Do not pass go

Joey Garcia

I’m in my 30s and crushing on a guy nine years younger who delivers wine to my workplace. He would see me four times a week at work, but only once a week outside of work. I felt neglected and taken for granted. I sent a text saying we shouldn’t spend time together outside of work. He said he wanted to. He still gives me attention at work but off-hours, nothing. I know that I suggested we stop seeing each other but I was trying to open dialogue about how he was acting. It backfired. Is he too young to get it? We started texting again recently but he hasn’t initiated hanging out. What am I doing wrong?

You’re failing to be emotionally intimate. It’s as if you invited your man to play an old-school board game with you but kept the rules, game pieces and board all to yourself. That’s unkind. So it’s not that he’s too young to have a clue, it’s that you refused to clue him in. Here’s why: You’ve convinced yourself that he is consciously choosing to hurt you by choosing to enjoy a low-key relationship. You want more than a casual connection.

Why doesn’t he see how amazing you are and hurl himself into a passionate can’t-live-without-you thing? Your mind might be circling that question and that’s OK. But remember, not every thought is true or even useful. Your thinking process resulted in a decision to punish your man by telling him in a text that it was over. You expected him to protest. He did. You expected him to force himself back into your life. Instead, he respected the boundary you set and continued to be friendly and professional at work. His choices sound emotionally mature to me.

You need to uncover why you didn’t open your heart enough to say, “I want to spend more time with you. Is that something you want? If so, how can we make it happen?” Those words are emotionally intimate. An open heart shows a commitment to living and loving fully. What kept you from being that nakedly honest? Live the answer. Doing so will sweeten your love life forever.

I’m pregnant. My boyfriend told me to get an abortion. I don’t want to. He called me stupid and said I was ruining his life. Last night I ran into him and his squad. He started shouting, calling me a “stupid bitch.” He sent me threatening text messages, even saying that I cheated. I didn’t. I’m 19 but he’s the only guy I’ve been with. I live with my grandmother and I haven’t told her anything. I don’t know what to do.

Let him go. He isn’t worthy of your heart. Anyone who discovers unexpectedly that he or she will be a parent might respond with surprise or fear instead of joy and excitement. But verbally attacking a partner is not acceptable. The law is on your side. A paternity test can prove his parentage. And, if he continues to harass you, file an online police report. Most importantly, meet with a counselor. You need to have a conversation with someone who can guide you in your decision-making process. It is possible for a 19-year-old to successfully raise a child but it is more difficult than you imagine and requires tremendous support from your family and community. You might decide that adoption is a better option for you.

Meditation of the week
“To be free is not merely to cast off chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others,” said the late Nelson Mandela, former president of South Africa and an anti-apartheid revolutionary. Whose chains will you destroy?

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