Dear Wendy: “My Boyfriend Grosses Me Out!”

It’s time again for “Shortcuts.” For every question, I’ll give my advice in three sentences or less, because 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 gross boyfriends, breakup closures, and whether to un-tag photos of exes on Facebook.

My boyfriend is a pretty great guy. He is sweet, responsible, stable, and fun to be around. However, there is a catch (there is always a catch…). He is gross. I don’t mean like living in filth gross, but bodily function gross. He has no manners to speak of, is sometimes a little less than hygienic, and burps and farts with no consideration. He sticks his fingers into my food or tries to kiss me with food in my mouth. He also takes pleasure in telling me (in explicit detail) about his bodily functions. It is absolutely disgusting and childish. Sometimes, I feel like I’m dating a really nice, but gross caveman. He really is a sweet, wonderful guy but it is driving me CRAZY. Anytime I ask him to stop he just laughs and sees it as a sign of encouragement. He really does not feel like what he is doing is that big of a deal. It is so frustrating!! On the other hand, this is my first normal, non-turbulent relationship and I worry that I am focusing on this too much. I have this tendency to pick apart the people I care about and can sometimes be too harsh. It has just always been a way for me to not get too close to people, so I’m confused. I know his behavior absolutely disgusts me but I worry that maybe I am just being overly sensitive. Is there a way that I can clearly communicate how grossed out he is making me or am I reading entirely too much into this? — Grossed-Out

A man — or woman, for that matter — who has “no manners to speak of, is sometimes a little less than hygienic, and burps and farts with no consideration,” is not just gross, he’s incredibly rude, inconsiderate, immature and disrespectful too. Have a little dignity and dump the guy who doesn’t think enough of you to bathe, keep his fingers out of your food, and his bodily functions in check.

My boyfriend dumped me a week ago at Starbucks while we were both on our lunch breaks. We had been dating for seven months, and as everything in our relationship had seemed perfect to me and I had been planning on telling him I loved him, I was completely blindsided. I freaked out and started crying and just didn’t want to look at him or discuss such a private, emotionally charged thing in a public place. I got up and ran out, and he followed me, but I pushed him away, saying I couldn’t deal with this. Now he wants to talk, saying it would be healthy for us to sit down and share our feelings, but I don’t know if that’s the best thing to do. My instinct is to not waste anymore time on someone who has already rejected me, and as much as I’m curious why he dumped me, I think “sharing our feelings” might make him feel less guilty but will just reawaken the hurt feelings for me as he re-confirms he doesn’t want me in his life anymore. But I also don’t want to leave him hanging and seem like I’m emotionally immature and just don’t want to deal with the situation. Should I get in touch with him to talk in person, or should I just MOA? — Breakup Surprise

Avoiding him isn’t going to make the breakup any less real or make your hurt feelings any less “awake.” In the long run, you’ll be more at peace knowing some solid reasons why your boyfriend had a change of heart and why the relationship didn’t work out. You’ll also have greater insight to take into your next relationship — a benefit you definitely should not overlook.

I need your opinion on dating websites. I am a 25-year-old female who has yet to truly have a “serious” relationship. I have been very content with my life so far, had the fun one-night stands and plenty of booty calls to keep me occupied (and for the most part, satisfied) for the last five or six years, but I just moved to a new city and am also having difficulty “getting out there.” Not too mention, it seems like everyone around me is getting engaged. The solution I have proposed to myself is online dating websites. I have actually made a pact with a friend that by April 1st if we are not in “serious” relationships, we are signing up. But I want to know, what do you think about dating websites? Are they a complete waste of time, or the right next step for a girl like me? — Feelin’ Lost in Comfort

No, they are not a complete waste of time. They are a wonderful way to “get out there,” meet to people, make a few connections in a new city, cast a wide net, and get back into the dating pool if it’s been awhile. They’re absolutely a great step for a girl like you and I don’t know why you’d wait almost three more months to get started.

A month and a half ago, I started dating a guy who is probably the best match for me I’ve ever dated — no addiction issues, loves his family appropriately, has a job (with benefits!), is well-read, and voted Obama. As one does when one is under 75, we became Facebook friends shortly after our second date. Of course, I peruse his photos and check out his army buddies, family, school friends… and oh wait… lots of photos of his ex-girlfriend. It appears they broke up in mid 2009, and are still friends. That’s fine, but I’m bothered by the number (more than 10) of these photos. I almost want to say to him, “Are you even aware of that out of the 60 pictures of you on Facebook, a bunch of them are with your ex-girlfriend?” I know some people just aren’t that focused on what’s on their Facebook page. I do appreciate that everyone has past relationships and some of these photos are group shots, but definitely not all of them. Am I crazy? Or is this a *little* strange? I have taken down or untagged a majority of the photos of myself with ex-boyfriends, especially ones that involve any kind of hand-holding or cheek pecking. I feel like that’s common practice, but maybe not? I don’t want him to change who he is due to my insecurities, but I don’t want to feel uncomfortable when I look at my boyfriend’s Facebook page, either. Do I say something? — Digitally Distressed

You know, it’s not like Facebook — or any social media — has been around forever and there are these set social rules we all have been raised to understand. We’re sort of making them up as we go along and even though it’s a no-brainer to you, this idea that one should “un-tag” or even delete intimate photos of an ex is new enough that not everyone has gotten the memo (or is even on social media sites enough to think about it). If it’s bothering you, tell your new guy you noticed the photos of his ex and wondered if he meant to keep them up, but don’t make a big deal about it unless he really gives you reason to worry (like, he refuses to delete kissy photos of his ex or something like that).

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