She's Traveling, He's Worrying & New Mom In A New Town

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

DEAR CAT: I love telling the story of how Cecelia and I met. After struggling for months to get over a breakup, I took a chance and struck up a short but intense conversation with her. During a class break I noticed her reading one of my favorite books and we talked in depth about it. Two weeks later she e-mailed to ask if I knew they were making a movie of the book. I suggested we see it, she accepted and the rest is history. Seven months later I have fallen in love with her and she with me. She is now traveling abroad for four months, a decision I supported. We talk on the phone or Webcam almost daily, but I’m afraid of what will become of us. It’s difficult to think of taking steps backward because of the distance. (This ruined my previous relationship, when I went abroad.) I realize I shouldn’t fret if we both love and trust each other, but it is still daunting to think of the next four months. If you have any advice for us, I would appreciate it. — GOING THE DISTANCE

DEAR G.T.D.: You’re thinking “four long months apart” rather than “a mere 16 weeks.” Any chance this kind of thinking hurt your last relationship, too? Do not let this temporary distance affect a wonderful relationship. You supported her decision to go abroad; don’t suddenly change tack and get mistrustful and negative. Phone, e-mail, Webcam, it’s all good. Add a handwritten letter or postcard, too. And if you really miss her, go see her! Cat’s Call: Then there won’t be any “distance” to blame.

DEAR CAT: I just moved to Memphis, and I’m excited that my little ones and I are meeting new friends. There is a woman who lives nearby who calls for our kids to have play dates. She always drops the kids at my house to play for hours. Recently they came to play and three hours later she calls and said, “I need to run an errand. Do you want me to pick them up or should they stay?” I said, “Go ahead and run your errand,” because I thought she would come back right away! She pulled in her driveway three hours later with shopping bags and a friend! I am so hurt that she took advantage of me because I thought I had made a good, new friend. What should I do? — NEW MOM IN TOWN

DEAR N.M.I.T.: You can’t blame her for shopping. That’s her business. You can blame her for misleading you and taking your babysitting hospitality for granted. This is a new friendship; start it right by being honest. Tell her nicely that you are bothered. Tell her the word “errand” universally implies a quick task, not a three-hour shopping spree with friends while someone does a double shift watching your kids for free. Better to clear the air now; for yourself and for the kids. Otherwise…Cat’s Call: You’ll have only resentment and nothing good ever comes of that.

Back to top