February 15, 2018
Below are some of the exchanges from the relationships advice column, Baggage Check, published weekly in The Washington Post’s Express:
Q: My boyfriend changed “in a relationship” on Facebook to private, yet still claims we’re a couple. He is secretive about his phone, and says the other women he spends so much time chatting with on Facebook are just friends. This is after 17 months of dating and living together over a year. Before, he said he wanted to get married one day; now he says he never will! Am I wasting my time?
A: That depends. Do you consider being with someone who has completely changed his tune on the nature of his commitment, and is quite possibly being unfaithful, a waste of your time?
Seriously, it’s all about what you want, and what you’re willing to put up with. Are you hoping for marriage? Well, he’s told you it’s not happening. Do you want a relationship that has trust? Well, he’s acting like a bad cliche of a cheater and giving you no reason to believe otherwise. No doubt you love him and are attached, but is this the kind of relationship you want? I’d vote that he’s giving you very little of what you need. I’d also wonder what you think you actually deserve within a relationship, because if your letter is any indication, you are selling yourself short.
Q: I have a co-worker (“Pat”) I can’t stand anymore! Pat is nice but in a screw-loose way, and the madness outweighs the niceness big-time. Pat talks out loud and whispers to the almighty Lord. Pat has prophesied the end of the world three times. Pat believes we will all be going to hell and suffer the consequences of our sins, and is so nosy and always snooping around. I try to tune it out, but Pat is right in front of my cubicle and this nonsense is every single day. I don’t hate Pat, but enough is enough.
A: What’s the problem? I always work better when someone snoops around, looking for the reasons why I’m headed to hell! Pat’s behavior negatively affects your work environment, so you’ve got to speak up. Raising your concerns with a supervisor need not involve any ill will, or the stigmatizing of someone who quite likely has some cognitive . . . shall we say, idiosyncrasies going on. Go to a trusted manager or HR and give the fact-based bottom line – no more personal than needed. You don’t have a quiet place or uninterrupted place to work because of Pat’s behavior, and you’ve tried to tolerate it, but it affects your ability to be productive. Have specific examples – not necessarily of Pat’s unusual mindset, but of the behaviors that make your work environment unworkable. Then see what solution they can come up with.
Bonior, a Washington-area clinical psychologist, writes a weekly relationships advice column in The Washington Post’s Express daily tabloid and is author of “The Friendship Fix.” For more information, see www.drandreabonior.com. You can also follow her on Twitter: @drandreabonior.
Special to The Washington Post