S. Bear Bergman | Asking Bear Archive
15596
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  • HOW DO I TELL MY FAMILY I’M REALLY HAPPY (IN A WAY THAT’S WAY OUTSIDE THEIR EXPERIENCE)?
    Dear Bear, I don’t mean to sound like a Tumblr post but all of this info is relevant to my question so I’m 26, nonbinary, assigned male at birth, and asexual. For a long time I really thought something was horribly wrong with me. I…
  • HOW DO I LET GO OF HOPING TO GET MY EX-GIRLFRIEND BACK?
    Dear Bear, About 2 months ago my ex ended our 4 year relationship with me because “something didn’t feel right.” We shared many firsts from the first kiss right up to the first break up. This deeply saddened me and I am still struggling with…
  • WHAT SHOULD I, A WHITE PERSON, DO?
    Dear Bear, I can’t imagine you have an answer to this question. But you seem willing to try tackling hard questions and I (a cis white queer in a mid-size city) am at a loss. Everything is awful. Every day there’s a new atrocity in…
  • I NEED MY JOYFRIEND TO STOP AND THINK ABOUT MY FEELINGS, BUT THEY WON’T. WHY?
    Dear Bear, My joyfriend is smart and interesting and funny and great and also sometimes when they see something they want they just go barreling forward toward it and start acting like a jerk if I ask for pause or process or consideration. Some of…
  • CAN I JUST STOP TALKING TO PEOPLE IF THEY’VE BEEN HORRIBLE TO ME?
    Dear Bear, In therapy I am learning some new things. One of them is that a lot of times I give people too many chances and let them treat me badly over and over without any consequences. When I ask for an apology I am…
  • WHO CAN I TALK TO ABOUT HARD THINGS WITH MY PARTNER?
    Dear Bear, My partner and I have been struggling for a while. We are each other’s best friends and confidantes, and so these current struggles are especially hard. I feel like I have no one to talk to — I would normally consult my partner!…
  • HOW DO I…NOT BE RACIST? AS A WRITER? AS A PERSON?
    Dear Bear, I’m a grad student attending a university on the east coast, and I am… struggling with my faith in social justice and liberalism in general, just because the things I see people doing don’t line up with what they say they’re about. I…
  • HOW DO I KEEP MY PARENTS FROM COOPTING MY WEDDING?
    Dear Bear, I am in the middle of planning my very queer and very Jewish wedding, our parents are splitting the cost for some context. It is bringing up everything I’ve avoided addressing with my parents, namely the fact that I’m a person with my…
  • MY HOME IS UNSAFE FOR ME TO EXPLORE MY GENDER. WHAT DO I DO?
    Content note: this question contains short but intense descriptions of emotional abuse by parents. Dear Bear,  A year and a half ago everything seemed to click into place, and I realized how much I hated she/her pronouns and words associated with femininity directed at me….
  • HOW DO I MANAGE A FRIEND BREAK-UP IN A SMALL COMMUNITY?
    Dear Bear, Is there a way to deal with a friend break-up if the friend just slowly but completely excludes you from their life instead of acknowledging something hurt them and discussing it? I don’t know what’s going on. This person has not responded to…
  • WE LIKE EACH OTHER, BUT IS THAT ENOUGH?
    Hi Bear! I’ve known I was bi since I was 16 and fell in love with a girl who was strictly straight and conservative which did not end well, but hey it was life experience despite how hard it was. But because of that, I’ve…
  • HOW DO I DEAL WITH MY FRIEND DOING SOMETHING I THINK IS IMMORAL?
    Dear Bear, When we first met, my close friend (we’ll call her Enid for privacy) had recently been cheated on and dumped by her boyfriend of four years. She was going through a lot of heartbreak and self esteem issues at that time, so she…
  • DO I HAVE TO ATTEND THE FUNERAL OF THE ONE RELATIVE I LIKED IN MY AWFUL FAMILY?
    Dear Bear, My uncle has just died and that’s very sad for me. We liked each other a lot and often spent the hard parts of family gatherings doing chores and escaping from our other relatives which neither of us ever liked very much. I…
  • YAY 2018? EXCEPT I AM NOT FULL OF YAY, OR ANYTHING EXCEPT WTF.
    Dear Bear, It’s about to be New Year’s Eve, and everyone is posting their #instagrambest9 and making resolutions and so forth and I mostly want to hide under my bed. The world is a shit fire, I’ve had a really hard year personally, and also…
  • WHY DON’T MY FRIENDS TAKE CARE OF ME? AM I BAD AT FRIENDSHIP?
    Dear Bear, I’m part of a friend group that’s pretty close and does a lot of things together even though we don’t all live in the same city anymore (we call ourselves The Breakfast Club though we’re really now more like The Big Chill without…
  • I GOT A JOB AFTER COLLEGE BUT FEW OF MY FRIENDS DID AND I FEEL AWFUL.
    Dear Bear, As of a couple months ago, I am a college graduate (yay!). I went to a good school, worked my ass off, and got a good job doing something like doing and am steadily getting better at. The problem is that most of…
  • MY MOTHER HATES MY HUSBAND. WHAT DO I DO?
    Dear Bear, My situation is simple but awful. My mother really really hates my husband, Mike*. She says he’s lazy and stupid and selfish and all kinds of other things that just aren’t true. He’s not perfect but no one is. She certainly isn’t. But…
  • I HAD SEX WITH SOMEONE I SHOULDN’T HAVE. NOW WHAT?
    The allure of the forbidden is real, and we should probably usually resist it, but human beings are human. Dear Bear, I had sex with someone I probably should not have had sex with. Specifically, I had sex with the husband of my PhD advisor….
  • WHAT DO WE DO NOW?
    Dear Bear, What the fuck are we supposed to do now? • • • Dear Brave Correspondent, I think this is a very reasonable question. What’s more, I think that it pretty well echoes what a lot of people are thinking right now. In this…
  • SHOULD I TELL MY FRIENDS AND FAMILY I’M POLY?
    Dear Bear, I have started a great new-ish relationship. It’s sweet and hot and exciting and all the good things and I feel really good about it. However, I am resisting telling people about it and/or reluctant to discuss it even though I’m happy because…
  • HOW DO I GET MY SEXIST BOSS TO APOLOGIZE?
    Dear Bear, My boss said something so stupid and sexist and actually really rapey the other day, again, and I called him on it right there in the meeting. He said, “I’m sorry if you were offended.” He seems to think that’s an apology and…
  • MY BOYFRIEND HATES LEAVING THE HOUSE
    Dear Bear, Is “this just isn’t enough fun for me” a legit reason to leave somebody?  My partner and I have been together a few years and this relationship stressor continues to come up.  He likes TV and movies.  While I enjoy a (literal) Netflix…
  • I THINK MY FRIEND IS IN A DOWNWARD SPIRAL. HOW DO I HELP HER?
    Dear Bear, I think my good friend (we can call her “Molly”) is in trouble and I’m not sure what to do or how to help her. Recently she has been drunk (I think, maybe on some other drugs but acting in a way that…
  • I KNOW MY BOYFRIEND IS ABUSIVE. WHY CAN’T I LEAVE?
    Dear Bear, For the past couple of years, I’ve been in an on/off relationship with an older man. He’s charming, sexy, funny, and clever. On a good day we have such a loving, meaningful connection; we’ve supported each other through hard times, and bonded over…
  • I DON’T DRINK. SHOULD I START?
    Dear Bear, I’m a butch approaching thirty who doesn’t drink and never really has. I’m now feeling conflicted about whether or not I should start. The reasons for my abstinence have been partly situational: I grew up in a family where very little alcohol was…
  • OH NO! I’M LOSING INTEREST IN MY PARTNER
    Dear Bear, I am in a relationship and I can’t tell if it is struggling or if I am self-sabotaging. There are two major factors: multiple stressful life events and my own lack of emotional depth and/or emotional self-awareness. I am not very self-aware in…
  • I’M A QUEER FEMME WOMAN—CAN I CALL MYSELF “PAPA”?
    Dear Bear, I am pregnant! It’s so marvelous. I’m a femme-identified ciswoman and I’m married to a somewhat butchier ciswoman who is THE greatest human who has ever lived. She is so loving to the cats and so patient with me.  And she’s so good…
  • AFTER ORLANDO, I’M SCARED TO TAKE MY CHILD TO PRIDE
    Dear Bear, My partner and I are fretting over taking our 7-year-old to SF Pride. After Orlando and the person arrested with intent to harm LA Pride, it is hard to not feel that SF Pride is a target. Were it just a 20-something me,…
  • I WANTED TO JOIN THE PEACE CORPS, BUT THEN I FELL IN LOVE
    Dear Bear, I’m hoping you can help me figure out what to do. I am about to graduate from college. I really wasn’t sure what I wanted to do after school. I was pre-med and did well and got into a good med school, but…
  • MY FAMILY IS TRYING TO GUILT ME INTO TALKING TO MY ABUSIVE DAD
    Dear Bear, How in the world do I deal with my family’s disapproval surrounding me no longer having a relationship, through my own choice, with my terribly abusive dad? I am 23 years old. I have a mom and a younger sister. All three of…
  • WHAT IF MY RELATIONSHIP HAS AN EXPIRATION DATE?
    Dear Bear, I have been seeing a man for about 7 months. I got out of a (5 year) long-term relationship about two months before I met this man. Many people view our relationship as a “rebound” relationship, and at first, I did too. But…
  • CAN MY BOYFRIEND AND ME (AND HIS KID AND HIS EX) MAKE A HOME TOGETHER?
    Dear Bear, I’ve been with this fellow for 2.5 years now. We both had been in long-term relationships prior to meeting (his was 11 years plus a kid, mine was five years plus a cross-country move). We adore each other, and have talked about moving…
  • MY FUTURE FAMILY-IN-LAW IS CAUSING WEDDING DRAMA
    Dear Bear, My fiancé and I recently got engaged after 4 years together. My fiancé has two sisters, let’s call them Suzie and Katie. Suzie is wonderful. I enjoy spending time with her, find her to be great company, and feel privileged to have her…
  • EVERYTHING IS FINE. SO WHY DO I FEEL LIKE A TOTAL LOSER?
    Dear Bear, I’m a PhD student, living with my dad and commuting to school about once a week. I was very lucky to get a scholarship that covers my tuition and living costs (so basically, it’s a job.) I’m really shy and have a congenital…
  • MY FRIENDS SAY I CAN’T TAKE A JOKE
    Dear Bear, Lately I have been wrestling over this question. I have been getting feedback from others: they say I am too easily and too often offended, and can’t take a joke. I do not agree with this assessment, but because I don’t want to…
  • HOW DO I TALK TO MY PARTNER ABOUT NONMONOGAMY?
    Dear Bear, After a long string of unhealthy relationships, I suddenly find myself in something that feels deeply good with a woman who likes me as much as I like her. I also live with a lot of baggage. Persistent chronic mental illness, PTSD from…
  • MY PARTNER MAKES NO MONEY IS THAT A PROBLEM?
    Dear Bear, I’ve been with my partner for five years, and I want to spend many more together. We both hate capitalism. He grew up extremely poor and I grew up wealthy. I’m all about redistribution of wealth in all aspects of my life, and…
  • DO I HAVE TO BE FRIENDS WITH PEOPLE I DISAGREE WITH POLITICALLY?
    Dear Bear, Can I end relationships (platonic, romantic, sexual, all kinds) if the person treats me well personally, but holds political views that I believe are contrary to the goals of my activism? I hear a lot, “You should be friends with people who disagree…
  • I DON’T WANT TO SPEND 2016 FEELING BAD ABOUT MY LOOKS
    Dear Bear: This may be a very silly question, but: how do I make peace being unattractive? A bit of context here: I’m a bisexual woman in my twenties. I’ve never been traditionally feminine, but nor am I butch in an interesting way.  I am…
  • IS IT OK TO BE SO, SO SAD ABOUT MY MISCARRIAGE?
    Dear Bear, I’m a good feminist. I know that at eight weeks of gestation a pregnancy does not yet mean a baby, and I absolutely would support a person’s right to choose abortion at that point (or at any point, really). But I was personally…
  • I HATE HOW MY FAMILY CELEBRATES THE HOLIDAY
    Dear Bear, Maybe this is too small a problem for your column, but here goes: I hate the holidays. It’s the gift-giving specifically that I hate so very much. Hates it we does. I don’t really like stuff. I try to have as little of…
  • HOW CAN I FORGIVE SOMEONE FOR DUMPING ME?
    Dear Bear, I am being told I don’t understand anything about forgiveness. And maybe I don’t. My partner of five years has decided to leave me and he says I need to forgive and move on. I say that easy for him to say. He’s…
  • MY FRIEND IS GETTING MARRIED TO SOMEONE AWFUL. WHAT CAN I DO?
    Dear Bear, One of my closest friends began dating someone about a year ago, and even though I’ve really tried to embrace her, I strongly dislike her. It’s been a strain on our friendship from my perspective but he’s so blissed out on new relationship…
  • HOW DO I GET OKAY WITH BEING BAD AT STUFF?
    Dear Bear, I’m a pretty smart, capable guy, but I HATE doing things I’m not good at. A few months ago, we went to one of those “drink while everyone in the group does a painting” events, and it was torture: I’m not talented in…
  • MY KIDS ARE NOW ADULTS – BUT THEY STILL DON’T GET ALONG
    Dear Bear I feel ridiculous writing to an advice column at my age but I am at my absolute wit’s end. You seem to be rather evenhanded and that’s what I need right now. My situation is that I have four children, and the two…
  • AM I GAY? OR IS THIS CRUSH I HAVE JUST A FLUKE?

    Dear Bear,

    There’s a person I like, who likes me back, who I would like to get into something with. The problem is that they’re not my usual kind of person at all, by which I mean I have pretty much only ever liked girls and he’s a guy. So that’s new.