Dear Wendy: “Marriage Talk Gives My Boyfriend A Woody”

It’s time again for shortcuts, wherein I answer readers’ letters in two sentences or less. 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. Today we examine surprise boners, just saying ‘no’ to moving too fast, and the problem with enabling a significant other.

It seems that sometimes when my live-in boyfriend and I are really relaxed we accidentally make references to a future together (like mentioning a wedding or honeymoon). In one particular case, he and I were just cuddling on a love seat watching some “Glee” when we started talking about a hypothetical future together, and I got this eerie feeling that he was aroused. I reached over for curiosity’s sake, and it turned out he WAS aroused! I asked if he had any idea what turned him on, and he couldn’t give an answer. Why would the mention of marriage and, in this case, the potential of being “soulmates” or “the one” get a guy aroused? — Boner Maker

Because he loves you and the idea of enjoying your company and having sex with you for the rest of his life really turns him on. Lucky you!

This January, I met a wonderful guy and we have been dating for over three months now. He is generous, kind, considerate, supportive, loving and quite gorgeous. We see each other almost every day and spend quite a lot of time together. The problem is I am graduating in May and he is staying behind in our college town (he is an alum). I am planning on either moving to Washington D.C., back to my parents, or going where I get a job. I am open to either a) breaking up or b) trying long distance, but my boyfriend wants to follow me after graduation and live together and has even hinted at a long-term future together. Not only does this freak me out it also puts a lot of pressure on me to make this relationship work beyond its (possible) expiration date. This is my first adult relationship and I don’t know how to proceed. How do I gently let him down? I don’t want him to follow me and live with me. How do I suggest that I would like for us to explore the long distance option instead? — Moving On

“I really like you and have enjoyed spending time with you these past three months, but life is taking me in a new direction and I’m nowhere near ready yet in our relationship to bring you along with me. If you’d be open to it, I’d love to explore a long distance relationship and see how things progress across the miles.”

I’m 19 and have been dating my first boyfriend for a little over six months. Things started off fast to begin with but because I’m new at the whole boyfriend thing I wasn’t sure how to slow things down. When I met him he lived with his elderly mother and he didn’t have a job. Now, because of family issues, he’s moved in with my mother and he still doesn’t have a job at the age of 21. I pay for a dorm on my college campus but I drive home 45 minutes every day to spend time with him; I pay for a lot of what he needs, and I’ve even started to apply for jobs FOR him as he sits on his ass playing video games. I’ve lost two of my best friends because I wouldn’t break up with him and my own hairdresser lectured me on being crazy for staying with him. The truth is, I love him and I don’t want my first love to end up on the streets, but at the same time I feel like there’s something better out there. I’m too young to take care of a 21 year old boy, but I don’t know how to let go. — Can’t Let Go

As long as you keep enabling your boyfriend to stay in an extended state of regressed childhood, he’ll never be an ideal boyfriend — let alone functional human being — for you or anyone else. Give him a month to find a job — any kind of job — and a place of his own or you’re moving on without him.

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