Is it a controlling thing if I want my girlfriend to wear her hair a certain way? I urge her to because I just really like the way it looks. She doesn’t like wearing it this way and says I am being controlling. I think it’s a small thing that people do for each other in relationships. If she wanted me to shave a certain way or get a certain haircut, I would. —Good Boyfriend

But she doesn’t, does she? And if you actually didn’t want to wear the latest, I don’t know, Fu Manchu/soul-patch hybrid, would you really do it anyway?

I don’t think liking your girlfriend’s hair a certain way is controlling. Nor do I think asking her to wear it that way is controlling. But once she asserts she doesn’t like to wear it like that, then “urging” her and refusing to understand that her feelings about her hair take precedence over yours is where things get a little squicky. It raises questions of why it’s so important to you, and whether you want and accept her only under certain conditions. Give it a rest, and figure out why this became such a big deal to you — there might be something there worth understanding.

Same old job, same old regret

I am in such job limbo. I am lukewarm at best about the field I’m in and absolutely hate some of the people I work with. But the pay is good, the commute is decent. I find it lame that these things keep me in a job I want to escape. I imagine at 60 I’ll look back and wonder why I never bothered to switch. —Help!

The decision to give inertia a kick in the pants often comes with significant risks — and fear. Sometimes, the fear combines with the comforts of keeping on as is (like the solid bank account or quick commute) and life continues apace. Then the huge choice that determines your trajectory is not made actively and mindfully in one fell swoop, but in micro-choices to stay in place, month after month and year after year.

As you realize, though, this decision-to-not-really-make-a-decision is a common theme of people’s biggest regrets in life. It’s time you did some deeper exploration about what is holding you back. Or, alternatively, whether there’s a case of the grass-is-always-greener going on, and you are idolizing other jobs to escape mild discomforts of your current one.

Send your questions for Baggage Check to Dr. Andrea Bonior at baggage@wpost.com.

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