If you’re a current subscriber, log in below. If you would like to subscribe, please click the subscribe tab above.
Username and Password Help
DEAR HARRIETTE: I turn 25 next year. I feel that I lost years 23 and 24 to the pandemic. As I transition into my mid-20s, I realize that I have no desire to get any older. The thought of getting older actually scares me more than it should because it’s so inevitable. It’s not that I want to take my life or anything. More, it’s that I have been stuck; like my life was on pause all this time. I don’t really know what to do or how to move forward. I stayed in my bed for nearly two years. Every time I go outside, I get anxious. How do I get over this fear? — Scared of Aging
DEAR SCARED OF AGING: You can experience devastating side effects from being cooped up for so long. Getting older is a part of life. While it can seem daunting, especially after such a long period of being isolated, you can also attempt to adopt a different perspective. For starters, turning 25 can be a wonderful experience. It is a turning-point age — you begin to feel more like an adult, and you probably have more responsibilities than in the past. You should also have some perspective on what you like about your life and what you might want to change. You can choose to look at the possibilities ahead of you rather than the perils that await.
Still, you are right. The abrupt halt to your life due to pandemic shutdowns disrupted your natural maturation process. Now it may feel like all of a sudden you are thrown back out into the world. That can be tough. You may want to seek a mental health counselor to coach you through this period. Having a professional to guide you when you are feeling so tender may be the perfect way to transition into a more public life. Get the help you need, and do your best to embrace the moment you are in.
DEAR HARRIETTE: I just found out that the reason my boyfriend broke up with his ex was because he cheated on her. I’ve been asking him for months to tell me the truth about his past, and he finally told me yesterday. Understandably, he was afraid that telling me the truth would scare me away. I definitely feel differently about him now. I know that this means there’s a huge possibility that he’ll cheat on me, too. Is it right to judge him based on his past? — Dealbreaker
DEAR DEALBREAKER: Continue the conversation. Tell him that this news is disturbing to you, and you need to know a bit more. Find out what prompted the cheating. Were they having difficulties? Was he young and distracted? Does he feel true remorse? Had he ever cheated before? Why should you believe that he won’t cheat on you?
People can learn from their mistakes. Give him credit for being honest with you. Talk it out to see where your comfort level is. Remember to stay connected to him right now. Try not to superimpose his past behavior on your current relationship.