herald

Wednesday 20 September 2017

Booty calls tire me

Q. MY boyfriend moved to London for work last September and our weekends are now spent travelling between the two cities.

In the past six weeks, he has been working Saturdays as he is in the retail business, while I have had a couple of winter weddings to go to, or have been babysitting for my sister. My boyfriend has been putting pressure on me to fly over on Sunday mornings and back on Monday mornings, which I have been finding rushed and tiring. He is accusing me of not caring enough, but I'm finding these booty calls to be energy draining, expensive and not in the least romantic or sexy.

A. The predicament that you and your boyfriend are facing requires a great deal of maturity and compromise. Assuming you're both certain that the relationship is worth working for and you're willing to make the necessary sacrifices, you must come up with a solution that works for you both.

I can understand how tough it is for you to make those overnight trips to him but it's not a practical long-term solution. You will both need to focus on altering your weekend schedules to prioritise each other. He will need to try to change his work days and you will have to find somebody else to babysit for your sister. Make the decision not to attend weddings if it means not being able to visit your boyfriend.

It's all possible with patience and understanding. Good luck.

Nuisance

Q. My best friend was made redundant from a job she loved and is having a hard time finding more work. She has enough money to tide her over, but it's spending days at home which she is finding the hardest. To pass the time, she often rings me while I'm at work to tell me what is happening on The Jeremy Kyle Show, or what Judge Judy has said to someone on her show.

I'm finding it hard to tell her that I'm up to my eyes at work and can't talk to her every day. I don't want to hurt her feelings, but she's becoming a nuisance.

A. It sounds as though you've been trying your best to be a dependable and supportive friend during a challenging time. Your friend sees you as somebody reliable who is always there to offer a kind word. She has probably been so wrapped up in her own problems that she hasn't noticed how much of your time she has been taking up.

My advice is to very gently explain to her that you're extremely happy and willing to be there for her, but when you're at work you simply don't have the time for all the phone calls. Instead you should arrange a set time every evening, when you've finished work, to chat to her about how her day was.

It will be something for you both to look forward to and she'll understand the situation you're in.

Debts

Q. Things are getting very serious very quickly with my new boyfriend and we're spending most evenings and weekends together. We get on like a house on fire and both like to work hard and play hard. Our big difference is that he earns a lot more than me and has savings and investments. I have credit-card debts of more than €15,000. Should I disclose my debts to him before we become really close, or keep schtum about my credit-card bills?

A. The situation you're facing will potentially involve a great deal of honesty and confidence that you know and can trust your new boyfriend enough to reveal your personal financial problems. It's a decision you really must make yourself when you feel the time is right.

My advice is to be completely honest with him about your credit-card debt and explain that you won't always be able to afford expensive drinks or a couples' holiday as you pay off your debt.

However, I recommend you make it clear that you want him to know only because of the restrictions that it will place on you, not because you expect him to pay for everything or to help you pay off the debt. You definitely don't want him to think that you're a gold digger.

Focus on your independence and integrity and enjoy your blossoming romance.

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