Dear Wendy: Introducing “Shortcuts”

Today I’m debuting a new feature here on “Dear Wendy” I’m calling “Shortcuts.” Each reply to a reader’s letter will be short — super short. As in, two sentences or less. And, no, this isn’t just because I’m feeling lazy and want to go out and enjoy the beautiful weather; sometimes the answer to a person’s question is so obvious and the need to hear it so great, being as clear and frank as possible is simply the best way to go. And, OK, fine, maybe I am just feeling lazy. Feel free to add your own two cents in the comments, and after the jump check out our first edition of “short cuts” (don’t be surprised if this becomes a regular feature on especially lovely Friday afternoons … just saying).

I’ve been dating a kind, handsome man for almost a year now, and we’ve been living together a bit longer than that. My problem is he believes I “care too much” about “everything” from Haitian earthquake victims to taking out the recycling on a weekly basis. As if to add to the situation, he describes himself as a Nihilist, and doesn’t “care much about anything.” He’s a few years younger than I am (21 and 19, respectively) so this could be what is adding to our problems. The biggest issue about my “caring too much” is his smoking, which he has been doing since the age of twelve. He doesn’t seem to care (surprise) that I’m concerned about his health; most of my family used to smoke, two grandparents died from lung/throat cancer, and I do not want to see him fall down the same path as them. I have asked him carefully about finding cigarette alternatives to try and ease the process of quitting smoking, but he says that I cannot relate because I have no addiction. Then he starts ranting off about how I am trying to change him for my own personal tastes, and he never gives me a straight answer. Am I caring too much, or is he an uncompassionate individual? To me, it feels like the latter. — Non-Smoker/Recycler

Dump the jerk and find yourself a non-smoking do-gooder you can be happy saving the world with.

I am twenty years old and in college. I’ve never had a relationship with anyone, and only briefly (like two dates) dated one guy, and it didn’t work out. I’m not chomping at the bit to get married, or anything, but I am starting to get really lonely. There is a guy in one of my classes that I am really interested in. We don’t get to talk much, but when we do we keep finding things that we have in common. My biggest problem is that we are both very shy, and I can’t seem to get him to notice me other than in passing. I’m not very girly. I don’t wear fancy clothes, mess with my hair, or wear makeup. It’s not that I’m adverse to these things, I just can’t usually be bothered by them. I feel like they make me look fake. Aside from appearance, what can I do to get him to realize I am interested?

After class one day tell him you’re gonna go grab a piece of pizza and ask if he wants to come along.

I have been engaged for two months — have the ring/dress/all the planning completed. My fiance works for a company that has offices nationwide and recently, he started worrying he might be relocated within the next year. We talked about it and decided it was best for us to stay where we were and that if asked, he would simply try to stay in our current state or give up his job. We also decided that no matter what, there were two states we definitely would NOT move to — California and Connecticut. Last night, he got a job offer in Connecticut and he wants to take it (he told me it would be a “cultural experience”).

I make about 20k more than him and have a much more stable job that his. He was not offered much of a raise and the place he’s being relocated to has triple, if not more, the cost of living than where we are now. I would lose my career I have worked so hard for, but he feels I should just walk away from it. I have debt I want to pay off, and I can’t walk away from a very stable job that provides more than enough income. Also, we agreed that we were not moving. So I called off the engagement today. I called vendors/everyone. I am devastated. I feel lost, but I also feel like he did one of the most inconsiderate things by just assuming I would move when he had already decided he was not. This would have been his second marriage and he moved his ex-wife around a lot. We talked about that and I told him that was not what I desired at all. I feel I was very honest and upfront and he was not. Do you have any advice you can offer? — Suddenly Single

Get your best friends together for a party celebrating how smart and lucky you were to dodge such a big bullet. And whatever money you may have lost in wedding deposits that you can’t get back is nothing compared to what you would have lost in the divorce.

*Do you have a relationship/dating question I can help with? Send me your letters at [email protected]