How Can I Convince My Boyfriend To Stop Eating Raw Hamburger Meat, And Other Advice Column Questions

· Updated:

There are too many excellent advice columns to keep up with, so we're committed to bringing you links to the best advice column questions and answers every week. Here's a roundup of the most interesting, thought-provoking and surprising questions that our favorite columnists (and subreddits) addressed in recent days.

How Can I Convince My Boyfriend To Stop Eating Raw Hamburger Meat?

A few weeks back a friend brought us some beef tartare. It was amazing. [My boyfriend] made it at home and decided to use raw ground beef instead, he didn't tell me that until I had ate it. Like the kind you get prepackaged at the grocery store. It didn't get us sick at first, but he made quite a bit of it and didn't want to waste it so he ate it till it was gone for maybe 2 days after that. He got a "stomach flu" maybe another 2 days after that.

Now he has made it 3 more times and always gets the same "stomach flu" 1-2 days after. He refuses to see the correlation…

He took some with him to work and no one would eat it after he told them he made it with hamburger meat because they didn't want to get sick. Still, he believes that it's not making him sick and this is the best way to make it. I told him we should talk to a doctor and see who's the crazy one. He said even if he would go, the doctor would say it's fine. Then showed me some documentary about a tribe in Africa that eats raw cow meat everyday...

Is there anyway to convince him he's doing it wrong? Is there some crazier thing going on here or is it just him being stubborn?

[Reddit via Twitter]

The commenters on the r/relationship_advice subreddit agree that the boyfriend is going to get very, very sick if he keeps doing this. "Tell him to Google it," one suggests. "Eating a raw steak is one thing but hamburger meat comes from several different animals." Read the rest of their answers.

How Can I Tell Job Applicants That The Leadership Positions They're Applying For Are Actually Unpaid?

I work for a small nonprofit. On our website, we advertise leadership positions, but those positions are all volunteer — as are all of our positions. Lately, I've been receiving resumes from people who seem to be looking for paid work (despite that there is no indication of salary or employment on the website). Is there 1) a good way to show this on our site, and 2) a good way to let people know that it's volunteering when they contact us?


Alison Green urges the letter writer to simply put the word "volunteer" in the title of the listing. "The vast, vast majority of people applying will assume that it's paid if you don't say otherwise, and they'll put time into creating a cover letter when they wouldn't be applying at all if they understood the full picture," she writes. Read the rest of her answer.

How Can I Get My Mom To Agree To Watch My Kids For Free One Day A Week?

I have a 4-year-old son and am expecting another child in a few months. I started my own business a few years ago, and my husband works full time.

My son is in daycare three days a week (we can't afford more care right now). I asked Mom if she would commit to helping me care for my son on one of the days when he is not in daycare…

She balked at the suggestion and actually started yelling at me about it. She works as a sometime-realtor, but makes herself very busy with women's groups and volunteer work…

She makes me feel selfish for asking, but I really need the help to grow my business and support my family. I get upset that she doesn't "want" to help me when she spends so much time doing things that to me aren't as important as helping her family.

She constantly calls me to tell me how "busy" she is, but it's with things that are completely voluntary, and meanwhile I'm drowning…

I realize she has her own life, but I can't see why she won't just agree to one day or even a half-day a week, when she often helps my sister (a stay-at-home mom with three kids).

[Tribune Content Agency]

Amy Dickinson points out that the letter writer seems to value her own time much more than her mother's. "You seem to believe that your mother owes you regular childcare," she writes. "She does not." Read the rest of her answer.

Do I Have A Right To Display Photos Of Former Colleagues In My Cubicle?

I work for a small start-up that's seen its share of turmoil. Most could be attributed to our chief executive, and it's largely manifested in the form of turnover... A lot of people who I enjoyed working with and consider friends no longer work with me. I put a picture of three of them — one who was fired, two who left — on my cubicle wall.

My supervisor said "some people" have expressed concern about the picture because it gives the impression that I'm resistant to the "positive strides" the company's culture has made in the past few months. He asked if I wouldn't mind taking it down. Given that he has only been with the company two and a half months, I have to conclude that the "people" he referred to is the C.E.O.

I agreed to take it down because I like my supervisor. But the notion that I should be expected to take down a completely appropriate, inoffensive picture of my friends because the C.E.O. doesn't like it feels like an abuse of power. Is this a valid concern to raise with H.R.? 

[The New York Times]

Caity Weaver observes that the letter writer appears to have been making "a silent hostile point" and that anyone could have expressed concern about the pictures, not just the CEO. "Cool ex-colleagues are not a protected class," she writes. "No one's humanity has been impinged." Read the rest of her answer.

Do I Have To Be Grateful When My Boyfriend Gives Me Old Stuff I Don't Want As Birthday And Holiday Gifts?

My boyfriend has made a habit out of using birthdays and holidays as an opportunity to upgrade his lifestyle under the guise of generous gift-giving. He recently gifted me his used laptop — which he did spend money on, getting it cleaned up — for Christmas, after buying himself the latest upgraded laptop. My last birthday he gave me his used scuba gear and took that opportunity to upgrade his own set.

The thing is, I'm not a big diver, and my current laptop is perfectly adequate and better suited for my needs. However, he gets upset if I politely decline, so these presents are really just taking up valuable closet space.

Am I ungrateful or am I justified in feeling a bit stuck in an ungrateful-recipient position? I'm also not able to figure out why exactly this irks me, and it seems disingenuous to fake enthusiasm as I'm walking gifts over to the closet.

[The Washington Post]

Carolyn Hax notes that the boyfriend appears to be self-centered and self-serving. "He is not even trying to hide this information from you," she writes. "Please see him for who he is and act accordingly." Read the rest of her answer.

Why Does My Brother-In-Law Deliberately Cough To Spread His Germs Around When He's Sick?

When my brother-in-law is sick, he loves to cough: He says he wants to spread his germs around. Recently, we went out to eat with him, and he coughed into his hands and not into his elbow. He kept coughing throughout the meal. No one wants his sickness. I find it difficult to be around him.

My brother-in-law is also a bully, and I believe this is part of his love of bullying — spreading illness to others.

Please tell people to stay home when they are sick, cough into their elbows and see a pulmonary specialist if their cough lasts more than a month.


Annie Lane urges her readers to cover their mouths when they cough and wash their hands frequently when they're sick. "Your brother-in-law is sick in more ways than one," she writes. "Shame on him." Read the rest of her answer.

LV Anderson is the news editor at Grist and an advice column aficionado.

Want more stories like this?

Every day we send an email with the top stories from Digg.


The coronavirus has slowed down the pace of human activity in cities. In a small college town, the sudden stillness is not so severe. But the pace of felt change has accelerated, resulting in a similarly disorienting effect.


"You're leaving right? You're going to ..." and then they name some theoretically safer suburb or vacation community that I am not going to go to. But the calls have stopped because it's too late to leave now.

'It's the only newsletter that always engages me'
 →  Get the Digg morning newsletter
See a sample