Short Answers

By Jeff Johnson and Paula Forman


Dear Short Answers:
I have a very large family that lives on the other side of the country. I moved away for career opportunities but I must admit that I was never really that close to them. I don’t dislike them, we just don’t have a lot in common. Unfortunately, they don’t seem to feel that way. They invite me to every single holiday from Christmas to Easter to the 4th of July. I go visit them maybe once a year but that doesn’t seem to be enough for them. How do I explain that “I’m just not that into them” without hurting their feelings?
Prodigal Child

Dear Prodigal:
Your actions speak volumes. They understand how you feel and you understand how they feel. Unless you are interested in exploring with them the reasons for your estrangement and are open to changes — let it go. Polite regrets are sufficient.


Dear Short Answers:
For some reason I seem to be much more attractive to other men than I am to women. Really good-looking guys flirt with me while women play so hard to get that I give up before I get anywhere. I’ve had sex with guys and it wasn’t great but it was better than no sex at all. Is it wrong to “pretend” to be gay just to have sex even though I have absolutely no interest in developing a long-term relationship with a guy? Plus, I’ve heard that a lot of women find gay men attractive so maybe it will help me with girls, too.

Dear Bill:
We don’t know if you are gay or straight but your concerns seem rather narcissistic. Rather than focusing on who is attracted to you or why, think about the possibilities of reciprocity. We hear mutually satisfying, caring and sharing relationships are going to be very big in 2018.


Dear Short Answers:
Do you think that everyone has a purpose in life? And if so, how do you know what it is?

Dear Searching:
Do we believe everyone has a pre-determined purpose in life? No – that’s the hard part. You have to find purpose for yourself. There are many roads to take. Try one. Try several. The most grievous error is to take no road at all.


Dear Short Answers:
After a few drinks at a dinner party last week, we played the “what would you do if you only had an hour left to live” game. Of course, everybody said they would spend it with their spouses and kids – except my husband. He said he would have sex with the sexiest prostitute he could find in an hour because that’s something he always wanted to do. You can only imagine how horrified I was. Now that it’s been said, he can’t take it back. Is there any explanation you can give me that would justify his hurtful answer to that question?
Horrified and Hurt

Dear H&H:
This was a parlor game, not a deathbed request. He thought he was being witty, everyone else was hiding out. Feel Better?


Dear Short Answers:
Will I ever get to the age when I don’t truly care what my parents think about me?

Dear Sonny:
This is not a function of age, it is becoming your own true self. You will always care, but maybe not so much. Good luck.

Life is complicated.  “Short Answers” isn’t.

Send a question about whatever is bothering you to or go to and a psychologist and sociologist will answer.  A selection of the best questions will be printed every week in KonkLife.