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Blissful Ignorance

Dear Kimberly,

My friend loves a boy who belongs to a different religion as her. His parents passed away some years ago, he has no house of his own, is not educated and does not seem to have any proof of identity in his name. He is also two years younger than my friend. Something doesn’t feel right about their relationship and I don’t know how to tell my friend about this as she doesn’t like to talk about it. Could you give me any suggestions or advice on whether they should leave each other or do you think they have a future together?

Farah

Dear Farah,

Thank you for writing in and discussing your friend’s situation with me. It does seem fishy that your friend’s boyfriend has no identity. Has she ever asked about this? She should be a little careful with whom she decides to trust. Relationships take effort, patience and perseverance. There is no fixed formula to ensure if it will work or how long it will last. Not sure if your friend is a peer or older than you but she has a lot of thinking to do and many aspects to consider.

Gone are the days when love was enough to make a relationship work. In today’s fast paced, super challenging and stressful world, there are so many aspects to consider when getting into a relationship, especially if you plan to make it a long term one. While religion seems to be a concern to you, what is also important to focus on is how does he manage to make a living and where does he live? If he isn’t educated and has little or no family support, does he at least have a stable and well paying job? This is vital as financial income is one of the reasons why many relationships hit a rough patch.

Instead of advising your friend about the course her relationship should take, you could probably talk to her about your fears and help her identify the favourable and unfavourable consequences of choosing to get into a relationship like this. She probably doesn’t like talking to you about it because she too might share the same fears. Talking about the fears out loud will only make it more real and this can be overwhelming to deal with. Hence, she is hiding herself in blissful ignorance. Eventually, the decision has to be hers. Hope she chooses wisely and carefully. All the best.

Kimberly

Dear Kimberly,

My parents never send me out for parties at night with my friends. I’m the only one in my group who doesn’t get permission to go. I get so angry with their old-fashioned ways of thinking. I tell my parents to call the other parents and check our plans but they don’t like to call. They allow me to go during the day but sometimes all my friends cannot make it. How do I convince my parents?

Jane

Dear Jane,

Thank you for writing in and discussing your predicament. It sure must feel frustrating to not be allowed to go to parties at night with your friends especially when everyone else is going. However, there is always two sides to a story and sometimes it is not the others but ourselves that need the convincing. Maybe you need to be clear about what it is that you want and is important to you. Is it spending time with your friends or just being seen at the party?

Whatever the choice, your parents seem to respect your choices and be cool about it, just as long as it is during the day. With the sudden increase in crimes and safety related issues today, it could be that your parents don’t feel safe with you being outside at night. You might argue that bad things can happen at any time, and you’d be absolutely right in saying that too but eventually it is your parents who are responsible for you. If they don’t feel comfortable about your night plans, then it is best to accept that and make the most of what they allow.

If you plan your outings during the day and respect your parent’s feelings too, it would be a win-win situation for both. I bet a small alteration in plans would still bring about the same amount of happiness. Enjoy!

Kimberly

Do keep writing in with any queries you may have at ask.kimberly@yahoo.com

Until next time, think smart!

You are capable of amazing things!

(Kimberly Dias is psychologist and counsellor, currently working as a school counsellor.)

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