DR. WALLACE: I am 18 and dating a guy who is 19. We've been dating for about six months. I care for him, but there are times when his behavior bothers me. One minute he is sweet, kind and considerate. Then something triggers him and he threatens me, uses bad language toward me and even sometimes calls me an "idiot." It's almost like he has a split personality.
Last weekend, he told me he wanted me to dye my hair red because redheads turn him on. I have "dishwater" blond hair and really don't want red hair, so I just kind of ignored his request. Well last night, he told me, "Hey, I said I wanted you to dye your hair red!" The tone of his voice kind of scared me because he sounded pretty harsh, and now I'm really confused. If I dye my hair, he might soon make another demand of me that I wouldn't like; plus, I'd be setting a precedent of always doing what he tells me to do, even when it comes to my personal appearance. Is there anything I can do to calm him down? What is your advice? — Anonymous, Akron, Ohio
ANONYMOUS: It appears your boyfriend suffers from a "possessive personality" and needs professional help. Regardless of his personality, this guy is a loser. Keep your "dishwater" blond hair, dump this guy immediately and don't look back. Nobody has the right to demand that a girlfriend (or boyfriend!) change her or his hair color. Falling into this trap will only lead to further demands that may make you uncomfortable. His behavior overall is appalling. Get out now.
DANCE AROUND THIS RELATIONSHIP
DR. WALLACE: My parents and I belong to a church congregation where dancing is considered sinful. I am currently dating a nice young man. We have good times, but we disagree on the "dancing is sinful" issue, and I do not ever attend any school dances with him. He believes dancing is fun and a great way to exercise. In fact, his church sponsors several teen dances a year. So, he became terribly upset with me when his church sponsored a Spring Fling teen dance and I refused to go, even though it was at his church.
My parents are encouraging me to stop seeing him because our religious views and policies conflict on some things, but they are leaving this decision completely up to me. I'd like your evaluation of the situation. — Anonymous, Austin, Texas
ANONYMOUS: Since it appears the dancing issue will always bring conflict and disagreement, I would advise you to end this particular relationship and look for someone who shares your religious views more closely. In your case, it would be wise to seek a young man within your congregation, or one referred to you by a member.
Dr. Robert Wallace welcomes questions from readers. Although he is unable to reply to all of them individually, he will answer as many as possible in this column. Email him at [email protected] To find out more about Dr. Robert Wallace and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.