Tell friend how you feel, ask to see her with­out him

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - ENTERTAINMENT - MAU­REEN SCURFIELD

DEAR MISS LONE­LY­HEARTS: I’m hav­ing a dilemma with one of my friends. She’s been dat­ing this guy for al­most a year. At first they lived in the same city, but in the last six months they’ve been do­ing the long dis­tance thing (across prov­inces) and usu­ally visit each other once a month. When she comes to town, I like to spend some qual­ity time with her — my friend since child­hood. How­ever, since they’ve been to­gether, she’s been bring­ing her boyfriend around, ev­ery time we hang out. I un­der­stand their need to spend as much time to­gether as pos­si­ble, so in one re­gard I re­spect her de­ci­sion to bring him around. But, he’s go­ing through some emo­tional dif­fi­cul­ties, and to oth­ers he can be rude, awk­ward, lethar­gic and a big killjoy. All I’d like is to spend one evening or two with just her as girl­friends, how­ever, be­cause of his emo­tional need­i­ness, she is never avail­able for one-on-one time. Am I be­ing self­ish by want­ing my friend back, even just for a cou­ple of hours, or should I ac­cept the fact that her boyfriend is now a sta­ple at girls night? — Third Wheel, Transcona

Dear Third Wheel: What you don’t see is it’s not him caus­ing the prob­lem. Nine out of 10 women would say, “I’m go­ing out for a few hours with my fe­male bud­dies and I’ll catch you later.” If he whined, she’d say, “You’re go­ing to have to get over this cling­y­ness, or you’ll have to get over me. I love my friends too.” The truth? She is kow­tow­ing to this needy be­hav­iour, partly be­cause she wants to be with him ev­ery minute of the visit! Tell her how you feel and ask clearly for a lunch with­out him. If she doesn’t want to do that, re­tire her to the back bench for now and in­vest more in other pals.

Dear Miss Lone­ly­hearts: I’m a Chris­tian go­ing out with an athe­ist, so af­ter we make love on Satur­day night, I send him home in the cold, say­ing I have work to in the morn­ing and then I sneak off to church alone in­stead. He preaches “re­li­gion is a crutch” and all that rot. Last night we got talk­ing se­ri­ously about get­ting mar­ried and he said, “Of course, I wouldn’t want to go into a church for some­thing like a wed­ding when I never go any other time. My heart sank. I had al­ways pic­tured a lovely for­mal wed­ding in my home church with my fam­ily and friends. I see me coming down the aisle and my groom wait­ing at the al­tar. I started to cry! He asked me why and I wouldn’t say. What now? — Se­cret Chris­tian, Win­nipeg

Dear Se­cret: It’s time to really talk this out. Tell him you go to church se­cretly and you know he has no be­lief. Tell him you would want to be mar­ried in a church. Let him know if you want your kids chris­tened and/ or bap­tized. Then qui­etly hear him out. While you’re at it, ask him how many kids he’d like to have, if any, and when he’d want them. You’d be amazed how many cou­ples don’t ever dis­cuss this un­til they’re al­ready mar­ried. Talk about the fi­nances, too. This is the time, not af­ter. Do ei­ther of you have debt and how much? How do you feel about see­ing each other’s par­ents, brothers and sis­ters? Where would you both like to live — city or coun­try? It’s good the whole re­li­gion thing is go­ing to come up so you can get ev­ery­thing else out on the ta­ble. You’re talk­ing about a life­time of se­ri­ous com­mit­ment now.

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