Aunty Pat

Dear Madam,

I am a 24 year old girl. I come from a very conservative background. I have been going steady with my boyfriend for 31/2 years.

Because both of us work, we can meet only on the weekends. Once I dropped in at his house because I was passing that way and found him with his friends and they were smoking and drinking beer. It was a shock because I didn’t even know this because he told me he doesn’t do these things.

When I questioned him, he said he joins them only once in a while, but now how can I believe him? I wonder if this is the person I want to spend the rest of my life with. Shall I stop seeing him but that would be really difficult as I don’t make friends easily. Also, what will my friends and family think? I feel ashamed to tell them. Please give me some good advice.

Dear Rani,

Why on earth should you feel ashamed? It should be him feeling this for pretending to be someone else to you. Do his parents know about this? Smoking is definitely not good for anyone’s health, so maybe you could see what their reaction is by asking what if he smoked, would they approve. Then maybe you can get them also to advise him that this is not a good thing to do just to go along with what your friends are doing.

As for drinking, beer is not that strong. Any alcohol in moderation is all right. Even doctors recommend a glass or two of wine a day saying it is good for one’s health. I think a drink or two at a special occasion is permissible, so long as it doesn’t become a habit and get out of control by excessive use. The main problem is that he’s presenting a different character to you and another to his friends.

Tell him he has to grow up and decide what stand he wants to take and stick to it. I can’t influence your decision, if you are totally against this altogether and he still continues, I suppose it will be difficult to maintain a relationship. Don’t place importance on other people’s opinions, it is yours that matters. So have a serious chat with him about your doubts and fears and then decide what to do.

Aunty Pat.

Dear Aunty Pat,

I am a 32 year old guy. I have never had a girlfriend. Even my younger brother and sister have had several partners. I’m really fed up of my friends trying to ‘fix’ me up with their girlfriends’ pals. My relations and family too keep harping on the fact that I’m single, saying things like, “High time you found someone, no?”

I’m quite happy the way I am. I don’t think I want to remain single for the rest of my life, but I don’t want to be pushed into anything. Do you also think it is ‘high time?’ Even my younger sis and bro keep asking me what the matter is with me.

Should I be worried? I go out with my friends in a group and so I’m quite happy with that, since it’s not as if I don’t have a social life. What do you think?

 Single Guy.

 Dear Single Guy,

I think it’s perfectly all right to take time to choose your partner in life, and that is far better than rushing headlong into a relationship that won’t last. So long as you don’t isolate yourself and have friends of both sexes to socialize with, it’s fine.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t investigate possibilities! So tell everyone not to worry about you that you will do whatever in your own time, when you feel it is right.

There is no point in just following the herd just to maintain appearances and then living to regret it. I wish you the best of luck investigating!
Aunty Pat.

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