Q. Is it okay if he always insists on paying the bill?
A. Are you comfortable with him always paying the bill? Do you like it when he brings out his wallet at the end of every meal, or at the ticket counter at a movie theatre, without waiting for you to offer to pay? Do you want to pay in the first place? Have you asked him to let you? These are questions you ought to ask yourself first. This isn't really about gender equality, as much as it probably is about how you feel about your relationship. There's something admittedly proprietorial about a man insisting on paying for everything, of course, but it may also be his way of showing that he wants to take care of you. Knowing how men in India function, however, I'm pretty sure it's the first motive that compels him to whip out his wallet. If you're not comfortable, speak to him about it. And if he's just a generous guy who loves sharing his wealth with everyone, convince him to send us doughnuts. You know where our office is.
Q. I don't like it when he holds my hand in public. What do I do?
A. How old are you? If you are an 8-year-old and the hand you're referring to is your father's, I strongly urge you to let him hold it because crossing any street in our city is fraught with danger, thanks to drivers who have no respect for traffic rules. If you are a young woman and the hand you refer to belongs to your boyfriend, husband or partner though, tell him how you feel. Does it make you feel helpless when he does that? Do you dislike public displays of affection? Whatever your reason, you are entitled to hold on to your personal space, which is sacred. If he insists, he needs to be told that you're not okay with it. If he continues to do it, slap him on the wrist, gently at first, and then with considerable force.
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