Dear Readers: A New Year is a wonderful opportunity for taking stock of your close relationships. So give some time over these next early weeks of 2008 to thinking of ways you can improve how you handle relationships. It can result in your most valuable change, one that will make all other goals more possible. Happy New Year!
My girlfriend has a male friend, who ten years ago was her lover for two years. When he comes to town, he sleeps over at her place; they may have dinner and watch a movie or go out for dinner.
I have a problem with ex-lovers sleeping over. She says that nothing is going on and I’m overreacting.
I asked her if it would bother her if my ex-girlfriend stayed over at my house. Her answer was that that’s different because their love affair was a long time ago.
Do you think that this is a reasonable situation?
- Perplexed in British Columbia
She’s dealing in double standards, no matter the time of the past affair. The connection with an ex-lover carries an aura of intimacy. That’s why she doesn’t want yours to sleep over and why hers should stay at a different friend’s house, or get a hotel room.
Remind her of the old saying, “What’s good for the goose, is good for the gander.” If she continues to insist that it’s “different” in her case, I predict the New Year will have you confronting your girlfriend about refusing to understand that both partners have to be sensitive to each other’s discomforts over previous lovers.
I’m a twenty-something law school student, hard working, and driven, and sometimes find it difficult to meet similarly ambitious men.
Recently, I met someone my age who’s dedicated to what he does, and reaping the rewards of his hard work. He’s the acclaimed executive chef and co-owner of a famous restaurant.
However, my mother told me to stop seeing him because he doesn’t have a university education, and she disapproves of those who work in the restaurant industry. Knowing nothing about him, she's jumped to conclusions.
I admire him; he’s accomplished, loves what he does and is only going to achieve even more success. He’s generous, kind, and loving to his family.
I respect my mother's opinion but feel she’s wrong this time.
How do I get my mother to stop judging him based solely on her conceptions on his career?
- Want Her Approval
You won’t convince her unless you can get to introduce them personally, in a casual way, and away from his restaurant – such as meeting for a coffee just to chat (not about you two dating), or asking him over to pick you up for a walk.
If she refuses, point out that you don’t want to sneak around to see him, that you’re old enough to decide that he’s worth getting to know better, and you prefer to do so while she, too, shows the decency of at least meeting him. Tell her you’ve respected her opinion in the past, but it’s hard to respect unfair prejudice against someone she’s not met.
If you get past that first encounter, proceed slowly. Have him talk to her about his family life, and his future plans. Show her reviews of his restaurant, his skills and rise to success.
But if you cannot get her interested in meeting him, then you must ask yourself whether you can handle a relationship without her approval.
The guy I’ve been dating one year gets drunk a lot, accuses me of cheating, comes over to my house and yells at me, showing total disrespect to my child (not his). He calls me every five minutes asking where I am and who I’m with.
No one in my family likes him.
He’s broken the windows on my house, has done so many things to hurt me and contributes nothing to this relationship but a bad attitude.
He has no job.
How long should you wait for someone to change?
YOU are the one who needs to change, immediately. Get rid of this abusive guy, and call the police if he harasses you.
By sticking with him, you’ve unwittingly shown greater disrespect to your child, whom you’re supposed to protect from witnessing violence and abuse.
Start the New Year with this one resolution: No more dating drunks and jerks!
Tip of the day:
Double standards in a relationship leave one partner feeling unfairly treated.