Dear Coleen

I’ve been going out with a man now for nearly two years. He’s been working away a lot lately and is only home for a few days each month. He’s now asked me to move closer to him because it would make it easier for him and he wouldn’t have to travel another 45 minutes to see me when he’s home from work.

I’ve told him that I don’t want to move away to end up on my own, away from friends and family, while he still works away. I’ve also said that I think it’s very selfish of him – surely I’m worth an extra 45 minutes of travelling?

On top of this, he gets very annoyed over really silly things. For example, I had a friend over for a catch-up, which he got very annoyed about, and then ignored me for four days. When I confronted him over his attitude, he said it was because I’d told him I wasn’t having visitors that week.

It’s true, I hadn’t planned for any visitors, however, after spending three weeks in hospital very ill, my best friend came to see me at home. I’d love some advice on how to move forward.

Coleen says

Well, it’s not just selfish, I think he sounds controlling. He’s trying to separate you from friends and family to be closer to him when he’s not even there most of the time, and he goes into epic sulks if you see a mate.

Let’s be honest, 45 minutes isn’t that big a deal. Most people I work with in London take an hour or more to get to work every day.

I think you have to question whether you need this man in your life. Maybe things started out OK, but he’s gradually started to impose these conditions. Falling off the grid and not speaking to you for days is gaslighting and mentally abusive.

Your gut instinct is telling you this doesn’t feel right, so I think you have to trust it. Be strong, tell him the ­relationship isn’t working for you, that you’ll have friends over whenever you want and you don’t need a partner who won’t speak to you for four days like a sulky teenager.

Whatever you decide about the relationship, my advice is not to move away from your friends and support network. When you’re in a loving relationship, sometimes one of you has to compromise by relocating because you really want to be together all the time.

But your scenario doesn’t really make sense to me. I’m seeing red flags and he just sounds like a controlling man who has no intention of compromising and wants you there for him and him only.