Reassess relationship after ‘holiday’
DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I went on a “holiday’ with my boyfriend of six months — a workaholic doctor — and found out he’s unbearable when he’s not occupied with working. He was agitated, nervous, and sure he was missing something back at the hospital in Winnipeg. He kept wanting to phone home. Then he wanted sex all the time to ease his nervousness and I got sick of that. It wasn’t romantic, not about me at all. When he ran out of stuff to read at the pool, he took up watching women and commenting on their bodies. As if I was one of his old buddies! I said, “What am I to you — a non-entity without any feelings? I am not your best male buddy on a holiday with you.” He laughed a strange laugh and muttered something like, “Too bad you weren’t.” I couldn’t wait for the two weeks to end and to get home. Now that he’s back home at work, he’s at ease again — like a druggie who finally got his fix. In fact, he’s morphed back into his old self — busy, but pleasant. I don’t know whether I want to be with him, given what I experienced of his other personality on holiday. What do you think? — Girlfriend of Jekyll & Hyde
Dear GF of Hyde: A nervous workaholic is better off taking more holidays, but shorter ones. Would that be OK with you? You might be able to work that out if he was OK with your taking longer holidays with your friends and family. But what about the disrespectful way he was leering at women in front of you? He’s certainly not afraid of losing you, is he? Or, is he just ignorant of how women feel? Not every doctor is Dr. Oz-like and “gets” the female sex. Some are just skilled, and awkward. Do his credentials turn you on? For some old-fashioned women, a doctor husband is the ultimate catch. For sure, their grandmothers’ generation thought so. If this man had a lower status job, would you still be hanging in there with him after this holiday? Think hard about that one.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: My fiancée has taken over my friends. They now like her better than me. We got into an argument at a big dinner the other night over the Bombers and my friends totally sided with my girlfriend who says they suck. Where is their loyalty? She is gorgeous and has a sexy accent. Before she came along, I was often right in their company. Now I’m a jerk, and she’s the queen. I’ll tell you something that shocks me if I let myself think about it. My best friend would like to have her to himself! If we broke up for even a day, I think he’d go after her. He’d probably ask me first, because he’s a religious guy, but he’d do it. He’s said things like, “Wow, does she have a sister?” I feel the group of them all like to jump on me and discredit me in front of her. I have no intentions of giving her up, but I don’t know what to say to my so-called friends. — Odd Man Out, St. James
Dear Odd: You might want to call them on it — at least your “best friend’ who’s obviously drooling, and making you crazy. Say to him when you’re alone next. “I get the feeling you’d like to date my girlfriend yourself. Am I right?” Then count the beats it takes him to formulate an answer. The longer it takes him to reply, the likelier you are right. Tell him assertively. “She’s my lady and I expect you to back off and remember that.” That might sober him up. Right now he’s intoxicated with fantasies about her and be trying to make you look like less of a prize — with backup from the rest of the goofs who have crushes on her.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I have a mentor of eight years who has helped me along in the business world. Now I’m about to take a big step and won’t need my mentor any more and he’s suddenly beginning to backtrack on things he previously preached to me about my need to “take risks to expand.” This move would mean I’d be on the road and not around Winnipeg very much. In the beginning we used to meet a couple times a week as he guided me towards success in my business. How do you let a mentor down gently? — Feeling Guilty, Fort Garry
Dear Feeling Guilty: It’s just like having kids — you raise them to leave you. That’s what a mentor needs to do and this mentor has done the right thing up to now. The fact that you’re getting “change back” messages recently, is only part of the natural breaking-away experience. If you have it out, do it gently. Try to think how you’d speak to a parent as you’re leaving home. You know they will miss you terribly while you are flying off, looking ahead and not missing them. Address the separation anxiety, and assure your mentor you’ll be back with bigger questions one day soon, and want to maintain the friendship. That will settle things down a bit right now. If it doesn’t, then “I need to experiment on my own now,” is a message you might have to give him as nicely as possible.