Q & A ADVICE COLUMN Q: My live-in boyfriend of two years told me we need “space”. He said we argue too often and he wants us to take time and think about what we both want out of the relationship. I am crushed. He’s the love of my life. I’ll do anything to keep our relationship. Is this doomed to fail? Sincerely, Say It’s Not Too Late A: Hang in there, girl, relationships are tough! First thing’s first – you are not doomed. Taking time to yourself can be a good thing. You’re two years in, it’s common for the honeymoon phase to start to lose its shine around 30 months, according to a New York University study.* It can be unnerving when the cute quirks your other half has start turning into annoying habits, and arguments may ensue. The big positive here: you have a partner that has the e.q. to want to take time to gather thoughts and work on the relationship. Things to do during this time: Think! – He’s asking for time for you to both think, so do it. Where is the real disconnect here? Where do you feel your needs aren’t being met? This is an opportunity for you to be transparent with one another without risk of backlash. Use the moment to be honest about what you need out of the relationship, and work together on a plan to satisfy those needs. Listen. – You may feel defensive when his requests seem like picks at your flaws. Understand that they’re not. (If he says things like “you’re stupid” or “you’re useless” or “I do nothing wrong, this relationship would be perfect if you didn’t x, y, z….” immediately end both the conversation and possibly the relationship.) He deserves the same amount of safe space for openness as you do. Listen to his concerns and, again, work together to come up with an action plan. Be patient with each other. – This is arguably the most important piece of the relationship puzzle. You’re asking one another to adjust habits that likely come naturally to you. This will not be an easy adjustment to make, but if you’re focused on a 180, you’re missing the real point. The point here is for each of you to feel your partner listened to you. Make conscious efforts to respect each other, and forgive the occasional lapse. Understand neither of you are perfect, and probably wouldn’t love each other so much if you were. Q: I chose the wrong major. I graduated in the winter with a degree in nursing, I’m 3 months into my job and I hate every second of it. I’m afraid I’ve made a terrible mistake, but the thought of going back to school is horrifying. What do I do!? opportunities to move in the direction you want. Next, figure out execution. Here’s where things can get tricky. Mr. Perfect himself, Dwayne “The Rock’ Johnson, once said, “Remember, we can have everything we want in life. We just gotta be willing to put in the work and be open to how to get it.” I’ve never agreed with anything more. My point is that your path may not be an easy one. Maybe you’ll have to make sacrifices on timing, maybe you’ll have to take a pay cut, maybe you’ll have to demote yourself. My advice? Never stop working for what truly makes you happy. It’s worth it in the end! Sincerely, Forever is A Long Time A: Welcome to adulthood, my friend. The beautiful thing about having control of your own life: you always have a choice; the awful thing: you always have the risk of making the wrong one. In the name of optimism, let’s focus on the positive with this situation. My sensational mother has spent my life drilling one message into my head: you’re never stuck. It’s a total drag to spend a significant amount of your time doing something you hate, but you always have an option. All you need to do here is figure out what is doable for you at this time. Take a breath and pinpoint what exactly you’re not liking about your role. Is it something as simple as working on the wrong unit? Is it the hands-on aspect, and do you have the option of transitioning to an administrative role? Do you need to completely start over? Your first step is to identify the issue at hand, and your REVEAL | Q3 2017 33 Christina is an Ohio native who moved to Atlanta five years ago to pursue a career in Corporate America and expand the culture and diversity in her life. Since arriving, she has worked for three major corporations in the Metro Atlanta area. Having a passion for women uniting and uplifting one another, Christina was hooked on the idea of Atlanta Social Club the moment she heard of it, quickly becoming one of its earlier members. Christina’s main goal is to gain as much life knowledge as possible via her own experiences or stories from others, and use that knowledge to empower the women of Atlanta. Christina is a Brand Ambassador for ASC and enjoys networking and meeting new people. Connect with her via Facebook (Christina Starr), Instagram (@cthestarr), or at Christina.Starr12@gmail.com .