I've never been happier! I have a steady dance gig, a boyfriend and a nice apartment. The only problem is I'm terrified of losing everything. Is this normal?
—Chris, Queens, NY
Of course it's normal to want the things that make you happy to last. But it's also common to worry about the scary "what ifs." The key to reducing your fear is to gain a sense of control over your circumstances. For example, that dance gig didn't fall into your lap. It took effort, honing your skills through years of practice. Likewise, a solid relationship is more than just luck or chemistry. Good communication skills, shared values and interests, and the ability to compromise are more essential for longevity. Finally, while a nice apartment may be partly due to chance, it can also involve looking at tons of listings, pounding the pavement and hiring a real estate agent.
While dancers are adept at spotting problems, they often need to practice enjoying the fruits of their labor. My advice is to make it a goal to embrace the victories along the way. Succumbing to phantom fears is unfair and counterproductive. It's okay to be happy.
Send your questions to Dr. Linda Hamilton at firstname.lastname@example.org.