One of my close friends introduced me to a guy friend of hers recently, and we had immediate chemistry. He’s smart and quick-witted, with big green eyes, and we’re both passionate about our work and have lots in common. The catch (because there has to be one…) is that my friend who introduced us has “dibs.” To my friend, he’s the perfect guy — on paper. They are from the same hometown, are the same religion and he has a of graduate degree like she does. She has also mentioned to me a number of times that he comes from a wealthy family, and while she works now, she would like to be with someone who could amply support her when she has children. In essence, he’s her ideal man, except that in the years that they have known each other (and despite her efforts) he has made it quite clear he’s not interested in being more than friends. The guy has no idea my friend has called dibs on him, and has made it clear he would like to get to know me better. I would like to pursue the romance, but not at the expense of my friendship. Now I feel resentment toward my friend for making it clear she would be furious if we dated. Everyone involved is 30 or nearly so, and at a point where a serious relationship could become a lifetime commitment; I feel like we’re not kids anymore, and the games aren’t helping anyone be happier. So, does calling “dibs” ever stop being acceptable, and if so, how do I help my friend be happy for both of us instead of feeling betrayed? — Down on the Dibs
I have known my best friend since we were six years old and she’s a great girl. She’s super smart, pretty, and fun, so obviously she has a lot to offer a guy. A few years ago, her boyfriend (who she referred to as the love of her life) moved to another continent, and while they tried to deal with the distance as best they could, they eventually broke up. In the years since their breakup she’s made some pretty horrible decisions when it comes to guys. And it’s not just that I don’t like the guys she’s dated. She let’s them walk all over her. She hasn’t made the safest decisions when it comes to her sex life either. At first I thought she was just going through a bad boy phase. She’d find a new guy and gush about him all the time, then call me in tears. I’ve picked up the pieces more times than I can count, and I try to support her, but I feel like it’s come to a point where I can’t watch her put herself through it anymore. I want to confront her about it, but I don’t want to seem like I’m scolding her. What should I do? — Over the Drama
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). Keep reading »
I have been with my fiance for a little over two years. We share a strong friendship, have many things in common and our personalities definitely complement each other. We’ve been through enough of the tough stuff that I don’t question what our relationship will be like for the rest of our lives, and I know in my heart that he will be a wonderful husband and father when we have children. We agree on timing, when to get married, when to have kids, even the kids’ names. Being with him has allowed me to be my best self, his love and support are ever-present in his actions and words. The problem is I don’t feel a sexual attraction to him. I enjoy the way he kisses me and usually enjoy our intimate encounters, but I never feel that “I have to have you right now” feeling. I never have, not for him. I used to be a very sexual person and I miss that part of myself. I try to tell him certain ways to do certain things, but I never feel that yearning for him. The attraction just isn’t there. Does this just happen after living together for a couple of years? I love him and I am willing to work at this, but I worry that maybe we just lack the sexual chemistry that I crave. Everything else about us feels right and I can’t imagine not waking up with him for the rest of my life. I guess my question is, do you need sexual chemistry as well as love to make a relationship work? — Wants to Want Him
I just started dating a guy who is really great. He’s smart, stable, has a great sense of humor, and knows how to treat me. We’ve been dating for about two weeks and have seen each other about eight times for long dates (that usually end with us getting a little physical). Even though I love spending time with him, I still feel like I’m on the fence about him. Things keep springing up about him that make me wonder if I’m actually falling for him. Insignificant things like his chin and his video gaming habit. My friends bring up other minute less-than-stellar qualities about him and tell me that if I’m on the fence still, I must not be into him. I’m a pretty cautious person. I’m 21 and still new to dating. Is that nagging feeling telling me I shouldn’t be with him or is it normal to not be head over heels for a new beau? — On the Fence.
After splitting up for a month, my boyfriend (of nearly a year) and I are back together. The problem is, he confided in his older sister about our problems during the breakup, so she knows about my insecurities and all the other nitty-gritty details of our issues. During the breakup, she’d put really mean videos about awful girlfriends and mean jokes that were directed at me on his Facebook wall, knowing that I’d see them. He took them down and told her to stop, and she did. This woman doesn’t even know me, she’s 10 years older than I am, and she was cyber-bullying me! I never let it get to me too much, but now it’s his mother’s birthday and he’s inviting me to celebrate it with their family, and we are invited to stay at his sister’s house for a weekend. I’m finally realizing that I’m terrified. Part of the reason why I didn’t take her snarkies against me too seriously is because she’s bipolar, but I’m also scared that she’s going to bully me. I have a tendency to let everyone else have their way, even at the expense of my own happiness, so I’m afraid that I’m going to be miserable during this weekend. He told me that it would be fine, but I don’t know if I should try to get out of going or if I should go in there and hold my head up high. — Fear of Twisted Sister
I’m engaged to a wonderful, hardworking, intelligent guy. He makes me laugh, is always there for me, and I even get along well with his parents. The only problem is that he has some misogynistic beliefs that really bother me. He’s from a very traditional culture where women marry young and tend to stay at home. (I have no personal problem with that as long as it is what the woman wants, but I don’t want that.) He believes that women should do almost all of the housework and has told me that if he ever runs his own company (his dream) he would never hire a woman because women “don’t work as hard as men and if they get pregnant I’d have to pay for that.” He believes that women should be respected, but that men will always be more intelligent, better workers and are more valuable than women. However, he doesn’t hold these beliefs towards me. He fully supports my dream to become a lawyer and helps me out with the cooking and cleaning a lot. Also, when I asked him how he would feel if a male employer didn’t hire me because I’m a woman he conceded that it would be terrible, unfair and he would be angry. I think he has trouble coinciding his culture and upbringing with how he actually feels. My question is: should this be a dealbreaker for me? Should I hold out hope that his beliefs will continue to change and become fairer, or is this a lost cause? I feel that if these sorts of beliefs and expectations were directed AT me I’d be long gone, but since they only come up in conversation I’m confused. — Too flexible feminist?
I’m in a happy relationship, but I really want to avoid being one of those friends who, once in a relationship, loses her social life and packs up her cute party clothes. As a result, I go out at least once a week to a bar or a house party with girlfriends and I always try to look nice for the night out with the girls. The problem is, I’m often hit on when I’m out. I am very faithful so I definitely don’t think I give off a “come at me” vibe, but at least once a week, I end up with a look up and down or a conversation with a hopeful suitor. My boyfriend and I try to keep each other up-to-date on what’s going on in our lives since we both work and can’t see each other often. Am I disclosing too much by telling him those instances when I get hit on? I do not center the conversation around that topic, but I let him know what happened, then move on to what else happened in my day. He puts in a small joke or a short remark so it doesn’t appear that it bothers him. But when I told this to some of my friends, they told me it seems like I’m trying to make him jealous, since it happens often and I’m talking to him about it often. They told me I should stop talking about it because he probably finds it annoying and I’m wondering if they’re right. I’m very in love with my boyfriend and don’t find anybody more attractive than him. I’m not sure what to do — change my attitude and dress when I go out or just don’t disclose the instances that I get hit on to my boyfriend? — Disclosing Too Much
After dating for a year and a half, my boyfriend and I had a sorta “spur of the moment” elopement at the end of January. We’d both recently graduated college and I have a significantly better paying job that has good health benefits, so the decision to get married so quickly was about getting him covered by my insurance. I had known for a while that I wanted to marry him, and we had discussed it very briefly earlier, so it was a given that we would eventually get married anyway. The weird part is that he never officially proposed, and so now we have a sticky situation to deal with when it comes to telling friends and family. We haven’t told any family yet, and the only people who know about it are my three college friends, who don’t know any of our relatives or other friends. We were planning on him buying me an “engagement” ring sometime soon and planning a wedding in the spring of 2011, and not telling anyone in the meantime. I would just like to know what you would do in this situation, since we obviously can’t undo getting married. We don’t feel any different than we did before we got legally married, so it doesn’t feel like we have much to hide, and we both feel that the true beginning of our marriage would be when we get to celebrate it in front of friends and family. Neither of us is really religious (he’s Buddhist, I’m atheist) and our families aren’t the most religious or traditional to begin with. What’s the best way to handle our situation? — Out of Order
I moved out east for grad school, and I happened upon a great guy — he saw me through the rough transition of living here, helped while I was a foster parent for a year, and is overall the best guy I’ve ever dated. Here’s the issue: he’ll be moving to a nearby city for a new job soon, and I’ll be graduating in a few months and I don’t know whether to move with him or head back out west. Here, I have him, but a place I do NOT like. Also, we’re both on the shy side, so building a social network will take some time. Out west, I have friends, family, much better career options, and cities that I LOVE. I may never meet another guy like him, and I love him so much. But I also can see myself angrily saying that “I gave up everything for you,” and that would eat away at our relationship. He feels much the same about staying here as I do about returning home. This is the most mature, loving relationship I’ve ever had the privilege to be in; I want to maintain it. But I think staying here might destroy it. — Homeward Bound