Dear Dr. Date,I am 26 and have a habit of getting incredibly disappointed with people, especially friends, when plans, expectations, etc. don’t go exactly as I expect. I have become very depressed over the years because of these types of incidents. My mother has had problems getting along with family members over the years, and, therefore, I have felt that my mom, dad and I have lived on a desert island in terms of ever spending much time with family members. This has made me incredibly lonely over the years. I am in a relationship with a really good guy right now, but I want to sabotage the relationship or at least have doomed expectations for it. Basically, I think that there must be something better out there, where I’m living isn’t as fun as somewhere else, that I was given a plan for a great life, but that it’s all screwed up, etc. I’m thinking of breaking up with my boyfriend, a longtime friend, to get involved with another friend who lives a few hours away from here. He has a really cool job with exotic travel, and I like where he lives better than here. He’s more settled in his career, also. To make a long story short, how can I get a more positive attitude and be able to make more decisive decisions? — Goofed Up
What you decide to do regarding your romantic situation is your choice. The problems you have now might not be solved by switching boyfriends. Real life and real love aren’t always as exciting as seeing an out- of-town friend every month or so.
I’ve noticed that for people that are given to mood swings — like you and I are — it’s helpful to let go of the past. If you are the type of person that gets down on yourself for stupid things you’ve done in the past, then you’ve got to tell yourself that you aren’t doomed to repeat your past mistakes. Say it with me … “I’m not doomed to repeat my past mistakes.” In other words, just because you did a crappy job one day, that doesn’t mean you’ll do it again. You have to believe that and take the steps necessary to prevent future problems.
For you, the same advice holds true. Except in this case, you’ve got to have some more patience with your current friends and new people you meet. Not everyone lives by your standards. That’s a simple fact. When you stop expecting everyone to behave as you behave and enjoy their unique perspective on loyalty and time — however frustrating — you’ll be much better off. Also, make sure you don’t pin other people’s sins on new people that you meet.