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.

Q: “I have fallen on difficult times, at the moment, and my girlfriend has offered to help me, for a short time. She told me I can live with her, but I don’t feel good about that. I don’t know maybe it is just my pride but I have heard of things turning bad and people changing on you when they have more power, in the relationship. What do you think?”

A: Thank you so much for sharing your personal dilemma, with me. It is a humbling experience, but in years to come I think you may be surprised by the blessings you gain from this moment in time.

Firstly, do not let other peoples opinions torment you of everything you could or should have done. Deal with your present and move with a pragmatic mind. Languishing in self-pity will do little to solve your problems. So be kind and gentle with yourself, but also be strategic in your decision making.

I have a feeling you already know this, as I noted your use of ‘at the moment’ and ‘short time’. Both show me that you are neither drowning in despair, or viewing this as a ‘no way out’ problem. Good for you!

Your attitude and how you are able to maintain your mental equilibrium will be your most important tool moving through this time. Always remember, no one lives a perfect life or is exempt from hard times. Of course, the degree of hardship will vary from person to person, but each individual life altering moment will be a lesson for that person. As long as you keep moving and learning, as you go, you will be able to come out on top.

My second take, on your question, was how lucky you are to have a thoughtful and helpful girlfriend. Loving gestures are never to be taken lightly and are a warm light in a sometimes cold world. You are right, it may be your pride getting in the way of a well intentioned offer and your ability to accept, but as the saying goes sometimes, we have to ‘swallow our pride’, if only for a short time.

I know you are concerned about feeling disempowered, living in your girlfriend’s home, but this does not have to happen. This is why it is vital for you to become aware of not only your sensitivities, but also your partner’s that may trigger a destabilizing shift between you both. I promise, if you incorporate my tips and handle each other with loving care, then negative outcomes can be avoided.

For a smooth transition, it will be necessary for you both to discuss requirements, expectations, and anxieties, prior to you moving in. Of course, there may be some tension along the way, but this is where compassion for each other’s position will help.

Here are a few tips:

  1. Time-line: Discuss the ‘What If’s’ – eg. if the time needs to be extended.
  2. Real Talk: Sit down together and discuss pro’s & con’s of this new living arrangement. Individually write them down, and then compare. Do they overlap? Talk it out, and in particular, the unmatched ones.
  3. Expectations: Be honest. Not only to each other, but yourselves. This is so important because no one wants to hear…“But I thought you…” or “I’m disappointed, because I thought…”
  4. Maid Services: No one wants to feel that they are carrying the burden of the cooking & household chores. To avoid this, make a list and leave it out in full view. This eliminates misunderstandings.

Now consider this… What happens if it works out even better than you both imagined?

Not only will you both have managed to respect each other’s space, but you will have learned how your attitude and sensibilities are influenced by each other.

This is real ‘Relationship 101’, and if successful, you will have moved up to the next level. So why stop?

Keep on loving and growing 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.

Publish Date: Tuesday, August 15, 2023, The Tribune