I have been with my boyfriend for over a year and we have lived together almost that long. The relationship moved fast, we have known each other since college and stayed in touch on and off. He was not boyfriend material back then because he was a bit of a player and could not be trusted, but now we’re both 28 and, finally, last year we decided to start a relationship. Things began over phone/text because we lived four hours apart. He was super sweet and said very romantic things which I completely fell for… At the time he had two jobs and seemed to be a hard-working guy with lots of friends. He did not have a great job, but at the time I was like who cares, everyone takes their own path to their goals in life. He entered the army last fall to help him finance finishing college and went to boot camp in GA. He lasted a month, decided it was not for him and moved in with me. This is when I feel like the truth came out … he went from having two jobs and working hard to being unemployed for months, spending most of what money he had on movies, and buying drinks for friends when we went out. Eventually got a job and now he pays cable, electric bills. While we do get along and have stuff in common, I find myself questioning his basic character and ability to man up and face problems without running from them. If I were 24, I would probably have already broken up with him. At 28, I feel like I may end up alone if I do not find some kind of relationship … Help! — Bummed in Boston
When I first met my good buddy, Zac, three years ago, I had a huge crush on him, but he let me know he didn’t feel the same and the feeling eventually went away. We’ve been on good terms since then, and recently we decided to become f**k buddies. Things have been going alright, and we really haven’t been experiencing any of the usual problems associated with the friends with benefits situation. The thing is, I sometimes want a more intimate relationship. I get the urge to just hug him or kiss him or the want to be held by him, and I look forward to the times we get to be alone together, even if we’re just watching tv and doing homework (we’re roommates too — easy booty call). I’ve started having daydreams about him, and I know it’s a bad move but I feel myself slipping back into the old crush habit.
He’s always given very mixed signals to me, one of the things that led to problems between us earlier in our friendship when I wanted things to move in a more steady direction with him but he turned me down. Our level of sexual chemistry is extremely high, and we’re so close on a friendship level that I feel like I almost want more. Am I being naive in thinking and hoping that a sex buddy could turn into something more? I don’t know whether to bring it up and risk ruining what we already share, let it go and keep heading down this path, or cutting it off before I get my heart broken. — More Than A Buddy
I am 24 and have been married for about 2 1/2 years. Since getting married, we have visited my husband’s parents, who live about 45 minutes away, at least once a week, including practically every weekend. My husband and I both work full time and weekends are really the only downtime that we have together. He’s really close to his parents — he lived with them until we got married — and sometimes I feel like “the bad guy” if I don’t want to go over. Even when I don’t go with him he’ll still make it a point to go alone, which obviously still interferes with our time. It even goes beyond weekends; forget about trying to go away for the holidays — his family has always spent the holidays together and it would be unheard of not to. I’ve tried talking to my husband because as much as I love his parents and get along with them, I feel like we’re too connected to them. I feel that he’d rather not “rock the boat” and would just feel guilty for saying anything. He just tells me he feels that once a week is reasonable and that he feels holidays are “family time.” I’ve even convinced myself that there’s no way we can ever have kids if we live in the same city as them because I’m worried it will only get worse! Is my husband too attached to his parents or am I making a big deal of nothing? — Annoyed Daughter-in-Law
I am 30 years old and I’ve been dating my fiancé for seven years. We have one child together and I have a child from a previous relationship. He proposed last year, and we’ve recently been talking about going to the justice of the peace. He keeps saying he wants to marry me, but now he has to “get his business off the ground” and get money for a pre-nup first even though he doesn’t own any property or have large savings. Before the pre-nup talk it was “we have to wait until we get the house” (which didn’t work out). It just seems like he is constantly coming up with ways to delay marriage. I tried to discuss a date last week and he went off telling me not to pressure him. It’s been seven years — how long am I supposed to wait? I have been with him since college, we broke up and got back together. I can’t wait any longer but I don’t want to give him an ultimatum. Something is wrong with this picture. All of this time invested warrants a marriage. What do I do?? I am so frustrated and I think I need to leave. — Frustrated Fiancée
I am 24 years old and currently in a committed, loving, happy relationship. My boyfriend of 2.5 years is cute, sexy, kind, intelligent, AND we are so compatible that we barely fight; we are really really good together. Before him, I dated non-seriously, but he is my first love and my first really serious relationship. Although I am happy now and fully committed, I can’t help but think that though I want to end up with him in the long run, I would like to be single again, experiment or date around a little bit, and be on my own before I REALLY settle down and get married. There have been no serious marriage talks, engagements, or proposals yet, but once I did mention this want to him before and it kind of hurt him, because it made him feel sick to his stomach to imagine me with anyone else but him. For some reason I thought that he, being a guy, would want the same thing and to experiment/be free a bit before settling down, but I assumed wrong. And having these feelings makes me feel bad or greedy or like I shouldn’t want to date other people before I settle down, but I definitely don’t want to get married with ANY doubts. Am I wrong or is it bad to want this? Will it ruin our relationship in the long run, or make things too complicated? I am afraid that I would make this decision and then regret it later after realizing how much it hurts both of us, or something like that … but then again like I said I don’t want to have any doubts. — Wondering
I graduated about two years ago and moved from Chicago to Florida. My best friend from college still lives in Chicago and we have remained very close. Ever since last December, when I got engaged, this friend is driving me CRAZY. She throws herself a pity party every day and then gets upset when no one comes. I am having a very small wedding so have not asked much from my bridesmaids but whenever she volunteers to do something she then complains about it for the next month — to me. She recently told me that she’s spending so much money on weddings that she has decided she’s going to throw herself a “singles party” and that everyone must bring presents. I understand that attending weddings is a financial burden — but being that I am the one hosting the wedding I feel like she should probably find someone else to talk to about that. On top of that — she’s been complaining so much recently that my fiance doesn’t want her to come to the wedding – let alone be IN the wedding party anymore. Am I being a Bridezilla? Or does my friend need to keep some of her comments to herself? Can our friendship possibly survive my wedding and her pity parties? — Frustrated in Florida
After being in an 11-year relationship with someone I met when we were 18, a mix of drugs and bad attitudes finally came to a head this past January and we ended things. About four months ago I met a really great guy. He is successful and stable — pretty much everything my ex wasn’t. We have a great time together and spend almost every minute we aren’t working together. Unfortunately, there isn’t that “chemistry” I had with my ex. And my ex has suddenly decided to barge back into my life. After our last phone conversation, well I wouldn’t really call it a conversation, more like him cursing me out for emotionally abandoning him and moving on with my life (gotta love the drug addict), he’s now saying he’s now completely reformed and wants to give me everything he wasn’t able to before when he was so screwed up. Like an idiot I continue to answer his phone calls and have even seen him on two different occasions. My question is, is it still considered cheating if it is with your ex who you were with for 11 years? I am not emotionally attached to my ex anymore but that chemistry or “fire” that has always been there attracts me and causes me to do things I normally would never do in my right mind. I have told him (my ex) how horrible I feel about what I have done to my new guy but he assures me that it is okay because to him, these are “special circumstances”. Do you agree with that? Or is cheating, cheating regardless? — Dazed and Confused
I am a freshman in college and am loving it. I had no trouble making the transition and while I miss my family, I’ve found it relatively easy to settle into my new situation. Before moving in, I had to say goodbye to my best friend, which was the toughest thing I’ve ever had to do. For years we have shared everything. We agree on almost everything and love each other’s company. I really do not believe I will ever meet anyone who I could love and rely on as much as I do with her. The problem is that she doesn’t like her college. She’s been talking of transferring to my school and has been making repeated visits to see me. I love getting to see her, but like I said before, we shared everything. It almost got irritating (to me–I’ve never seen any indication that she felt this way). I would make a friend and then they would become her friend too. I would find something I had an interest in and she would adopt the hobby too. I was starting to feel like I wasn’t my own person. For the past few years I’ve actually enjoyed being her second half, but now that I’m in college I’ve been enjoying my independence. The bottom line is that I don’t want her here. More importantly though, I don’t want to hurt her feelings, especially since, like I said, I don’t ever anticipate caring about someone as much as I care about her. What should I do? Is there anything to be done? — Miss Independent
I am 26 years old and have been dating my boyfriend for a little over a year. Our relationship started off with many issues — I had just ended a very serious relationship and he was getting over an unrequited love. We had a blast together the first few months because there was very little expectation of our relationship becoming more than just a summer fling. But our feelings for each other didn’t end so we gave it another shot. The first few months of trying again were pretty rough because of our insecurities, but now things are at a very good place. We have been living together for a few months and share everything together. We’ve said the big L word, and tell each other that every day. But my boyfriend seems a bit phobic about getting engaged and married, and I’m not sure if he’s just afraid of that commitment or if it’s with me. We have talked about having children together, but more jokingly than seriously. When I asked him if he plans on marrying me someday, his answer has always been “I want to,” but I’m not convinced. He tells me that he loves me, but not enough for that level of commitment yet. I don’t want to be in a relationship if I’m not “the one.” Is this a bad sign that our relationship will not get there? Am I overreacting and being too impatient? — Hurt and Confused
I recently broke up with my ex of four (on and off) years. Although I loved him like I never loved anyone before, we were having too many issues, we were always arguing and fighting (in public sometimes) and he could be verbally abusive at times. He’s only 24 which is four years younger than me so I would chalk it up to him being emotionally immature and the fact that we were fighting. He was the sweetest and most caring, loyal and unselfish guy I ever knew, but the constant emotional highs and lows just got to be too much. I was miserable and heartbroken, so as hard as it was, I had to let him go.