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DEAR HARRIETTE: I’m a touring musician and always on the go, so it’s hard to maintain a healthy relationship. Recently, I’ve been spending time with someone I really like. We have great talks. I enjoy her company, and I never get tired of her. The only issue is that she’s not as physically attractive as the women I normally go for. That’s a big deal for me because I make a lot of public appearances, and I don’t think she would fit in. Should I tell her how I feel? If so, how do I do it without hurting her feelings? — I’m Into Her
DEAR I’M INTO HER: Do NOT tell her this. I understand what you are saying, but I am here to tell you something that you already know deep down inside: Superficial things do not last. How your girlfriend looks matters a lot less than who she is and the quality of your relationship.
What you can address is how she presents herself publicly. Since you are constantly getting your picture taken, perhaps she needs to dress a certain way to be photo-ready. Share the standards around presentation. Dress codes are normal in life. Just do not talk about her actual looks.
You must come to terms with this because otherwise she will feel the disapproval or shame or whatever it is that you are feeling about her physical self. You have to deal with your feelings and attitude. Yes, she looks different, but you care about her for who she is, not how she looks. If you can’t do that, you shouldn’t be with her.
DEAR HARRIETTE: I recently left my full-time job to pursue my dream of being a business owner. Everything’s going pretty well, but I’ve been thinking about the future, and I don’t really have a solid retirement plan in place.
My business is in retail, and sales fluctuate with the seasons, so sometimes I just barely make ends meet. I’m working on some marketing plans to increase sales, but in the meantime, I still need to prepare for the future. What’s the best route to secure my future in retirement as an entrepreneur? — Retirement Dreams
DEAR RETIREMENT DREAMS: It is wise for you to be thinking about your retirement now. Too often, entrepreneurs work so hard on getting their businesses up and running and then staying afloat that they neglect themselves and don’t think about the future. Your best bet is to enlist the help of a professional financial adviser who can help you determine ways to build your retirement income now. Even if you start by saving small amounts of money, it will be worth it in the long run. Ask friends and fellow entrepreneurs for referrals. Talk to your bank. Interview a few financial advisers until you find one with whom you feel comfortable. Also, make sure you have a good accountant who can help you manage your business and personal taxes. Start now.