I have been with my boyfriend for two years. I love him desperately, but he ex­cludes me from any­thing work-re­lated, like out­ings with his col­leagues. When I said I felt in­sulted and un­able to com­mit to a fu­ture, he cried. I feel we should break up be­fore

Cosmopolitan (India) - - YOU, YOU, YOU -

A:

Men and women reach­ing for the top of the lad­der need some­where away from of­fice pres­sure and pol­i­tics; some­where they are nei­ther boss nor bossed. His emo­tional re­sponse to your feel­ings in­di­cates how much he ap­pre­ci­ates you as his es­cape. He doesn’t want you to mix with his col­leagues be­cause you’re his lifeaf­firm­ing al­ter­na­tive. Con­cen­trate on mak­ing the life you share loving and lively—in­vite friends over, plan days out for the two of you and en­joy your job rather than re­sent­ing his. And by the way, to love some­one ‘desperately’ isn’t a good idea. Much bet­ter to love hap­pily and hope­fully.

Q: I am in a long-dis­tance re­la­tion­ship. We spent six weeks to­gether but now live in dif­fer­ent coun­tries. I haven’t seen him in a month. He says I’m wel­come to visit him but makes no ef­fort to visit me. What should I do? My friends say I ought to find some­one here, but I re­ally like him. A:

Long-dis­tance re­la­tion­ships are dif­fi­cult, mostly be­cause they en­cour­age day­dreams about who you are as much as about who he is. He ed­its ev­ery­thing he says to you. And you know you edit what you say to him. So he could be scared to com­mit him­self to a visit and let you see him away from his support sys­tems. Common sense agrees with your friends: let him go. But ro­mance says—as long as you keep your wits about you—why not see him again? Talk to him face to face, watch his re­ac­tions, and get to know him bet­ter than you ever could long-dis­tance.

Q: My boyfriend has a fe­male friend who mes­saged him on Face­book when she was dumped by her boyfriend. Then we were at a party where he had his arms around her and they were chat­ting while I sat alone at the bar. I don’t want to seem needy but do I have a right to be angry?

A:

Yes. His rude­ness de­serves anger. And con­trolled anger can be con­struc­tive. Tell him you de­serve an apol­ogy, not be­cause of her but be­cause he ig­nored you in pub­lic. Keep jeal­ousy out of it, or he could feel forced to de­fend their friend­ship against you. And maybe that’s ex­actly what she wants. When a boyfriend’s good friend hap­pens to be fe­male, it’s smart to be­come her friend too. Next time you meet her with or with­out him, be­gin a con­ver­sa­tion about any­thing but him. She’ll soon re­veal in hints and at­ti­tude whether there’s hope or heat be­tween them for you to deal with. Or to walk away from.

Q: I know that knits are re­ally big right now, but can I re­ally wear a knit for the night? A:

Sure you can! The trick lies not in the ac­tual fab­ric, but the de­tails on it and what you pair it with. For in­stance, you could team a jumper with a for­mal skirt as seen at Michael Kors or add tonnes of jew­ellery to a sim­ple knit top. If all else fails, sim­ply go with a piece that’s bright.

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