Question: I’m 24, and met a guy on an online dating site last spring. We text frequently and have met in person once at a restaurant. It’s hard for us to meet due to work schedules and he lives 90 minutes away. We’re both prepared to move closer if needed. We have the same goals and hopes for the future — romance, marriage, children, etc.
However, I was drugged and raped two years ago and have little trust in men other than my doctor and family members, especially those I meet online. The rapist was caught, but found not criminally responsible due to a psychiatric illness. I was tested clear for HIV, hepatitis, etc., and had six months of counselling. I’m ready to date again, but how do I rebuild my trust? This man knows what happened and wants to show me true love. I don’t want to lose him. But I feel my inability to trust is pushing him away, though my gut says he could be the one for me.
Answer: Distrust in men you barely know is warranted. That doesn’t mean this man can’t be trusted.
Your readiness to date is a healthy sign, yet you chose to do so online, almost guaranteeing that it will take a long time to get to know someone well.
Clearly, your gut instinct is telling you to take time. Find ways to meet more often. He can stay in town for several hours on a day off. You can take a bus to where he lives, and meet for a while. I’m talking about long chats, walks, seeing a little of each other’s lifestyle, but not being alone at his place or yours, at least not yet.
Now’s the time to renew counselling — not about the past but about the present. There’s no reason to rush ahead without a long getting-to-know-you phase.
Question: I have a moral quandary. A person living in a small town is running for local government. He’s a church reader, too. However, I know that he’s been living in an incestuous relationship for years. I have proof.
When I’ve asked my male acquaintances whether I should release this information, all have said no.
But the women all say yes, on the grounds that his morals are in question and this would affect his decision-making in public office.
The men say his morals have no effect on his position and I should leave it alone. I’m 63 and wouldn’t like to think someone’s making decisions when their own morality is skewed. Or is this acceptable in our society and am I behind the times?
This man has never expressed remorse, only made excuses. He holds up what he does in the community as his way of giving back for his indiscretions.
Answer: Just whose standards should be the accepted guideline: those of popular President Bill Clinton or the revered President John F. Kennedy, for example? These former world leaders are still respected, despite many proven indiscretions.
Also, what constitutes incest in this case? First cousins were once forbidden to marry but that’s not so today in all cultures.
Do not be the informer in this matter. It will only reflect badly on you, as even more questions are raised, about why you have “proof” and your motive for exposing the man. Even if you are correct about his relationship, his public behaviour may be so exemplary that many people will still admire him but find your self-appointed role as judge and jury to be unacceptable.
TIP OF THE DAY
After a rape, any close relationship needs to be built slowly.