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Unprovoked brawl causes concern

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DEAR HARRIETTE: My girlfriend and I ended up in the middle of a chaotic fight at a bar the other night. When things started to get too rowdy, I asked her if we could leave, but she insisted that we stay and continue on with our evening as if nothing was wrong. One thing led to another, and she ended up in a full-blown physical altercation with another girl. 

The next day, she apologized to me for being unruly and blamed it all on her drunkenness. Although she told me it would never happen again, I can't look past the trashy, loud, messy side of her that I saw that night at the bar. Could that have been her true character, or should I look past this incident and move on? -- Bar Fight

DEAR BAR FIGHT: Take this incident seriously. When both of you are sober, revisit it. Remind your girlfriend of what happened. Go into detail describing how she behaved, what she said, how she said it and how you feel about it. She will not likely want to be part of this conversation, but you should press her. Tell her how upset you were (and still are) at her behavior. Just because she was drunk does not excuse her, and it makes you look at her in a different light.

Talk about sobriety. Could your girlfriend possibly have a drinking problem? You don't necessarily have to end your relationship now. You should pay close attention to it to see what it needs to be healthier.

DEAR HARRIETTE: I have always been an overachiever. I take pride in knowing that whatever I set my mind to, I can accomplish about 99.9% of the time.  When I got to college, I realized that I was overachieving to fill a sense of emptiness inside. I'm well into adulthood now, and this feeling has not faded. I find myself setting nearly impossible goals for myself, only to accomplish them and feel empty once again. I am ready to dig deeper within myself and find a new purpose. How do I find a purpose? -- New Purpose

DEAR NEW PURPOSE: I love the practice of meditation because it helps us still the mind and listen to the voice inside. I highly recommend that you quiet yourself and look for your own inner guidance. What do you want for your life next? What goals do you have? What do you want for yourself? Is it a relationship? Overall peace of mind? The ability to relax? Is there a hobby that might interest you?

Figure out what is missing from your life and focus some of your attention on that. You can apply similar enthusiasm to a new hobby. Ultimately, though, the goal is to relax and just enjoy the moment. That, in and of itself, is a huge achievement.

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