We love getting reader updates from you guys, and today's letter is no exception. Way back in June of 2004, Bubby received a letter from a woman known as half-a-world-away, who had previously followed Bubby's love advice on how to find the right kind of man. She did indeed, but was about to jet off to China for a 5-week experience abroad. She was wondering if she should keep the sparks alive with this young man, or bid him adieu at the tar mat. Bubby replied, "When I was in college, I had a boyfriend and we were many miles apart but that did not matter. The feeling was mutual and after three years we were married. It was very successful. "
So, did half-a-world-away and her beau manage to keep-it-together?
A year ago you gave me advice about how to handle distance in a relationship. At the time, I was about to leave for China for five weeks. I didn't know whether to try to stay in contact with my boyfriend as much as possible, or whether to temporarily cut the ties, and fully immerse myself in the culture. Well, I followed your advice, and one year later, my boyfriend and I are still together and very happy. In fact, I'm back in China ... and he'll be joining me here in two weeks! We both love your column.
I am 19 years old, and am soon to start University. In truth I am terrified to live away from home for the first time in my life! I suffer from homesickness and will miss my family terribly. I don't know how to overcome this. I feel as though everything is very out of control.
Any advice will be helpful, thank you.
Dear Homesick Already,
As for going away to school -- we all are a little apprehensive at first. But you will meet other girls and boys and before you know it, you will be one of the crowd. It will be lots of fun getting around, meeting other young people and your teachers.
You will forget all your fears. I had a great time in college and everyone else did too. Just don't neglect your classes. Remember why you came to this college.
I have read your advice on your site and I was wondering if you could help me.
I have a best friend, and she is overweight (around 200 lbs). She's really nice, but she is kind of depressed. I have had a few boyfriends, not that many. But if she asks a guy out, they say no. She blames it on her weight. I encourage her to lose it if she hates it that much, but she then acts like it is no big deal. She compares herself to me, and sometimes asks me my weight. I love her to death, and she's my one and only best friend, but she sometimes makes me uncomfortable when she compares her weight to mine, and when she gets depressed when guys reject her.
Can you help me besides telling me I need to get a new friend? Because we have been through a lot together (including both our parents divorces) and we get along real well. I just need to know what to do when she gets on the subject of her weight.
A concerned friend
Dear Concerned Friend,
I think you should suggest to your friend that first she should see a doctor to make sure that she is physically in good health. Then she should go to a nutritionist and get a good diet that will help her to lose some of that weight. She can to go to one of the "self help" gyms and work out.
It takes a lot of nerve and strength to push away from the table and eat less. But first your friend must really want to lose the weight and work hard at it and then she will succeed.
I wish her well.
I'm 19 and I've never really had a serious boyfriend. There's a guy I've liked for a long time and we talk a lot. He tried to hug me the other day and I hit him in the stomach. I couldn't figure out why I did this, and why I just didn't hug him, cause I know I definitely wanted to.
I don't really have a lot of experience with guys and I feel stupid because of it. I get really shy when a guy flirts with me, or I don't even notice that it's happening until someone tells me afterwards.
Please help me figure out what I can do to overcome this awkwardness and tell this guy that I like him a lot.
Dear Completely Confused,
You should not hit anyone in the stomach at any time. I think you owe this young man an apology. So the next time you see him say you are sorry. You might add that you could be friends and let bygones by bygones. If he wants to be friends with you he will take it from there. He might say OK or he will tell you NO.
You should learn a good lesson from this episode. Don't let it happen again or you will surely lose a lot of friends. First you start as friends and the future will take care of the rest.
I just came across your website while doing a yahoo search. I am 24 years old, married and have one beautiful child. I recently learned I was pregnant with a second child only to have had a miscarriage two days later. This breaks my heart. I can't stop being sad. My husband says we can try again but I feel like a part of me had died.
I feel like I have this secret that know one knows and I can't tell anyone. I find myself crying when I am alone at every moment even while writing this email. So my question to you is, when will the tears stop flowing?
Dear Flowing Tears,
I am sorry you lost this last pregnancy but it was only a few days. Be happy that your loss was in the earliest days and if anything was to happen you are past that. You will be well and try again.
I know many women go through the some thing. Spend more time with the baby that you do have, enjoy and get well and let life go along normally. I would suggest you visit your doctor, get a good checkup and you will be fine.
I am a nearly 40-year old woman. I used to work with someone I had a crush on. I have never been so attracted to anyone in my whole life, not even to this day. Anyways, we have lots touch but I have managed to track him down. I know he also had a crush on me, yet we never really dated. Probably we were too busy being infatuated with one another!
I love him. To this day, although I have not seen him in years, I really do love him. It is a hard thing to explain, but I believe he is my soul mate. I know he felt this too. My hesitation arises from that our relations seemed to sour a little near the end, and I am not sure why. We live on different coasts now.
Do you think I should contact him and hope to rekindle, or has too much time passed? I donÂt know his personal situation. However, I have always put off contacting him until things got better for me, and they just never seemed to do so. Any advice?
One confused lost soul
Dear Confused Soul,
After all this time, and I understand that it has been a long time since you have heard from this man, I think it is time to give up.
But to satisfy yourself, you can take the initiative and contact him. From your conversations you may soon learn whether you are "barking up thee wrong tree".
However, if after all this time you learn he does not remember you, I think you should develop new friends and forget about this person.
I've been supporting myself since I was 18. I'm now 27. Having to work full-time, I've only been able to approach college at night, one or two classes at a time.
Well, this semester I made a switch. I found a new part-time job and I am taking classes full-time. I'm very, very happy about this because I will finally have my degree soon. It's been a long, hard road, and I want to be done.
The problem? I think I've taken on too much. I just can't see how I can work 20 hours per week and still get all my homework done. There just isn't enough time in the day! My job is difficult and stressful and my courses are tough. I feel utterly, horribly overwhelmed.
I would just quit my job and concentrate on school only but there's a problem. My new boss is also my fiance's boss. My fiance didn't get me the job. I am very well-qualified and would have had a good shot at the job without the connection from my fiance. But the connection helped. I was granted an interview before any other applicant, and the job was informally offered to me even before my boss stopped accepting applications.
For me to quit now would put my fiance in a very awkward position, since the boss obviously gave me some special treatment. And even though everyone involved is extremely understanding (my new boss is the nicest guy on the planet, and my fiance is so sweet) it feels like such a bad thing to do. It might make things odd between my fiance and his boss. And I really don't want to put the man I love through this.
But I really fear failing my classes this semester. I am so overwhelmed and upset... Can you help?
Dear Stressed Student,
I think you chewed up more than you can handle - work and school. Since you are self-supporting, it might be a good idea to drop one of your courses and pick it up next term. Then you can have peace of mind at your job and the most that could happen is that it will take a little longer to get your degree.
This happens all the time and there is no loss. Sometimes it is the best and you will enjoy your studies more, and get more out of them. Those who are involved in all this will be glad you are doing the right thing.
Lots of luck,
I have a pretty stereotypical "help me" request, and that is can you help me get rid of my increasing difficulty with math, and also help me combat my extreme fear of dentists?
I'll be 13 next year. So, what do I do? I can't take three steps into a building that advertizes dentistry at the front. I cannot memorize my times-tables and my parents can't afford a psychiatrist. Seeing as we live in Chile and I can't express myself (or my feelings) in Spanish, as it is, it wouldn't do any good, even if I DID magically get the money. I'm stranded, and I'm lonely.
I take home-schooling because my mother doesn't want me to get any shots at school, and I have been very friend-less, except for my sister, but recently she had to leave school to go to work, so now I'm truly alone, and even if I found an English-speaking school that my parents could afford, I'd be SOOOOO below the other kids' level that I would be considered a freak.
Well....any magical answers?
Dear Just Waiting,
As for the trouble you are having with Math, speak to your teacher and ask for after-school help. I am sure that the teacher will help and your parents can help you as well. Did you ask for help?
As for the fear that you have in going to the dentist, be assured that we are all a bit reluctant to visit the dentist. But since you are only 13 years old, there are dentists who specialize in treating only children. Your parents should make an appointment with one of them and you will get the attention and care that you need. As you grow you will lose the "dentist fear".
You don't tell me how or why you are living in Chile. I am sure that there must be a colony of Americans who can help you, so contact them for help.
I go to a private school. I used to have lots of friends. But ever since junior high started (I'm in 8th grade) all my friends have decided they don't like me. Now I only have 2 friends and I don't even like them. I have always been good at making friends but everyone thinks I'm such a loser, almost everyone does not like me.
A lot of guys think I'm hot but they don't want to go out with me because they will get a bad reputation for it. I don't blame them. I don't care about being popular, I only want people to like me, I want to have lots of friends. I always try to make friends with the new kids, but other kids tell them not to hang out with me!
How can I get people to like me?
Dear Need Friends,
Since you know your problem, you have to work on correcting it. Do you dress nicely? Do you use the proper make-up? Just a little is enough. Are you outspoken at the wrong time? Talk it over with your parents and I am sure they will guide you.
When you see these friends give them a cheery HELLO. Talk about your classes and your activities after school and ask them to join you. You will gradually become friendly with them. Give it a try.
I am a sudent from India studying in Switzerland. My parents took a lot of efforts and sacrifice to bring me over here. I don't even know that do we have the money so that I can continue the next year over year.
My parents always wanted me to have the best in life, and so they did their best, but I have this huge pain in my head about money. I hardly have any money to survive and I don't want to ask them for any. My uncles are very rich but they have not offered me any help.
I just got a job but I barely save anything. I have so many wants that I can't satisfy. Sometimes I feel that I would have been better off in India, at least I would not have any money problems.
I feel so disgusted, at the age of 21 I can't support myself. I sometimes pray to God then I feel good but I know that I have a big problem in reality where only luck is the answer.
Please help me.
What you tell me is that you have no money and that is all you can think of. Well, you are not the only student who has that problen. You should have known and your parents should have known that to be in a strange country and a student you will have to pull in your belt.
You could transfer to a school in India and pursue your education and live at home. But if you want to stay where you are, why not go to the counselor of your school and ask for a job so that you can pay some of your tuition. Then you could try to get a part time job in the town. Or if your relatives are so rich, ask them to lend you some money that you will pay them back when you have graduation and land a position.
This is done all the time. I can tell you I did just that -- I got a job as a scretary to one of the administrators at the school -- paid half of my tuition - worked hard to finish high in my class and the school helped me get a job when I graduated. This was done over and over with many young people.
Good Luck - work hard in school and someday you can give this advice to another young student.
I normally have such a good head on my shoulders... However, there is this man. He was my boss over four years. Back then I thought he was the bees knees. However he was older then me and married with children. I was also with my long term partner who is now my husband. It was clear though that we would of made a very good match.
We worked very close with each other and he taught me everything about my job and got me promoted. Even when he left the job and I moved on, we still kept in touch. Every time we meet now to catch up it feels as if there is more there then there should be. The longer we don't catch up, the more exciting it becomes.
Well anyway, he has recently phoned for coffee and a chat and by the message he left for me I think he is going to offer me a job, with him. I am looking for a new job now, and he was a good boss. But even though it may be a good job, is it safe to take it? I am still married and do not want another man in my life. As far as I know so is he.
Please, I can't talk to anybody about this. My husband would not understand and my friends know who he is. I've never told anyone.
Basically, if this is a dream job, should I even consider it?
Weighing The Options
Dear Weighing the Options,
The best thing you can do is break any relations you have with this old boss. He is no good for you and in the end you will be the loser. He has a wife and children and is only looking for a good time.
MY ADVICE TO YOU IS DON'T GET INVOLVED WITH A MARRIED MAN - YOU HAVE A HUSBAND = STICK WITH HIM. STAY AWAY FROM THIS CHARACTER.
A WORD OF CAUTION,
I am 19 and recently married. In two weeks I will be relocating with my new husband. I do not believe that the phrase "stressed out to the max" can even describe how I have been feeling the past few days: With being informed of the cost of moving, how long it can take, and everything and anything that can come with owning a new home.
My grandmother was 18 when she was married and I never once heard her complain about anything like the problems that I have been experiencing recently. I'm lost and feel like I can't quite figure out what to do. Any advice?
Dear Needing help,
Congratulations on your recent marriage.
As for the trouble that you are having now, it goes with the package - the wedding - the move for packing, and all the rest that goes with it. I think that your new husband should be helping you out.
Moving is a job for 2 and even your family and friends should help. I know. I went through it myself. I moved to a new city with my husband and when he went back to work after out honeymoon I was completely alone. So I got a map of the city and everyday I went to a different part of the city so that I would learn about my surroundings. Then I unpacked slowly and found a place for everything. When my husband came home he helped me and we had a lot of fun deciding where things should go. Then he helped me put together dinner because I could not cook.
You are quite young to have gotten married, but now that you did you have to think like a young married lady and not like a teenager -- that is gone.
I have told you what I did and you can follow my plan if you like and you soon will get it all together.
Good luck and much happiness.
A Reader Responds
On September 7th we published a letter from "Ready To Change" - a young woman who was eager to lose some extra weight and get on with her life. After we posted Bubby's response, another friendly reader added some of her own thoughts to the advice:
After reading your advice to "Ready to Change", I thought I'd drop a quick line to suggest something like water aerobics or swimming. Both are very low impact but really work your body in different ways. The aerobics will burn fat and drop your weight, and the swimming will tone and build muscle. Doing both you might not see a big change when you step on the scale, but after a few weeks you'll see the changes in your body and feel better too. Remember, muscle weighs more then fat so you may even gain a few pounds at first, but keep in mind the more muscle you have, the more fat you burn and easier too.
And as you said, seeing a doctor is important, especially since "Ready" is still very young, but these are pretty safe and good exercises for all types of people- teenagers, pregnant women, and our Bubbies. :)
Keep up the great work Bubby!
If you've got some extra advice to share with someone who wrote a letter to Bubby, let us know, we may post it...
And now for today's letter:
Dear Great Bubby,
I hope you can answer my question and solve my problem. Whenever I go to Leicester I always always get bored. Even though most of my relatives live there I never have cousins or friends in Leicester of my age.
Just to let you know I am a 12 year old boy. I want to make the most of my youth and not lounging round somewheres like my uncle's house listening to some 3 year olds blabbering on about rubbish. I only have a decent 11 year old BOY cousin and most of the time my family and I go there I most of the time have not gotten any opportunity to meet him. Is it that:
-My parents only care about themselves?
-I don't speak my feelings openly to my parents?
-I should try socialize more?
sincerely "I hate Boredom"
Dear I hate Boredom,
At your age you should not be bored. How long are you staying at your relatives home? Tell them how bored you are and ask where all the young people are. If this a short visit with your family - try to "suffer" through it and go home. Tell your parents that you like these relatives but you would like to go home and while you are there you would like to visit the places of interest.
I am sure they will understand.
A Special Message From Bubby:
"I always like to hear the good news from people that maybe our advice helped them. I hope more people write back to us and let us know how they are doing now."
I lost both my grandmothers by the time I was in 8th grade, so I'm hoping you can help!
My husband and I have two wonderful daughters, 7 and 10. My husband is stressed WAY out about finances. I'm trying to be a good mom, good wife, and bring home the bacon (as a consultant, which amounts to more than he brings home at times). But I've reached my limit.
The less I work in my consulting business, the better I feel, the happier the girls are, and the more calm and organized our home life is. BUT - the less I work... the more stressed and completely negative and irritable my husband is.
He thinks I'm not being responsible, but I'm literally saving my health and the girls' emotional health by cutting back. Help! I can't win!
Dear Trapped Mom,
Your first duty is as a mother. And your husband also, his first duty is to take care of his family, to love, honor, cherish, and provide for.
He should go out and change jobs or get special training for a new job by going to school at night. Where there is a will there is a way, as long as he is helping to take care of the family. Family is very important, important for the children, important for parents.
We must share the head of household because marriage is a partnership with equal responsibilities. He has to do his share.
My first recommendation is that he should take stock of himself. There are plenty of employment offices where you can go in and have a talk. They will recognize what you are best suited for.
You don't mention what he does, but whatever he does can earn him a living if he does it well. And he can do it well by applying himself with a positive attitude. He can get help. He can go to a psychologist, he can go back to a school for more training. You don't have to have a PHD to earn money or be a good father.
Write back and let me know how it goes.
I am only in 9th grade, but I am overweight. I don't look it too much, but I'm close to 200 pounds. Whenever I go around skinny people, I can't help but feel fat and become jealous. As a teenager I don't belong anywhere, and I blame my weight.
I want to weigh a lot less, and be healthy as well. I've tried dieting and exercising, but I can never keep myself motivated to do any of that for very long.
What can I do to turn myself around and be healthy and fit?
Ready to Change
Dear Ready to Change,
First, you should go to a Doctor who is a nutritionist. He or she will take some tests and put you on a very special diet. You MUST follow it implicitly. Suppose you had a disease that would require a special diet like High Blood Pressure or diabetes? You would certainly follow the diet.
Then you should enroll in an exercise class and go regularly. If you want to live to a right old age you must take care of yourself now. Have your Mother take you to the doctor first and find out if your organs are good and then get on with the program.
The day will come that you will lose a lot of unwanted weight and you will be able to enjoy life as you should at your age.
Now is the time to help our friends and families who need us most.
Here are some valid organizations accepting donations online to aid Katrina victims:
- Red Cross
- United Jewish Communities
- MoveOn.org: Offer housing
- America's Second Harvest
- Crafters United
- The Humane Society
Do what you can.
I really need some advice. I'm 26 years old single and have no kids. I have attended the same church for about 10 years now and love it there.
About 2 years ago an older man and his family started coming to our church (at that time he was married). Two years later, he is now 62 years old, has been in prison, is separated from his wife, has children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. This past Christmas after our Christmas play he asked my mom if I was married and every since then he has asked me out several times suggesting that he needs a good Christian woman.
I'm too nice to say anything to him or maybe too shocked. Can you help me? I'm at a lose for words.
Dear Unwanted Advances,
At your age 26 - why would you want or even think of taking up with this old man? Tell him to join a Senior Citizens Group and there he will meet women his own age.
I know a lot of OLD MEN who are always trying to hook up with younger women. They think they are still young. You can be friendly towards him in church but I would not advise you to have any other business with him.
Find younger men so you can think more of a happy future instead of caring for an old man.
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