boyfriend burden relationship problem main.jpg

Image: Adam Hester/Blend Images/Corbis

Question: My boyfriend and I have been going out for over a year and it’s been great. Lately, he’s been pretty depressed because he can’t find a job. I know it sounds shallow but I’m wondering if I should break up with him – I don’t want to be saddled with taking care of him. Should I stay or should I go?
Answer: Wow, I guess you’re not ready to make that “in good times and in bad” vow. Dealing with someone suffering from chronic long-term depression can be frustrating and may lead to the end of a relationship. But if your guy is depressed over being unemployed, he fits into the “justifiably depressed” category. If you can’t – or don’t want to – support him when the chips are down, you need to take a long, hard look at your relationship because, maybe, he’s not the guy for you. Or take a long, hard look at yourself, because you might be a terrible person.

Question: There’s a guy in the office who loves telling sex jokes. We’ve tried telling him off nicely but he hasn’t stopped. Any advice?
Answer: As a guy who tells offensive jokes, I do see the humour in them, but I understand that not everyone is comfortable with that brand of, um, “edgy” humour; there’s a time and place for it. Walk away from him the next time he tells an offensive joke. People like him (and me) do this for the attention. No reaction, we stop.

Question: I have a massive crush on my boss – who is single – and I think he has feelings for me too. He often places his hand on my shoulder and we’ve exchanged several knowing looks. Should I let things develop, or is it off limits?
Answer:  Are you certain about his knowing look? He could have just been a little gassy. Also, placing his hand on your shoulder doesn’t mean he’s a flirt. Maybe his back hurts and he needs extra support. In any case, it’s not a good idea to date someone at work – especially your boss. If things go bad, and most times they do, it will irrevocably compromise work for you. That said, if you feel a connection, go for it, but wait for him to make the first move. Nothing’s worse than making a move on your boss and finding out his “knowing look” is really just a lazy eye. 

This story was first published in HerWorld Magazine June 2015.

Want more relationship advice? Find out what is the best way to end a fight with you boyfriend here.