I’m 46, he’s 40, dating for five months. His common-law relationship ended a year ago, and they’re selling the house they lived in.
He lives at his parents. We spend time together at my place.
He frequently says he likes the relationship how it is, and that I don’t pressure him to commit to more than exclusively dating.
I’m not rushing to get married or move in, but our brothers are co-workers and he hasn't told his that he’s dating me (mine knows).
Is it wrong to question where a relationship’s going at this point? Or am I settling?
You’re in different head spaces: Selling the house signals to him that he’s “free” of that relationship and not rushing into another.
For you, it means he can make a bigger commitment, though you say you’re in no rush.
Yet, raising “settling” suggests you’re definitely not certain he’s the man you want for the future.
Give the new situation a few more months to sink in.
You’ll have every chance to be together whenever you both wish.
See whether the relationship deepens and develops… or remains static. The answer will be obvious to you by then.
I work with an organization that operates in offices across Canada. My job requires me to travel and work in different towns.
Often, in the few days while I'm in a town, I'm the only black person for many kilometres.
I've been called the n-word more than a few times, ignored, disrespected, etc.
More than once someone has told me to “go back to my country” (even though I was born here).
Outright displays of racism don't usually happen with clients, but sometimes people have acted cold or curtly towards me.
Or, have made comments intentionally making me feel unwelcome and uncomfortable in front of others.
I've tried to stay professional, but some of the company's clients have submitted complaints about my attitude or demeanour.
When I explain these situations to my manager, I'm dismissed with phrases like, "Oh, that was a one-time thing," or, "I can't imagine that happening."
Yet my manager is quick to believe these clients’ comments about me.
How do I communicate to my managers what it's like for a person of colour to work in these regions across Canada?
How do I explain the tension and how these situations impact me?
Racism comes from ignorance but cannot be ignored. It’s a human rights offence, a labour issue and, too frequently, a crime.
It’s the mistaken belief in superiority over another person based on their race (or ethnicity) that leads to justifying discrimination, and fomenting hatred.
As a negative ideology, it serves a malevolent purpose for the racist.
Historically, it allowed for the slave trade, and today, it still allows innocent people to be charged with crimes, others to be refused jobs and housing, and workers to have to struggle against a smog of prejudice and put-downs just to do a job and go about daily life.
So what “relationship” advice can come from this column?
Be strong in the relationship with yourself first. Know who you are and what you stand for.
In your job, keep speaking up as you’ve done to your managers. Seek labour relations back-up help where possible.
Stay safe; ignore stupid taunts by walking away.
Fight back in the workplace, courts, public forums, wherever your voice has the legal backing of a society that claims and aims to support equal rights.
FEEDBACK Regarding the man who reacted to a disagreement by ending a relationship when they were to move in together (May 5):
Reader – “While I agree with your advice, you mention “anger” whereas the writer doesn’t.
“Instead, she says she can’t trust him and is waiting for him to “lose his mind” again.
“Presumably, her pain surrounds the failed move and zero communication in the following week.
“This distancing is more indicative of someone with an “avoidant attachment,” rather than an anger management problem.
“It’s part of Attachment Theory - a psychological model that describes the dynamics of short and long term interpersonal relationships.
“It’s a behaviour I used to exhibit until I worked to correct it.
“I agree with your advice because the writer cannot change the other person, only he himself can.
“However, perhaps she’ll give him another chance if he’s open to correcting his own behaviour, which can only occur if the true underlying problem’s addressed.”
Tip of the day:
Count the progress of your connection with someone, not the months of dates.