Dear Dr. Faizal
Relationships

Valentine’s Day is the worst day of the year. As the only single person of friends, I’m always hearing about plans for this day and my social media feed explodes with gifts my friends have received. Every year on Feb 14, I sit at home and watch a horror movie by myself. I want to do something different this year. Something fun. Suggestions? – Hate Being Single on V-Day

Dear Hate, It’s true that some singles become a bit sad on Valentine’s Day because they believe it’s a day for couples and that only by being a part of a couple can they be happy. If you also share this perspective, there’s a few ways you could meet someone on this day. You could, as others have done before…

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Relationships

I am a married East Indian man, and my wife and I share a house with my parents. My father has always had an abusive personality. He used to physically beat me during my childhood. For the past one year, he and I have been having problems. I am resenting his abusive nature so much that I don’t want to speak with him anymore. We’ve been avoiding each other for months, but last week he approached me out of the blue and proposed, “The New Year is almost here. Let’s forget all our differences and start a new relationship.” Can this be possible? – Troubled Son

Dear Troubled, It appears that both you and your father have different personalities and worldviews. He seems traditional, and, as such, demands complete and utter obedience from you, his son. You (I’m presuming) have been raised in Canada, where all forms of abuse, from anyone, is frowned upon and where equality and respect are valued. Nonetheless, with your father’s “proposal,”…

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Relationships

I am jealous of my best friend. She’s smart, funny, beautiful, and I feel overshadowed in her presence. She’s also my future sister-in-law and my in-laws have already started comparing us. I’ve been fat-shamed and apparently, am not up to their beauty standards either. They all live in a very tight East-Indian-style joint family and I am worried for myself because my fiancé is a very dedicated son. How do I make them realize that they need to treat me better? – Jealous BFF

Dear Jealous, Though it is not pleasant to be criticized for who we are, I am less concerned about what others say to you or who they are comparing you with. We all, including your friend and future sister-in-law, know someone who is smarter, funnier and more physically beautiful than we are. This is a fact of life, and you…

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Relationships

My girlfriend is a super independent woman. We have been together for six months but she’s emotionally aloof. I understand her emotional resilience given her life experiences and her job as a criminal lawyer but I want her to trust me enough to not hide her emotions in front of me. Sometimes I feel like she doesn’t want to get emotionally dependent on me given her independent personality. On the other side, I am an emotional, 30-year old guy who thinks she’s my soulmate. Any advice? – Hopeless Romantic

Dear Hopeless Romantic, You appear to be a person who is ready to become emotionally connected to your girlfriend. You want intimacy and closeness and you want her to reciprocate by sharing her feelings with you, something that she may not yet be comfortable doing. To feel comfortable in sharing one’s feelings, there first needs to be trust in the…

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