Q. How do you handle a person who claims they are vegetarian but they secretly eat meat? My roommate calls herself a vegetarian all the time, and yet I see her get pepperoni pizza or have a turkey sandwich or whatever. It drives me crazy that she’s so full of it and deceiving others. —Irritated Roommate
It’s not up to you to be spearheading a Carnivore Inquisition. She’s presumably not entering contests for Vegetarian of the Year or creating a lifestyle startup based on her food choices, so her relationship with others vis-a-vis her vegetarianism is not your responsibility.
In your own interactions with her, you can choose whether to contradict her if she makes claims that don’t hold up. And, of course, if someone for some strange reason asks you if her vegetarianism is 100 percent true, you need not be her alibi. And you can file away your own judgments about her behavior in any way you choose — perhaps it really does say something about her truthfulness, impulse control, image-consciousness, how self-serving she is, whatever. But taking it upon yourself to spread evidence of her contradictions to others seems a waste of energy and a needless addition of stress and conflict.
He wrecked my plan to leave
Q. I am at the end of the road with a 3-year relationship and want to end things and move out and restart my life. But my boyfriend was recently in a serious car accident and is looking at significant physical rehabilitation for a while. He is expected to make a full recovery but currently has issues with mobility. Of course this has added a lot of stress to our relationship but this is not the reason I am breaking up with him. My friends have told me I need to wait. But now that I have made the decision to leave, I feel like not doing so is not being true to either of us. —It’s Over
Here is where the demarcations of girlfriend/partner/roommate/friend matter less than just being a human connected to another human in need. Of course his being injured shouldn’t force you to stay in a romantic relationship, but as his companion of three years and presumably his “emergency contact,” pulling the plug on your interactions altogether seems cruel (abusive or toxic relationships notwithstanding).
There is no one right way to break up, nor are there the perfect words to use, but neither patronizing him nor being particularly confrontational is advisable. The more you can genuinely offer post-breakup support, the more you’re being true to what human connection is all about, labels be darned. Of course, once you initiate the break, he may not want you hanging around to give him rides; that’s his choice. Overall, just be kind. (Hey, might I finally get to use the phrase “conscious uncoupling” in a non-sarcastic way?)
Send your questions for Baggage Check to Dr. Andrea Bonior at email@example.com.
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