|Heart TO Heart
For relationship advice and more, talk to your super-smart Sis.
Q: I am a 22-year-old girl from Lahore. I enjoy reading your column a lot. I have been talking to a 34-year-old man for over two years. Now I have started falling deeply in love with him in fact, he also likes and adores me. Whenever I tell him that I love him, he becomes very happy, but he never says that in return. Whenever I broach the subject of marriage, he tells me that I should marry after completing my education. And also that I'll get my dream boy as my husband. What does that mean? Iqra
A: Well, it clearly means that he is flattered by the attention and enjoys your company, but chooses not to see you as a life partner for certain reasons. These could include age gap, geography, religion or perhaps that he's committed elsewhere. Take his lead and let it go gracefully, or if you can't bear the not knowing, simply ask him point blank why the two of you cannot be a couple. Perhaps, he is just too shy to take the lead, and things may change wonderfully. If not, then at least you'll have answers, despite the fact they may be hard to digest.
Q: I am a 52-year-old civil service officer. I have been in a happy marriage for 22 years and have two teenage sons. I enjoy talking to a female colleague who is four years younger than me and single. We only meet at official parties and talk there. We do not contact each other via telephone or email. Will it be correct for me to create more opportunities to meet her? How can I approach her for that? Is sending a birthday card a good beginning? Zubair, Karachi
A: There is something amiss about craving secretive meetings behind a spouse's back. So don't delude yourself into thinking this can be a happy friendship because there's nothing more sinister to a spouse or more threatening to a marriage if you're found out. If your intentions are clean and she's just a friend, then invite her home, introduce her to your wife and make her a family friend.
Q: I worry so much every morning before I go to school that I think I am going to be sick. I am a 15-year-old girl and I have had this problem for over two years now. I want to get this sorted before I go back to school after vacations. The worry is always there. My body gets itself nervous which then makes me feel sick. I worry about going on buses too. I rarely do unless I know I can sit near a window which opens, or the journey is only a few minutes. I get in the same state during exams. Unless I am sitting near a door or an exit the feeling inside me is unbearable. No one would believe me if I told them because it sounds so silly. Everyone thinks I am this confident young girl who will give anything a try, but I am not. I cannot tell my friends in case they take it as a joke or are the complete opposite and want nothing to do with me. I cannot tell my mum as I know she won't believe me. She thinks I never want to go anywhere with her because I am ashamed of her but I really am not. I just want this to go away. It is ruining my life. Nabiha, Karachi
A: You are not alone. What you are struggling with is a phobia and you need help. Don't just put up with it. If you cannot tell your mum yourself, is there another relative or adult friend you can confide in? If so, tell them and ask them to help you explain to your mum. Make sure she understands you need to see your doctor so that you can be referred for therapy. If you think you will find it hard to explain to your doctor and your mum might not be good at doing it either, write it all down – just as you have to me – and take the sheet of paper with you for the doctor to read.