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Discuss the situation with your boyfriend without laying blame

Dear Carla,

Let me start by saying congratulations on the one year anniversary of your column. I read it every week and love it.

I vowed I would never write to you but something is really bothering me and I'm interested to see how you feel.

My boyfriend and I were the best of friends and then somewhere along the way something went wrong. We argue every two minutes over the stupidest of things.

I know that he isn't cheating and neither am I — but yet we can't see eye to eye. Last week we had a big argument and we both said nasty things to each other and have not spoken since.

I love him and don't want to lose him but he made it quite clear that he wants nothing to do with me. I don't know if he means it or only said it out of anger. How much time should I give him before I reach out? Should I reach out at all?

CONFUSED

Dear Confused,

If you really love him, there is only one answer: reach out to him. But I would not suggest you do it yet. Give him some time to cool off so that the two of you can have a civil and rational conversation.

Try your best not to “accuse” him of anything; simply discuss the situation without laying blame on him. Have an open and honest dialogue about what's been going on with you and him and how you can move past it.

While I hope you can make peace and find a resolution, be mindful that there is a possibility that the relationship could be over. And if it is, at least part ways in as decent a manner possible.

Dear Carla,

I am miserable at my job. The staff are not treated well and the morale is low. I want to quit but can't because there are hardly any jobs out there.

My stomach hurts whenever I have to go in and I know it's stress because when I'm off nothing bothers me. It makes no sense going to management because they do nothing. What can I do?

CANT MOVE

Dear Can't Move,

The first thing I suggest you do is get your resume out to as many employment agencies as possible. They have a wealth of contacts and could align you with employment opportunities that you may not be aware of.

I also suggest you start a paper trail ... document everything. It will come in handy when it comes to my next suggestion. File a grievance with your shop steward if you are unionised or the Department of Labour Relations.

They can help you if you have a legitimate concern. Don't be afraid to stand up for yourself. Good luck.

Dear Carla,

I am 43 and have been divorced for several years. I've just started going out more and I have to say I'm enjoying it. I'm not going out to meet men but they are expressing an interest in me all the time, especially young men under 40.

They keep saying: “age is just a number” but I'm not so sure I believe that. There's one guy I've met who is in his early 30s who I'm attracted to but what am I going to do with someone so young?

We have great conversation and he's mature but I guess part of me wonders what people would say. Should I go for it?

AM I GONNA BE A COUGAR?

Dear Am I,

One thing that is quite noticeable about the young men of today is that they seem to have no problems expressing what they want and who they want it with.

I understand your apprehension but I think you should explore the friendship before anything else. See where his head is at. What are some of his views on things that are important to you.

Does he want any children if he doesn't already? At what age does he want to be married? What are his ideals?

I wouldn't write this off, just take the time to get to know him. You'd be surprised.

Generally speaking, I don't think people really see a problem with older women/younger men relationships as they seem to be becoming quite the norm. Live your life. You only have one time to do it.

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Published March 17, 2014 at 9:00 am (Updated March 16, 2014 at 8:44 pm)

Discuss the situation with your boyfriend without laying blame

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