Dear Barb – Timing Issues

Dear Barb:

My boyfriend and I have been dating for two years and recently decided to move in together. Our relationship has been difficult as we hadn’t accepted that we were gay before becoming intimately involved with each other, and had just been friends before. Our families are having a hard time accepting our situation. Since we moved in together I have noticed that my boyfriend is spending a lot of time looking at other men. When I mention it to him he denies it. I’m wondering if he is regretting moving in with me so quickly before exploring relationships with other men. I really love him, but don’t want to hold him back. Need some advice! Thanks, Randy.

Hey Randy:

Thanks for your question! You both have gone through a big transition in what appears to be a short time. You may have needed some time before making the move to live together, but that decision has been made. I would suggest you both get some counselling, both individual and couple counselling could be helpful. I believe you may both have issues that have to be worked through, and I believe you need a professional to facilitate this for you. If you don’t get these issues resolved early, resentment will build and you will both do and say things that can irreparably ruin your relationship. Hope this helps, best of luck to you both.

Dear Barb:

I am on the fast track to finish my degree at AU. I am registered in four courses, so my time is spent studying and writing essays. I am from a big Italian family and I have told my family and friends that I am very busy and would like to get my degree so I can begin my career. I had hoped they would appreciate that my free time is limited. Unfortunately they don’t get it. I get all kinds of phone calls and I try to keep them short, so I can get back to my studies, but it is very difficult to get off the phone. Lately I have been letting it go to voice mail, but then I spend so much time listening to messages and feeling guilty if I don’t call the person back. Often if I don’t answer the phone, my family members will show up at my door, wondering what’s wrong. I explained that I need to study, but they show up with coffee and snacks. I appreciate that I have a loving, caring family, but I also need to do the things I need to. Do you have any suggestions on how I can handle this situation? Thanks, Theresa.

Hi Theresa:

Your situation is a very common complaint among people who work and study at home. You need to be very disciplined and have strict guidelines for your family and friends. I would suggest you have a family meeting and explain to everyone that you are studying between certain hours and that you will not be answering your phone or your door. In fact I would get a Do Not Disturb sign to put on your door just in case somebody forgets. You also need to do this with your friends. At first it may be difficult for you to control the impulse to answer the door or the phone, but it is essential that you stick to your rules if you expect your friends to. Happy studying!

Email your questions to Some submissions may be edited for length or to protect confidentiality; your real name and location will never be printed. This column is for entertainment only. The author is not a professional counsellor and this column is not intended to take the place of professional advice.