Ask Clare: I hate earthquakes!!

Welcome to Ask Clare, our advice column.  Have a question, dilemma, or quandary?  Send it to Clare in an email or on her Facebook page.

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Clare,

I hate earthquakes. I have no clue how anyone could sleep through that madness. I’m telling you – I will be stressed and losing sleep for the next few days thinking about the “big one.” Any advice on how to chill when something is freaking you out?
– Quakin’ in my boots

Quakin’ in my boots,

While my paranoia prevents me from sharing my big fear, I can share with you my coping mechanism. If I am stressed during daylight hours, I play a video of a moment from my favorite vacation. Think tiny turtles finding their way to the sea. In the evening, I rely on a technique I picked up at a yoga class. Here’s something similar on YouTube. Good luck. Let’s hope that wasn’t a preshock…
– Clare

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Clare,

A friend of mine is incredibly thoughtful. She routinely sends me gifts and cards. I feel like I am constantly trying to keep up in some unspoken competition. I don’t have the time or energy to keep this up but I don’t want her to think I don’t care. How can I deescalate?
– Gifts gone wild

Gifts gone wild,

Tell your friend that you really appreciate her thoughtfulness but certainly don’t expect or need it as a sign of your friendship. Go about treating her with all of the kindness you do your other friends. Dial it back – maybe she will, too. She may keep it up – don’t feel guilty about your actions or reactions. Do what you can and want to.
– Clare

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Clare,

I am in love! Love, I tell you. I’m ready to propose to this woman after just a month together. She’s unlike any woman I have dated. What is the appropriate amount of time to wait before I take this step? I don’t want to blow it by coming on too hard, too soon.
– Head over heels

Head over heels,

It sounds like you should take a breath (or ten) and slow it down. You want your potential soul mate to have time to adjust to life with you. Consider taking a step in between and asking her to move in before you pop the question. You’ll be able to see how she reacts to that and get valuable insight into how she is as a roommate. Not all lovers can be roommates, too. That’s vital spouse intel.
Also – That last sentence in your letter!! ????
– Clare


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