Tuesday, April 24, 2018
Parenting & Relationships

Tell Me About It: Boyfriend's need to be together so much is cloying, not romantic

Q: My boyfriend of three months constantly wants to be together. We're still in high school, and see each other there every day. I appreciate that he likes hanging out with me so much, and I love hanging out with him. But he's insistent on my being with him whenever it's possible. I sometimes feel that I need a break.

When he's asking me to procrastinate on schoolwork or skimp on practice for an upcoming audition, I start to put my foot down, but it's difficult. He argues and begs to squeeze a few minutes (hours, a whole day) out of my schedule. Last night, we spent almost an hour confirming that I, in fact, could not go on a day trip with him today.

Am I avoiding him, or giving him too little time? Should I drop a few activities to be with him more? And how can I say "no" without being made to feel guilty or suffer for it every time?

Harried Sally

A: No. 3, easy: Date someone who won't pressure you. Nos. 1 and 2 are your call, but I can connect your letter's dots for you: Yes, you're avoiding him somewhat (understandably — he's being a pest); and no, you shouldn't "drop a few activities" because if you really wanted to you'd be doing it, not asking me.

Hectoring someone for togetherness is not romantic. It's needy, cloying, disrespectful. If he's trying to take you away from everything else you care about, then does he really like you? Or just your physical presence? Possessiveness, after all, is an abuse precursor. If he continues the pressure and disrespect, break up.

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Tell Me About It: Addressing the party no-show epidemic

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Published: 04/24/18

Tell Me About It: Sister’s remark is a teaching opportunity

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Published: 04/23/18

Tell Me About It: Mom fears she has discussed sex too soon

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Published: 04/22/18
Underoath’s Spencer Chamberlain talks breakup, reunion, getting sober and returning to St. Petersburg

Underoath’s Spencer Chamberlain talks breakup, reunion, getting sober and returning to St. Petersburg

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Published: 04/20/18
Updated: 04/23/18
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for the week of April 23-29

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for the week of April 23-29

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Published: 04/23/18

Tell Me About It: Family reconsiders taking group trips

Q: Should there be expectations about taking vacations/trips with other family members? We have two issues:(1) We have three kids, including teenagers, and my brother and wife have two kids. The younger is 6. My wife and I find it hard to plan someth...
Published: 04/20/18
On its 20th anniversary, Disney's Animal Kingdom credits conservation with longevity

On its 20th anniversary, Disney's Animal Kingdom credits conservation with longevity

ORLANDO — When Disney’s Animal Kingdom opened 20 years ago, it was light on thrills and heavy on conservation. On April 22, 1998, Earth Day, the Orlando park had a single thrill ride, Countdown to Extinction, and a handful of shows like ...
Published: 04/19/18
Updated: 04/20/18

Tell Me About It: How to deal with conversation dominators

Q: We have a few relatives, including a sibling, who we don’t see or hear from often, as we are busy or live far away. We meet over a meal or for an hour or so, or at family gatherings requiring a drive, and I am so frustrated that they dominate the ...
Published: 04/19/18
Huge concert week in Tampa: Foo Fighters, Kenny Chesney, 98 Rockfest, more

Huge concert week in Tampa: Foo Fighters, Kenny Chesney, 98 Rockfest, more

PURE NIRVANA: Foo FightersDave Grohl may be America’s last unquestioned rock god. He’s played with Kurt Cobain and Jimmy Page, Tom Petty and Trent Reznor and St. Vincent, and he also leads a pretty decent group — perhaps you’ve heard of them — called...
Published: 04/18/18
Updated: 04/20/18
Plan your weekend: Kenny Chesney, ‘The Producers’ in the park, Mainsail Art Fest, Sugar Sand Fest, Earth Day

Plan your weekend: Kenny Chesney, ‘The Producers’ in the park, Mainsail Art Fest, Sugar Sand Fest, Earth Day

The top things to do April 20 to 22 in Tampa, St. Petersburg and the whole Tampa Bay area.
Published: 04/18/18