Dear Wendy: “Should I Fake It For My Girlfriend?”

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 discuss faking jealousy, guys who ask for your number but never call and the danger of breakup sex.

I’m a guy happily in love with his girlfriend. However, I’m getting a bit irked at what I perceive are attempts to provoke my jealousy. She keeps telling me about guys hitting on her and how the World Cup gives her a chance to see her favorite player — a guy she once joked (I hope) she’d ditch me for if she had the chance. And yesterday, she said she’d accept a free ride from her ex, who drives a taxi. Now, I’m not the most affectionate person around; I’m making my best to change this for her, as she says she needs the constant displays of affection, and according to her, I seem to be getting better. But I can’t help but wonder if she’s trying to provoke my jealousy as a part of this. I’m not normally jealous, as I love and trust my girlfriend, and I figure if she didn’t love me back she’d just end the relationship. So, is her need for constant affection and her attempts at provoking my jealousy just two different symptoms of low self-esteem? And, in that case, what should I do? Indulge her? How does one fake jealousy? — Enough Already

Don’t fake jealousy. Instead, sit down with your girlfriend and tell her in no uncertain terms that although you love her very much and are committed to showing her more affection, you’ve had enough of this immature, jealousy-provoking bulls**t and if she doesn’t stop pulling it, your relationship’s done.

A couple of weeks ago, my friend hosted a party where I met a friend of his, and the two of us hit it off. Towards the end of the night, he asked me for my number, and I gladly gave it. But then he never called. This weekend, the same friend is hosting another party. I have been told that the number-asker will be in attendance. Can I bring up the asking-then-not-calling thing? Should I ignore it? Should I avoid pursuing anything at all, and take the lack of a phone-call as a sure sign of disinterest? — Call Waiting

Don’t make a big deal about it. Act friendly to the guy and if there’s still a spark of interest, toward the end of the night, you can either ask for his number or say, “Hey, you still have my number, right? I’d love to hear from you.”

I am pretty sure I am in love with my high school crush, John. He had a huge crush on me, too, but he was just too much of a scared little boy to ask me out. I went through all of high school tormenting John and teasing him when I crossed him in the hallway (perhaps burned by the fact that he never asked me out). But outside of class, online or by text, we would go on as if nothing was the matter. The connection has always been there and so through the years we’ve kept talking and we’ve admitted to each other recently that we both still have feelings for each other, even though the last time we saw each other was over a year ago. The other day, John asked me (via text) if we could make plans to hang out. And, YES, I am dying to see him. But for some reason, I got butterflies in my stomach and I got all flushed and said I’d rather not make plans because I am going to Florida “any day now,” even though my trip isn’t until next month. I have no idea why I chickened out. I even proceeded to tell him “I don’t think it’ll work out between us” since he goes to school two hours away and “I don’t think he’ll ever put in the effort” to maintain our relationship. John said all we had to do was make plans to hang out this summer and we could figure out the rest when he had to go back to school. Should I say “yes”, “no”, “slow down”… “never”? — Scared

If this were junior high, you’d ask me to circle one, right? But it’s not, so you should probably grow up already, go out with the guy and quit sabotaging a potentially satisfying relationship.

A few weeks ago, my boyfriend of four years broke up with me. I thought our relationship was practically perfect and I’m still very much in love with him. He told me that I’m still his best friend and he loves me very much. In our relationship, we had a very interesting sex life. He is the kind of guy that has sexual fantasies about me being with other men. So, I satisfied all his sexual fantasies, which I loved doing — it was something I took pleasure in as well. Since breaking up, I have had sex with him four times. And one of those times, I fulfilled one of his fantasies. I shouldn’t have, but I couldn’t help it because I still love him. I was with him again last night, and the whole time he would ask me to tell him about the “other men” and when I was going to be with certain ones. He asked me to promise him that I’d keep doing that for him. Stupidly, I promised. In a way, I feel that maybe this will keep us together, even though it’s technically over. But I know I can’t do that to myself. How do I say no to him? How do I stay away from him loving him as much as I do? — Fantasy World

Don’t think of yourself as saying “no” to him; think of yourself as saying “no” to that awful, soul-crushing, esteem-blowing feeling that comes with screwing a guy who’s said he no longer wants to date you. Then follow our breakup guide to help you expunge your ex from your life — at least until you’re stronger — and help you get through the next 30 days.

*Do you have a relationship/dating question I can help with? Send me your letters at {encode=”[email protected]” title=”[email protected]”}.