Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Boyfriend Looks At Other Girls

Today's advice was requested by a girl from the US who we'll refer to henceforth as Miss J. Miss J asks:

"Hey Inari,
Is it normal for my long term boyfriend to look at other girls even when we're together? It makes me feel insecure. Like he wants them more than he wants me. I know that sounds silly because he is with me after all, but it's how it makes me feel. Should I confront him about it or just suck it up and leave it be?

Miss J

First of all, Miss J, you aren't alone. I have dozens of private messages about pretty much the same thing from other women all across the globe. So don't feel silly for asking. Secondly, this seems like something guys do out of habit more than anything else. You shouldn't take it personally. That said, it is a little disrespectful for him to do it so blatantly while you are with him. I suggest you calmly tell him how it makes you feel when he does so. But do not be confrontational. He hasn't actually done anything wrong. He may not even realize he's doing it (a lot of guys don't) and he definitely isn't aware of your feelings on the manner. The only way for him to know it bothers you, is for you to tell him it bothers you.

Communication is paramount in all relationships, whether they are romantic or platonic. Failure to communicate your true feelings will result in countless misunderstandings that will put strain on the relationship and lead to resentment. Either yours towards him, his towards you, or both. You definitely don't want to resent the person you're supposed to love. So just open up to him. As long as you remain calm and rational about it, he should respond in kind. Remember, you aren't asking him never to look at another woman ever again. That's asking the impossible. You're simply asking him to tone it down when he's with you, because you should be his first priority.

If he over-reacts you may need to ask yourself where the relationship is headed. He has no reason to get defensive if he hasn't done anything wrong, which makes it seem like he has a guilty conscience about it for some reason. This eludes to the possibility that he isn't being honest with you about his intentions. I'm not saying that he may have cheated on you or is looking to cheat on you, but if he gets defensive about the mere mention of his behavior -- something is amiss. He should be capable of having a mature adult conversation without flying off the handle. If he can't, then he isn't ready for a mature adult relationship.

Hope it all works out,

RE: Boyfriend

"Hey again Inari,
I took your advice and talked to my boyfriend about his behavior and you were right. He didn't even realize he was doing it. He even apologized even though I told him he hadn't really done anything wrong, it just bothered me. I know talking to him about it seems like the obvious thing to do, but when you're feeling insecure and nervous I really didn't think it'd be so easy as that. Thanks!!

Miss J

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Daily Chores: A Simple Tip

Today's advice was requested by a man from the UK who we'll refer to henceforth as Mister K. Mister K asks:

"Dear Inari,
I find it hard to keep my flat clean. I try to clean it up once a week at least but the motivation to clean it up after six or seven days time is lacking. It just seems like too much to do, so I put it off constantly until it's been two whole weeks or more since I've cleaned house. I'm especially bad at getting the dishes done in any timely manner, putting it off until they're rank and I'm eating cereal out of a mug rather than a bowl because all the bowls are dirty. 

How can I get myself motivated to not do the things I want to do and do the things I need to do?

Mister K.

My advice to you, Mister K is not to put off house work all week so you have to do it all at once. It is a common misconception that all people do their chores only once a week and I'm not sure where it came from. That prospect would be intimidating to anyone except the most dedicated neat freak.  Instead, try doing a thing or two daily so that by the end of the week your place is nice and tidy. Doing one or two small tasks per day won't seem like as much work in the long run. As an added bonus your apartment will never reach a state of, "definitely looks dirty now -- I should clean it ASAP."

As for the dishes, I only know one person who enjoys doing dishes and I think it's because she lives someplace boring and cold. So the task and the hot water are both boons to her. I, personally, despise dishes and would eat off of the floor with my hands if it were socially acceptable. Since it isn't, I find that doing the dishes as soon as you dirty them makes the chore less daunting, as you aren't forced to chisel week old oatmeal off of bowls to complete the task. At most, if I'm really just not in the mood to do them, I put them off until the following day. Never any longer because after twelve hours or so, they just become harder and harder to clean.

Hope that helps,

RE: Daily Chores

"Thanks Inari,
That advice worked out for me. I do a couple chores while waiting for tea and it seems much simpler to keep up with. It's also less embarrassing when surprise company pops over. Doing dishes daily sort of makes it feel like a constant never-ending task, but it is easier when you don't need to hammer old crusty food from your pots and pans.

Mister K

Thursday, November 15, 2007


Some of you (I'm betting most of you actually) know me from my other blog, Blognari, which follows my day-to-day happenings and general whimsy. I draw little pictures and take funny pokes at my own absurdity. This blog will be somewhat like that blog, since that's simply who I am, but it will be mostly about helping people. Because that's something I do. I help people; friends, family, strangers, it makes no difference to me. Questions about losing weight, relationships, sex, setting a budget, getting motivated, whatever the case may be. If you have a problem and need advice, I'll provide it to the best of my ability.

What's more, I'll do it discreetly. Despite the fact that I'll also be posting it publicly on the Internet for the world to see, I'll keep your identity private. Why post your questions at all? Well, because a lot of people can find a lot of comfort in simply knowing someone else has had their same problem. That some one else shares the same concerns. Be they big or small. Sometimes you do not need advice, you need the comfort of knowing others have tread where you are treading now and made it through okay.

Over the next month or so, I'll be going through my backlog of past advice and once it's all accurately been edited for privacy reasons, I'll be publishing them. After that, I'll start working on new material. Feel free to email me for advice at any time, however. Even if I'm not publishing new articles at the moment, I'm still here to help in the meanwhile. It should be noted that I am not an expert in any particular field. I do not hold a doctorate. I am not a licensed psychologist or health professional. What I am is someone with a wealth of life experience and the willingness to share it.

If I do not possess the personal experience to assist you with your particular problem, I'll speak with someone who does on your behalf and relay the insight. I'm definitely not shy.