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Carolina Dreaming

By Mink Stole | Posted 2/23/2005

Iím a gay college student, and about three months ago I met a man on the internet. His business brought him to my town for a month, and we spent a lot of time together. Now we talk all the time on the phone and through instant messaging. Heís a really sweet guy, the chemistry between us is better than Iíve ever had with anyone else, and he reciprocates my feelings. Heís 13 years older than I am, but it doesnít really matter to either of us. I visited him at his home at Thanksgiving and over the holidays, but Iíd really like to reduce the distance between us. The thing is, I have just gotten back on my feet after a two-year hiatus. Iíve re-enrolled in college, have a great apartment and roommate to share it with, a nice part-time job, a terrific circle of friends, and a social life. Iím stronger and more confident than Iíve ever been. Weíve joked about me moving to his town, and Iím sure I can get into a college in his area, but itís such a young relationship that I donít want to make him uncomfortable by suggesting it. I also donít want to sit on my ass and just roll with the punches, so to speak. Any suggestions?

Carolina on My Mind

As big a fan as I am of making grand, dramatic moves to recharge a life going nowhere, COMM, when youíre actually moving toward something, drastically changing course for the sake of a new boyfriend makes about as much sense as throwing yourself into a shark tank with a great bleeding gash on your leg. Maybe in time what you have will develop into something worth changing your life for, but itís way too soon. You havenít seen his real life and youíve barely started your own. Inviting yourself into his world would put you on a very unequal footing. Heís a businessman; youíre a college kid. Itís not just the age difference; itís that, at best, youíd have the income from a part-time job, which means either heíd always have to pick up the tab or youíd be limited to what you can afford. Heís established with work and friends while youíd be starting all over, finding an apartment, a roommate, a job, a new school. Even without meaning to, youíd be putting so much responsibility for your happiness on him and his love that the relationship would unlikely survive the strain. Better for you to stay in the world youíre already flourishing in. Keep corresponding, visit when you can, but stay put, at least until youíve built a much more solid foundation. It doesnít pay to chuck a good thing until youíre pretty damn sure what youíre trading it in for is better.


Iím in my 20s and have been with my fiancť for three years. We live together and we have a child. Life was going along fine until we briefly worked together and I noticed a certain woman always hanging around him. When I brought it to his attention he brushed it off. Now, five months after we have both changed jobs, this woman is calling him at home, inviting him out to parties and things, and Iíve found out that heís been visiting her and hanging out with her. Iím really pissed. I donít have a problem with his having female friends, but I donít like his sneaking around to see her. I feel doubly betrayed because once, when I had words with this woman, my fiancť got mad at me. I think thereís more to their relationship than heís telling me, but I need fresh eyes to look at it. What do you think?

Trouble in Paradise

Unless youíre paranoid or delusional and imagining all this, TIP, I think youíre probably right. Itís possible for a hetero guy and gal to spend time alone together as pals, but unless they find each other physically repellent, are closely related, or are operating under some other social or self-imposed taboo, it doesnít happen a lot. This gal obviously doesnít give a shit that you know about her, which could mean she has no romantic designs on your fiancť, but itís more likely sheís announcing her candidacy for your position in his life and thinks sheís moving ahead in the polls. This and the fact that heís been lying to you about her do not bode well for your anticipated marriage.

I donít like cheaters, so if you didnít have a kid Iíd probably tell you to dump the creep, but, as the commercials keep reminding us, having a baby changes everything. It doesnít mean you stay with a guy who treats you badly, but it does mean you take a closer look at a problem to see if it can be worked out before you bail. Try to talk to him calmly about whatís truly going on without making any accusations or ultimatums. Ask him what he wants. If he wonít talk, or gets evasive or angry, youíll have to make some tough decisions about what to do next. The thing is, a wedding is not a cure for anything, so if trust is a problem before you get married, itís pretty safe bet itíll be a problem after.

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Pick and Choose (4/12/2006)
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