DR. WALLACE: I need all the advice I can get. I love my father with all my heart and soul, but I'm afraid I will lose him to cancer if he doesn't stop smoking right away. He smokes over two packs of cigarettes a day, and many times, he has two cigarettes lit at the same time.
He is 38 years old and has been smoking for 23 years. I feel that if he doesn't quit soon, it will be too late. He is now to the point that he coughs all the time and says his chest hurts.
I keep telling him to go to a doctor, but he won't listen. Please help. I'm open to all suggestions. — Anonymous, Moline, Illinois
ANONYMOUS: Your father is indeed fortunate to have such a caring and loving daughter. Clip today's column out of the newspaper and insert it in an appropriate card. Write on the card that he is the greatest father in the world and you love him very much. Ask him to please stop smoking because you need him. I trust this will have a lasting impact on your father and will hopefully spur him to take those first, important steps toward resolving to quit smoking.
Please know in advance that it will be a huge task for your father to find a way to quit smoking after so many years. But the key is getting him motivated to take some actions toward quitting. Only he can motivate himself in this regard, so your card may be a great way to get him to think about it seriously.
MAKE NEW FRIENDS RIGHT AWAY
DR. WALLACE: I am an 18-year-old young woman, and I'm extremely confused. My boyfriend and I had dated seriously for two years. We spent all our free time together and loved being with one another. We both started attending the same community college last fall. One day after school had started, he came up to me on campus and said he was tired of being tied down.
It's been two months since we broke up. We see each other on campus, and he still comes up, kisses me and tells me he misses me but says that our relationship is finished, and he will never go out with me again. He also said I don't matter to him anymore, even though I wrote and told him that I love him and would do anything to get him back.
His mother says she thinks he still loves me and that he is just going through a phase and will soon come back to reality. Do you think I should forget about this guy or take a chance and wait a while to see if he "finds" himself? — Unsure, via email
UNSURE: College gives you a wonderful opportunity to meet and make friends with both female and male students. If you believe your ex could be "finding" himself, it may be possible he will return and be your true love. Then again, he may not. But while he is trying to discover what he really wants, you will not be wasting any time waiting because you will be enjoying time with some new friends and, yes, even a possible new boyfriend. My advice is to socialize on your own as if he will never come back to you. If by chance he does, you can evaluate your level of interest at that time. Your own level of interest in him may change over time, too, so keep that in mind. If he never returns, you will not have wasted time waiting around, feeling down and hoping he might make contact again.
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.
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