My boyfriend of almost four years and I are in our early 30's. I live with my parents; he lives with one parent who’s almost 80.
I’m ready to take our relationship to the next level by both moving out and living together.
He doesn't want to leave his parent alone in an empty house.
This parent is capable of cooking and cleaning, but my boyfriend feels that, alone, the person will go downhill.
His parent isn't ready to live in a retirement home either.
I've suggested us buying something where his parent can live in the basement.
Or, my boyfriend can regularly visit his parent’s house to check things.
He's suggested that I move in with them, but I want my own place and independence.
I love him and want to be with him, but how long do I wait?
This issue is weighing us both down, and causing arguments.
Do I give him a timeline? Or just buy something myself and move on with my own needs?
This next step is crucial in our relationship.
Your positions have equal weight. He feels admirable responsibility and caring for his parent.
You understandably want independence and a deeper relationship.
Unfortunately, convincing your boyfriend to leave his parent, is likely to not bring you closer.
So instead of relying on him to move you out of your home, your own suggestion to move to a place of your own is a logical start.
It shouldn’t mean ending your relationship, so long as you don’t hold this against him.
You’ll be able to spend more overnights and weekends together in your place, and he and his parent will gradually see that a) the parent can manage alone sometimes, and b) you two do need space and time purely on your own.
As his parent ages, things may need more adjustments.
Unless you fear that your boyfriend is never leaving the nest, this is the time to show that a reasonable compromise is available to you and what you need personally.
My friend has become very close to a married male co-worker.
She’s very secretive about it. When I confronted her about their weekend at her cottage, she vehemently claimed “we’re just friends” and nothing sexual is happening.
She says they’ve helped each other through very difficult times, that he has marital issues that she can’t share with me.
She’s constantly talking or messaging with him at all hours.
He often comes to her home for meals. He brought her flowers on Valentine’s Day.
I’m positive that this is an emotional affair.
My friend did have a difficult relationship end and this man helped her through that time.
She says she has no interest nor time to meet or date other men.
I’m trying to mind my own business but I feel this is wrong. Any advice for me?
At the very least, it’s an emotional affair and could lead to an adulterous affair on his part, and a broken heart for your friend.
But they’re both adults who must know this, even if they’re in denial for now.
You already know what you need to do: Tell your friend why you think this relationship of hers is “wrong” for her, and for you to hear about.
You care about her, but can’t ignore your feelings that she’s willingly playing with people’s lives, including her own.
The best you can do then, is to “mind your own business.”
FEEDBACK Regarding the man who ended contact with a long-time friend (Feb. 26):
Reader – “It was a one-sided relationship. “G” stole his girlfriend, was ungenerous, and competitive.
“The writer says, “without him, I'm happy.”
“He doesn't owe it to his former friend to fix his mental health issues, and would only invite unhappiness back into his life by opening that door again.”
Reader #2 – “I don't think he should meet with “G” ever again. “G” sounds mentally ill, but he's also manipulative and most likely would use their long history together to keep the one-sided friendship going.
“If the reader’s happier without him, leave it that way!”
Ellie – I’d agree with both readers but for one fact: Despite having already severed contact, the writer was seeking advice.
He knows all of “G’s” flaws. Yet he’s compassionate, decent, and believes “G” is lonely.
I recommended he give him one more chance, with limited contact.
Tip of the day:
The answer to a relationship divide sometimes requires independent action that leads to compromise.