Boyfriend Needs Time to Grieve
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Dear Christine,

My boyfriend and I have been together for almost two years and we are very happy with each other.

Sadly, his father died recently, and now he and his siblings are fighting over the will. I understand this is a difficult time for him, but I am very eager for us to move in together and move forward with our relationship. How can I mention this without him viewing it as just another pressure in his life? -- WANNABE COMMON-LAW – WINDSOR, ON

Dear Wannabe,

There’s no way to bring up the topic of moving in together at this time without appearing selfish because it is selfish of you to even consider piling more stress on him.

It’s understandable that you want to be close to your boyfriend, especially in this time of mourning. However, given his vulnerable state, this in not the time for you to push. It’s the time to comfort him, stand by him, even give him some space if that’s what it takes to prove you’re worthy of a future with him.

He’s already lost a father. If you were to bring this up now, he might feel pressured that if he doesn’t accommodate your wishes, you could leave him, too. If you do get what you want under these circumstances, you’ll never know his true motivation.

Give it a few months. Then you’ll be more certain he’s making a well thought out decision and not a panicked one.

Dear Christine,

My girlfriend of seven months is leaving the country for a year to do volunteer work oversees. I really like her, and I don’t know if I can handle a long-distance relationship.

We’re both in our early 20s. This is first love for both of us. Should we try to stay together or see other people? -- MISSING HER ALREADY – LONDON, ON

Dear Missing Her,

Interesting how you refer to yourselves as first loves. Doesn’t “first” imply there’ll be a second or even more loves in your lives?

You’re young. It isn’t necessary to proclaim undying love at your age or at this early stage of a relationship. This is the time in your lives when you should both be free and adventurous. Nothing is stopping you from staying in touch. If you’re meant to be together, it can wait until you’re sure.

When one person travels, furthers education, or embarks on a new career, he or she is bound to be changed by the new environment or circumstances. Also, since you’re both so young, you’re sure to go through a great deal of everyday changes and growing pains.

You’ll often hear older people say “Youth is wasted on the young.” Don’t fall into that cliché.

And as someone older and wiser than you and I once said, “If you love someone, set them free. If they come back, they’re yours. If they don’t, they never were.”

Dear Christine,

Thank you for your comments to “Betrayed” in your last column. You unveiled bogus excuses like a mid-life crisis as no defence for cheating on a spouse. I couldn’t agree more.

Too many people (especially men) pull these lame excuses out of the air in a futile effort to justify breaking sacred vows.

Keep telling it like it is. -- A RESPONSIBLE MAN – LONDON, ON

Dear Responsible Man,

From school projects and exams to infidelity in romantic relationships, studies show men cheat almost twice as much as women. Also, men have a much greyer opinion on the actual definition of cheating. Nevertheless, I believe we all need to be accountable as individuals. Whether it’s a man or woman pleading “mid-life crisis” or claiming “My spouse doesn’t understand me” defence, you’re right. It’s inexcusable.

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