Hunting for Help

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Dear Jack,

I recently changed schools and yes, it's my senior year and I had to make all new friends. I've always been good at making friends, so it wasn’t too bad. It wasn't long before I met this really sweet guy and we've really connected and fallen in love.

There's just one thing. When I fell in love with him, I didn't know he was such an avid hunter. Now that hunting season is here, he goes hunting with his friends every Saturday morning. Right now, all he can talk about is deer season, which is coming up soon. I guess I should have known, the first time I had dinner with his family and they served venison.

I hate hunting and I never thought I could love a hunter. I love him, but I don't understand how he can kill innocent animals for fun. I've tried letting him know how much I disapprove by changing the subject whenever he starts talking about hunting, but I don't think he gets it. Should I tell him how I feel? What if it drives us apart? His hunting never gets in the way of our relationship. He doesn't go hunting instead of being with me. I'm not one of these PETA people, but I can't stand the idea of him killing animals. He's too sweet at heart. I think he just does it to go along with his friends.

Soft-hearted Senior

Dear Softy,

When I was your age, I broke up with probably the best girl I've ever met when I found out she secretly listened to Wham! She'd just been posing as a hoodlum to get to me. At the time, I thought she was a complete fake, when all she had been trying to do was attract me by being what she (correctly) thought I wanted. So who was the real fake?

It actually is possible that he's a sweet guy with a heart of gold who enjoys bonding with other boys his own age by killing innocent animals. He may not be doing it just to go along. He might actually like it. If his family serves venison to honored guests like yourself, hunting it probably an important part of their family tradition. His desire to share his enthusiasm with you is a good indication that he doesn't see anything wrong with it.

He'll probably be hurt and confused if you continue to feign disinterest rather than speak to him directly and honestly about how you feel. But go slow. If you try to change him all at once, if you issue any ultimatums (which I don't think you will do, but it needs saying), you'll lose him. People can change, if given time.

After all, there was a time in my life when all I wore was camo. The last deer I killed was with a car, and that was fifteen years ago.

Got a problem? Let Jack Waggon set you straight: jack.wagg@gmail.com

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