Dear Carolyn, via Instagram:
A trust failure either way, best immediately broken up with than fought over.
If he had no female friends and objected to your having male ones, then replace hypocrisy with clashing values. That’s deal-breaker, too.
Should I break up because he is less smart/educated than me?
Than I am.
Smart and educated are two different things, but neither has to be equal for two people to be a good match.
Respect does, though. If you don't respect his kind of intelligence or how he applies it, then break up and move on.
Parents becoming empty-nesters can get depressed. What can kids do to make the transition easier?
Call regularly, or text if they won't turn the party music down in the background.
Say thank you (I'll take your question as stand-alone proof they did an excellent job).
Have a full, independent life, and make the effort to report back to them regularly but not constantly about this life.
When life isn't going too well, stay in the lane between scaring them by telling them nothing and scaring them by telling them everything.
Ask how they are, what they're up to.
If they're not doing so well at occupying themselves, don't mistake that for a duty to occupy them. (See “full, independent life,” above.) Just remember they were your first teachers on how to get through tough times.
How do I know I am happy?
If you're not sure, then decide you are.
If you can't do that, then you will know you're not.
Or throw out “happy” entirely and assess where you are by more useful standards. Do you feel fulfilled, purposeful, connected, peaceful, content — and if not, then what sustainable choices might nudge you that way?
How does a person feel good about moving as a teen?
Some things just won't feel good. Having to move when you have no say sounds like one of those things. Those, you just get through.
There are always choices you can make to help you through, though, and to avoid making things worse.
Reinvention, for example: Now's the time to try, be, express something new. You have a do-over — and don't let social media say you don't. (I died a little typing that.)
Productivity: It is grueling to move. Hard mental work can help get your mind off things, and hard physical work can help get your mind sorted out. Once you're settled, being a joiner, even temporarily, is a way to continue this strategy.
Self-advocacy and care: When you’re feeling bad is the hardest time to stand up for what you need, and the most important. Replace lashing out or monosyllables with speaking up, and you can come out of this stronger, closer to your people, better at doing and saying difficult things — including, for example, telling a counselor/teacher/coach/classmate at a new school, “I’m struggling with this.” Good luck.
More from Carolyn Hax
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Mom blabbed about late dad’s affair
From the archive:
Breaking up is hard to do. Staying in your ex’s life is torture.
Fears that a second kid would ruin their perfect life
Turning down a friend who invited herself to a birthday celebration
Man deals with assumptions about his child-free status
We saved our marriage, but our friends remain skeptical
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