TALK TO ME: Don’t break your communication links

Friends and lovers:

I am a 21 and single. I do have a lot of male friends. But at times I mistake their feelings towards me and think that most of them are in love with me. But always it turns out to be just the opposite. How do I differentiate between advances made out of love and care and concern shown out of pure friendship?

— Confused

Dear Confused,

There is a very fine line between love and friendship. It is easy to get confused. However, you must have a very elevated sense of self if you imagine every male friend of yours in love with you. Don’t rush into flights of fantasy. Relax. Take it easy and wait, dear girl, for the man to make the move. Patience might prove to be a virtue.

Broken heart:

I have been going around with this girl and we were very serious about each other. Everyone knew about our affair. Last week I had gone to my village, and when I came back my friends told me that they had seen her in some bar with many men. I could not believe them. I tried calling her up and meeting her to ask about this thing but she refuses to meet me and confront the question. I am taken aback by her behaviour. I can’t believe what has happened and now I have taken the help of alcohol and cigarettes to help me forget her but I can’t. What do I do?

— 840

Dear 840,

The crisis here is not the girl but your perception of the situation. I certainly hope 840 is not a reference to the number of cigarettes you have recently consumed in you agitated state. Are you over reacting to this supposed incident? Are you really sure she was in this bar? And if she was, is it such a bad thing? Does she need to be escorted everywhere by you alone? Considering she is not your fiancée, I don’t think you have the right to call her up and demand explanations. Please understand that just because your girlfriend went into a bar in your absence, she has not suddenly become a woman of disrepute. Perhaps your tone over the telephone inferred this, and no wonder she does not want to meet you. I suggest you adopt a gentler approach and avoid this topic altogether. When things are better she will tell you herself. Remember that your recent indulgence with alcohol and cigarettes will not endear you to her.

Talk divide:

I always get upset when I am at home because a lot of misunderstanding keeps occurring between my parents and me. I don’t blame them or myself. The problem is that we think differently. Will it be better for me to stay in a hostel for a few days and remain away from them, or stay at home and keep complaining?

— Abhinay

Dear Abhinay, sometimes a generation gap can be troublesome, especially when the expectations of parents/elders and children are not compatible. It is good that you are blaming no one. Learn to listen so that people can listen to you too.Communicating without getting irritated is the key. Going away to a hostel “for a few days” is not going to solve anything.Think about ways to close the divide, not about ways to enhance the differences. If you are still cribbing and miserable six months down the line, tell your parents you would like to stay in a hostel for the legnth of your studies because the ambience at home is upsetting your academic performance.

Caste barriers:

I was in love with a girl from another caste. My parents had accepted the relationship but then the girlfriend’s parents did not accept our relationship. Now the table has turned. My sister recently eloped with a guy from another caste but then she returned home. Now I am in a huge dilemma. My parents are tense due to which I was forced to break up with my girl. I did not want to upset them any more, so I left her. But I still love her and I know that she too loves me. Did I make the right decision?

— Absurd

Dear Absurd,

I think everyone here needs some breathing space to get over the confusion and the blame game. Give yourself, your family and your girlfriend some time to heal. And see how you feel then.


I’m 17 and I have a 19-year-old boyfriend. We love each other and share everything. We both flirt with other people. He says he loves me but wants us to have a physical relation. I’m not ready for that. A few days ago, he went to a cabin restaurant and had sex with one of the girls there. My friends told me to leave him but I can’t. I love him truly and I know that he loves me too. He could have lied but he did not and told me what he had done. I am in a huge confusion. Please help me!

— Confused Gal

Dear Confused Gal,

Considering your boyfriend told you about his most recent sexcapade, you need to be just as upfront and ask him if he used protection while having sex with the girl from the cabin restaurant. You should not feel that your reluctance to have a physical relationship with him pushed him into having sex with someone else. If you truly love each other, why do you need to flirt with other people? However, if you cannot leave him, this means you will eventually end up having a physical relationship with him. One word of caution: it is better that your boyfriend undergoes a simple AIDS test before you embark upon a more intimate relationship. Remember it is better to be safe, than sorry.