A while ago, I found myself on a path of self-destruction involving frequent hookups with a boy who was pretty horrible to me. After a pathetic amount of time, I snapped out of it and stopped sleeping with him, but this guy is still in my social circle. I’ve cut down on most things that would involve seeing him but there are times when I can’t avoid it. I can’t shake this really angry feeling whenever I even think about him.—Sarah
If by “pretty horrible” you mean that he was cruel to you, or abusive, tell your mutuals about it now. Nobody wants to hang with someone who sucks that much. If he is more general-issue horrible, then there’s nothing—nothing, nothing, nothing—you can do but be over him.
There are three approaches you can take here: If you avoid him, you’ll avoid your friends (and, not incidentally, you’ll avoid fun). Plus, you’ll stay mad and alienated, but you won’t have to deal with it or him directly. If you see him around only when you have to, you’ll keep encountering the way-worse, real-life, sharp-spikes version of the anger you’re already feeling. But, if you really don’t avoid him—if you make an effort to do exactly what you’d do if he wasn’t a factor—you’ll stop caring; your investment in being angry will necessarily decrease as you eventually start to see him as a regular (and therefore non–sexually interesting) person again.
So make a list of his worst qualities, anything from the nega-ways he made you feel to his terrible jeans to his kissing style. Refer to it every time you have that feeling of need or want or anger or loss. Depending on what kind of communicator he is, you might also want to talk to him, not for closure or vindication, because that won’t happen, but to cut through the psychic power he has over you.
And try to learn something from this. Choosing to get with a guy who is so embedded in your primary social circle will usually result in deeply uncomfortable circumstances. That’s just science. Leave the pack for your next hookup, okay?
How important is saving for retirement, really? It doesn’t seem like a regular retirement is in the cards for me or anyone else my age. I have no debt and some savings. I don’t know if I should invest in real estate, or stocks, or put some money away for when I’m 65.—Dominick
Conceiving of my life a year from now is weird enough, so when I add 30-plus years to 30-ish, the vision blurs into a kind of personal utopia where I have houses in idyllic locations, stuffed-full bank accounts, dreamy boyfriends and kids, and a lot of dogs. Of course, this is all totally separate from how I am actually preparing for any of that—which is basically not at all—and that’s terrifying.
Everything about work and life and money is changing: The traditional structure of working forever in one job and then exiting into a gold-watch retirement doesn’t really exist anymore. Many 30-ishes are in heavy debt, and working on contract, probably without benefits and a pension, and definitely without any long-term job security. It seems like this somehow makes us less inclined to save specifically for retirement, maybe because we think we’ll live—and work—forever. Kurt Rosentreter, a senior financial advisor at Manulife Securities, confirms that “Canadians 30 years from now will face a much different retirement than our grandparents did. We are living much longer now,” but adds that health-care costs are rising, and a lot of people will have to work longer because they haven’t saved enough. “The cost of living,” he also adds, “is the highest ever, and annual inflation can double this cost of living every 25 years.” Cool, cool.
The upshot of all of this is that you have to look out for yourself and your future. Rosentreter says, “Everyone is well-served with a balanced savings plan, some real-estate ownership, no debt before retirement, strong disability insurance, a will, written financial goals that you update regularly, and a common-sense overall financial plan.” If you’re not disciplined enough to do this—and you have to do it—make “money” a regular to-do list item and treat retirement like rent. Set up automatic payments so you’re never in the position of choosing between a 3D TV and your still-invisible Future Self. It’s true, Future Self is boring, but at least he won’t be broke.
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