I’ve been sleeping with a man for a year. We dated; we enjoyed each other’s company.
But I now want a serious relationship… just not with him.
Is continuing to sleep with him potentially stopping me from finding a serious relationship with someone else?
Wake up! If you’re spending time and energy with someone with whom you don’t have long-term interest, it lessens time and energy for finding someone else.
Even with no one else at your door, there’s not enough reason to maintain this go-nowhere connection when you already want more.
Your view is now clear that he’s not the man for your future.
So clean up the past with a warm goodbye. Say that you’ve enjoyed his company but realize it’s time for you to look ahead and you want to meet someone who could be a lasting partner.
Then think through what kind of person you’d like to get to know, whom you’d respect and trust, and could hopefully love.
You need to know more about yourself than just wanting a “serious” relationship, so that you don’t settle on the first interested guy.
Know who you are, what you want, and what YOU have to offer.
I fell in love almost immediately with my live-in boyfriend of five years.
We each came with a dog, and it’s become our biggest problem. His dog weighs 50-plus lbs, is poorly trained and disobedient.
He has no boundaries… he’d not bite a child but would bowl one over in his path.
My boyfriend worked out of town three weeks at a time, leaving me with the dog and almost housebound.
My own dog was raised to fit my life, goes where I go. I know what to expect from him.
With my boyfriend's dog, I couldn't walk him because he pulls me around, barks, and growls at other dogs, and gets randomly aggressive at the dog park.
At my parents’ farm, he’d chase the farm animals or run off for hours. If left at home, there’s garbage all over the floor, items pulled off counters, and constant barking.
I couldn't leave for more than a day, so no family get-togethers or camping trips with friends.
We've had City officials called on us for noise complaints and have been kicked out of rentals.
I DID try three different times to get him proper training but my boyfriend wouldn't let me send him away, wouldn't show up for one-on-one training, and wouldn't follow through with anything.
When at home, he didn't exercise, groom, or try to train his dog.
I went through depression over his dog but nothing changed.
My boyfriend’s home more now, but it's too late to save my feelings for that animal. I know that getting rid of the dog isn't an option for him.
Counselling helped us but there were no answers as to how to get over the dog thing. I’m terrified to lose my boyfriend but don't know if I can live with this dog for the rest of its life.
Is there hope for a couple like us?
Dear Readers: Those knowledgeable dog-lovers among you have heard the bark of distress from both the dog and it’s unwilling stepmother.
I’ve helped raise two dogs for 18 years each and loved them both, but they didn’t negatively affect my relationships.
If you have experience with dogs who lack boundaries (and owners like them), send in your suggestions.
Comment - The question kept arising in your column: Are women more controlling than men?
No, of course not. But controlling behaviour, whether from a male or female, is frequently a sign of abuse.
And people remain in abusive relationships because they feel unsure of their worth and consequently, are susceptible to manipulation.
Abusive family members detect that insecurity and use it to suit themselves.
It has nothing to do with love.
Those being abused think they deserve it, either because of their past or because the controller has convinced them it’s what they deserve.
Also, it’s ramped up gradually, so that the person being controlled often doesn't understand how much of themselves has slipped away.
Controlling behaviour isn't going away soon. We have to teach our kids to be self-reliant, to value their strengths, and believe they’re entitled to respect.
That’ll give them strength to leave relationships where their right to choose and decide is being eroded.
Tip of the day:
You can’t invest in a new serious relationship if you’re busy spending your assets in a tired one.