My girlfriend just told me she’s really attracted to a woman at her work, and she’d like to ask her out. I don’t know how to respond to this. As far as I thought, we’re in a committed relationship. But apparently not.
Does this mean I should start looking for other people to date? Or, am I only allowed to date other men, which I don’t happen to be attracted to? I’m so confused.
And she broached the topic so matter-of-factly that I just looked at her blankly and didn’t say anything. It’s been a few days and I still don’t know how I feel.
What do I do?
You have to decide what you want out of this relationship, what you are open to, and what doesn’t work for you. Only you know the answers to those questions. Then you need to talk to your girlfriend and compare notes.
For example, if you love her but don’t feel she’s the person you’re going to marry, maybe now is the time to walk away, when she has another love interest to soften the blow. Maybe you’ve been feeling stronger emotions and were thinking of a long-term commitment. Perhaps now is the time to see where she stands.
It’s important to know your deal-breakers, know what you can and cannot handle, and be open. Time will tell which way this goes.
FEEDBACK Regarding the girl who knows her sister is sneaking out at night (Oct. 11):
Reader – “This young woman needs to speak to her parents ASAP and share what she knows. There may be serious issues causing her sister to partake in risky behaviours, and her parents need to be able to help her.
“Many years ago, my teenage daughter was doing the same thing. My neighbour spotted her out at night with friends and informed me. I approached my daughter, who denied everything. Her behaviour became increasingly challenging, her grades slipped, and she ran away from home for brief periods. We tried counselling; this was decades ago, and at that time depression and anxiety were not addressed.
“She went to live with her grandparents because we couldn’t parent our other children with her around. Unfortunately, they couldn’t control her at all. She dropped out of school, hung out at clubs and bars, and rarely came home. By that time, she was an adult and there wasn’t much we could do.
“A few years later, while intoxicated, she jumped out of a moving car on the highway, and was struck and killed.
“Please impress upon this young woman that she needs to alert her parents to the situation with her sister.”
FEEDBACK Regarding the mixed-up mom (Oct. 23):
Reader – “Although I wholeheartedly agree with your advice, you missed one other possible cause for the daughter’s behaviour. Perhaps from early childhood she had become accustomed to having her own way. Many mothers, in an effort not to stifle their children’s individuality, buy into every theory of child-rearing thrown at them. This often happens if they feel their own upbringing was lacking in some way. By the time the child reaches his or her teens, a time when they naturally test the boundaries, the parents have no control at all.”
FEEDBACK Regarding the grandparents wishing for an early Christmas celebration with their grandchildren (Sept. 27):
Reader – “Perhaps the daughters-in-law also have a religious reason for not rearranging Christmas to suit the snowbirds. Although for many, Christmas is a secular celebration, there are those for whom it is one of the most important religious festivals of the year. Most dedicated Christians allow for the secular side of Christmas, but I see how two celebrations weeks apart may undermine the religious nature.”
Reader’s Commentary “When I was young, basketball was my life. I played through middle and high school, and got a scholarship to play for a university in the United States. That summer, while training, I broke my leg and discovered that I had a disease which put an immediate stop to all my sports – and to my dreams for the future.
“It was devastating for me, but also for my parents, my family, my coaches and my teammates. Everyone rallied around me and supported me. I had some very dark days, and of course, dark thoughts. But the love of my family, and the intensity of my friendships kept me afloat.
“Today, I am wheelchair-bound, but I coach a very high level of basketball to able-bodied teens, and wheelchair basketball to adults. I have found love and a purpose.
“Stay the course, keep fighting, and lean on your people for support.”