Ac­cept the blunt truth from lover and move on

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

DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I’m deeply in love with a man of colour. I have no prob­lem, but he has a prob­lem with my colour. He says the women of his com­mu­nity will never ac­cept me, and that in­cludes his mother, who still lives back home. He said it’s OK for him to have a girl­friend from the white com­mu­nity, as that is con­sid­ered part of grow­ing up, but when it’s time to set­tle down, the wife must be of his same back­ground and re­li­gion. This weekend I asked him bluntly if he would ever marry me, and he said sadly, “No, I can’t. I would never up­set my fam­ily that way.” I was shocked. Do you think this means he doesn’t love me and he’s just mak­ing ex­cuses? He says he does love me. — Sun­shine Fad­ing, Win­nipeg Dear Fad­ing: Love is not a trump card, as it is in so much of North Amer­i­can so­ci­ety. There are cul­tures where fam­ily, re­spect and tra­di­tion run much deeper than per­sonal feel­ings of love and pas­sion. When it comes to mar­ry­ing, you’re al­most form­ing a busi­ness com­pany — a join­ing of two fam­i­lies, and hope­fully, sim­i­lar back­grounds, re­li­gious be­lief and fi­nan­cial sta­tus. This man told you the blunt truth: mar­riage is just not go­ing to hap­pen for you two. Whether he is us­ing his back­ground and fam­ily as an ex­cuse be­cause he doesn’t care that deeply, or whether he does, but is stay­ing true to his fam­ily’s de­sires, you might never know. What you do know is the an­swer is a def­i­nite no, and that should be enough to turn you away now. Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I’m feel­ing all con­fused. I have this boyfriend and we’re both in­car­cer­ated. I’ve been in the com­mu­nity twice with him and talked to him for the past three years. I want to set­tle and help my­self. He does his own thing with his friends, act­ing like he ain’t with any­one. I feel like he doesn’t share the same feel­ings that I have. I be­came preg­nant last year and was due in De­cem­ber, but mis­car­ried. That baby was gonna be his first and this has brought deep de­pres­sion on me. We talked about hav­ing a fam­ily to­gether and he wanted 15 (yes, that is cor­rect) kids with me and I would love to more than any­thing, but I need him there for me phys­i­cally and men­tally. My friends don’t see him like I do. They’re telling me to leave him alone, that he’s too much into the street life, but I don’t want to give up what we’ve cre­ated to­gether. He makes me feel so good, we make each other laugh and no topic is un­bear­able. I’m not shy around him — he is like my other half. Ob­vi­ously, I’m into bad boys. He doesn’t know I want to be done with street life and want to set­tle down, but jail has be­come a rou­tine for us both and it’s not healthy. What do you think I should do? — Jail­house Love, Man­i­toba Dear Jail­house Love: Be­cause your love life can be frozen in time once you go to jail, it’s hard to progress and to work things out one way or the other. You say how much you love your bad boy, and you also say he doesn’t ever stop act­ing sin­gle. Let’s talk about how you know if a man is in love with you. You look at his ac­tions, not his words and jokes, or his cute per­son­al­ity and per­for­mance in bed. Is he prowl­ing the bars with bud­dies and hit­ting on other women when he’s got time on the out­side? Is he mak­ing any plans for the two of you when you get out? Does he have any in­ten­tion of go­ing straight so you can be a cou­ple to­gether? These are the things you have to think about — his real ac­tions. So, here’s a plan that doesn’t de­pend on his be­hav­iour. Use your think­ing time in jail to re­search an ed­u­ca­tional course you can take to give you skills for when you get out. Can you start tak­ing a course in jail? Can you find govern­ment sup­port for a course you want to take when you’re re­leased? If you come out of that jail with no plan for yourself ex­cept to hitch back onto this un­sta­ble guy, you’re likely to go back to jail again. Please send your ques­tions or com­ments c/o love­coach@hot­ or mail­let­ters to Miss Lonelyhearts c/o Win­nipeg Free Press, 1355 Moun­tain Ave., Win­nipeg, MB, R2X 3B6

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