ASK GASE 01.02.2013


Dear Gase,

I was engaged to be married last November to my live-in fiancé and father of our two children aged seven and five.

Bogadi had been paid and a date set at the District Commissioner’s office when he just up and left one day without warning.

He has since disappeared, leaving me with much heartache. I have been hoping that he’ll come to his senses and return to the children and I, but up to now he has made no contact.

I’m devastated since I still love him very much. What hurts me the most is the way he just deserted us as if the children and I mean nothing to him.

I have sleepless nights wondering what on earth is going on in his mind for him to do such a cruel thing to us.

Some of my siblings have a habit of criticizing and bad-mouthing my fiancé in the presence of the children and I can see that they (the children) are becoming confused, wondering if, or even why their father is such a bad person.

It’s very difficult to raise the children by myself as I’m unemployed and am struggling to make ends meet.

I want him back in our lives and am ready to forgive him because he’s the love of my life; also, the children need a father figure in the home.

What should I do to get him back or at least for him to take care of his children? Please help!

Gase says…

It’s a really sad situation that you and the children find yourselves in. I can imagine what the children must be going through.

To have their father suddenly disappear is confusing enough without having to listen to aunts and uncles bad-mouthing him.

What they’re doing is unacceptable as it is further confusing the children and even harming them psychologically.

Remember, your children love their father and to have to listen to all that criticism and bad-mouthing can’t be good for them at all.

Tell your siblings that if they cannot behave like responsible adults then they must keep their opinions of your fiancé to themselves.

It beats me why a man would decide to abandon his family after paying bogadi and going through the wedding preparations.

I know though, that things like that don’t just happen out of the blue, and that he has his reasons which he will hopefully one day communicate to you.

As you’re oldest child is seven you obviously have known this man for some time – were there no warning signs?

Have you tried to trace him or are you just waiting and hoping he’ll come back?

I believe he owes you an explanation as to why he left you and the children in the manner that he did.

As for you wanting him back in your and the children’s lives and willing to forgive him, I’m not sure that he wants to be forgiven and accepted back into your lives.

It’s possible that he has moved on; however, the way he has chosen to do it is all wrong because he left you in suspense.

If he has decided he no longer wants you in his future then he must tell you, so that you can find closure and move on with your own life too.

You and your elders must enlist the help of his family and friends to trace his whereabouts so that he can come back and explain his actions.

You need to find him so that he can tell you also how he intends to contribute towards bringing up the children.

Right now you’re struggling on your own yet your children have a ‘runaway father’ somewhere, who should be helping you look after them.

He’s free to break up with you if he no longer loves you; after all, if he no longer has feelings for you there’s absolutely nothing you can do to make him come back to you.

His children are a completely different matter though; he cannot ‘break up’ with them; he needs to help you raise them…he’s their father and taking good care of them is a must, not an option.

 Since bogadi has been paid for you, in Setswana you two are as good as married; I believe your elders and his should meet and decide on the way forward, particularly concerning the children.




Dear Gase,

I want to ask something concerning long distance relationships.

It’s been five months now dating a South African guy through Facebook and we met last month.

Now we’re planning to take our relationship to the next level, so I’m asking for tips to keep our long distance relationship working.

Gase says…

You do not say exactly what ‘the next level’ is, but I assume you are thinking of getting into a serious albeit long-distance relationship.

You’ve been dating this guy through Facebook for five months and met him in person just once.

It’s possible to find the love of your life through newspaper columns such as ‘Let’s Get Personal’ or through social media; many couples who met through these social networks are blissfully happy and living very productive lives together.

However, we need to remember that there are people out there with very bad intentions, using every possible means to lure unsuspecting victims.

Please always be careful when you get into new friendships/relationships, (particularly long distance ones via social media) because you never know if the person you’re getting into a relationship with is truly who they say they are.

Even after you two get to know each other a bit better, continue to be alert and do not ignore your instincts about little tell-tale signs.

One other way to stay safe is to avoid meeting him in secluded places until you have established trust.

For someone like you, who’s already involved romantically, this can be quite tricky but I’m sure as long as you’re alert you’ll know the best way to stay safe under the circumstances.

Having said that here are seven tips on how to keep a long distance relationship working.

1) Talk on the phone.

Talking on the phone and hearing each other’s voices is a big part of keeping the flame alive in a long distance relationship. Aim to talk on the phone every day. The more, the better.

2) Plan in person visits.

Though you may be miles apart, there are always planes, trains, and cars. If possible, make plans to see each other in person as often as possible. This eases the strain of being miles away from each other.

3) Webcams make things easier, so use them.

Seeing each other on webcam isn’t the same as seeing each other in person, but it surely makes the distance seem not so far. Use Skype or a similar program to talk to each other face-to-face, virtually.

4) Romance each other.

Like any other normal couple, be sure to keep the romance alive. Mail an unexpected gift, write a love letter, or send flowers

5) Be curious and caring.

When talking, ask how your significant other’s day was, how work went, how the family is doing, and so on. You want to always be curious and caring enough to inquire about his/her life.

6) Avoid fighting through email or texts.Phone-Facebooking

Fighting through emails and text messages is the worst way to argue. It’s easy to mistake someone’s tone or true meaning when you’re just reading text.

Talk things through on the phone as much as possible.

7) Make your physical dates count.

Each in person date should be memorable; don’t plan to sit on the couch and watch T.V. Show each other around town, go to a museum, have dinner, and enjoy a late night walk.



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