Dear Barb—Cringe Distance

Dear Barb:

I have this really great friend and we have lots of fun together.  He is a very sarcastic guy and at times he has crossed the line and offended people.  I mostly don’t get offended but just laugh along with him.  Recently a mutual friend asked me if Mike’s sense of humor ever gets on my nerves?  I said not really, but now I’m wondering if I should be bothered by some of his remarks.  At times he does make racial comments or make fun of how someone looks or their weight, but he never does this in front of anyone except close friends .  We all just ignore him or laugh along.  Do you think I should say something to Mike, or just ignore it?  Looking for advice – Shawn.

Hi Shawn:

Interesting dilemma.  I don’t think it’s good practice to make fun of a certain race or someone’s weight or how they look, even if it is just with close friends.  It would be very easy to slip and say something when other people are around, people who would not find this behaviour funny.  Racial slurs and such should not be in your mind at any time, even just for fun.  The world is in chaos and has been throughout history, partly because of racial discrimination.  So I think you should say something to your friend about his comments, but do it in private and choose your words carefully.  Thanks for your email Shawn.

Dear Barb:

My girlfriend and I have been dating for two years.  We are both getting ready to go to university and we applied to the same schools.  It seems my girlfriend got into a College that is 10 hours away, while I got into one close to home.  She is seriously considering going.  I told her if she goes our relationship is over.  She says I am being selfish and that I should be more supportive of her decisions.  I don’t agree with her, I am trying to keep us together, from my point of view long distance relationships do not work.  Do you think I’m being selfish? Thanks, Tyler. 

Hey Tyler:

It seems you did not discuss the possibility of this occurring when you applied to these universities and colleges.  Long distance relationship can, and often do, work, it depends on the mindset of the couple.  If you are both committed to each other and see this as a temporary situation, then there would not be a problem.  You can keep in touch through social media, although not the same as face to face, it has become the way many relationships are surviving throughout this pandemic.  On the other hand, if you believe long distance relationships do not work, then there is a good chance you will be right, as you will see problems where there may not be any.  I think you need to take a step back and consider all your options, if you want this relationship to survive, your best choice is to support your girlfriend’s plans for her future.  Best of luck Tyler.

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.