I’m 22, my boyfriend’s 20. We live in different countries, speak different mother tongues, and have different religions.
After three-years online, we met in person. He travelled to see me and it went better than I expected. I live with my parents, so he stayed in a hotel for two weeks.
I’m in school and can’t afford to visit him for another year and a half.
My friends say that I’m missing out on meeting someone at home.
But how can I give up someone who’s gone to such effort and expense to prove his love?
VERY Long Distance
New romance is compelling, but so is your gaining the independence and maturity to make a major life-changing decision.
That’s what’s involved with this boyfriend.
Seeing each other in person is expensive and time-consuming.
Eventually, one of you will have to move.
Focus for now on your immediate life – school, friends, and yes, dating too.
The future – whether with him or apart - will become clearer.
My sister's only son lives with his partner only 30 minutes away. Their two children are ages two and a half years and 6 months.
My sister and her husband would love to be doting grandparents. However, despite no abuse, no alcohol, no drugs, no foul language, no harsh words, etc., the relationship has fallen apart.
(Possibly postpartum depression?)
The mother has asked these grandparents by email "not to visit (their) home and children because it is too stressful.”
The young parents and children miss most family events because they’re "too busy."
My sister's son is occasionally allowed to bring the two-year-old for a visit to his grandparents (the last visit was Easter).
The grandparents are totally stressed out. They last saw the baby five months ago. They’ve given gifts for the children, but no thank-yous were received.
The young couple won’t discuss why this has happened.
My sister has sought advice from a psychotherapist and a counsellor. One counsellor said, "accept the situation" and the other talked about cultural differences in raising children.
It seems the grandparents have no rights. My sister's blood pressure is sky high from anxiety over the situation.
The young couple are mid-30's, not married, the mother is from out of province and is a social worker on maternity leave, but they will not consider counselling.
What can the grandparents do?
They can - and must - welcome their son when he visits, and connect gently with the older child.
Avoid further questioning, pressuring, or complaining, during this delicate time.
If the new mother does have postpartum depression, she needs her partner’s support.
But she also needs professional help – about her mental health, not about the grandparents’ feelings at this time.
They should inquire gently of their son about her well being. If there’s a hint of her feeling “blue,” they can help him understand how much she needs to see a doctor.
If she’s struggling, they could ask him if they can send in meals to help out.
They could offer to have the toddler visit for half a day, or to take the child out to a park. All offers should be made without pressure.
In time, they’ll hear something of whatever’s bothering this mother. It may be that even their eagerness and expectations came across as overwhelming.
If counselling eases their anxiety, they should continue. Also, their therapist may be able to glean some clues and help them understand some of whatever’s upsetting the children’s mother.
I recently started a new job where all the employees know each other well, and have lived in the community a long time.
I was hired from another city.
I’ve discovered that the job mainly revolves around relationships between potential clients and existing customers within the community.
I’m getting nowhere with my efforts to secure or please clients. Should I stick it out or leave before frustration overwhelms me?
If you stick it out, put major effort into getting to know what your colleagues know.
Be sociable and outgoing in the community. Join an activity group that would relate to your target market – a gym, book club, whatever.
Invite to lunch someone well connected to people who could be clients, and learn the community’s style.
However, if you’re uncomfortable with this approach, tell the management it’s a wrong fit on both sides, and seek employment more suited to your working style and skills.
Tip of the day:
If an early romance involves extreme distance, expense, and major differences, take a break to weigh your options.