Carolyn Hax: Lone single among paired-off friend tires of couple talk – Lifotravel

Carolyn Hax is away. The following first appeared Sept. 18, 2009.

Dear Carolyn: All of my friends are in relationships, and that’s all I ever hear about. When we go out or are on the phone, the topic of conversation inevitably reverts to their significant others. I’m happy for them and, I admit, a little envious, because I would like to have someone, too, I suppose. They say things like, “Oh, this must be so bothersome to hear all the time,” and I say it’s no problem. I guess I should be more upfront about it? I am trying to be a supportive friend. I don’t know how I would be if I were in a relationship, so any advice is appreciated.

Washington: I don’t know how you’d be, either, if you were in a relationship of your own. But I’m guessing you’d be either just as bored, or just as boring.

The issue here isn’t that you’re the only friend without a mate; it’s that your friends have nothing to talk about but themselves. That would be a problem if they were all single, too, and it will still be a problem when they all get engaged, married, pregnant, divorced or whatever else life has in store for them.

Unless, of course, life seasons them enough to realize that the minutiae of their experiences don’t transfer directly into interesting conversation. Minutiae need to be processed first, screened for actual ideas, and leavened with sensitivity, perspective and, ideally, humor.

If you do find a romance of your own, then by all means find out whether it’s enough to start boring them back for a change — or, in the meantime, try changing the subject (and even the nature of your plans with them) to focus on ideas, culture or news. You may find yourself just as unfulfilled by that as you have been by them, so hedge your bets by also keeping an eye out for more thoughtful, inquisitive friends.

Dear Carolyn: I am in a committed, three-year relationship with a great man. He has the genetic disposition to become overweight if he doesn’t watch what he eats. A year after we started dating, I voiced my opinion that I am not attracted to fat people.

I am a careful eater, and even when I go outside my boundaries, I don’t overdo it. When he gets together with his family, he really eats! They celebrate food and also who can eat the most. I get turned off by this.

After our last vacation with his family, I voiced my concern again. Is it rude, mean or controlling to tell your significant other to please keep your appearance for the sake of the relationship?

Tell us: What’s your favorite Carolyn Hax column about estrangement?

Dieting in D.C.: Well, yes — but, more important, it’s pointless. Your “great man” isn’t hiding or misrepresenting who he is. Where you limit, he celebrates.

You have told him, at least twice, that you would like him to set limits, and he has declined to do that.

Disliking it is your choice.

Also your choice: whether you can love him for who he is, knowing it may (or may not) affect his weight; or whether you can love him only if he behaves more like you. If it’s the latter, then I would suggest finding someone more like you and freeing him to find someone who loves him as is.

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