Advice Column

Maggie Bain is a Relationship and Intimacy Specialist with Family Medicine Center on Blake Road. She is also the only certified Sex Therapist in The Bahamas.

She answers questions submitted to Tribune Woman in the hopes of helping individuals with their romantic problems.

Q: “I’ve been dating, a man for the last six months who takes his career seriously and it keeps him busy. I love him but I feel second place to his work. Do you have any suggestions?”

A: “Such a good question and one that I know many people can relate to.

Let me start by asking you the first question that comes to my mind: Did you know he was career driven when you started a relationship with him?
I say this because presumably when you first met there would have been all the ‘get to know you ‘ questions and his work would have come up. So, I’m assuming you knew, but for some reason you are now feeling like you’re vying for the limited time he can give to the relationship. I understand.
That being said, I also see areas of concern such as your expectations, and in particular how all of this has impacted on your self-worth. If you think about it really isn’t surprising that things turn out like this, because whether you were looking for a love relationship or you met as a chance encounter, you can still find your-self in the beginning only, seeing what you want to see due to the “rose coloured glasses”.
This may be particularly true if you have progressed to being sexually intimate and the magnetic pull of his touch has worked its magic. You’re now hooked!
However, no matter what, romantic relationships require both persons to contribute in effort. The scales can swing back and forth, but for either of you to become stuck as the giver or taker is asking for trouble. This is why creating a sense of fairness in the relationship is so important, particularly in prioritizing time and space.
So how to deal with this? The answer is quite simple: Talk about it!

Take out the guesswork and lay it all out on the table. Consciously practice resisting mind reading, because so often true intention can be misinterpreted as your imagination starts playing tricks, and dents your self-confidence.

Instead of jumping in, allow him to describe his requirements concerning his work and how it impacts your relationship. Let him explain his expectations for you concerning his work day and hopefully this will clarify a lot.

Having said that, if you do hear something that might be considered a ‘deal-breaker’, then talk it through until there is full transparency. This is why discussing things in categories of essentials, desirables, and no-nos can be extremely helpful. Then, and only then can you make a clear deci-sion over where you see your future self in this relationship.

Once you both come to an understanding, then you will be able to set out an agreement to manage your lives as a couple. Listen, if this means writing it all down, plus signatures, then do it. Whatever it takes to bring clarity and a workable solution to the situation is all that is required. But remember, life is forever moving and adjustments may be necessary at regular intervals. By doing this you will both be paying attention to the big picture of your life together, as well as the fine details. If you manage to do this, then you will have achieved a skill many couples fail to grasp.

However, for your relationship to move along smoothly you will still need to find the necessary key components of acceptance and tolerance. This means finding a way to accept each other for the qualities that attracted and drew you together in the beginning and tolerance for the give and takes that are needed in your daily lives.

Remembering always that letting your thoughts linger on what you think you are missing can dis-tract you from seeing your bonus ‘me time’. Try to keep yourself busy and use your time wisely, whether it is hobbies and/or personal development, and this will help to contribute to your own fullfilment. Then, when you come together as a couple you will be able to savour your time and be proud of what you bring to your life together.

Relationship and intimacy specialist Maggie Bain– also known as the Bare Naked Coach– has returned to the Bahamas to help local couples repair their relationships. She will be answering questions which she has received for Tribune Woman in the hopes of helping individuals with similar romantic problems. The column comes out the 2nd & last Tuesday of each month.

Maggie Bain is a relationship and intimacy specialist with Family Medicine Center on Blake Road. Book a consultation at 702-9310 ext. 130 or click here to book an appointment.


Published in The Tribune

Tuesday, March 28, 2023