Q: My mother cannot stop pestering me and my partner to have kids. It’s nonstop, verging on demanding! We’re not totally against it, but it wasn’t on our “must do” list. She’s guilting us because I’m her only child and therefore her only means of becoming a grandmother. How do I get her to back off without hurting her?
Tyler D. in Bridgeport, CT
A: You can’t. It’s gonna hurt her. And you need to do it. When you do, be composed and very clear that 1) it’s your life, not hers; 2) having a child to please another person is a disaster in blue bootees; and 3) if she wanted grandkids, she shoulda had more of her own kids to increase the odds of producing a breeder. Maybe not in those words, but you get the point. Then, when she guilts you again (because she will), do NOT rise to the bait. She will up the stakes, use emotional blackmail and make threats—not because she’s evil, but because it’s what humans in unhealthy relationships do. If her relationship with you were healthy, she’d know her jones for grandkids is all about her, not you. But it isn’t and she doesn’t, so be prepared to have your buttons pushed—a lot—but DO NOT ENGAGE. Remain calm but firm. Eventually she’ll give up. And if not, eventually she’ll die. Either way, problem solved, happy Valentine’s Day. Seriously, if you have a kid, make sure it’s your decision, not just for your sake, but for the sake of the child.
Q: I’m 44, very overweight, and have only been “out” for the last year and a half. I met a wonderful man 18 months ago who was into obese men. When we were together, he treated me with such love and compassion that I fell in love with him—my first time being in love. When apart, I hardly heard from him. He’d hardly ever return a text message or e-mail. A month would go by before I’d hear from him again and we could be together. After four months of this, I learned he had a steady boyfriend but played on the side with obese guys. I wrote a five-page letter telling him how I felt about him, and he abruptly told me goodbye. I fell apart, to the point that I attempted to take my own life. Since then I’ve lost over 200 pounds but have another 130 to go before I’m considered okay for what the gay community deems “normal.” I still can’t stop thinking about him or missing him. I’ve not dated anyone since him, although truth be told, I’ve never really dated at all. I’ve tried putting myself out there only to find that I am not what the gay community is accepting of. I’m not rich or thin, so I don’t fit into the stereotypical mold that the gay community accepts. I’ve immersed myself in church, volunteering at gay events and even tried Match.com, only to be rejected time after time. How do I stop all this pain and loneliness? How do I stop thinking about the man I fell in love with, who I continue to miss so much? I realize he was only into self-gratification and probably never cared one iota about me, but he made me feel so loved when we were together, and I miss that feeling; I miss being with him. How do I move forward?
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Sincerely, A very lonely guy
A: I can’t solve your problems, but I can point you in some helpful directions. No matter what size you are or how you look, as long as you try to please or conform to what others want you to be (or what you perceive they want), you’ll be unhappy because whatever you do will never be “enough.” You have to find who you are and love that, so that who you are is enough for the only person who matters—you—before you can achieve any kind of inner peace or happiness and begin to move forward. This applies to all aspects of life, too, whether you’re shopping for Twinkies or twinkies. You might want to check outBiggerCity.com/advice, too. Their “Bear Abby” column isn’t written by a professional (then again, neither is this), but by a chubby chaser in an open relationship who has dealt with these kinds of issues for several years. Also, I strongly recommend you get professional therapy. I say that because I believe in you and that you can overcome and grow from this, but weight and attractiveness issues bring up all kinds of big, dark, painful, difficult stuff. You’re struggling with issues of having just come out, rejection, betrayal, self-worth, isolation, not to mention getting played by a chaser. Oy. You shouldn’t have to deal with all of that on your own.