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Dear Jeanette
By Jeanette Lee
International billiard icon "The Black Widow" answers your questions about life, love, and everything else that happens in the poolhall.

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March: Competitive Boyfriend
March 2008
Q. My boyfriend is super-competitive and it's driving me nuts. He practically demands that we play every weekend, and then acts like a jerk when we're playing. And God forbid that I beat him. He sulks for days. How do you handle a guy like that?
T. Rabin
Miami, Fla.

A. There's nothing more annoying than an overly competitive person who can't control himself enough to show some good sportsmanship. The thing for you to do is to not take it anymore. Sometimes, the best way for a guy to learn is by giving him boundaries. Just stop playing him for a while. Explain why. Give him an out by telling him clearly and specifically what he can do to make it more pleasant. I would still lay off for a couple of weeks so he misses playing you and gives him more of an incentive to change his ways. Then give it another chance after you spell out what needs to change. If it doesn't change, and you want to keep this relationship, then you'll just need to stop playing him. We teach people how to treat us by what we accept from them. Tell him it's best for the relationship that you guys don't compete anymore. Tell him you'd rather lose a practice partner than lose a boyfriend. If he's a boyfriend worth keeping, then he will care about you and want to make the effort one way or another to stop hurting your relationship.