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PROBLEM PAGE

INTERMEDIATE / UPPER INTERMEDIATE

First read the five problems taken from the pages of British newspapers and magazines, and then match them with the reply!

1 -     2 -     3 -     4 -     5 - 



1 - I fancy my professor!

I am 27 and a mature student at university. There is this tutor who is about 40, I think and I've had a crush on him for a while I admit. The thing is, I think he feels the same about me - he kept me back twice to talk about points I had raised in my essays - I'm a 3rd year Philosophy honours student - and he was totally different from the way he normally is in tutorials, really quiet and friendly when he's often quite rude and shouts at the other students, who are mostly around 19 or 20. But the problem is we get all this stuff about harrassment of students by tutors so I don't know if he dares tell me how he really feels in case I go off and make a fuss to my director of studies - this actually happened last year and the tutor got a warning and told not to contact that student again.

So I don't know what to do, I really like him and I would hate to miss this chance just because of the rules and we all saw Oleanna and what happened in that so I wouldn't blame him if he didn't think it was worth it. But I don't want to get him into trouble and I don't even know if its allowed for students to date tutors. Can you give me some advice? I can't talk to the other students about it as they're all that bit younger than me and wouldn't understand. Thank you very much in advance.

2 - Hopelessly In Love

My first kiss was with a girl back in 1992. Now, almost 10 years later, I am still in love with her. Every time I see her, I get butterflies in my stomach, weak knees, and the cat gets my tongue.

I don't know how to go about telling her how I feel. I'm afraid I'll be rejected or lose her friendship. Abby, what should I do?

 

3 -  I'm too fat!

Could you give me some tips on how to lose weight and keep it off for good?

4 -  My jealousy drove us apart

 I have recently separated from my boyfriend. I loved him to bits and I'm sure he loved me but my jealousy drove us apart. We were together for nearly three years, and during that time whenever he went out with his friends (which was about once or twice a week), I would question him about where he was going, and who he would be with. I'm sure he wouldn't cheat on me, but I have had past boyfriends who did. We still see each other occasionally, and I'd dearly love to get back with him. One of his friends told me he'd have me back if I could control my jealousy, but I don't think it's unreasonable to want to know where your other half is going, or is it?

5 - I can't live without him

My boyfriend and I broke recently, I've never felt so depressed in my life. I still talk to him now and then, but it really hurts because I want him back so much. I love him with all my heart. Before we broke up he asked me to marry him. I was so shocked I said I'd think about it. He then turned round and left me. How can I get him back? I can't live without him in my life. Please help.

  

A - Sorry to hear you have been through so much, you say you feel very depressed at the moment, have you been to see the doctor? This is important as he can help give you the best advice to deal with your depression. Also some counselling might be helpful as I feel that you are quite confused at the moment. I wonder if your boyfriend was committed to you, as you say he asked you to marry him, but you were shocked, why did he then walk out on you. You have to be honest to him and yourself, you say you still talk, so why not ask him "why did you walk out when I said no to your proposal, I needed time to make sure it was what I wanted and that I was ready for the responsibility that marriage brings, i.e. if we wanted children, would we buy a home?" Maybe your boyfriend was not really ready for marriage, only you and him can resolve this, only he can give you the answers you need. For now you have to work on yourself. Start going out with your friends, make a new social life for yourself. You will be fine, you can't base your life on just one man. Why is he still in contact with you? Has he got on with his life? Is he seeing someone else? Find out the answers to these questions, but then move on, you can't live in the past, you deserve to find happiness and love, don't waste anymore time on what might have been. Do you really want someone who can drop you just like that? You have cried enough, stop punishing yourself, he's just not worth it. Find out what you need and then go for it, and if necessary, show him that you don't need him, and you're not going to just sit at home and waiting for his call. Get out there girl and live. I hope this helps you in some way. Keep in touch and take care of yourself.

B - You say that you loved your boyfriend, but couldn't control your jealousy. Sorry but I just don't believe that. I would say that you have been hurt and deceived in the past , but that's where it should stay. You can't make your present boyfriend pay for what someone else has done to you, he is not them! I suggest you get counselling to come to terms with your past and then leave it there and move on. You are lucky to have another chance with your boyfriend, go for it, but it won't last if you don't change, the reason for the split will still be there. You say he gave you no reason to be jealous, believe him. Find time to go out with your own friends or get yourself new interests, then you won't have so much time to worry as to what your boyfriend is up to, and the time that you are together will be spent loving, rather than fighting. Good luck.

 

C -  Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Take the risk and tell your friend how you feel. There's a 50 percent chance she feels the same.

 

D -You want the green light for go, don't you? And basically I'd advise that you just crash those lights if you feel so inclined, BUT beware of the hazards on the road ahead.

First, and tellingly, you don't mention if this chap is married. By 40, most men are, so do understand that his entanglement is likely to be rather different to yours if he is.

A second hazard is your academic future. If you become known for a liaison with a member of staff, other tutors will mark your papers more harshly out of a mixture of self-regarding prudery, envy, and the conviction that you are getting special treatment elsewhere.

Thirdly, you may be mistaken in your assessment of his feelings and therefore risk monumental embarrassment if you betray yours and you are rejected, for whatever reason. This could leave you unable to face his classes. Having said all that, an affair or even a friendship with an older man of education and experience could be genuinely enriching. I have come to believe that all love affairs begin and end in exactly the same way, it is only the middle bit which differs.

So prepare yourself for elation, delight, and a quickening of all the senses if this takes off, but know that it will probably end with heartache, Kleenex (tissues) and recriminations. Not to mention a sudden abhorence for philosophy. But hey, what's life without a few little risks? Test the water very gently, do some post-tutorial flirting in the guise of asking for special help with an essay or project, and see what happens. Which is doubtless precisely what you intended to do anyway! Good luck.


E - I rarely recommend ANY diet. Depriving yourself of something you love to eat just gives you the incentive to use that food as a reward if you do happen to lose weight, and un-does all your hard work. Instead, I recommend changing eating habits, eating smaller portions, and adding more raw fruits, vegetables and water. Eating healthy is so much more important than 'dieting'. 
Here are some things that many people find effective:

1.  If your stomach is growling, eat a meal...but ONLY eat when you are actually hungry - not when bored or upset or 'just in the kitchen'.
2. Stop eating when you START to feel full, not when you are stuffed. Smaller portions and no second servings REALLY help.
3. Eat several times a day, but in small amounts.
4. DON'T CLEAN YOUR PLATE - even if others are starving, stuffing yourself won't help them.
5.DRINK LOTS OF WATER...keep water with you at all times. Drink 8-10 glasses a day MINIMUM. Buy yourself bottled water...be good to yourself.
6. Keep FRUITS and VEGETABLES on hand for the 'munchies'.  It is amazing how satisfying it can be to chomp a baby carrot or a stalk of celery (I put peanut butter on my celery, though) or a handful of grapes when you are just feeling 'deprived'.
7.Eat unbuttered or lightly buttered popcorn when watching movies, NOT CRISPS. If you are used to munching something, and are tired of vegetables and fruit, popcorn is a good and filling alternative.
8. Take a good multi-vitamin. If you are limiting your food, you are probably limiting your vitamins and minerals, too.
9. GET YOUR FAMILY TO JOIN IN... changing their way of approaching food can help all of you.
10. LOVE YOURSELF AS YOU ARE...if you lose weight, celebrate by buying a new pair of 'smaller' jeans ( not by eating a full sized pizza with everything on it); if you don't lose weight, continue to eat the veggies and fruit and drink water and realise that you have accomplished something - you have modified and improved your eating habits!

Remember that we are all made MARVELOUSLY different. That is what makes this world so interesting! Losing weight is a personal choice, as is not worrying about your size and just enjoying being yourself. Don't dwell too much on changing your size, if you haven't lost any weight in a couple of months then don't kick yourself about it. Instead - love the person that you are!