Life Advice


Health & Spirit

Move-in stress makes him second-guess the relationship

Carolyn Hax on

In a relationship, that is the way you keep your priorities and sense of self from being swamped by your partner's -- any partner's.

If the price of holding the line where necessary is a breakup or, worse, a soul-sucking, peace-of-mind killing, good-time erasing, endlessly recurring argument, then that's your indication that you two don't fit, because you aren't able to give each other what you need while getting your own needs met.

Note, while I don't endorse her "pushing" and would tell her so if she were the one writing to me, none of this is about her maturity or trustworthiness in forging a compromise. Each of us is the author, ultimately, of any arrangement we agree to just by virtue of agreeing to it.

So if you've found yourself caught in a rush to move against your will, then, yes, that could be a sign you shouldn't be "in this relationship at all" -- not because of your girlfriend herself, per se, but because you're not (yet?) willing or able to stand up for what you need and invite the consequences, whatever they may be.

Hi, Ms. Hax:

How best to respond graciously in a social setting to someone who makes (often disparaging) comments, but puts them forth as other people's words? And I believe they are in fact the other people's comments. When I show, for example, how silly the comment is, she then says how "they said that," not her, and so she gets to not take ownership for the remark. I believe, therefore, she doesn't learn from what I illustrated.

-- S.

Easy rejoinder: "Yes, but you chose to repeat it." A proper defense of those she disparages.

Where there is no harm, just silliness, it can be liberating to release oneself of the obligation to educate people in a social setting. A change of subject and/or conversation partner can be the most gracious response of all.


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