444 oracle items tagged as team oracle
May 22, 2014 / submitted by Kirsten, New Zealand
Q.  Hey there Oracle.

What started the Team Oracle questions? Did you decide to do it or did someone say '... you're good at giving advice, go help the fans out!'

Hope you're having a marvelous day!
(the word 'marvelous' isn't used enough these days is it...)

I was already answering questions from fans that were more on a personal level - matters of the heart etc. What I noticed was that fans would then write to me after I'd posted the reply and add their comment. I thought it would be a nice idea to once a week, open it up to everyone.
We've had 168 questions now with the first one being answered on 26 November, 2011.

May 16, 2014 / submitted by Marina, United Kingdom
Recently I've been on the internet a lot and I saw a post about social anxiety and because I related a lot, I searched about it. I think I may have this disorder but I don't know how to tell my parents because I don't tend to tell them about my problems. I'm afraid they will think I'm exaggerating but if I don't tell them my problem will just get worse to the point that I will not longer be able to marry/socially interact and that is why I am looking for your help. What should I do? Thanks in advance.

Self-diagnosis isn't wise, Marina. It's ok to read about things and though you may recognize symptoms it doesn't mean you are suffering with that particular condition. I recommend you speak to a doctor. Once you know what you're dealing with, it may make the next step of talking with your parents easier.
I don't know how old you are so if you're an age where you can't see your doctor without a parent present, you will have to be strong & find a way to tell them of your concerns. It is a big step to ask for help but as you came to me, you've shown you can ask. Ask your parents - that's what they're there for.
There is no point suffering in silence. Write down your feelings / symptoms. Talk with your parents about how you are struggling with them. You can't know what they will say so don't be afraid of that unknown. They may be supportive. They may have questions. They may take you to the doctors. They may be reluctant. Whatever their reaction, you know if something doesn't feel right. Get to the root of the problem and seek the help you ask for.
Don't worry about social interaction or marriage - tackle the issues first and hopefully there will be a path for you that will help you overcome those issues.
Over to you.

Speaking up, taking a stand, that's a huge challenge sometimes. Maybe you can speak up to a more "neutral" person first. I'm sure there's a safe place somewhere around you, where you can share this part of you with a trustworthy listener. It might be easier to feel someone's concrete support to then talk to people more important and close to you.
Just keep in mind the very real fact that there is a solution for you. If you feel the need to share this, you will, one way or another. Ending up with no social life is only a nightmare hovering on your shoulder. It's not going to happen. Now that you're this far, you can only succeed.
Speaking up is speaking up, even if it's only to an Oracle just yet. A.R.

There was a 'phase' in my life before when I felt the same thing - like I don't want to surround myself with people. And back then, like you Marina, I never told anyone even my parents. Because I felt like it's weird and they'll never fully understand. Social anxiety is never easy to overcome - you feel like it's safer to be just by yourself. But the fact is, life is so much better when you surround yourself with people, believe me! One day, you'll find it in you to open up to people and make good friends like I did. I can't explain how I overcame that 'phase' but one thing is for sure, I did overcome it. So can you.
Whatever you're going through, it'll get better. Sounds cliche but true. Then in the future you'd be like, "Yeah, I've been through a lot but hey I'm stronger now."
Don't think too much (the more you psych yourself about it, the harder it would be).
And try to communicate with others (if you don't want to talk to your parents, talk to us).
And this is a personal advice, try to look for your own emotional outlet (example, look for a hobby; in my case, when I get lonely I try to sketch my favorite people & I listen to Coldplay.
Stay strong, Marina! People are here for you Sheena.

Before you say you have a disorder I think you should try a couple of things. My advice to you is to start focusing on you. Stop worrying about how you look on the outside. Remember that models on magazines are photo shopped and therefore we have no chance. I wish I could say I'm a super confident person, but I'm not. We all have our insecurities which are like our little secrets and if you work too hard to hide them you only attract more attention. Try joining a small club at school or at your local park you will find that we all deal with similar things. Try telling your mom. See we tend to under estimate our parents, but I have learned so much from them. Find a friend that's the outspoken one they tend to bring you out without you knowing. Be yourself. People like that, you'll be surprised.
P.S Don't worry about people judging you if one person doesn't like you there's like 7,999,999,999 that you can try but start with yourself. Yesenya.

As hard as it is, you should talk to your parents. They love you. In the event you don't feel they give you the proper support, call the Mental Health hotline for Mexico. The no. is 0180-0472-7835. Stay strong, it wont be like this forever.
Karla K. Vancouver, Canada.

Oh Marina how sad for you. Yet how common in this day and age when we all spend so much time with our heads down, nose in a screen. My 17 year old son is very similar to you, and the first thing I'd say to you is please tell your parents how you feel. I assure you they'll only want to help. My son finds it very difficult to interact with others in his peer group and spends too much time alone in his room, but we gently encourage him to come out and do 'things' with us and spend time with the few friends he does have.
As an adult who also feels insecure and shy even as a mother of 3 children, I know sometimes in life you must put on a brave face and put yourself into situations you don't feel comfortable with. In time, you will be glad you did. Is there anything you enjoy doing? Music, swimming? Anything that you can go and join in and try to be a part of. It will become easier and you will find like minded people. Just never give up.
The world isn't just full of 'out there' people who want to be in your face and shout from the rooftops. Being quiet and introvert doesn't make you any less of a person. Just a different type of person. And if the world was made up of people who were all the same - and loud - wouldn't it be a boring and noisy place?
To try to give yourself some emotional determination try watching a You Tube clip called Look Up which has had millions of hits over the past few weeks. I hope it will give you some incentive to not let life slip you by and go out there and be part of it.
Lucy, Cornwall, England.

It seems to me that you may have a case that is similar to the Medical Students' disease (and it's nothing to worry about). The Medical Students' disease says that you tend to believe you have the symptoms in which you are studying.
First, you should tell your parents about your problem in a normal manner. If they think you are exaggerating, then maybe you should go see a professional. There must be services around where you live to go and receive help. Some of these services may include: a clinical psychologist, a psychiatrist, or someone specializing in anxiety disorders.
The main thing to keep in mind is that when you go and see these professionals, it shouldn't affect you. Don't let it change who you are and make you think that you are weaker, or worry about what others might think. So many people use these services - it has become normal to go for a check up.
If you don't feel comfortable going to a specialist right away, talk to a friend or a cousin. They might be able to comfort/help you and point you in the right direction.
The main thing is to not do this on your own. You must seek help from others in any way, shape, or form whether it be a professional, a friend, or a cousin.
You'll be alright Marina!
Enjoy! Matthew.

The most important thing in about this situation is that if you feel this way, you need to tell your parents. If you treat it seriously, then they will too. Ask if they can help you to schedule an appointment to meet with a psychologist to get a diagnosis and then and only then seek treatment. As a psychology major and a personal anxiety sufferer myself, I can tell you that a lot of this is in your head and what's important is to keep cool right now and relax a bit. Everything will be all right!
Steven, USA.

I am sorry to hear that you are anxious in social situations, however, I am happy to hear that you are ready to talk to your parents about how you are feeling.
I am responding because I understand what it is like to become anxious in certain social situations, but while most people become anxious when speaking to strangers, I am most anxious when I am speaking to someone I already know.
I can tell you what has helped me the most and that is doing the very thing that I am anxious about. The more I talk to people, the better and more comfortable I feel, which makes me more confident.
I have read about people who practice role-playing as part of therapy in a controlled environment, if you are more comfortable with that. Either way, it takes a lot of practice, but it has helped me personally.
Social anxiety can be exacerbated by conditions such as communication problems like verbal processing and/or speech impediments. I also have the former and practicing speaking (which my job has forced me to do) has helped me the most.
Social anxiety can be triggered when you feel inferior to the person or people you are speaking to, which could be due to low self esteem. Practicing will help you build confidence.
As a parent, I am thrilled to hear that you willing to confide in them and ask for help.
Be well. Dawn.

I understand your position. A friend of mine had a similar situation, and I think I'll give you the same advice: visit a psychiatrist/psychologist. They did study about it.
If it is true, and you have it, that's ok. then you can tell your parents, because then it's not a thought, but a truth. If you don't have it: great. Then there's nothing to worry about.
Goodluck, Isabelle.

Just because you related to a subject, it doesn't mean you suffer any form of disorder from it. Your interest could be a form of empathy as you can see aspects of yourself in other people's stories. Rather than tell your parents that you have a disorder, talk to them about what you've read and how you've found yourself relating to it. Allowing them to take an interest in what you've been researching will make them aware of the thoughts you've been having, and will allow you to talk and discuss the issues your worried about with the people who love and created you.
The best way to overcome fears of social interaction is to head out and try new things. It sounds cliche but taking up a new sport or hobby will allow you to meet and interact with new people in new ways. Sitting on the internet and looking in to what you are worried about may only feed your anxieties. There are masses of welcoming people out there who will be patient in getting to know you and share great times with you. One of them may even become more than a friend one day.
As the boys would say: 'life is for living'.
Struan, London, United Kingdom.

I myself recently, in the past 5 years or so, have been dealing with anxiety. I know it's hard to first come out to those that you love and ask for help and support, but in the end you'll be glad you asked for help and know that you need it. Anxiety is treatable and the first step is to seek that help. Try taking up some meditation too.
Hope it goes well and thinking of you! Rosalie.

In my opinion you should tell to your parents, because sometimes we don't share our feelings but our parents have always the curiosity to know how we feel, I think that because of their experiences they can help because, you never know maybe in the past they used to have the same disorder but there was nobody to hear them. So don't be afraid, I sure you that they are disposed to give you a hand.
Maria, Guatemala.

I would say to talk to people that truly understands you first, someone that will give you a push towards the right direction. Talking to your parents, to your best friend, or to anyone that's close to you is actually a step towards breaking away from social anxiety! It helps you to interact and to talk out your problems to someone else.
Talk to a close buddy so that they would be by your side in support, so that if you were to talk to your parents, it would come out as a serious topic in which everyone would try to help you overcome this disorder. Start small, like a friend, then work up to family. I know how it feels like when family needs to be involved with our lives; they seem to not take our problems seriously and view us as children (but we are their children, so they try to care in an appearance-sense of thinking). But, if you work with a small group, people who supports you and encourages you, then you can overcome this obstacle.
I leave you with this: just because you cannot communicate with your parents doesn't mean that you can't share your problems to anyone. The world is here with open arms, and we're here to help you, and to encourage you to overcome this problem!

Thanks to all those who replied to this week's question. Remember, Team Oracle is open to anyone so if you fancy replying, click to read this week's, and send us your answer.

May 16, 2014 / submitted by The Oracle, United Kingdom

As you may know, we have a weekly feature, Team Oracle, whereby each Friday we open questions of a personal nature to all of you to answer too. Then, the following Friday, I post a selection of the best answers, alongside my own reply.

ANYONE can join in so, if you'd like to, please email your response to the following question, in no more than 250 words, to before midnight Thursday 22 May.

I'm so sad, very sad. What do you feel when somebody look down on you just because you never had boyfriend. Now you are 23 years old. They asked when will you get married, and I answered I don't know and they insist to get the answer. I have not thinking about marriage and more. I don't care but I feel so sad. Daisy, Indonesia.

Look forward to seeing your replies.

The Oracle.

Please email your replies to
Including your twitter address may result in a follow back.

May 11, 2014 / submitted by Anon, United Kingdom
I recently broke up with my ex. I can't even count the number of time we've broken up, but it was an intense, passionate, on and off for the last two years. I know why I kept going back, but I also know why I shouldn't/deserve more. How do you know when you're supposed to keep trying because that's what love is and when you're supposed to let go because love shouldn't be that difficult?

Sometimes we repeat cycles out of habit, out of love, out of fear or because we simply don't know how to break it. There are times we hope that things will change and improve. Sometimes they do but the reality is that rarely happens.
Some people say that love isn't easy but I'm with you, it shouldn't be that hard. I don't think love means you have to keep trying - sometimes it's also about knowing when to not.
I'm not saying that love doesn't require work or effort but when it's hard work and too much effort, what is the point?
If what you get back isn't near enough what you put in, you have to step back and try to look at it from a distance.
I bet if your friend was going through the same, you'd advise them to walk away. Try to take the same advice for yourself from yourself.
If you spend your time wondering how it would be if you weren't together, you probably shouldn't be together. Unless you let go of this love, you will never know if you did the right thing.
You get one life. Don't waste it.
Over to you.

I don't think there is a set standard for when to know whether it is right to let go or keep trying because I think you must search inside yourself to find that answer. Relationships are rarely close to being perfect and there will be arguments, troubles, and pain involved. However, if you find you both always understand where one another is coming from, you can get through troubles together as a team, and if the happiness you find from being with them outweighs the pain, then hang on to them. Only you can know if this is true. Close your eyes, do some deep breathing, forget all the passion and emotions going on in this very moment, and imagine life a year or so down the road without them or perhaps life as just friends... are you happier there? Or lost? Now, if you really think you deserve better like you said, then you are right. Whatever you do, don't settle for darkness that overcasts the light. Best wishes, Alex.

It's okay to love a person but love there are many difficulties, Love is not easy and is better to leave someone that you know will make you hurt. What I try to say is that a relationship is based on respect for each other but you're like two years in this situation and that's not good for you or for other person.I know it will be difficult to understand at first but in the end will achieve overcome. You deserve someone who loves you and who have passed all do not give up.
I wish you the best, Andrea.

My advice is that you fight to be with the person that love and trying to eliminate all the differences that have but but works to let it go, I have had problems similar to yours because all the girls who are interested in does not feel the same as me, and for this reason the relationships have not lasted, I would find my soul mate and feel all the intensity that feels. In short:If you believe that, you will never feel the same on the other person looking for the way to be with that person, but everything is difficult and never know if true love is easy or difficult because it depends on different circumstances. Axel, hugs from Argentina.

The fact of the matter is that you could get back together with them but you'll most likely end up breaking up again; patterns become habit, and when that happens there's really nothing you can do to stop it. You need to figure out how you truly feel about this person, if this keeps happening, most likely one or both of you has doubts about the relationship, and you should discuss this with your loved one. Whatever the outcome, it will be the best for the both of you no matter what.
"Settle for nothing less than certainty in matters of the heart." -Ichabod Crane; Sleepy Hollow. Colin.

I am not the type of person to do this sort of thing but this struck a chord in my heart. In my eyes Love is joined by Hope and Faith. Your love is the most powerful thing and if someone is blind enough to not take your gift they do not deserve your time. You are special for not giving up on love and your heart may be too big for him. Sorry if this was not what you were looking for, it is just how I feel and live your life. Drew.

Yes. Love shouldn't be difficult, love is not a guessing game that whether he/she still love me or not. Love is a thing you should ask from the bottom your heart, whether you really in love in she/he or not. If you really in love in her/him, you will never questioning yourself that should I give up or should I still go for it.
Ask your ex! What was she/he intention for breaking up with you! If she/he say its complicated and can't tell you that she/he love you deeply too, then say GOODBYE. Don't waste time on somebody that don't appreciate you. Find somebody that you both really love each other and appreciate you in every single moment of life.
Regards, Elisis.

Well, I wouldn�t say there are set rules to test whether someone is good for you or not, rather it�s the story your heart sings to you. That being said naivety is a huge vulnerable aspect in a relationship but it�s the risks that you take that weaves you closer. you really wouldn�t want to be fighting in the little time you both will have on this earth. You know, being passionate is great but it�s not the only ingredient of a relationship, you have compassion, understanding , love, trust. These maybe just words but the ability to complete them actively will make for a better and happier relationship a one worth staying for. May you find peace and bliss.
Yours sincerely, a soul that cares, Salma.

I myself hasn't been in a relationship before, but there's something I know that which is live is always full of contradiction. Live is full of hows and whys and I believe that deep inside your heart, you have made the decision on whether to keep going or let it go. You shouldn't think too much or question yourself too much, (You only live Once) just follow your intuition and enjoy your life. Zi.

I'm not a judge of love and I'm assuming you're unmarried, but in my experience the relationship you describe wasn't worth continuing. Not that it didn't have value. It will resonate in your heart forever, even when you begin to love someone new. I've been there, I know but how did I learn? When I realized I did not like who I was with him. When he no longer made time for me. When, despite my lifelong insecurities, I owned up to the fact that, yes, I did deserve more. It's one thing to be ignorant about that in a relationship - that's excusable - but when you KNOW you deserve a healthier, better commitment, well, then that's just plain foolish, isn't it? Love is compromise, teamwork, respect - a choice. Passion may fade, yet love's intensity grows. And we all need someone with whom we can trust our heart in their hands. That best person is out there for you, the passion may be different with your next love. That's the beauty of it, that each person leaves a distinct mark but it will be there. Move on! Now, if you're married, this advice would be have to be thrown into the trash bin...
Best of luck, Robin.

It's hard to know when a relationship is worth saving. You may think that you are in love with someone when in fact the person is just a familiar face that is hard to let go of. Every relationship has it's flaws, but I live by this saying: "True love is putting up with someone's flaws because somehow, they complete you." Don't save a relationship that is destined to fail, but don't give up the person who makes you happy. Love is all about give and take and only you can decide if you are putting in more than you are taking out of a relationship. If you were not truly happy in that relationship my advice would be to move on, there are plenty of fish in the sea. Catherine.

Love is NOT that thing you said. Love is about respect, confidence, trust, making the other person feel better with himself, wanting his/her happiness. It can be difficult! Nobody said It was easy! My bf lives in another city... It's not easy for me! But he makes me feel so well that I think it is worthy to hold on until we can live together.
I think you talk about passion, sort of addiction to that person. And that's ok! But you should keep this in mind so you won't suffer!
Believe me, there is plenty of people who would love to make you happy, even if you don't think it's possible now! Mar.

Nothing worthy would be easy and if it's easy it then it wouldn't be worthy. Keep this always on mind, specially about love. You have nothing to think about. If you have been on and off and breaking up several times but always getting back it's because something inside you tells you that beside the other person is where you belong. Love is though and even though it's supposed to be great, sometimes, it's painful, but that's not a reason to give up. If you are really and truly in love, you don't give up. If your feeling are real and that loves comes from the bottom of your heart, then, even if you want to be apart, you always end up together. That's why despite many break ups you keep getting back with each other, because if it's true, you can't help it, you can't give it up no matter how much you think it will be better for you and no matter how much you try. Eva.

Wow, heart-breaking, torn experience that can be. For me, I knew it was time to let go when the feelings of disappointment, hurt, anger, guilt, shame, etc. outweighed the times we spent in pleasant feelings. When the past couldn�t be let go cause it was still the present. When actions rarely spoke louder than words; time and time again. When we had driven down that same road one too many times! There is a difference of hard times, working together, making changes versus talking about change but not making any or just continuous, unhealthy communication.
When I said good-bye it was one of the hardest decisions I ever made. I thought, I'd never again find such a love. I wondered how I would do it? I made a plan. I stuck to it. I asked friends for support. I took it day by day. Every day it got easier and life reminded be in subtle ways that I made the right decision. A year later and I am now in the healthiest, happiest, most loving and sexiest relationship I have been in all my life.
Maybe good things in life comes from hard work and patience. Not only can relationships be hard work but saying good-bye to them can be, too. And you have to have the patience to see it as for the best�but it is worth it. Doing what you know to be true in your heart, always ends up being worth it. Nina.

A relationship is a journey we travel be it with a friend or a lover, not everyone is lucky enough to meet their soul mate. It is hard to recognise this when you have become familiar with someone and feel a sense of security with. There comes a time when you have to find YOU again as you can become morphed into the person you are with and lose your own identity. Taking time aside to replenish your soul and learning to love yourself is good as without love for yourself you can't give it. We must learn from people that come into our lives and by taking a lesson from each we begin to build ourselves and our standards and morals. Once we know ourselves it is easier to get to know someone else and what we expect from them.
When you can no longer make each other happy anymore then it is time to take that time out whether temporary or permanent to reassess yourself and what you want from a relationship or indeed life.
Love isn't difficult but we just expect to get it from another person when love is in us all so if you start to love yourself and your life as an individual it opens up a whole new experience that is Love.
Once you have found this then you will attract the people that love you for who you are.
Don't be afraid of new starts think of it as a Spring clean. Angela.

To know the answer, you need to look back at your relationship very critical. Every relationship has its ups and downs, but if you have a true on/off relationship (with arguing or something like that in the 'off'-time), I say it has no sense anymore and it's better for both to break up. When your love feelings are sometimes stronger and sometimes less, that's normal. Like I already said, every relationship has its ups and downs.
One more thing: If only one of you doesn't feel in love anymore, is it important to let go. This will be very hard, but it's the best. Half love is no love. Don't worry when that happens. You will find someone else.

I had been struggling too for two years just to move on from my ex.
Even after we broke up, we were still dating. How do we know if we
should keep trying or let go? For me, I'll just ask myself, is he
worth it? I thought all the good side of him and all the bad side of
him, and decided if his bad side is tolerable or not. And knowing that
you deserve better than him is also helpful. I eventually moved on
when I knew I was tired of the drama, tired of kept going back when I
knew we would break up anyway, and I was tired of crying. I know it's
not easy to move on. Instead of thinking of him, you can hangout with
your best friends, look for a new crush, find a new hobby, make new
goals for your future and try to make it comes true. Keep being
optimist, okay? Ira.

Thanks to all those who replied to this week�s question. Remember, Team Oracle is open to anyone so if you fancy replying, click to read this week's, and send us your answer.

May 9, 2014 / submitted by The Oracle, United Kingdom

As you may know, we have a weekly feature, Team Oracle, whereby each Friday we open questions of a personal nature to all of you to answer too. Then, the following Friday, I post a selection of the best answers, alongside my own reply.

ANYONE can join in so, if you'd like to, please email your response to the following question, in no more than 250 words, to before midnight Thursday 14 May.

Recently I've been on the internet a lot and I saw a post about social anxiety and because I related a lot, I searched about it. I think I may have this disorder but I don't know how to tell my parents because I don't tend to tell them about my problems. I'm afraid they will think I'm exaggerating but if I don't tell them my problem will just get worse to the point that I will not longer be able to marry/socially interact and that is why I am looking for your help. What should I do? Thanks in advance. Marina, Mexico

Look forward to seeing your replies.

The Oracle.

Please email your replies to
Including your twitter address may result in a follow back.

This week's responses will follow over the weekend.

May 2, 2014 / submitted by Josephine, France
It's been a difficult year for me. I've been living alone in a foreign country for the first time in my life and even though it is amazing to follow my dreams, there are days that I truly miss being home. Does that feeling go away? Because it is not easy to feel happy and sad at the same time.
Also if you could dye your hair any color what would it be?

Firstly let me congratulate you on embarking on a huge adventure. It's not an easy thing to do - uprooting yourself from the familiarity of home to follow your dreams. It can be daunting but you took the plunge so well done you!

Having moved away from home several times, I have found the telephone (& now Skype, social media) to be invaluable. I miss certain people and certain things but not really the place though. I love where I live and given you can't live in two places (well, you can have more than home but obviously cannot be in two places at the same time) I am in the right place for the moment. I may decide to move again, who knows, but right now it's about being where makes me the happiest.
I guess you just have to weigh up what you gain from your current location versus what you miss about home. If like me it's people, just make the time and effort to connect and plan trips home or for people to visit you.
It sounds like missing home isn't all-consuming, more an occasional (understandable, natural) blip. For that reason and that you are both happy & sad, I think you will definitely find the homesickness will get easier.
Keep in touch with home and if it doesn't make things worse, maybe have a wander around on Google Earth or read books, watch films, listen to music from home and of course look at photographs.

I have dyed my hair so many different colours over the years. At my ripe old Oracle age it's all about covering the pesky greys.
Over to you.

I've also lived in a foreign country. I was in the Philippines. First of all make you house or apartment look like home. Also embrace the culture. Learn french if you don't know it already. I don't mean with books and stuff. Make friends ask them how to say fun things like "I am the banana king" Learn some useful things too. Try all their food that you don't have in your native country. Ask them. "What do foreigners usually not eat here" and then eat that. Most of all make some new friends.
I wouldn't dye my hair. I like my hair's natural color. I don't know what color I would dye your hair. I've never seen you and you natural color probably looks the best. Eric.

I have been living abroad for about 15 years now and I left the country I was born in when I was 18, so I know very well what you mean by missing home! The first years were really tough for me and I felt like you that I was pursuing my dreams but missed my family. I can happily tell you that that feeling does indeed go away with time, especially if you find ways to keep in touch with your family back home with video chat or audio chat. I video chat with my mum several times a week and now it truly feels like we are never apart. Also I don't cry at the airport any longer, so that can and does go away too.
As long as you feel the place you are in now is where you want to be and where you can best live your life now, you will find ways to keep home close to you, even if you are not physically there.
Enjoy your time abroad and best of luck for the future! Valentina.

These are extraordinary, special feelings you are going through right now.
First of all, you are very, very brave. Letting go and jumping into life is a big step, always! Be very proud and thankful of it.
By simply embracing this feelings you are going through right now is a good first step to just accept who you are. Your feelings show you that you are connected to your beloved ones and that you are caring about all the people you have left behind. Isn't that a wonderful thing to experience?
If you are sad, just go through it, let tears come, express it and after that you will feel relieved. Maybe you have people around you who are in a similar situation as you are in right now or someone you feel very comfortable with. Talk to them. You will discover, that once you start talking about it you will feel that a lot of people have same emotions, experiences and simply by sharing your situation you can support, give hope and strength to each other. Feeling happy and sad at the same time can be challenging and it is also a sign that you are really connected to your feelings. It's this duality that you will find everywhere in this world. Maybe this feelings come again and again, but it will get easier, for sure.
About haircolour: I like to keep it natural. Love, Verena.

It's a great thing that you are following your dreams! Our hopes and dreams are what carry us through life and motivate us to get to where we want to be. Being far away from your friends and those you love can be pretty difficult, and while it may seem like it'll never work, know that it is always temporary and there is always a brighter light down at the end of every long tunnel. Remember, lights will guide you home.
If I had to due my hair any color, it would probably most likely be blue. Nothing says a rad hair color like the color of the Ocean.
And have fun next month! Should be a fantastic concert! Sincerely, Aaron.

I'm in New Caledonia right now, on a very little island with extremely poor internet connection to the rest of the planet, 16 thousand km away from home. I literally couldn't be on land further away without going to the Moon. Missing home, missing every single person who's become a part of your life and who gets you so easily is a challenge, one of the biggest ones I've had to go through. But I've been here over a year, and my trip is over, I've done what I had to do, what I needed to get away for, and believe me it's worth the trouble. And
now, I'm better, and I'm ecstatic at the thought of seeing all my loved ones in just a few weeks (I might see you at the concert as well).
So I know sometimes it's hard, it might even get harder than it is now. But before you know it, you'll be incredibly happy you had the courage. Take care of yourself. And in case of emergency, phone someone who knows you best, no matter how much it costs. Alice.

I don't think you will ever not get homesick. Home is where you really feel like you are part of something, and it is definitely hard to experience such a change in lifestyle and culture when you are used to something that you have been part of for a long time. But stay positive, home is still there, it's not gone forever, make the most out of your time in a foreign country because there are positives you can go and search for.
PS: I'd dye my hair with the colours of the rainbow! John.

I am still in my early 20's but have moved to new places often and have lived by myself for more than five years now. Before that I went to boarding school, so I am very familiar with different forms of homesickness. Usually it fades over time, especially if you keep busy and surround yourself with good people. Immerse yourself in the culture and enjoy the food where you are, while at the same time enjoy things that remind you of home. Ask your family or friends to send you a care package with your favorite snacks and savour them!
Plan a trip or something else to look forward to. Also know that you are not the only one feeling happy and sad at the same time! There are so many others like you in the world, let that be encouragement that you can do it! Keep following your dream.
Listen to the new Coldplay songs and have a good cry then wipe your tears because summer is nearly here!
If I could dye my hair any color it would be purple because I think it is very on trend right now and a cool color (I have semi-permanent dye ready to go when I get the time)!!
Coldplay shows are amazing! Have fun! Karin.

In the place where I live, there are many borders, many beautiful landscapes and to go to the city must take many transport and only those who live in the center of the city can go to school and then go to the university without many drawbacks. What I mean is that not all we can fulfill the dream of being a doctor, master, lawyer at the University of the country and for this reason many young people leave their home to fulfill her dream. My friend happens to him the same thing that happened, is enclosed between four walls alone but he knows that if the time passes quickly and that everything you expect will be worth much worth in the future. I give you the same advice to it: with time everything will be back to normal & you're not sad or alone and you'll be with your family or the people that you love most. Luck Josephine! And congratulations on having the opportunity to see my group Coldplay! I never saw. Greetings from Argentina. Daniela.

I can relate to how you must be feeling right now, I've lived alone in a foreign country too. I lived on the other side of the world from my family. I was having the time of my life, but at the same time I was also crying my eyes out because I was homesick. The answer is yes, the feeling does go away. It might take a while, but if just keep going and don't give up on your dreams, it'll go away. I know it's hard, but when you feel sad, try to go out with your friends there or meet some new people to hang out with. Try to avoid calling your family at those time, cause that will only make it worse. Good luck, I know you can do it. Ps: I'd dye my hair pink or purple, I have no idea why though. Amanda.

Leaving home and moving to another country is not easy but following dreams is the best thing that we ever do. Sometimes you miss home and consider why you are here, why you aren't at your own town. But when your dreams come true you're gonna get used to that feeling and being happy again. You should not give up on your dreams. If you leave them and go back to your home you'll be sad lifelong because you'll have left behind your dreams, I mean your "life" We have one life and should live it what we want to live. Trust me and go on your way. Finally I haven't think about ever before, but I would choose ginger.
Good luck. Oylum.

Last year I was on a two-week trip to a foreign country with my school. Although it was such an amazing opportunity, there were days where I was quite emotional about not being at home with my family and friends. I felt exactly how you feel, happy because you're having a great time but also sad because you're away from home. It feels as if the homesick feeling is almost always with you no matter how much of a good time you're having.
I found that communicating with friends and family from home (through phone, email) helped me a lot, because it reassured me that everybody back home is ok and it made me feel less lonely. I also found that taking my mind off of my homesickness and focusing on the positive things about being in another country helped. It helps to be appreciative of your new environment, and to focus on the positive things rather than your homesickness.
And if I could dye my hair any colour it would probably be a lighter shade of brown.
All the best. Rhys, Canada.

Thank you very much for all your lovely answers this week! Team Oracle is open to anyone so if you fancy replying, click to read this week's, and send us your answer.

May 2, 2014 / submitted by The Oracle, United Kingdom

As you may know, we have a weekly feature, Team Oracle, whereby each Friday we open questions of a personal nature to all of you to answer too. Then, the following Friday, I post a selection of the best answers, alongside my own reply.

ANYONE can join in so, if you'd like to, please email your response to the following question, in no more than 250 words, to before midnight Thursday 8 May.

I recently broke up with my ex. I can't even count the number of time we've broken up, but it was an intense, passionate, on and off for the last two years. I know why I kept going back, but I also know why I shouldn't/deserve more. How do you know when you're supposed to keep trying because that's what love is and when you're supposed to let go because love shouldn't be that difficult? Anon. USA.

Look forward to seeing your replies.

The Oracle.

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April 25, 2014 / submitted by Ann, United States of America
I suppose this isn't so much a question for advice as much as it is simply looking for some sort of comfort. Oracle, have you ever lost someone who you considered a best-friend? You see a couple of years ago someone became my friend and was the first person I ever considered a true best-friend, and the first person I ever trusted. He was a year older than me and after graduating high school, left for college, never contacting me on his own afterwards. When I asked him why, he said he did so to many people, but I know he kept in touch with those he considered close friends. This has left me in a whirl of confusion, guilt and loneliness. I'm sure he thinks I am too clingy and fragile - the last time I talked to him, it seemed forced when saying he wanted to be friends. I'm a college freshman now, and as the year ends, I'm beginning to see that I haven't even made any new memories or friends because nothing can measure up to what I had with this friend.

I have lost many friends throughout my life from primary school, secondary school, college, work and so the list goes on. Some of it was my choice, (I didn't always tell the person why), some was theirs, some moved and some just drifted away or got into relationships and left friends behind. Some were toxic, some drained me, some wronged me and some were the best friends you could wish for.
I am still making amazing friends with people I can't imagine life without but who knows?
There is saying that:
"We have three types of friends in life: Friends for a reason, friends for a season, and friends for a lifetime" and once you accept that, it's easier to cherish the time you had with friends from the past but to let it go.
Don't torture yourself about why or comparing his relationship with other friends to yours.
Friends come and go and you can't make someone be friends with you. You sometimes just have to be happy with the memories & move on - even if that's not what you want.
It can hurt but you will come to accept it and make an even better best friend.
Over to you.

After reading your story, I think this is your question: How do I get friends, true friends, who see me in the same way I see them? Well, first of all, it is possible that there are people around who might have tried to start a friendship, but you just didn't see it, because you were worried about that one friend. And that's ok. That means you are one of the rare people who can feel real friendship and know what it means. I would be worried if you didn't worry about him...
Look around. Are there people in college or at work you like or trust? First, find out who your mates are. As soon as you know that, try to find out more about them, in the way they talk and act to you. When you know more about them, I think you can choose your friend(s) now.
Good luck, Isabelle.

I'm going through something similar right now! I've been trying to figure it out for a long time myself, recently things have been getting better with my old best friend and I think it's because I've been trying to ease back into the friendship with her as opposed to trying really hard all the time. If you fear he finds you clingy, I think that's the best thing to do. It does feel better knowing someone else is in the same situation as you so I do hope this helps.
Best of luck, Joe.

I read your question and I grimaced because I know exactly what this situation is like. A while back a guy moved into our area and we became the best of friends almost immediately. I mean we were practically brothers joined at the hip. Everything was fine and I was happier than I had ever been in my life. Then he moved back to his native Utah and the woes began. I remember he left halfway through my freshman year of high school and the day they left was a dark and stormy day both literally and metaphorically. I was totally depressed. He was my one friend and now he was gone. I tried all sorts of things to cheer myself up and stayed miserable for weeks. As I found in retrospect, time was the most effective healer. Coincidentally, Coldplay music was soothing balm to me while I tried to go on with my life. More friends will come and there will be others there for you eventually. I have found that when you go out on a limb to be friends to others, your own feelings of loneliness and sadness will diminish and even disappear.
With warm regards, Alex.

The first person you consider to be your 'best friend' is always going to hold important memories. You associate them with many of your early experiences in life and you trust them to value your approach to many of life's teenage trials. There is no reason for you to feel guilt as you are at a stage in life where learning through experiences with different people is vital. It can teach you who you can really put your trust in when times are hard. Clearly, both you and the friend you speak of are in a time of transition within your respective lives. As he was older, he was at the stage you find yourself at now: starting a new chapter in life full of new environments, people and places.
Going from High school to college means groups of friends splitting to go their separate ways. I doubt you were the only person he lost contact with and I'm sure he found it difficult to juggle his new college lifestyle with that of his old school life. The most important thing is to not let the experience of a best friend leaving you hold you back, but more as an opportunity to build on what you have learnt. Starting out as freshman is the chance to meet new people, many of whom may have found themselves in a similar position to yourself having also just graduated from High school. This can take time so don't panic. Struan, London, England.

Throughout our lives, we meet lots of people. Some we consider friends, some family, and some just passengers, who come and go.
If you care/d for that person when he left, and he didn't care, it's his loss. He lost a friend.
For you the Oracle advises to move on. If you didn't mater to him, why should you bother? Better find someone who deserves you. Not a passenger, but a friend. Sonai.

It's often hard to find that sort of best friend, someone whose comforting but can make you laugh like crazy, the kind of person you could spend forever with and never get bored. I've drifted through different best friends, and honestly when I've moved on I have lost them, right now there's someone whose a better friend then all my past ones and if I had clung on to them, I may have never found her!
I can see how much it would hurt for that to happen to you, because its someone you loved and thought loved you back; there's nothing to say he didn't though!
You shouldn't hold yourself back because he hurt you, and you shouldn't over-think his actions either.
He did what he did and if you managed to find a friend that you cared for that much before, sure you can find one (or some) again!
Maybe you'll decide to keep in touch with him, maybe not. But people change, and grow up; to our happiness or dismay! The best thing you can do, is be happy for him and of course be happy yourself! Make new memories with new people to, lets say, add to your collection.
There's lots of things in life that we'll never understand, but you can't let yourself hold onto the past and let it bring you down (cheesy as it may sound).
Never feel like you have to replace him, you can always remember him as the first best friend you ever had, but there's still space in your heart to find new friends and new beginnings.

It can be very painful to lose friends that you have a close relationship with. I've experienced this first hand, but I think it's all for a good reason. Certain individuals will come into your life at certain times, and some will go. I believe that everyone in our lives are meant to fulfil a purpose. Perhaps your friend was there because you needed him during that time of your life, and that time may be over now. Although it's difficult to wait for, someone new will come. There's someone out there that's meant for you, whether its love or friendship. All you have to do is be patient and open, trust me! Jeremy.

Losing a friend, even more when you know know the reason, is certainly one of the hardest things of life.
Sometimes it'll seems like the closer you get with someone, bigger are the chances of losing them. And you'll ask yourself if you are the reason...
Well, someone said to me once that no matter how close to you they happen to be, people are only passing through your life. They won't necessarily disappear, but every relationship evolves. One day you are best friends and the other acquaintances. Affection might be always there, even nostalgia for the memories you both share but it doesn't have to be sad.
Every relationship is an experience. When you meet someone and you like them, there is two options : worrying about the future of this relationship, missing it in reality. Missing the joy and the richness of it.
Or, you could embrace the experience, like trying on a new pair of sunglasses. You could keep them years, or only one summer. It doesn't mean this very summer didn't existed, with every of its memories.
So, go on ! try make some new friends and enjoy the very moment. You don't know, anyone does, what will happen tomorrow... And you can't keep people tied to a chair in your own heart. You can't make people love you, so enjoy the time they did and take every of those moments to make your life richer, bigger, full of every type of love.
This IS the purpose of life ! K.

Oh dear Ann, this is the circle of, ... What do we call it? LIFE. You must know that people comes and goes all the time, but you are the one who let them do that. Sometimes is not under your control, but it does depends on you to let them affect you. Family never leaves, but your friends may. They didn't watch you grow up, did they? But maybe they can be there for you, growing and sharing through experiences. Every time it's a new opportunity to learn something. Now all you have to do is sit tight and have a little long conversation with this guy. If he really appreciates you, he will prove it. If not, show him what he's missing and get over it. Make changes, be your best, care... Everything WILL get better; you have a long way to go. Remember that trust is a strong process to build, that's why is so important. If someone lets you down, you always have to bring the best of it, because life always leaves us with lessons. And every little thing makes you stronger, even if you feel weaker. Sometimes people give you the wrong impression, but isn't always your fault. So don't feel guilty and stop comparing those impressions with those who really want to be part of your life now. This is a chance to start all over. It IS possible. Have a lovely day, and wish you luck. Chiari M.

That's just it, sometimes we consider someone as the best, closest friend. And the time comes, the "best friend" alienates. I know this feeling, when I read your question thought of my old "best friend". Once we were very good friends, not only good but also very closest to each other, we used to talk about our favorite bands and movies, go to the school etc. And one day she started to meet me less, She was with her other new "best friends". And that time I realized that she had never been my best friend. Yes, all this time we were very good friend but a real friend never leaves you, whatever happens. Real friends stand by each other, always. That's okay and don't worry about that. Don't be sad anymore. This is the life, as usual. Of course this situation made you very sorry and you miss him, but one day you'll find your real best friend, believe that. Good luck. Oylum.

I've been through this too, actually. But it's not your fault, you see.
It's what you call a "false friend". You'll get over it and you'll will find someone just as good and have the time of your life, I promise you!
Take care. Love, Filip.

A relationship, as you know, requires two or more individuals. But having a relationship (in this case a friendship), doesn't mean you see the other one (or ones) as they see you. As there are unrequited loves, there are also unrequited friendships. Even though you see/saw him as your best friend, doesn't mean he has ever thought the same way. And the fact that he's still in touch with other friends, only proves this theory. However, if you call someone a friend and that person has closer friends, but you have no problem with that, there's no reason why the friendship wouldn't work. But you're clearly not ok with that. This means you have to move on.
Like you, I have also felt like I've lost my best friends. Some years ago, I moved from my hometown to another village, and I never talked to them again. And I really considered them my best friends. So, you're not alone. And now, I have gained other friends that are really close to me, in spite of not being with them all the time.
My point is: I believe we all have someone who is pretty much compatible with us. Maybe you haven't found them yet, maybe you already have. "Just be patient, and don't worry" - these things happen naturally; you can't force them. But if your friendship isn't working, don't let that stop you from finding someone you are able to see as a true friend. Hope I helped. Ana.

I'm sorry to hear that you lost the person you thought to be your best friend. You sound a little sad, hurt and confused and I wish I (or anyone else here) could come up with a magical solution for your troubles but I don't think there is one - heartbreak is the risk we take when we open up to friendship and love. I know that when you feel you have a special connection with someone and it's not reciprocated it hurts, it makes you feel stupid and you try to hang on... but you can't hang on to something that isn't there!
There may be a million reasons why this person has distanced himself from you and you may never know why.
So you pick yourself up take control of your life girl! You are young, healthy and beautiful, you are at college and these are supposed to be the best years of your life, and you are surrounded by people just like you - so go out there, make new friends (it's never too late), join any clubs or groups that you feel drawn to and have fun. You may not find a bestie right away but you will have fun making new friends. Life's too short to waste on someone who doesn't appreciate you. And Ann the sun will shine (again) on that heart of yours. These words helped me. All the best. M.

Thanks to all those who replied to this week's question. Remember, Team Oracle is open to anyone so if you fancy replying, click to read this week's, and send us your answer.

April 25, 2014 / submitted by The Oracle, United Kingdom

As you may know, we have a weekly feature, Team Oracle, whereby each Friday we open questions of a personal nature to all of you to answer too. Then, the following Friday, I post a selection of the best answers, alongside my own reply.

ANYONE can join in so, if you'd like to, please email your response to the following question, in no more than 250 words, to before midnight Thursday 1 May.

It's been a difficult year for me. I've been living alone in a foreign country for the first time in my life and even though it is amazing to follow my dreams, there are days that i truly miss being home. Does that feeling go away? Because it is not easy to feel happy and sad at the same time. Also if you could dye your hair any color what would it be? Looking forward for the Coldplay concert in Paris next month! Thanks! Josephine, France.

Look forward to seeing your replies.

The Oracle.

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April 17, 2014 / submitted by Lourdes, United States of America
My relationship is complicated, my boyfriend and I come from two very different cultures. He's not allowed to date, but he's dating me. Right now, when people ask me about how do I see our future, I always tell them that our future is unknown. His family doesn't know about me, and I don't know if he'll tell them one day. I'm trying to hold on to this, it's complicated, but he makes me happy. I'm just afraid that one day I'll get hurt if he decides to take his family's way. What should I do?

If you love each other it shouldn't matter than you have completely different backgrounds. Unfortunately, in reality I'm afraid that some people still disagree.
Sadly, sometimes differences in culture & faith can put a huge strain on a relationship. Nobody can tell you who to love but if your boyfriend is keeping the secret to respect his parents' traditional wishes while still living with them, you have to also respect your boyfriend desire to do that; there is little you can do about it. That said, you are entitled (to want) to conduct your relationship openly without shame or guilt. If you are not happy about having to hide, this relationship may not be for you.
I don't know what your ages are but I'm guessing you both still live at home and perhaps abiding by house rules has to be taken into consideration. I would hope that when you both reach adult age, talk about the future will shift & become more positive.
You may decide to take the risk that things will change but of course, they may not.
Perhaps you could both learn about each other's culture. You don't have to embrace his beliefs but it may help if the time to meet his parents ever comes.
I don't think it would be wise to put pressure on him or issue ultimatums but I do think you should seriously consider what YOU want and then tell him.
I assume your boyfriend thinks they won't approve or be open-minded but for the sake of the relationship, perhaps you could gently suggest he takes that chance and then you both know what you're dealing with.
Over to you.

I suggest you ask him how he feels about dating you. If he is ashamed, there is a chance he will leave you, but even in that case, you can still have a relationship.
Different cultures and love don't fit always that easy. You know, he is now trying to be a boy like one in your culture, but maybe you should also take a look at his culture. Maybe you two can find a balance between the cultures. I guess, if his parents are not too old-fashioned or too strictly, they'll agree with that. It also helps when the parents know you. Ask your boyfriend to invite you to his house and to introduce you as a friend. I guess, when his parents know you for quite a while, they'll agree with a relationship, and maybe later, marriage.

There can be many answers some that can comfort some that can make you think logically and some that would please you but there are some that you need - it is frustrating when it's complicated but it can serve for good If its true love it will endure all and will make both of you and your bond stronger because true love endures all and hopes all. So cheer up and enjoy your boyfriend. If he takes his family way then you'll move on that will take pain but everything that grows takes a bit of pain. And you will learn something that would be useful for you to learn to know and understand! Marija.

Well, Lourdes, I think now would be a good time to address these concerns to him. I know this isn't an easy situation to work through, but it's not something you can do alone. You've got to make sure he is as committed as you are, because if you find out he chooses his family's way over you it's going to hurt, but it's not something you cannot recover from. But the longer it goes on and the longer you're together, the more painful it's going to be if it doesn't work out.
And I don't want to seem overly negative, because there's obviously a very real chance that he will be committed, and that he loves you that much, and that's a great thing to hear, but it would really help to have him reassure you in that.
I hope the best for the both of you, no matter the results.
Bradley H.

This is a widespread situation, two people love each other but they have different cultures. That's difficult, and seems the problem that will never solved. Before anything else there is one thing you have to answer. Do you love each other? I mean is this true love? If your answer is yes don't care stuff like this. Maybe your parents can be so tough, but think about it they' fell in love so many times in your age and I think they'll understand your situation in the end. Introduce your boyfriend to your family or at least tell one of your trusted and loved ones from your family for example your sister, brother, cousin etc. I'm sure the person that you tell about your boyfriend helps you about your situation. Good luck. Oylum.

I can really relate to your dilemma as I was the one in a similar situation a few years back. It really is his decision as to whether he will stand up to his family, or succumb to their wishes. Perhaps he is looking for a way out of long held values, or maybe this is him testing his wings at hints of independence. Consider what will happen if it is the latter would you be happy? If it the former you may need to offer him much support as he will be going against some strongly entrenched values and ideas. Only by talking to him frankly will you find out what he wants and he may not even know yet. If you need more from him, you may need to look elsewhere. In my case it worked because I knew what I wanted. He may or may not know. Best of luck, Laurie.

With your question we are faced with an age old question.
The question of following your families traditions or breaking away from them and finding your own way.
It seems that you are very concerned about the future of your life and your relationship.
Talk to your partner about it!
The best and easiest way to deal with problems is to talk to someone you can naturally and honestly talk to, without hiding any feelings.
Talk to him about how you feel about his families traditions and how you can try and find a solutions to the differences in culture.
Maybe start off by asking him to tell his parents about you, because if you both are in for the long run, they're going to find out sooner or later.
From there on you can start working on a relationship with his family and, you never know, you might be welcomed to the family in no time.
If they do stay strict about their traditions and you're not welcomed into the family, then it's really your partners decision to either stay with the family culture or part from that, to stay with you!
But if he doesn't want to tell them about you at all, I'd start questioning the point of the relationship entirely, because no one can be happy hiding in someone's shadow.
Ultimately there are a few ways the situation can develop.
Some positive and some negative, which are heavily influenced by the characters and personalities involved.
Greetings, Clemens.

If he really loves you then tell him to convince his parents about you. You cannot put him in this situation only because he really loves you and so do you. You need to think about money for his education, living and everything. You cannot pay for that. His parents have to. The sooner he tell the parents the better it will be. They will understand if he tells without rebellion and anger. He must promise truly his parents that he will work hard to bring his scores up and wouldn't let the relationship get in the way of his future. You can tell your friends that you both are best friends till his parents agree. If they do not ask them why and try to find the solution. Neeraja.

I found myself in the same situation and regrettably due to very different cultural views, I was forced to end a relationship that meant a lot to me. What you have no matter how complicated is still a beautiful thing. Meaningful relationships are never easy and have obstacles, and you can lose yourself in the present thinking about the future. If you can learn to accept cultural differences that could bring you apart then wherever your relationship goes that will bring you closer together. Don't lose focus on what's really important and what brought you to where you are. If you can do these then I know that you'll be more than able to handle whatever comes your way. Mustafa.

You should talk to you boyfriend about your worries first. I know it can be hard when you're from two different cultures and I don't know how long you've been together, but if it's serious maybe its time you told his family about your relationship? His family might be against it, but in the end it's his life and he gets to choose who he dates and who he loves. Good luck!

Try to talk with him and say what's on you're mind. Tell him that your feelings for him are for real and that he makes you really happy. Tbh if he really loves you he will speak to his family and try to make this work. Maybe it's easy for me to say, but you can't ignore real feelings right. I really hope that it's gonna be okay! I wanna wish you good luck! Lots of love and happiness for the both of you. Greetzz Marianne.

Thanks everyone who replied to this week's question. Remember, Team Oracle is open to anyone so if you'd like to reply, click to read this week's, and send us your answer.