Ask The Crimson Romance Expert

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Q: My boyfriend has asked me to move into his house. We both have good jobs and stable incomes. We’re in our mid-thirties, and both of us have failed marriages. He doesn’t have children, I do, and that complicates things. He swears he’ll do whatever it takes to make it work. He loves me and wants us to be real couple twenty-four seven. I really love him, but I’m not sure if this is the best thing for us right now. My kids come first in my life, and I have to think of them. I’m torn. He’s a really great guy, and the kids love him. Any suggestions?

A: The fact you aren’t making this decision impulsively speaks well of you. There are several comments in your question that concern me. You’re not sure if this is the best thing to do. What is it that worries you? Is it your loss of independence? If you’ve been on your own for a while, you’ve been living under your terms, making your own decisions, doing what’s best for you and your children. Are you prepared to compromise your freedom to be a family because you won’t be a couple, no matter what he ... Read more >

Q: I’m dating a divorced man with a little boy. He has a minimum wage job, and much of his money goes to child support, so I pay most of the time when we go out. He says he could do better if he only had the right woman behind him. I believe the right woman is me. Should I tell him that?

A: Probably not. It sounds like this man isn’t willing to take responsibility for his own choices and money management. While we all need support in our lives, we each need to have the strength to make our life what we want it to be. Why do you think you’re the right woman for him? Is it because you are a caretaker? Do you think you can fix him? Too many women get into a relationship because they think things will change after the wedding ceremony. It seldom happens. If you don’t like significant things about ... Read more >

Q: I have agreed to go on my first blind date and I’m super nervous. What should I know? I need to be prepared!

A: Oh, the dreaded blind date. It’s almost a rite of passage. I know a small percentage of people find their soul mate through blind dates, but honestly I’m not a fan. Of course, I still agree to them occasionally. It’s the romantic in me. Here are a couple of tips whether it’s your first blind date or seventieth (not that I’m counting). First, make sure you ask the mutual friend some key questions. Find out the person’s age, name, what they do for a living, and, maybe most importantly, why your ... Read more >

Q: How do you keep the love alive in a long-term relationship, especially when the giddiness fades?

A: Since I’m celebrating twenty years of marriage this year, I’d love to answer this question. Although I believe it differs in every relationship, I also believe there are key elements for a successful relationship. I often think it’s my husband’s patience and my mother’s prayers that have kept us married. I was pretty immature the first few years. Patience and prayer are definitely key elements, but learning to communicate is also top of the list. Not only learning to communicate but learning how your ... Read more >

Q: I’ve been dating my boyfriend for about three months He’s a great guy. Smart, funny, handsome, and he takes care of his own business. What girl wouldn’t want that? Unfortunately, he’s also a little rough around the edges. Occasionally it gets him into trouble. My family is pretty straight-laced. They’re not likely to be happy about me dating the “bad boy.” I want them to meet him, but I also want them to be proud. What should I do?

A: A tough exterior and a soft heart. That’s the kind of guy you want, in my opinion. He’s certainly nothing to be ashamed of. As far as your family, I’d think it comes down to the old saying: honesty is the best policy. Would I randomly show up with him at dinner, show him off, and surprise them with him? Probably not the best choice. What I would do, however, is prepare them for him. Start off slow: who he is, where he came from, how you met, and maybe even who is family is. Things like that. Believe it or ... Read more >

Q: My partner and I want to elope, but we’re worried our families will be mad at us. Any advice?

A: Before you decide whether to elope or not, I would sit down and really think about why you want to elope and whether the benefits outweigh the potential problems. Is it because you hate being the centre of attention? Or are you worried about in-fighting between family members? Or is it the staggering cost of a wedding? All of these are valid reasons. Weddings can – and should – be joyful occasions where you celebrate your partnership and look forward to your life together. It’s your wedding and it should ... Read more >

Q: My boyfriend and I have been together for three and a half years. When we met I was very open about wanting a family and kids one day. He agreed. Recently though, he doesn’t seem that keen and says he wants to wait another four or five years at least. By then I’ll be 36 and he, 39. Although he listens and nods when I tell him my worries about being an older mum, he brushes it off saying there’s IVF these days. That’s if he answers at all—usually he just changes the topic or just clams up completely. What should I do?

A: If he’s said in the past that he wants kids, this probably still holds true. The question you need answered is whether he’s waiting for the “right time” or the “right one.” Let’s assume he’s happy with you and just wants the “right time” to come along. You still need to sit up and take action because it’s affecting you emotionally. You may get lucky at thirty-six but then again, you may not, and you have to decide whether or not you want to play roulette with your chances of conceiving ... Read more >

Q: I did a really stupid thing. Two years ago I had a baby and I didn’t tell the father. After he found out, he was livid with me and demanded a relationship with his son. He is a good man and is proving to be an excellent father. Now, he wants the two of us to pursue a relationship and I admit, I am intrigued. But can we build a relationship solely on the common love we have for our child?

A: No, you can’t, if that the only thing between you. But is it? At one time, there must have been more. Maybe you have a foundation to build a life together. You’ll never know until you explore the possibility. My advice it to take it slow. Leave your son with grandma so the two of you can spend time together. My guess is you’ll know before long if you have a connection other than your child. If the answer is no, you found that out. If it’s yes, you might find yourself with the best kind of happily ever ... Read more >

Q: Suppose life seems blissful, happy, and perfect. Then you discover that your significant other has a lover, that you’re not the only one? What should you do? Keep silent? Confront? Subvert? Vacate?

A: The only answer is that you must be true to yourself even though events may not turn out the way you want them to. Of course, the scorned lover will undoubtedly be shocked. The straight-on reactionary of confronting the partner in a hostile manner means taking up the sword, and once that battle ensues, the results will be no different from any war—one side will win and the other will lose, and there will be emotional casualties. To save the relationship, you’ll need to strike for a peaceful armistice. If ... Read more >

Q: What do you get your sweetheart for St. Valentine’s Day if they don’t like chocolate?

A: Tough decision. Have you ever heard the saying, Don’t trust anyone who doesn’t love chocolate? If it’s a gift from Johnny to Susan, that’s simple—diamonds. If it’s Susan to Johnny, I suggest you make him a steak dinner and the all-American apple pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. If you both like diamonds or the same things, the job’s easy, go with matching baubles, rubies or garnets if you want color, but crystals will do on a short-string budget. If that doesn’t work, go for a romantic ... Read more >