Questions From The Chase: Medical Issues

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Questions From The Chase

I haven’t done a questions segment in a while, so this week I have what I think is a girl who is seeing a guy with a substance abuse problem. I don’t want to make any assumptions, but the way she worded everything makes me immediately think there is a drug or drinking issue. You be the judge. The other one comes from a girl who doesn’t know how to broach the subject of her medically required sobriety. Keep the questions coming to my new e-mail address: and I’ll answer them in a timely manner. Questions, as always, are in italics below.

Hi Johnny,

I’m a huge fan of your columns and hope Austin is treating you well. This feels so weird writing in to you about my problems, but I wanted your expert advice. Clearly I need your help. I’ve been seeing this guy for some time and we’ve gotten pretty close. Everything was going great between us. You know, great conversation, great sex, the whole thing. A little while ago, things started to change. He’s been dealing with a lot of personal things, and without going into details, he needs to get some help. I told him that I would be there for him, but he said he refused to put me through this ordeal because he didn’t want to hurt me. I know he cares about me, and I don’t doubt that had he not had these issues, we would be together. He told me that he can’t be anything more to me than friends right now because he’s so scared that he’ll eventually hurt me and is convinced that I’d be happier with someone else. I know that most of what he’s saying is stemming from what’s going on right now in his life. I decided to give him space and let him do his own thing. I know this is stupid, but this guy is different from other guys I’ve been with and I don’t think that at this point in my life I would be happier with someone else. Basically, I think my question is: what should I do? Do you think I have a chance at things going back to how they were after he deals with his own personal issues? I think he’s worth waiting for but I don’t want to stupidly hold out hope for something that won’t happen.

One thing I’ve learned in my twenty-five years is that you don’t want to be dependent of anyone. Sure, you can always count on your parents or siblings to have your back, but people with no blood relation can, and will fuck you over if it benefits them. Inherently, everyone is selfish. And although I understand you probably want to be there for your boyfriend who appears to be going through some shit, if he’s asking you to leave him alone then you need to do exactly that. You need to be selfish because that is sounding like your only chance to be happy. If you did decide to wait around for him to get better, you would be miserable. Grief is not easy to deal with, and it’s much harder when the one person you want to talk to doesn’t want to talk back.

I think I’ve been watching too much Sex and the City as of late because I’m starting to get the idea in my head that every girl has dated a dude with a drug or alcohol problem. Now, in most television shows, the girl doesn’t notice their significant other has an issue until it spirals out of control. But this situation seems to be different. Probably because real life isn’t nearly as cliche as Hollywood wishes it was. Look, I don’t know the intimate, specific details of what your beau is currently dealing with so I can only make assumptions. Your boyfriend seems to have gotten a jump on his issues, so it really depends on if he’s going to enter rehab or if he’s just going to start seeing some kind of therapist. I would say if he’s doing some sort of drug treatment program where he’s required to stay in a hospital of some kind, let that shit go. He’s got his own issues as I’m sure you have yours. Don’t muddy the water even further by trying to take on his problems for him. So let’s say he does go to a hospital to get treated for whatever it is he’s trying to rid himself of. He gets out in six months or a year or whatever — maybe then you can try and rekindle the flame that I’m telling you to extinguish temporarily. I’m not saying you need to cut the guy off forever. I’m saying that you should give him the space he wants. Get to know yourself a little better in the time being. He’ll come back to you when he’s ready.

Hey John,

Long time reader, first time writer. I’m 25 and been engaging in the chase for a while now, but recently I got diagnosed with a condition that even though I’ll have it for life, it can be managed better by not drinking (I’m not dying, its not cancer, but it is still a sensitive subject that might be a lot to talk about on a first date). Needless to say, I’m pretty bummed, dating is tough enough as it is, but then to have to do it without a glass or three of pinot is the worst. Anyway, my question is how I can tell guys who want to grab a drink, that my drink will be water? Saying its for medical reasons seems like too much to dive into, but I also want to be upfront about it. Maybe I’m just overthinking it, but a guys insight would be great. Thanks!

I was at brunch yesterday with a buddy of mine who told me a story about a bumble date he was recently on. Twenty minutes before meeting up, the girl informed him that she was deaf. Not wanting to be an asshole, he went on the date despite the fact that he had to use the Notes app on his iPhone the entire time to communicate with her. While I thought it was odd of this girl to not inform him of her disability, I can understand her trepidation about probably not wanting to tell him about it. Your medical condition that prevents you from drinking is not nearly as bad as this. I think if you’re up front with a guy and just tell him that a medical diagnosis renders you incapable of drinking, he’s not going to give a shit. There are more important attributes given to a person than their ability to drink alcohol. I think as long as you make it clear that you don’t have a problem with him having a few beers in front of you there won’t be a problem. Never give up on the chase. Happy hunting.

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