Dear Lisi: I met a great guy about a year ago and we’ve had a great love affair. We’ve travelled together, spent countless hours together, and talked about our future. But something has changed and I’m just not feeling it any more.
Besides the fact that he’s going to be crushed, I’m having trouble walking away…. because I love his dog. That’s how we first met. He was walking down the street and I locked eyes with his dog. We just connected.
At first my boyfriend and I joked that his dog was his wing man and found me for him. I believed it because our relationship was so strong. But I’m done — I’m no longer in love with this man.
How do I break up with his dog?
I have to admit, as a dog owner and lover, that this is tricky. But you have to do what is right for you. If you’re no longer in love with your boyfriend, and you don’t see the relationship going anywhere, you must end it. For his sake.
Be strong because I suggest you say goodbye in person, to both him and his dog. He knows how much you love his dog, so in his heart he’ll know that this is hard for you, too. But he may be surprised, angry and hurt. So don’t mention how much you’re going to miss the dog. That will just pour salt in his wound.
Depending on his reaction to being dumped, give him some time. Then reach out gently to ask how both he and the dog are doing. Ask if you can take the dog for a walk, or even a sleepover. He may be angry at first, but in time, you may be able to maintain your relationship with his pup.
Don’t be surprised if he is too hurt to allow it, though.
Dear Lisi: A friend of my daughter’s has started vaping. My daughter is a competitive dancer and would never vape. She eats healthy, feels strongly about good sleep habits, and cares about her body.
She confided in me because she doesn’t know how to be around this friend anymore. She wants nothing to do with the vape culture and feels it’s only a matter of time before her friend starts smoking weed and drinking.
How can I help my daughter? And how can I help her friend?
Thank your daughter for trusting you with this information, and for coming to you with this problem. It’s not up to you to tell the friend’s parents what’s going on – unless you’re extremely close friends and would expect the same from them.
Help your daughter by continuing the conversation. If it’s abundantly clear that she has zero interest or curiosity, then shift focus. No need repeating the obvious just to parent. Focus on strategies to help her navigate the inevitable, i.e., finding herself with that friend when that friend is partaking in substances.
If their friendship is strong, and they’re both mature enough, your daughter should be able to tell her friend how she feels about what she’s doing. Not to judge her but rather to say, “it’s not my thing; please don’t do it when I’m around.”
If that’s not possible, your daughter is just going to have to avoid spending time with her friend while the latter is experimenting. Their friendship may or may not last.
FEEDBACK regarding the couple who are fighting more than usual (March 23):
Reader – “This couple needs a date night! They need to reconnect outside of their house, which doubles as their home office. There are no lines between work and home, professional hours and non-working hours. They are in a rut.
“Get out of the house, change the environment, be a couple.”
FEEDBACK Regarding the woman who met a man online who proceeded to dismiss her volunteer work as unimportant (March 23):
Reader – “I am of similar age to this mother and have had a very similar experience. But this is just called dating.
“The whole point of dating is for two people to get to know each other. Totally a path of discovery. At some points you think highly of the person, and then your view plummets. This is just the dance of dating.
“There is definitely no need to be embarrassed. I would actually speak openly about her experiences and discoveries with her friends. I feel it could have a positive outcome, as her friends and family know that she is a woman who will not compromise her strong beliefs.
“She needs to just turn the page and move on.”