I want a part­ner for life but don’t know how to start

The Hamilton Spectator - - WEATHER - el­liead­vice.com DEAR EL­LIE


. I’m a sin­gle mom with two kids, each from a dif­fer­ent father. Both those men have other chil­dren with two other women each.

Nei­ther man is well off but they both help me a lit­tle fi­nan­cially with the kids. Ev­ery once in a while, one or the other will show up at “home” with me.

This setup is pretty com­mon in my back­ground cul­ture. But for those who didn’t grow up with it — many of my col­leagues and friends — it’s not com­mon.

The more I’m part of a dif­fer­ent North Amer­i­can cul­ture, the more I ques­tion this ar­range­ment.

I want to have, and feel that I de­serve, a part­ner for life.

How do I find some­one who’ll un­der­stand my cul­ture but like me, wants some­thing dif­fer­ent for his life?


Be very thought­ful if con­sid­er­ing a ma­jor cul­tural change for you and your chil­dren.

It may be the life­style all around you but your chil­dren know who their fa­thers are and pre­sum­ably ac­cept that they’re only around oc­ca­sion­ally. It’s what you for­merly ac­cepted, too.

It’s un­der­stand­able that now, among peo­ple who ap­pear to have or ex­pect long-term live-in part­ners, and don’t ac­cept other cul­tural norms, you ques­tion your cur­rent life­style.

But the re­al­ity is that di­vorce and se­rial re­la­tion­ships are com­mon in the larger cul­ture.

To seek a “life” part­ner, you’ll have to take the same risks of dat­ing that oth­ers face — meet­ing men through your per­sonal net­work, in­ter­est groups, on­line, etc.

You’ll need to hope they have no is­sue with your pre­vi­ous short-term part­ners’ easy ac­cess to their kids (and re­think the dads’ stay-overs).

And help your chil­dren’s ad­just­ment to a new life­style at home that still re­spects the cul­ture of which you and they are still a part. Is all this is pos­si­ble? Yes, of course. It won’t hap­pen overnight, and you still have to make sure a man you think is The One, is trust­wor­thy, re­spect­ful, kind to your chil­dren, etc.

There’s no shame in be­ing a sin­gle mom, work­ing, and rais­ing chil­dren mostly on your own. But there is some lone­li­ness and un­cer­tainty.

Still, don’t trade it for a wish. Make sure the part­ner you choose is the right man for you, what­ever his cul­ture.

My rep­u­ta­tion’s at stake Q.

A friend ended our long-stand­ing re­la­tion­ship by mail, say­ing neg­a­tive things about me with or­ders not to re­spond.

I tried once, was thwarted, and gave up. Then I found other friend­ships/pro­fes­sional re­la­tion­ships were also im­pacted.

I have rea­son to be­lieve she may’ve poi­soned those re­la­tion­ships, as many have given me the same brush-off — some more painful than oth­ers.

I tried to in­ter­cept any fu­ture prob­lems by say­ing that I had an ac­ri­mo­nious end­ing to a friend­ship, in case they heard un­true state­ments, but that hasn’t worked.

None of th­ese peo­ple have said why their at­ti­tude took a 180-de­gree turn, so I have no way of dis­put­ing any al­le­ga­tions.


Some peo­ple be­lieve what­ever ru­mour or gossip they hear. But among your so­cial and pro­fes­sional con­tacts, there must be oth­ers who didn’t take the bait.

If pos­si­ble, try to learn from one of those still in con­tact with you, just what’s been cir­cu­lated.

Then, if it’s to­tally wrong or am­bigu­ously mis­lead­ing, con­sider reach­ing out by email or phone, to some of those who’ve pulled away, telling your truth to them.

How­ever, if you be­lieve any com­ments about you have been slan­der­ous or li­bel­lous, get le­gal ad­vice about how to pro­ceed.

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