Dr. Andrew

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What’s borderline personality disorder? My gf was just diagnosed. Is it serious?

If your girlfriend was diagnosed by a mental health professional, and not just by someone who looked something up on the internet, then you both have a problem. In mental health circles borderline personality patients are known as "therapist killers," not that they actually kill anyone, but they wear the therapists out. The hallmark of the disorder for the person involved with a borderline is that one day you are the best thing in the whole world and the next day you are the scum of the earth with no logical explanation for either one. Even for an experienced therapist, it makes you want to go jump off a roof. So, yes, it's serious. On the good side if she is working with an experienced therapist who specializes in personality disorders, she can make good progress. You may need professional help of your own.

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Isn’t it easier to date someone of your own race? I’m just saying...

It depends on your social and family circle. In some cases, yes, it's easier, but that's not what love is supposed to be about. If you are in love with someone, and they meet your needs, that's what counts. For some, crossing the racial or cultural or ethnic or religious barrier is difficulty, since you may be shunned by those who are close to you. You have to examine what is really in your heart and follow that, not some artificial boundary. Whether or not the purists like to hear it, we all pretty much came from the same genes a very long time ago. So the simple answer to your question is "yes," but there is nothing simple about love.

I hate that my boyfriend smokes so much weed. I hid his bag and he thought he smoked it all. So, he just went and bought more. How do I get him to stop?

You are trying to control your boyfriend's bad judgement. It won't work. If it bothers you that much, you have to decide whether you want to be in a relationship with someone who does things that really upset you. By staying with him you are sending a message that he can pretty much do whatever he wants, even if you bitch and moan, but that you won't leave him. You can't get him to stop. He has to do that for himself. But that doesn't mean that you have to be a part of it. If you have been very clear with him about how much it upsets you, then obviously he places his weed ahead of you. That's your reality.

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I met this girl I think is really great....problem is she's 15 (but looks a lot older) and I'm 21. what do I do?

Unless you are a masochist and have a serious desire to get in all kinds of legal trouble, you smile and walk away. The fact that she looks a lot older is irrelevant. The fact that she is 15 is very relevant. You can get yourself into a whole lot of legal trouble fooling around. The old term used to be "jail bait," which is not too far off the mark. Keep in mind that no matter how she looks on the outside, she still has the brain of a fifteen year old. That isn't a put down, it's just a fact. All of us were fifteen at one point making the typical decisions and mistakes that fifteen year olds make along the way to adulthood. Start using the head above your waist instead of the one below your waist.

Am I right to tell my boyfriend not to look at other girls if he's serious about me?

Hmmmm. Can we say "insecure"? If you are really confident, let him compare other girls to you. I'm lucky to be married to someone who at 65 looks almost like she did when she was 25. She actually points out good looking women to me because we both appreciate good looking people. Try not to be jealous. It's not very pretty. He's okay to look in the store even if you're not going to buy the merchandise. Also remember that it's a two-way street.

My girlfriend let’s her bf do pda’s at school. She doesn’t realize what everyone says. How do I tell her?

Unfortunately, your gf does not realize how bad she looks in front of her peers. Most likely your bf has very low self-esteem and is willing to let her extremely disrespectful boyfriend use her as a trophy to show off. All you can do is gently talk to her about what people are saying, and talk to her about respecting herself because you care as a friend. It might work, or she might tell you that you are jealous. It doesn't matter. At least you will know that you acted as a true friend by warning her.

What’s Spanish fly? I heard you can get somebody really horny with one.

Yeah, it's supposedly what's called an aphrodisiac, a turn on drug. It's actually made from bugs. Legends have been built around it stimulating ladies and men. But it also can be dangerous because it is an irritant and can cause inflammation. There are much safer drugs to have an erection last without taking the risks. Date drugs don't turn on women. They only make them not know what's going on. If you are really good and know what you are doing, you don't need anything to assist you in turning your partner on.

My daughter is 12 but looks 18. How do I warn her about what’s out there? Concerned Dad.

Dear Dad, This is a tough one. You can talk all you want, but when she is getting a lot of attention from older guys, it's like a built in reward system. The more she's out there, the more attention she gets. The problem for her is that she doesn't learn how to use her other skills and begins to believe that all she has to do is flash a little cleavage, and everyone will jump. And younger guys will stumble over themselves to do whatever she asks. She does not yet understand the world of sex and how it all works. Then when she gets older, she thinks all she has to do is the same thing she did when she was younger. She didn't develop her other skills. You may benefit from professional help if you don't feel you can really communicate with her, but you are absolutely right to be concerned.

I’m scared to date because I screw it up every time. Why is it so hard?

It sounds like you are not really sure what you really want, so dating is more like going out looking for a date with a blindfold on. You have to establish what you want. Our app, Love Shopping List, will help you do this. It's free in the Apple App store. It doesn't have to be so hard, but it will continue to be until you establish who is and who is not really right for you.

My family is opposed to me dating this guy because he’s black. How do I tell them to mind their own business?

Even though your family has misguided beliefs that they will never admit to, they are simply trying to protect you. Rather than tell them to mind their own business, you need to educate them. The best way is for them to meet him. They will have many prejudices and beliefs, but if he is truly a nice young man, he can win them over. I also understand that you are disgusted by their racism, but anger will not get you anywhere. It will only cause them to put up more walls. There's a number of great lessons to be learned in the movie "Remember the Titans" with Denzel Washington. You might want them to watch it with you and then discuss it.

My gf’s father has to see me every time I go to take her out. I think he’s overprotective. Should I say anything?

Yes, you should sit down with him and thank him for being so concerned about someone he loves so much that he wants to protect her. I guarantee you that if you sit down with him, life will be easier. He may be overprotective, but that should be his role as a father. You need to put yourself in his position. If you were to have a daughter, and you knew she was going out with a guy, what would you want to know? There's a great car commercial out now where the father is driving his daughter and her date to a formal dance. He says to the computer, "Play Can't Touch This." Then he says, "Play Keep Your Hands to Yourself." Finally, the daughter says, "OK, Dad. We get it." The startled and terrified look on the young man's face is priceless.

I got drunk and had sex with this guy at a party. My bff says that’s rape. Is it?

If you were so out of it that you were not able to agree or disagree to what was going on, then, yes, it is legally considered a rape. The problem is that you run into a "he said, she said" argument. But if you were really so drunk that you don't remember, then he had no right to do anything to you. This has been played out in the media numerous times, including posting videos of these types of encounters. The bigger picture to me as a psychologist is that you are getting so drunk that you would allow something to happen to you. Please, please get some professional help. Not only your reputation, but your whole future could be at stake.

Are STDs contagious? Can I get them from fooling around?

ALL STD's are contagious, so this really comes down to your second question. Fooling around has many meanings, and people define the term very differently. Most notably, many still think that oral sex is not really sex. It most definitely is sexual contact, and you most definitely can get an STD from oral sex. Any time there is contact with an orifice (opening) or a body part that produces moisture (mouth, vagina, anus, penis) there is the possibility of an STD. That is why practicing safe sex is so important if you decide to become sexually active. Safe sex is not limited to just using a condom.

Can a guy tell if u r a virgin?

Only if you tell him. Even an experienced gynecologist would have trouble distinguishing that. The old idea that a hymen or "cherry" only gets broken from sex is false. Many times very active females have had their hymens stretched or separated just from the activities. There are still some cultures in the world that have ceremonies surrounding virginity. If a female does not bleed when squatting down on a phallus, generally a highly polished and rounded stick, she is frowned upon. This is so wrong for so many reasons, but most of all because it does not indicate that the female was or was not a virgin.

Is it normal to love multiple people at the same time?

It depends on your definition of "normal." You are certainly capable of having deep feeling for more than one person at a time, but sometimes that can create a lot of problems for you. Most often being deeply involved with more than one person gets a bit sticky. Even though the others may be cool initially, it generally leads to some upset feelings, especially if there is talk of marriage down the line because someone has to be left out. If you are unsure or confused, just stick with the casual dating until you make up your mind. You don't want to hurt anyone, and you surely don't want to burn any bridges if you don't have to because that will generally come back to bite you in the butt.

My boyfriend thinks I should pay sometimes. I told him that’s not the way it works. Am I wrong?

So in an era of equality, is there really a reason you shouldn't pay sometimes? Going out is expensive. I get the feeling there's a sense of entitlement going on here. He is going to build up a lot of resentment, and you will find yourself with no boyfriend. Especially with younger people, money is a major issue. It's hard to constantly go out and pay. Yes, there are still a lot of women who feel the traditional "male pays" rule still applies, but that's not the majority because it's not fair. Try being a little bit more undertanding.

My girlfriend thinks we need counseling. I think its a waste of time and money. Do I just go along with it?

If your girlfriend thinks you two need counseling, there are problems in your relationship, and if you value your girlfriend, you will work on your relationship. Obviously, it's gotten past the point that the two of you can handle it by yourselves, otherwise she wouldn't be asking you to do go. The longer she is unhappy, the greater the likelihood your relationship will end. A word to the wise should be sufficient.

Why do guys like porn?

Your question is one of incomplete information. Just as many gals like porn as guys. They just aren't usually as open about it. People like porn because it turns them on. There's a little bit of a voyeur (someone who likes to watch) in all of us. Sometimes we can learn a lot from the pros. If your culture or religion is opposed to adult entertainment, then I would suggest staying away from it and anyone who is involved with it. Otherwise it's up to you as to what you see. Please note that when I am talking about porn, I am absolutely oppose to kiddie porn or depicted sexual violence of any kind.

Is group sex bad for you?

It probably depends what group you're in. Bad and good are relative terms, and they are, most certainly, in the eye of the beholder. You can have sex in a group, but you can't have intimacy in a group (but I'm sure there are those who will argue the point). Group sex is certainly an activity of excitement, but it can also be harmful emotionally. The vast majority of my patients who have spoken about group sex have used it to try to fulfill an emptiness. We all make choices, and if this is a choice you make, just do it in a safe fashion.

Do certain groups of people really make better lovers?

Love myths are all over the place. While some cultures are more physically demonstrative than others, there is no one class defined by ethnicity, race, or culture that produces better lovers. Making love, as opposed to having sex, and, yes, there is a definite difference, is an art form. A better lover is one who meets and exceeds the intimacy needs of her or his partner. We are all not supposed to have a lot of love making, but we're all expected to be great lovers. It doesn't work that way. Good love making means learning what turns the other person on. It's worth studying!! Hopefully, you will get an "A" in the class.

I’m 21 but live at home. My parents want me to have a curfew. Really?

Yours is a problem that many young people have still living at home. If your parents are trying to control you, that's one thing. But most younger people don't consider the real reason many parents ask for a time limit coming home. As we all age, we tend to not sleep as well, and even slight sounds can disrupt our sleep. If you are coming home at all hours of the night, it may be disrupting your parents' sleep. It's especially annoying to hear the alarm turned off and then set back on. You might want to find out the "why" behind what they are asking. Ultimately, it's still their house, and as long as you want or need to stay there, you're going to have to follow their rules. Really.

Is it bad to date two girls at the same time?

It's only bad if you get caught :-). If the "dating" is not serious, and there are no strong commitments, there should be nothing wrong. Most people who are in dating mode, go out with more than one person. On the other hand, if you are getting serious with either, it would be advisable to choose, since nobody likes to be cheated on. BTW I'm assuming you meant going out with them separately as opposed to a threesome. But ... whatever floats your boat.

How do I tell my future mother-in-law to butt out of our wedding?

What is supposed to be a wonderful occasion often turns into a battleground. The two of you have to be of one mind and then sit down with her together to express your concerns. You can tell her that while you appreciate her suggestions (even if you didn't ask for her opinion), the two of you would like the opportunity to make decisions on your own about this very important day. Try not to get off to a bad start with in-laws. The stink really never goes away. A good strategy that I have seen many times is to actually give her tasks for the wedding that either you don't care about or you really don't want to do. That way she feels included. You just need to make sure to keep the boundaries with her.

My gf is nice but too needy. I don’t want to break up but... Help!

There can be two sides to this. Your gf can truly be needy, or you just may not be meeting her needs. Depending on which it is, you will first need to really examine where the problem begins. If she is really insecure, you have to ask yourself if you are doing everything you can do to make her feel secure in the relationship. Remember, it's not what YOU think should make her feel secure. It's what SHE thinks will make her feel secure. The only way you are going to find out is to talk with her, but in a very supportive manner. In a non-judgmental manner, ask her what you can do to make her feel secure. And you should certainly express your own needs. Relationships are a two-way street.

What is the best way to keep my bf interested?

If he's your boyfriend, he's already interested. If he's not, dump him. Work at being the best at who you can be, your looks, your personalty, your attitude, your health, your future, your playfulness, and the rest should take care of itself. There are lots of things you can do to just be an interesting person, but you should not have to work just to please one other person. Unless you find yourself incredibly boring, feel happy from the inside out about who you are. Sometimes when we are insecure in relationships, we try to do everything to please the other person, but we forget to be okay with ourselves first.


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