Q. We like wearing matching T-shirts and jeans whenever we go out in public. Do you think that’s weird in any way? It bothers a number of our friends for some reason, but I can’t think of any reason it should.
A: I don’t want to know you or meet either of you.
Q. What are some of the things that contribute to difficulties in a relationship?
A: Being an ass is usually a big issue. This involves not listening, not empathising, brushing aside your partner’s views or reservations and, in general, behaving like a pompous twit when there’s no real reason for you to do it. Being in a relationship with anyone pretty much follows those rules, be it a bond between friends or one with a spouse. It’s about giving something in order to receive something, while making sure boundaries that are defined early are never crossed. You can always figure out how things stand by keeping channels of communication open, avoiding second-guessing and trying to keep the other person’s feelings in mind before you decide to do something. Luckily, the longer you are in a relationship, the better you usually get at managing this.
Q. What are some of the early warning signs of relationship difficulties?
A: A plate being flung at you is a good sign, as is an insistence on frying food with the windows shut, your favourite footwear going missing, or finding yourself locked outside the house without a key when you get home late from work. All relationships come with difficulties, because they involve two people with two different approaches to life. One of the earliest warning signs is an inability to communicate. If the other person in the relationship doesn’t feel the need to speak to you enough, it usually is a problem. Learn to listen and the signs will make themselves known to you. These days, teenagers look for signs on their partners’ Twitter and Instagram feeds. Life is not what it used to be, is it?
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