Your questions answered by our Views Editors.
I'm seeing someone at the moment and I really enjoy 99% of our time together. But here and there, they keep making little comments and digs which give me the unsolicited ICK. Should I be listening to my inner ick-radar or should I just get over it?
Emily: Ahh the ick, a feeling I’m sure most of us know all too well. I actually have two answers to this question, which one you choose to take depends on why you think they’re giving you the ick in the first place.
I’ve experienced the ick at a certain stage in a relationship before, that completely wasn’t the other person’s fault. It was the kind of ick-feeling that you can’t put your finger on. The kind where for some reason no matter how good things seemed before, little things they’ve always done start grating on you and turning you off them. In my experience, it was when we hit a make or break point where I felt like they were a lot more into me than I was them. Even though I’d been really into it before, it felt like they were a bit clingy and I wasn’t - so I contemplated breaking it off. Then one day I miraculously got over it. I think we had a really good date or something and all those niggly feelings melted away and it became as good as it had been at the start, if not better. If this is your situation, and the icky feelings came out of nowhere and you don’t feel they’re entirely their fault, then I’d advise waiting a bit longer to see if they go away. If they don’t after more time together then it’s probably a sign that they never will. On the flip side, if they melt away completely and you can laugh about it later down the line, it’s probably a sign that those icky feelings themselves meant nothing.
But - and it’s a big but - if you can pinpoint where those feelings are coming from, and it’s from things this person is actively doing or saying to you, I think that’s a bit of a red flag. If this person is making digs at you, speaking to you (or others) in a way you don’t like, or are spouting views you fundamentally disagree with, and that’s what’s giving you the ick, it might be a sign that the relationship just won’t work for you in the long run. I think the best thing to do in this situation is to tell them when something they do or say makes you feel a certain way. Maybe they didn’t mean it like that, and maybe you can have an adult conversation and realise that you just weren’t on the same wavelength and everything will be fine. However, if they get defensive, or make out that its a you problem rather than a them problem, or you just generally don’t like their reaction to you challenging their behaviour or views, that probably tells you everything you need to know about the future of the relationship. In short, if they do or say anything that is making you feel bad about yourself or generally uncomfortable then you should listen to the inner ick-radar my friend. Dump them and run as far away as you can - like Australia or New Zealand far.
My mum keeps trying to convince me to come home after graduation, but that's the last thing I want. I've not got a substantial reason to not go home after I graduate, as let's be real, I probably won't be getting a job anytime soon. How do I speak to my mum about this without hurting her feelings?
Hailie: Not wanting to go home seems like a substantial reason. Moving away from home is a rite of passage, and more often than not, once you’ve had that first taste of freedom, it’s hard to imagine things going back to how they were before. You’re (presumably) in your twenties, about to start the next, and perhaps the most exciting, chapter of your life - if you don’t want to kick start your future in your childhood bedroom, I’m sure that she’ll understand.
Growing up, our parents tend to want what’s best for us. Sometimes that means that they forget we’re capable of working things out for ourselves. Moving home likely means a bit more financial security, less practical things to worry about while you’re job searching, and a (perhaps much-needed) shoulder-to-cry-on available 24/7. I imagine you’ve thought about it, and if that’s not enough to make you want to drag your suitcase back home, then no amount of convincing from your well-intentioned mum is going to change how you feel. Living on your own means living the way you want to, and no amount of home-cooked meals can ever make up for the ability to come in at three in the morning and watch New Girl without being told off for waking up your parents.
If I were you, I’d rip the band-aid off. You know how she feels, and no amount of testing the waters is going to make the conversation any easier. Pick your moment, maybe arrange a nice walk with her if that’s an option, or at the very least make sure she’s got a bit of spare time before you call so that it doesn’t feel like a rushed conversation. You don’t have to be harsh, but you do have to be assertive. It might upset her a wee bit, but it’s better that you make it clear that you’ve made your mind up right from the start, to avoid the pointless going back-and-forth. It’ll work itself out, and the likelihood is that you’re making yourself more anxious about things by putting the conversation off.
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