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Woman fears losing Boyfriend

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Carolyn Hax' column today...

Boyfriend lives life on the edge, while girlfriend frets

Carolyn Hax on Apr 6, 2018

Dear Carolyn:

I'm terrified about my boyfriend's hobby: riding motorcycles. We've been together two years and in that time he has crashed twice, the last time totaling his bike. Thankfully, both times he only had minor injuries.

However, he is now looking to buy ANOTHER bike, and every time I imagine him on a motorcycle I just see myself at his funeral. I want to be supportive because I know he loves it, but it causes me so much anxiety.

What can I do? I've talked to him about it but he gets upset because he feels like I'm not supportive. He doesn't seem to see the risks. He thinks he's immortal. I don't know what to do.

-- K.

(Carolyn Hax tends to get too wordy in my estimation when she should just quit while ahead, so I am only quoting a partial answer because it contains the nitty gritty of it.)

But loving someone is a guarantee of heartbreak. Well, there is one loophole: when you die first. So if you're building your happy on a belief that it's possible for no bad things to happen, and if your happy can be derailed by having to stand closer to reality than your heart and imagination want you to, then please spend less time trying to rein in your boyfriend and more on your emotional resilience.

It's hard. No one (healthy) wants pain. The only way many of us can face the idea of loss is through inevitability -- when a loved one's illness, injury or death forces us to.

But it needn't be that way. Our minds are powerful things, and when we stop telling them life will be good when everything lines up just right, and tell them instead that life is good when we enjoy what we have while we have it -- with conviction, with joy, with a release of strict expectations -- our minds start to believe it.

One mantra to retrain your mind toward strength: "I can't stop this, change this, prevent this. I can only manage it when it happens."

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