ChiArts Advice: Ask Shaman360

"Growth" by Ron Mader is licensed under Creative Commons.

Dear Shaman360,

I asked out my girlfriend about a month ago. We have been on some dates and she’s come over to my house a few times. But recently, my dad told me that I shouldn’t be in an exclusive relationship with anyone, and that I should try to date other girls. I really want to stay with my girlfriend and I don’t want to cheat on her. What should I do?

 — Stuck in the Middle

I feel as if there’s always going to be that one older relative or relatives who push the more promiscuous lifestyle on us thinking we’re young and should enjoy freedom because we have not being permanently tied down yet. While I get this, there are plenty of cases where young relationships flourish into something much more than what some would consider “puppy love,” so if you want to continue with this girl and she does the same for you, then follow your heart and enjoy your relationship regardless of outliers’ opinions on it.

Dear Shaman360,

I know I’m not supposed to feel like this, but it feels like I’m a worthless human because I am overweight. My friends sometimes tease me about it and I always just laugh, but it makes me miserable. When I get home, I bawl my eyes out and I  start getting incredibly angry. I tried to binge and purge but it didn’t work. What should I do?

 — Big Problems

You have the mindset that weight determines someone’s worth, but that’s merely societal norms that have imprisoned you, mi amor. If your “friends” are teasing you and preying upon your insecurity instead of trying to help you overcome it, then those aren’t real friends, and I highly recommend better ones fast. Sticking with toxic people like that will only make you feel worse about yourself, so getting rid of that would be the first step. If you truly want to lose weight, there’s only one way to do it: a healthy diet with lots of veggies and a regular exercise routine. Bingeing and purging will only make you sicker, so instead of wasting your time and energy there, you might as well start right with a home exercise and a healthy diet. Dive in with your genuine happiness and self-appreciation in mind as your most important goal because your main goal at the end of the day is to take good care of yourself. If you get lonely or unmotivated, maybe find someone willing to do it with you. There might be someone out there who understands your struggle.

Dear Shaman360,

I’ve been friends with the same group since I came to this school freshman year, but now that it’s two years later, I feel like I don’t have that much in common with them anymore. Should I just stick it out? I don’t want them to be mad at me, and I don’t even know who else I’d hang out with. But I just don’t like them very much.

 — Separating


Once you leave, you won’t care about them being mad at you anymore. Growth is a necessity, and that comes with moving on from some things — including people.  It they really care about you, they should understand that you have surpassed them and are on to the next step in your journey. If they can’t be excited for you to move forward with your life, then you just get happy about it and make it happen. Start making those connections so you will have places to go in the future. Branch out, and don’t be hesitant. Embrace it.

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