Am I go­ing to lose my Fri­day nights when we move in to­gether?

The Hamilton Spectator - - LIVING - AN­DREA BONIOR

Q: My girl­friend and I are mov­ing in to­gether but I’m wor­ried about her pres­sur­ing me to stay home more. We each do our own things on Fri­day nights (I usu­ally hang out with friends; she stays home and watches TV or reads a book) and then we spend the week­end to­gether. She says she knows we are dif­fer­ent and will give me space, but am I re­ally go­ing to be able to leave her home alone?

A: You might feel pres­sure, true. No mat­ter how com­pat­i­ble a cou­ple is, there are typ­i­cally at least a few con­tra­dic­tory habits. But bridg­ing those gaps is part of nav­i­gat­ing a healthy liv­ing-to­gether sit­u­a­tion. Hon­esty and re­spect are key.

Tell her that you like the rhythm of things as they are, and you want her to be con­tent too. Ask her what her ideal sit­u­a­tion is, and how you two can ap­prox­i­mate mak­ing you both happy. You may find that she ac­tu­ally val­ues her alone time as much as you do.

Or, it might be that it feels bet­ter to grad­u­ally merge your so­cial cir­cles a bit more. If you com­mu­ni­cate and value each other’s needs, you’ll work it out.

Q: I re­cently had an ugly fall­ing out with a very close friend and ended sev­eral years of drama (she is self­ish, takes ad­van­tage of peo­ple and lies). I am at peace with the friend­ship end­ing, but no­body else seems to be. I find that mu­tual friends and fam­ily won’t stop ask­ing where she is and what she’s up to. If I men­tion the rift, they urge us to work things out. What should I say in these sit­u­a­tions?

A: The beauty of these sit­u­a­tions is that you need not say any­thing be­yond your ini­tial ex­pla­na­tion. De­pend­ing on how well they knew her, their com­ments may have more to do with their own feel­ings about not see­ing her any­more than about what­ever hap­pened within your re­la­tion­ship. Or it could just be the typ­i­cal con­ver­sa­tional filler that hap­pens when peo­ple are un­com­fort­able hear­ing about an un­for­tu­nate sit­u­a­tion.

Prac­tice your own filler, whether nod­ding or smil­ing or bring­ing up the in­field fly rule. While you are at peace with the friend­ship end­ing, trust that oth­ers may take a while to get there — some­thing you can model for them in the process.

VLADANS, GETTY IM­AGES/ISTOCKPHOTO

My girl­friend says she knows we are dif­fer­ent and will give me space, but am I re­ally go­ing to be able to leave her home alone?

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