R.L. so don't put too much weight on this one. Sounds like your mind and heart are playing tricks on you. If at the end of the day however, you feel like you do have feelings for him, then tell him. - Yeah, he might freak. And that could suck. But maybe he won't, you said yourself you two have a good friendship? Perhaps he'll feel the same way and you could go further? And even if he doesn't want to, if the friendship is indeed strong, then this situation shouldn't break it.
I had a similar experience in grade ten. I went out with my best friend, thinking that it would be swell. After all, she used to make me cookie dough, and then we'd eat it together in class. Things started falling apart though. We broke up, but remained best friends (with some rough patches, of course). We were better as friends than as a couple . All this back story to say that even if you can't have the romantic relationship your friendship shouldn't be lost, so why not go for it? - You've got nothing to lose? But at the same time, being in a relationship isn't the be all and end all of everything, although it seems like kids our age, 'Alli' for example, are transfixed on the idea of a relationship and that it will make their lives complete. You don't have to fall for it too though. - But I'm probably just bitter or something?
I guess you gotta figure it out on your own. I'd start off with discovering what you actually feel though, not what your friends, your dreams, or society tells you? Hope I helped.